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Top News Links: Wednesday, Aug. 24

Alabama lottery proposal buried for now

The Alabama House of Representatives Tuesday blocked a committee meeting that was necessary for Gov. Robert Bentley's lottery proposal to get on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general election. That means that if lawmakers still approve a proposed constitutional amendment to allow a lottery during the special session, a special election would be required to place it on the ballot for voters. – AL.com

Classic banking law co-sponsored by Alabamian is cool again

Democrats and Republicans seem to have a difficult time agreeing on just about anything these days. But one place where they have found common ground: the now defunct Glass-Steagall Act—which once kept commercial and investment banking separate. (It did so by preventing investment banks from taking deposits and mandating that only 10 percent of a commercial bank’s income could come from securities.) The financial regulation passed in 1933 and repealed in 1999 was co-sponsored by Alabama Sen. Henry Steagall. – The Atlantic

ATEC wins $154M contract to improve helicopter engines

The U.S. Army is awarding a Huntsville company a contract to design next-generation turbine engines that could provide $1 billion in annual savings for its Black Hawk and Apache helicopter fleets. Advanced Turbine Engine Company, a joint venture between Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, will conduct a preliminary design review of the new engines as part of the $154 million contract. – WAAY

Google quiet on when shovels will move at Bridgeport

Google is still advertising it will begin building its new Jackson County data center in 2016, but the company has kept quiet on its plans close to two-thirds of the way through the year. A company spokesperson tells Tech Alabama there is no further information to share beyond Google's original announcement in June 2015 for the planned data center, which will be located in Bridgeport. – WAAY

Consumers highly interested in auto tech, safety advances

The 2016 Nielsen AutoTECHCAST report, released today, finds that U.S. consumers are most interested in technology aimed toward safety, followed by connectivity, comfort and convenience, driver assistance and fuel efficiency. Safety tech features drawing the most interest were rear camera mirrors, low-speed collision avoidance systems and blind-spot detection and prevention systems. – Automotive News

Many Alabamians looking at health insurance hikes

People who buy individual health plans through the federal exchange in Alabama might soon see a big premium jump, anywhere from 26 to 41 percent over last year. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, soon to be the state’s only health insurance provider, has proposed the rate hike to take effect in 2017. The same is true in other states, and those increases are projected to be steeper than in previous years, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. – Marketplace

Academy plans third location in Huntsville area

One hundred new jobs are coming to the Huntsville area as Academy Sports & Outdoors announces plans to open the company’s 16th location in Alabama. Academy announced Tuesday that it will open a new store in Huntsville next year at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue, the company’s third location in the Huntsville area including Decatur and Madison. – WHNT

Thrill ride safety may well vary state to state

In some parts of the U.S., the thrill rides that hurl kids upside down, whirl them around or send them shooting down slides are checked out by state inspectors before customers climb on. But in other places, they are not required to get the once-over. – AP/TimesFreePress

Grumpy old man shops at fancy grocery store

I recently went to one of the supposedly hip groceries in town to get a few items. It is anyone’s best guess why a supermarket needs to be a cool, but I had heard good things and decided to go. I will keep a long story short, and tell you I was less than enthusiastic. – John Norris column/Montgomery Advertiser

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