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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 4

Hospitals urge Medicaid expansion

Alabama hospitals and their professional association are urging Gov. Bentley to expand Medicaid, as outlined under the new federal Affordable Care Act; expansions would help hospitals and nursing homes pay for care for now-uninsured residents. — al.com

Airbus plant plans appear safe as parent EADS talks restructure

Airbus' plans for its first North American assembly line in Mobile appear untouched by talks among key business partners in parent company EADS — French Lagardere and German Daimler, each a 12.5 percent stakeholder — to drop out of the conglomerate. — Mobile Press Register

Alabama incentives lowest in Southeast

Alabama's $277 million spent annual on corporate incentives ranks lowest in the Southeast in a New York Times state-by-state survey. — New York Times

Vulcan takes steps toward Gurley quarry

Vulcan Materials is working with ADEM toward permits required for a new quarry at Gurley, which is near bankruptcy over attempts to prevent another company from quarrying rock at the city's edge. — al.com

Chilton County farmer takes leadership of ALFA

Chilton County timber and cattle farmer Jimmy Parnell has been elected president of the 385,000-member Alabama Farmers Federation. — ALFA

ALFA convention fills Montgomery hotels

ALFA meeting filled Montgomery hotel rooms that had been left idle when an Air Force event cancelled. — Montgomery Advertiser

Honors for Daily Access

Mobile-based Daily Access, which handles a variety of employee benefit plans for companies, has earned  32 "best in class" honors from Plan Sponsor magazine, based on polls of retirement plan sponsors. — PR Newswire

Alabama-made auto sales mixed

Hyundai set a sales record in November with Alabama-made Elantra and Sonata models also setting a record sales pace, despite news of over-stated mpg ratings. — Birmingham News

Mercedes sales down for Alabama models. — Birmingham News

Demand drops for Honda Pilot, despite hot sails for Honda. — Birmingham News

Southwest traffic dips at Birmingham

Traffic on Southwest Airlines flights through Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport has shrunk 8 percent so far this year, but the airline still handles more than 40 percent of all traffic. — al.com 

ProAssurance acquires Nevada firm

With the acquisition of Independent Nevada Doctors Insurance Exchange, Birmingham-based ProAssurance now provides more medical malpractice insurance than any other company in Nevada. — al.com

African embassy contract for Harbert

B.L. Harbert has been awarded a $103 million contract to build a new U.S. embassy in Swaziland. — BL Harbert PR

´┐╝Auburn Business School completed early

B.L. Harbert International has completed a $6.3 million renovation to the Auburn University business school ahead of schedule. — al.com

Launchpad launch

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama has kicked off its annual Launchpad competition, which allows start-up companies to compete for up to $100,000 to support their fledgling businesses.  — EDPA PR

Fiscal cliff looming, Republicans to blame, poll says

A new poll by the Washington Post and Pew Research says almost half of Americans expect that Congress and the President won't avoid automatic spending cuts dubbed the "fiscal cliff," and well over half says it's the fault of Republicans in Congress. — Washington Post

Consumer confidence remains high, poll says

Thomson Reuters survey shows steady consumer confidence, but concern about "fiscal cliff." — PR Web

Too much office, not enough tenants in Anniston

Anniston office towers struggle to attract tenants, officials say. — Anniston Star

Raytheon wins JAGM technology contract

Raytheon has been awarded a $10.4 million Army contract to develop technology for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile. — Huntsville Times

Bank fees dropping again, led by Bank of America

Last year, other banks, including Regions, helped force Bank of America to drop an ATM usage fee; this year Bank of America leads the way to lower fees. — The Street

Be wary of Regions, investment site advises

Investment advisor site Motley Fool is carrying a story titled "3 Strikes Against Regions Financial," saying that the Birmingham-based bank should raise red flags among investors. — Motley Fool

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