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Top News Links: Monday, Feb. 24

Volkswagen hires Andreas Renschler

Volkswagen has hired a former president of Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant to oversee its truck alliance. – al.com

No one can resist a Robertsdale Christmas

The man who runs the world’s most famous computer company came home like always last Christmas, flying in through the Pensacola airport. There were some Tim Cook sightings at local stores, but he mostly lounged around, spending hours with his parents, in the house and neighborhood where he grew up. – al.com

Tea Party may be growing up

With business-aligned Republicans bent on curbing the Tea Party’s influence, leaders of the small-government movement are taking a more professional approach, keeping an eye on winning candidates. That’s why, officials said, the Tea Party Express stayed away from an Alabama House race last year when business-backed Bradley Byrne edged out a candidate who vowed to be like Ted Cruz. “You can’t just be ‘Tea Party,’” chief strategist Sal Russo said.  “You still need all the elements to have a successful campaign.” – Businessweek

Sonata problems hurt Hyundai’s J.D. Power ratings

Hyundai notched big gains in its sales, market share and image when its swoopy 2011 Sonata hit the market. But barely three years later, the mid-sized car has left Hyundai with a black eye. Problems reported by owners of the 2011 Sonata were the main reason that the Hyundai brand ranked fifth from the bottom in the latest dependability rankings from J.D. Power and Associates. – Autonews.com

Pamlico Capital buys large chunk of Daxko

Pamlico Capital and the management team of Daxko, Inc. of Birmingham announced today that Pamlico has made a majority investment in the company. CEO David Gray and other management team members will retain significant ownership of Daxko and will continue to manage the growth of the company in partnership with Pamlico. – Businesswire.com

Job-offer rate for law interns returning to normal

Here's some good news for law students set to graduate this year: The job-offer rate for those lucky enough to have landed a summer job at a law firm in 2013 is nearly as high as it was before the financial crisis. – Wall Street Journal

Cold weather has gas on the rise

Brent crude rose above $110 recently and cold weather should push that price higher over the next several weeks. If so, it would be a primary factor in the sharp rise in the price of gasoline in the United States, which has topped $3.50 for an average gallon of regular among most of the largest states. Even states near to Gulf refineries like Alabama have prices above $3.15 now. – 24/7 Wall St.

Customers can’t wait to vape

In what could be a sign of good fortune, Palm Beach Vapors in Millbrook had a customer more than a week before its official grand opening. – Montgomery Advertiser

New shops cater to ASU students

Chandra Tarver wishes she had a place like Stingers Café around when she was going to Alabama State University. Thanks to a group of ASU alums, today’s students have that and much more after the opening of two new stores and a shopping center expansion near campus. – Montgomery Advertiser

Look for a new Pepsi sign

Buffalo Rock Co. and PepsiCo plan to begin installing a 176-foot by 57-foot vinyl sign over the iconic lighted scrolling sign atop Birmingham’s 17-story Two North Twentieth building today. – al.com

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