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Top News Links: Monday, Dec. 8

Booming November job stats hailed

Look past the booming November job gain of 321,000 reported Friday -- the best figure in three years in the strongest year for U.S. hiring since 1999. It means that employers have grown confident enough to fill more job vacancies. And it means the unemployed are now less likely to succumb to frustration. – AP/AL.com

Two contractors to work Poarch Creek project

Two Alabama construction companies will partner to build the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' expansion of its facility in Montgomery. A joint venture between Rolin Construction, Inc., and Rabren General Contractors, Inc. doing business as Alabama Native Contractors, will lead the $65 million project. – AL.com

BBA wobbles on UAB football stance

On Wednesday, the president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance issued a statement raising some concerns about decision to end football at UAB. One day later, the BBA's executive committee issued its own statement in "strong support" of UAB and its president, Ray Watts. – AL.com

Moonshiners cannot be crushed

Moonshine might bring to mind an illegal backwoods still in the mountains of the South, carefully hidden to evade authorities. In recent years, though, legal distilleries have been popping up in sort of a moonshine renaissance — and artisanal hooch is now a thing. In Alabama, legal moonshine starts in an 80-gallon kettle in a horse barn in rural Bullock County. The man in charge is Jamie Ray. – NPR/WPSU

GOP domination of South now complete

There’s some debate about the exact wording Lyndon Baines Johnson used after he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the most common version of the story, LBJ referenced the future of the Democratic Parry and said, “There goes the South for a generation.” Fifty years later, that prediction is holding up quite well. – MSNBC

Healthier lunch rules still taking heat

House Republicans are making a final push this month to give schools a temporary break from healthier school meal standards. The school meal rules, phased in since 2012 and championed by first lady Michelle Obama, require more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the lunch line. The standards also limit sodium, sugar and fat. Some school nutrition directors have lobbied for a break, saying the rules have proven to be costly and restrictive. – AP/KQRE

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