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Top News Links: Friday, Feb. 12

Legislature moves to roll back minimum wage increase

A bill to prohibit Alabama cities from raising the minimum wage — and roll back Birmingham’s planned increased to $10.10-per-hour— advanced out of legislative committee on Thursday. The House State Government Committee voted out the bill in a 10-3 vote that broke along party lines. – Tuscaloosa News

Prosecutors dispute leak charge in Hubbard case

State prosecutors on Thursday fired back at House Speaker Mike Hubbard's claims of misconduct and leaks in his ethics case calling it "a desperate last minute attempt to avoid a trial." Prosecutors filed the response to the defense accusation that a political consultant for Hubbard's primary opponent had dozens of conversations with lead prosecutor Matt Hart. – AP/Decatur Daily

House rejects right-to-work clause for Constitution

The Alabama House of Representatives Thursday narrowly rejected a measure that would put the state’s right to work law in the state Constitution, a part of the House Republican caucus' agenda. The chamber voted 60 to 24 for the measure. The constitutional amendment needed 63 affirmative votes to pass. – Montgomery Advertiser

Environmentalist talks climate change in Birmingham

I was pleased to visit the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham this week to speak about climate change. I was unsure what to expect while preparing my remarks. After all, polls show that only some 56% of Alabamians believe that global warming is even happening. But I'm pleased to report the speech went relatively well. – Huffington Post

Ag commissioner talks stem cells, drone delivery

Imagine residential refrigerators that automatically inventory and order food as needed to be delivered by a drone, or meat that is developed in labs from the stem cells of livestock. According to Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan, both possibilities could be reality in the next 15 years. – Dothan Eagle

Shoals getting a little skeptical about DreamVision

Over the last year, we’ve gotten sporadic updates about a proposed multi-billion dollar theme park looking to call northwest Alabama home. On the anniversary day of the announcement, Shoals leaders are still scratching their heads wondering what happened to DreamVision. The announcement of a $3.5 billion Soundscape theme park to be built in the Shoals had the makings of a Hollywood production. – WHNT

Peanut Trade Show draws farmers in Dothan

The land farmed by Jimmy Helms and his sons outside of Slocomb has seen well over a century of harvests since Helms’ great-grandfather started farming there in 1893. On Thursday, they were among hundreds of farmers seeking answers and dozens of vendors offering solutions for greater productivity during the 11th annual Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show at the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds. – Dothan Eagle

Mercedes Benz GLS now in production

The new Mercedes Benz GLS SUV has entered production and is open to order across the US. The Tuscaloosa facility where the new GLS is being produced is also from where the GLE and GLE Coupe are being built and the plant celebrates its 20th year of production activities this year. Mercedes Benz GLS is a large 7 seater SUV that is set to take the place of the outgoing GL. – HansIndia.com

State’s highway project priorities discussed

Representatives from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research organization, presented to the Birmingham Business Alliance the results of a study that identifies the top 50 highway projects to support economic growth in Alabama. The needed projects in the TRIP report would require an investment of $4.6 billion to complete. – BizJournals.com

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