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Top News Links: Friday, Feb. 26

Legislature, governor slap down minimum wage foray

Alabama's governor and Legislature Thursday blocked Birmingham's attempts to raise its minimum wage as they swiftly approved legislation to strip cities of their ability to set hourly pay requirements. The Alabama Senate passed the legislation on a 23-11 vote that largely broke along party lines. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill into law about an hour later. – AP/Clay Center Dispatch

Minimum wage bill planned for Mobile County

The state Legislature and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley overreached in their duties by thwarting the city of Birmingham's request to increase its minimum, says a state lawmaker who’s proposing a similar increase in Mobile County. State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, plans to bring a similar bill next week. – AL.com

Iconic pizzeria Cosmo’s closing after 30 years

After nearly 30 years, time is running out on Cosmo's, the neighborhood pizzeria and bar that been an anchor along Magnolia Avenue in Birmingham's Five Points South since it opened its doors in 1986. Cosmo's will serve its last pizza pie this Sunday, Feb. 28, but the mourning has already begun. – AL.com

Auburn study reveals biggest banking concerns

A comprehensive study of Alabama's banking industry released by faculty in Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business reveals that state banks issued $14 billion in small business loans by the end of the third quarter of 2015 and consider regulatory uncertainty and cyberattacks as being among the chief threats to their business model. – Auburn.edu

American Cast Iron Pipe exporting to Virginia

Loudoun Water, a water utility in Loudoun County, Virginia, recently undertook an innovative, green approach to supplying water in the face of new development. American Cast Iron Pipe Company is supplying some 27,000 feet of 36- to 48-inch pipe for the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2017. – News release

Bamboo makes bikes and economy stronger

Pam Dorr laughs at the idea that a bicycle made out of bamboo would be flimsy. It's not the first time she's heard that kind of skepticism. "We just built one for a 300-pound guy in Colorado who's on pretty rough roads," Dorr said. "He told me, 'I'm a big guy, and I want it to last.' I said, 'Alright, I'll get a thick piece of bamboo for you.'" – AP/Times-Daily

Huntsville-based Miltec Corp. sold for $14.6M

San Diego defense contractor General Atomics is acquiring Miltec Corp., a small Huntsville company that does engineering and technical work for the intelligence industry and Defense Department. Miltec is being sold for $14.6 million in cash according to its parent company, Ducommun, Inc. – San Diego Union Tribune

Troy University professor advises on financial reform

About a year into his transition from Troy University to Capitol Hill, Dr. Thomas Hogan is already making an impact on the country's economic policies. As chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Hogan played an integral role last year in helping a financial reform bill. – News release

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