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Top News Links: Wednesday, Aug. 19

Cutting knife out again at Alabama Media Group

Several employees at Alabama Media Group have been laid off, the Advance-owned regional media company announced Tuesday. In a memo to staffers announcing the cuts, Alabama Media Group executive Michelle Holmes said between five and nine positions will be eliminated in each of the company’s main sites across the state. – Poynter.org

Birmingham Council OKs higher minimum wage

The Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday to set a minimum hourly wage in the city and increase it to $10.10-an-hour by July 2017. Council President Johnathan Austin recommended the proposed ordinance, which calls for wages to increase to $8.50 in July 2016 and $10.10 in July 2017. – AP/WIAT

Birmingham businesses comment on wage move

David Senseman, owner and operator of the Birmingham franchise of The Maids housecleaning service for 28 years, said in a phone interview that the changes will not affect the business dramatically, since the company made the decision several months ago to pay all of their employees a minimum of $10.00 an hour, up from $8.25. "Ten dollars per hour is not going to entice someone who doesn't want to work off the couch," he said. – AL.com

New Gulf oil leases offered today

The federal government on Wednesday will offer 21.9 million acres off the Texas coast to oil and gas developers, though low oil prices are likely to limit interest. U.S. crude fell 22 cents Tuesday to $41.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was $43.09 on March 18, when companies made 195 bids on 169 tracts off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with $538 million in high bids. – ABC

Work starts on $10.6M senior living project in Huntsville

A new 55 and older apartment community is on target for an early October opening on 451 Johns Road in Huntsville. DSI Real Estate Partners of Decatur, with help from Northport general contractor Doug Hollyhand Realty, is building The Lodge at Johns Road, a $10.6 million residential complex spanning more than 120,000 square feet near The Village of Providence and Bridge Street Town Centre. – AL.com

Planet Fitness opens Crestline location

Planet Fitness, the innovative health club franchise known for its Judgement Free Zone and affordable prices, announced the opening of its newest club in Crestline at The Shops on Montevallo. The new locally owned location is located at 4500 Montevallo Road and will be the sixth Birmingham location. – News release

CPA firm launches improved website

Russell Thompson Butler & Houston, a Mobile-based full service CPA firm, has launched a newly redesigned website.  Partnering with LAGNiAPPE Marketing and Strategic Design and J Arendall at WebJed, RTBH.com now offers quick and easy access to information. – News release

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