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Top News Links: Friday, Feb. 27

Tax plan spat halts road projects in North Alabama

After State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw hired a billboard to express his opposition to Gov. Bentley’s proposed tax hike, ALDOT has halted road projects in Holtzclaw’s Limestone County district. ALDOT’s John Cooper told news blogger Yellowhammer that “If Sen. Holtzclaw feels that strongly about taxes, we felt certain he would not like a lot of tax money being spent in his District.” — Yellowhammer

Brooks among Republicans saying DHS shutdown wouldn’t matter much

A temporary shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security wouldn’t be such a big deal, says U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican representing North Alabama. Funding for the agency is tangled in wrangling over President Obama’s immigration policy, which Brooks opposes. "There was hardly any effect whatsoever on the Department of Homeland Security from the last shutdown, and I would anticipate a similar effect this time," Brooks said.— AP/AL.com

DHS training site keeps going despite budget threat

As Republican Congressmen fight immigration actions in a measure that could cut off funding to the Department of Homeland Security, the agency’s training facility in Anniston continues to prepare for new trainees who are expected to arrive next week, though agency funding could stop Saturday. — Anniston Star

Huntsville air cargo service extends to Brazil

International freight forwarded Panalpina, with major operations in Huntsville, has added scheduled cargo service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, slated to mesh easily with the firm’s service to Hong Kong. — Panalpina PR/Freightweek

UA plans online degree in marketing analytics

Marketing analytics — the process of garnering useful information from big data — will be the focus of a new online master’s degree offered by the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce. — UA PR

Nolan to lead Camber Corporation

Philip Nolan has been named CEO of Camber Corporation, succeeding company co-founder Walter Batson, who will continue to serve as board chairman. The Huntsville firm provides services in engineering, intelligence, cyber security, unmanned systems, modeling and simulation and related fields. — Camber PR

Alabama housing market improving

Freddie Mac reports that the Alabama housing market, while still weak, is improving. – Birmingham Business Journal

Three attorneys barred from BP claims process

Two Louisiana attorneys and another from Nevada have been barred from the BP oil spills claims process by federal Judge Carl Barbier over allegations of unethical behavior. — Associated Press/AL.com

Federal funds available for specialty crop projects

Grants to help agriculture organization develop specialty crops — fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, maple syrup, honey and nursery crops — for the overseas market are available on a competitive basis. The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries is handling disbursement of the federal USDA funds. — ADAI PR

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