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Top News Links: Monday, Feb. 2

Protective-Dai-ichi deal now done

Protective Life Corporation on Sunday announced the completion of the acquisition of Protective by The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Limited. As a result of the merger, each outstanding share of common stock of Protective was converted into the right to receive $70 per share in cash, and Protective has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life. Protective common stock has ceased trading, and will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. – BusinessWire

Rumor mill in high gear over park

A Texas company is rumored to be considering building a massive amusement park in northwest Alabama. However, no one in the state who would typically be involved in the development of a project that size seems to have any idea what is actually going on. A press release went out late last week from a Gmail account claiming to be affiliated with DreamVision Co. announcing that the 1,400-acre theme park would focus on CGI animation, live action motion pictures, theatrical productions, television, music and resort destinations. For context, Six Flags Over Georgia is just under 300 acres, total. – Yellowhammer

A third of Alabamians have no broadband

The federal government says more than one-third of Alabama residents lack broadband Internet service. A new report by the Federal Communications Commission says almost 35 percent of the state's residents don't have the high-speed service needed for today's digital offerings. That means nearly 1.7 million people statewide lack a fixed broadband connection. – AP/AL.com

Selling TTIP to Alabama businesses

On this day, members of Mobile's business community have crammed into the Chamber of Commerce to learn whether the city's path to success can be sped up even more. Hopes are being pinned on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is being negotiated between the European Union and the US. – DW.DE

SCA a sponsor at Volvo Ocean Race

SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company with operations in Barton, Alabama, will bring awareness of its sustainability and hygiene solutions to the North American Volvo Ocean Race Stopover in Newport, R.I. In this sponsorship role, SCA will provide its expertise to support zero-waste and recycling efforts and will be the exclusive tissue and hygiene products provider of the 12-day public event. – News release

Foliage Design Systems blossoms in Huntsville

Melissa Musgrove, a Huntsville entrepreneur who has operated Foliage Design Systems of North Alabama for more than 12 years, is moving the business to a larger space. The company recently acquired Jolly Green Thumb plant accounts and provides a customized live plant care service tailored to the individual needs of each commercial or residential customer. – News release

Ross Dress for Less opening in Gadsden

Ross Dress for Less will open a new store in Alabama on March 7.  The store is located in the River Trace shopping center at East Meighan Boulevard and 5th Street in Gadsden.  With this location, Ross now operates 21 stores in Alabama. – News release

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