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Top News Links: Thursday, Aug. 4

Toyota exec maps out future of ‘computers on wheels’

Computer sciences will take automobiles to future capabilities, turning them into "computers on wheels," said a Toyota executive recently recruited from Google. Artificial intelligence, robotics and the cloud will result in vehicles that are safer, more personalized and better connected to other cars, infrastructure and smartphones, said James Kuffner, chief technology officer at Toyota Research Institute. – Automotive News

Big data comes to deer, turkey hunting in state

Big changes are in store for Alabama hunters during the upcoming season. Mandatory reporting of all deer and turkey harvests through Alabama's Game Check System goes into effect this fall. Deer season will also be extended through Feb. 10 statewide. Alabama joins 47 other states that have a mandatory harvest reporting system. Hunting has a total annual economic impact of $1.8 billion in Alabama and whitetail deer are the state's most popular game animal. – AP/Yuma Sun

Opinion: Lottery proposal suggests lack of leadership

In 1998 and 2003, Alabama voters had an opportunity to approve large-scale measures that would inject more money into our cash-starved state government. Both failed. While many factors led to the rejection of a lottery in 1998 and tax reform in 2003, one reason offered for failure was consistent. In the aftermaths of the 1998 and 2003 referendum elections, Alabama voters indicated they didn’t trust the state Legislature to wisely spend the new money. – Anniston Star

AltaPointe merges with Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center

The merger of AltaPointe Health Systems and Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center (CRMHC) became official, Aug. 1, 2016, making AltaPointe the largest and most comprehensive behavioral healthcare provider in the state. CRMHC, headquartered in Sylacauga, will now operate under the name and corporate umbrella of AltaPointe, which is headquartered in Mobile. – News release

Egg producer with Alabama ties sold to Cal-Maine Foods

Cal-Maine Foods will acquire Foodonics International, doing business as Dixie Egg Company, for an undisclosed price. The transaction should close in early October. Dixie Egg Company's assets include commercial egg production and processing facilities with the capacity of about 1.6 million laying hens and related feed production in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. – AL.com

Federal judge to decide Moore case without further hearings

A federal judge in Montgomery says he will decide Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s lawsuit against state judicial investigators without a hearing. U.S. District Judge Harold Albritton issued an order Wednesday saying his eventual decision will be based on legal documents alone. Albritton canceled a hearing set for Thursday in the same order. – AlabamaNews.net

‘Redneck Riviera’ to get John Rich treatment

Country music star John Rich’s mind can go in many directions – at one time. Even with just a phrase, like Redneck Riviera. “As it turns out, people have been using that phrase since early 1960s,” he says. “It could be in reference to a lake or a beach. I remember being in Gulf Shores Alabama in 2008, and wondered if anyone had ever taken the phrase and worked with it on a national level.” Once he realized that nobody had, he went to work. – Sounds Like Nashville

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