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Top News Links: Tuesday, Feb. 10

Exports for 2014 at near-record level

Alabama exports climbed in 2014 to a near-record level, powered by shipments of Alabama-made automobiles to almost 100 countries, as well as rising overseas sales of products such as industrial machines, plastics, and iron and steel. Alabama’s exports totaled $19.518 billion last year, a gain of nearly 1.2 percent from 2013’s figure and just shy of the state’s annual record for overseas shipments — $19.577 billion, set in 2012. – Made In Alabama

No same-sex marriages in Tuscaloosa County

Hopeful anticipation turned to disappointment Monday morning when the first same-sex couples to try and obtain marriage licenses in Tuscaloosa County were turned away. Probate court officials handed those seeking a marriage license a condensed version of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's order, issued late Sunday night, that said the state's probate courts were to ignore a lower federal court ruling that Alabama's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. – Tuscaloosa News

Gay couple weds in Montgomery

Tori Sisson and Shanté Wolfe of Tuskegee, Alabama, camped outside the Montgomery County Courthouse overnight, hoping that when the sun rose Monday, they'd be the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the county. Eventually, their wish came true. – CNN/WBAL-TV

EarthLink lays off 110 in state

EarthLink has confirmed that it has laid off 110 employees across two of its Alabama business sales offices.  Pam O'Connor, EarthLink's senior manager of corporate communications, says her company determined the layoffs were necessary at its Anniston and Arab business sales offices "to realign according to our business plan and to enable the company's future success." MSPmentor

Radio Shack announces which stores are closing

Chain electronics retailer RadioShack is shutting down 28 of its 59 Alabama stores as part of the company’s chapter 11 bankruptcy. Locations in Cullman, Bessemer, Montgomery, Birmingham, Hoover, Mobile, Oxford, Huntsville, Gadsden, Scottsboro, Fort Payne, Prattville, Leeds, Calera, Saraland, Phenix City, Center Point, Tuscaloosa, Opelika, Huntsville, and Troy will close by March 31. – Yellowhammer

UAB board approves Collat building plan

Stage one planning for a new building that will house the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business and B.L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. – UAB.edu

Cyber liability seminar now online

Montgomery-based Palomar Insurance Group recently held a Cyber Liability Seminar in the Wynlakes Country Club ballroom co-sponsored by Beazley and R.K. Harrison Group. The conference provided attendees an opportunity to hear from industry leaders about how to protect their data from financial and reputational loss. The seminar is now viewable on YouTube. – News release

Finding Alabama tax rates on the go

Alabama Interactive, in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Revenue, has recently developed an online application that makes it easier than ever to look up Alabama sales tax rates. This new, free service allows citizens and businesses to find the state, county, and city tax rates for any street address located in Alabama. – MarketWatch

DeKalb, Jackson get first gigabit service

Calix Inc. on Monday announced that Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative,  Alabama's largest member-owned operating telephone cooperative, is now delivering fiber-enabled gigabit services via the Calix B6 Ethernet Service Access Nodes (ESANs) and 716 Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) in DeKalb and Jackson counties. – LightReading.com

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