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Top News Links: Monday, Dec. 11

Alabama’s U.S. Senate race lurches to conclusion

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has been a rare sight on the traditional campaign trail in the days ahead of a critical U.S. Senate race. He's appeared at only a handful of rallies in front of friendly audiences and steadfastly has shunned reporters from the mainstream media. – AP/Business Insider

Talladega-Sylacauga tops in rating for jobs creation

The Talladega-Sylacauga Micropolitan Statistical Area was rated the best place in the U.S. for manufacturing jobs in a detailed analysis by SmartAsset, a financial technology company that studied data on nearly 500 cities. SmartAsset singled out the high concentration of well-paying manufacturing jobs in the Talladega-Sylacauga area in its analysis. – Made In Alabama/ANC

Christmas tree shortage has roots in Great Recession

If you usually ring in the holiday with a freshly cut evergreen, your reality this Christmas could very well be a scrawny Charlie Brown tree instead — or you may wind up paying more for a lush Fraser fir. This year, there is a tree shortage. Most growers blame the tightened supply on the Great Recession, says Valerie Bauerlein, who covered the story for The Wall Street Journal. – APR

Former Southern Company exec forms new company

A former Southern Company human resources leader is getting her own firm off the ground in Birmingham. Andrea Lewis is the CEO of Human Capital Services, a full-service firm supporting small- to mid-size clients. Lewis says the company specializes in strategy development and execution, recruitment, policy development and employee relations. – AL.com

Infirmary Health’s new Saraland medical plaza open

For more than a year, it's been obvious something big was taking shape just off the Exit 13 Saraland exchange on I-65. Now Infirmary Health's new medical plaza in Saraland is open for business. The 70,000-square-foot facility has been quietly operating for about three weeks now after a soft opening. – AL.com

Farmland to become mixed-use space in Madison County

The 550-acre Clift Farm, one of the last big undeveloped properties along U.S. 72 in Madison, has been sold to developer Louis Breland, Breland Companies announced last week. It will become "retail, dining, residential, office, multifamily and medical" office space, Breland said. – AL.com

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