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Top News Links: Thursday, Dec. 29

Honoring the M-Class, Alabama’s first Mercedes

If you search the internet for “Most Important Cars In The World,” you'll come across names like the Ford Model T, Ford Mustang, the MINI and many more, but rarely would you see the mention of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. But it’s an important vehicle and it's now close to 20 years since the M-Class been in production. – AutoNDTV

Bentley’s excellent nonprofit seeks to exit lawsuit

An organization created to advance Gov. Robert Bentley's political agenda asked on Wednesday to be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by the governor's former security officer, who claims his career and reputation were damaged as Bentley tried to hide an affair with a staffer. A lawyer for the Alabama Council for Excellent Government filed the dismissal motion in Montgomery court. – AP/Gadsden Times

Lawsuit filed by family of woman killed in plant accident

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family of a young Alabama woman who was tragically crushed to death by a robot at Cusseta manufacturing plant Ajin USA just two weeks before she was set to marry. Regina Elsea, 20, was reportedly working at the plant when she and other coworkers were sent to re-active a robotics machine after a sensor error stopped assembly line production. When she was inside the operations area trying to fix it, the robot abruptly restarted, crushing her. – WIAT

Minimum wage battle among 2016’s biggest biz stories

While 2016 is a year that lots of people would like to forget, it is also a year that no one is going to have any trouble remembering. Here are five stories about business and the global economy that made a big impression. – The New Yorker

Continental Motors ditching Mobile for Fairhope

Continental Motors Group Ltd., an AVIC International Holding Corp. company, recently announced its operating division, Southern Avionics and Interiors, will relocate to the H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport in Fairhope from its current location at Brookley Aeroplex. The goal of the move is to integrate maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) across divisions, according to a news release. – Lagniappe

Convicted state lawmaker Spicer back on payroll

Convicted felons often struggle to find work after getting out of prison, but one of Alabama’s formerly incarcerated residents got a state job just two months after finishing a federal prison sentence. Former state representative Terry Spicer now works as a sales associate for the Alabama Beverage Control Board. If Spicer, 52, finishes about a year and four months of employment with the state agency he can begin drawing a $50,000 per year state pension. – Dothan Eagle

Director of Shelby County research center honored

Roxann Laird, who directs the Alabama-based National Carbon Capture Center, has been named POWER-GEN International’s 2016 Woman of the Year. Created by Power Engineering magazine, the award honors women who’ve dedicated their careers to advancing the power industry. Recipients of the award are also selected based on their ability to lead and efforts to influence, mentor and inspire young women to seek careers in energy. – Alabama News Center

State, feds reach deal to expand driver’s license office hours

U.S. Department of Transportation officials announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with Alabama to expand the state's driver's license office hours after the agency found that black residents there were disproportionately hurt by a slate of closures and reductions in 2015. – AP/Monterey Herald

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