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Top News Links: Tuesday, Aug. 23

Choices dwindling in Obamacare world

Many consumers may find they have few choices when shopping on the Obamacare exchanges for 2017. Industry giants Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Humana are scaling back their presences on the exchanges. And smaller insurers, including more than a dozen co-ops funded by the federal government to foster competition, have gone out of business or are dropping out. Competition is non-existent in five entire states, including Alabama. – CNN Money/ABC

Monte Sano Research sees 749 percent growth in 3 years

Steven L. Thornton is the president and CEO of Monte Sano Research, a Huntsville company which ranked 509 in the 2016 Inc. 5000 list, which is business publication Inc. Magazine's annual ranking of the fastest-growing American companies. The government contractor made the list in 2015 finishing just outside the top 1,000 at 1,012, while it made the 2016 list ranking at 509. The company saw a three-year growth rate of 749 percent with 2015 revenues eclipsing $7 million. – WAAY

LIV Development, Doster partner on Peachtree

Developers broke ground on a $5.3 million assisted living facility in Trussville Monday. LIV Development is developing a new building as part of Peachtree Assisted Living, a 33,000-square-foot, three-story assisted living facility. The project includes a 3,000-square-foot expansion to the existed facility. Doster Construction Company is the general contractor. – AL.com

The man behind Uber’s drive for self-driving rides

If Sherif Marakby is successful managing the transformation of a fleet of 100 Volvo XC90s into self-driving vehicles, it could put Uber in the lead in the race to commercialize autonomous driving. The first self-driving Uber XC90s could be on the road in Pittsburgh in a matter of weeks, Uber said last week. And Marakby, 50, has been the driving force behind the effort. – Automotive News

A flood of questions about weather warnings

 The rain fell for days, sometimes 3 inches or more in a single hour, as streets became rivers and rivers ate up entire neighborhoods in southeast Louisiana. Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, more than 20 inches of rain fell in and around East Baton Rouge, one of the hardest-hit parishes. And in some parishes in the region, as much as 2 feet of rain fell in 48 hours. – NPR

Davis Direct acquires Color Craft Inc. 

Davis Direct Inc. recently acquired Color Craft Inc. The two companies have provided graphic arts services to Central Alabama for decades, and will combine personnel and assets under one roof in the fall of 2016. Customers can now take advantage of each company's services in one place. – News release

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