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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 16

Protective Life deal may close Feb. 1

Protective Life Corp. announced Monday that the transaction contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger with Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Limited and DL Investment Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi, should close on or about Feb. 1. – BusinessWire

BB&T names new regional president

Burton McDonald Jr. has been tapped as BB&T's new regional president for Alabama. McDonald has served as the bank's market president of greater Birmingham since 2012 and will replace Dontá Wilson, who has been named the regional president of BB&T's northern Georgia region. – Biz Journals

Siegelman home for Christmas?

A federal judge said he will decide by the end of the week if former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman should be released from prison while appealing his 2006 bribery conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land held a hearing Monday in Montgomery on the incarcerated former governor's request for an appeal bond. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

Ex-hospital worker jailed for ID theft role

A former Alabama hospital worker has been sentenced to serve two years in prison for his role in an identity theft case that led to federal tax refund fraud. The case also has resulted in a class action lawsuit. The breach at 235-bed Flowers Hospital in Dothan spotlights that insider threats are a big challenge. – GovInforSecurity.com

FreightCar America plans job fair

FreightCar America announced Monday it will host a job fair to fill between 150 and 200 production team positions at the mile-long railcar plant in Barton. The job fair will be held at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center on Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. WHNT

Bentley: No plans to raise gas tax

Gov. Robert Bentley says he has no plans to ask the Alabama legislature to raise the state’s 16-cent-per-gallon gas tax, responding to emailed questions submitted by The Tuscaloosa News. Instead, Alabama will look to a $508.5 million highway bond issue to finance highway projects, bonds that last week received a AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. – BetterRoads.com

Two women running for GOP state chair

Two women who have been involved in Republican politics in Alabama for many years are running for the chairmanship of the state GOP. Former state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin of Indian Springs announced her candidacy Monday. Mobile County GOP Chair Terry Lathan sent letters to party members during the weekend saying she will run. – AP/The Olympian

Moore: Go with consumption tax

 Alabama State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) on Sunday added his opinions to the growing debate over what the state should do to address the shortfall in its General Fund Budget, which Senate General Fund Budget Chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) predicts could be in the neighborhood of $260 million. Moore says he favors doing away with the state income tax all together and moving entirely to a consumption tax. – Yellowhammer News

Metaldyne Performance Group having IPO

American Securities LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, has announced the pricing of the initial public offering for Metaldyne Performance Group Inc. MPG was formed in August 2014 through the merger of HHI Group Holdings, Metaldyne LLC, and Grede Holdings LLC to create a new holding company. Grede has a number of facilities in Alabama. – WSFA 

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