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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 5

Reasons behind Harper Lee’s sequel release debated

Following concern for author Harper Lee, the writer has released a statement via her publishers Harpers insisting that she’s “alive and kicking” and “happy as hell,” over the reaction to the news her only second ever novel will be published this July, 55 years after her first To Kill A Mockingbird. Hometown friends, however, still worry that the author is being manipulated. – Entertainmentwise.com

Alabama Psychiatric Services to close

Alabama Psychiatric Services will close all locations across the state by Feb. 13, according to Richard Craig, executive director of the Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair Counties Mental Health Authority. The company has locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Fairhope, Florence, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, according to the website. – AL.com

GD Copper USA now a union shop

The National Labor Relations Board certified the election held last year at GD Copper USA, giving employees the authority to collectively bargain with the company's management. In a decision released at the end of January, a hearing officer dismissed challenges to the outcome. The company claimed the union campaign leading up to the vote included threats to employees, coercion and intimidation tactics to sway workers into joining. – AL.com

Legislators consider hiking tobacco tax

A habit for about 23% of Alabamians might be getting more expensive. The American Cancer Society and health officials are hoping state leaders will raise the tobacco tax. It's a proposal that affects everyone in the state, even if you don't smoke. – ABC 33/40

HealthSouth purchasing Lexington facility

HealthSouth Corporation has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, from the Kentucky Easter Seal Society Inc. – News release

SRI now identifying itself as Southern Research

Southern Research Institute of Birmingham, a long-established scientific and engineering research organization, announced a new brand identity on Tuesday that the non-profit hopes will better highlight the size and scope of its work, especially as it proceeds with several new programs and partnerships. Now identifying itself primarily as Southern Research, the organization -- founded in the Magic City in 1941 -- is rolling out a "refreshed" corporate logo, message and design, according to its news release on Tuesday. – AL.com

Chicken Salad Chick picks new Florida site

Chicken Salad Chick announced today the location of their newest franchise in Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant will be located in the Reedy Branch Commons at 10920 Baymeadows Road. – PR Newsweb

Intergraph, ETAP to partner on tech

Intergraph and ETAP announced today a strategic alliance to collaborate on their products’ integration and to market integrated solutions that will enable utilities to better visualize, manage, integrate and optimize the operation of their smart grid. – News release

Builders celebrate topping out at center

Capital Growth Medvest, project developer; Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc. (GMC), project architect; and Brasfield & Gorrie, general contractor, recently commemorated the topping out of the new Great Falls Clinic Medical Center with the placement of a pine tree at the top of the building. Construction has reached the pinnacle of the structure. – News release

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