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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 20

New Alabama Power CEO stresses continuity

Mark Crosswhite doesn't like the word "initiative," saying it too often brings up ideas he calls "flash in the pan." Instead, the new Alabama Power Co. CEO wants to stress continuity. – Montgomery Advertiser

Material prices keep construction margins tight

Prices for materials used in construction and for nonresidential building construction both increased more than overall prices for “final demand” in January, according to a new analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Margins remain very tight for most construction firms even as private-sector demand for construction continues to grow. – AGC.org

Plant expansion expected to employ 100 people

An automotive supplier is opening a plant expansion that will employ 100 people in southeast Alabama. Gov. Robert Bentley was expected to be among the leaders on hand Wednesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting event at HS Automotive Alabama in Enterprise. The South Korean company makes pressure hoses, tubing and weather stripping for Hyundai, Kia and Chrysler. – The Republic

Birmingham mansion largest home now on market

A grand mansion in Alabama is the largest home currently on the market in the U.S., according to Curbed. A virtual Versailles of the South, the Birmingham home is 54,400 square feet. And all for just $13.9 million. – Business Insider

Saban confirms effort to open Mercedes dealership

The Alabama head football coach confirmed he and a partner are working to open a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Birmingham area after lawyers for a competing dealer said they intend to subpoena Saban to find out if he was doing business with Mercedes. – Montgomery Advertiser

Annual groceries sales tax discussion under way

For the 22nd year, Alabama legislators are discussing removing the state sales tax on groceries and replacing the lost revenue with another source. – The Republic

Alabama a national leader in taxing booze

When it comes to taxing booze, Alaska and Alabama are national leaders. They are the only states that claim a spot among the top five with the highest excise taxes each for beer, wine and spirits, according to the free market-oriented Tax Foundation. – Washington Post

Harbert, Henderson added to EDPA board

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama has added two new members to its board of directors. Billy L. Harbert Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of BL Harbert International, and J. Gregory Henderson, president and CEO of Southeast Alabama Gas District, were appointed at EDPA's board of directors meeting in Birmingham. – al.com

Harper Lee settles suit with Monroeville museum

Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is settling a lawsuit filed last year against a museum in her Alabama hometown claiming that it had sold merchandise featuring her name and the title of her novel without compensation. – New York Times blog

Boone subsidiary buys three NC newspapers

A newly formed affiliate of Tuscaloosa-based Boone Newspapers has purchased the Salisbury Post, the Davie County Enterprise-Record and the Clemmons Courier. Salisbury Newsmedia bought the three central North Carolina newspapers from Evening Post Industries of Charleston, S.C. – Bizjournals.com

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