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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 27

Honda breaks production record at its Alabama plant

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama had a record-breaking production year in 2016, plant officials have announced. According to preliminary production figures, the plant produced 369,538 vehicles and engines this year. With 2016 as the 15th anniversary the plant's opening, Honda already saw the production of its 4 millionth vehicle and engine since opening in 2001. – AL.com

Harper Lee fanciers nervously await development plans

Nearly a year after the death of Harper Lee, a group in south Alabama hopes to develop new attractions and bring more tourists to the novelist's hometown of Monroeville, which helped inspire both "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman." Working with Lee's attorney Tonja Carter and others, local businessman and philanthropist George Landegger has purchased the 1909 bank building that housed the one-time office of Lee's father A.C. Lee — who served as the model for attorney Atticus Finch in both books. – AP/Hattiesburg American

Sessions’ views on civil forfeiture draw reproof

Democrats are wrong in most of their criticism of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. But if they or fellow Republicans are looking for a legitimate area to probe, they should explore his views on government’s use of civil forfeiture. The all-too-common practice allows law enforcement to take private property without due process and has become a cash cow for state and local police and prosecutors. – Wall Street Journal

Alabamians wonder if Trump will privatize TVA

While the president has raised the possibility of selling Tennessee Valley Authority and President-elect Donald Trump often has promoted the benefits of privatization in the abstract, Trump hasn't given any public hints about his plans for the federally owned corporation. Trump's appointments to the TVA's governing body, however, could change the agency's direction. – Gadsden Times

Former revenue, labor commissioner Surtees dies

Tom Surtees, who served as Alabama's revenue and labor commissioner, died Friday of cancer, according to the labor department. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. Surtees, 66, served in both the Riley and Bentley administrations. He retired from government in 2014 and was initially appointed revenue commissioner by Gov. Bob Riley in 2004. – AL.com

BBVA buying Mexican only payment startup Openpay

BBVA has announced it is buying Mexican online payments startup Openpay. In an announcement, BBVA said the acquisition is "part of its ongoing efforts to accelerate transformation by growing its portfolio of digital companies." Terms of the deal were not announced. – AL.com

Zacks downgrades CPSI to ‘sell’ rating

Zacks Investment Research has cut shares of Computer Programs and Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CPSI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday. – TheCerbatGem.com

Here’s some tips for end-of-year charitable giving

This time of year, charities all over our state are pushing for you to help them in this season of giving. Before you give, make sure you know where your money is going. The Better Business Bureau says pay close attention to the charity’s name because a lot of them sound alike. Also you need to ask specifics, such as how is the organization helping. – WBRC

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