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Top News Links: Monday, Feb. 1

Hyundai America CEO: Crossovers are the future

Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski says his company's future lies in crossover SUVs--and agrees that it's a "permanent shift" that could bring up to four new vehicles to the Hyundai and Genesis brands over the next three years. Zuchowski said his company is adjusting production of cars like the new Elantra in Montgomery so that it can assemble more crossover SUVs. – Car Connection

In-state college students being left behind?

For high school students wondering what their chances are of getting into public universities outside their home states, there’s good news and bad news: Many public universities are admitting more out-of-state students, but that’s because those students have to pay a lot more in tuition and fees. These include the University of Alabama, which had the largest decline in its share of in-state freshmen, a 36 percent drop. – CSMonitor.com

Index suggests life in Alabama is improving

According to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Alabama has significantly improved its livability index in the past year, going from ranking 46th in 2014, to 28th in 2015. – Gallup.com

Inside the new Time Inc. Food Studios

At one end of Birmingham's sprawling, new Time Inc. Food Studios, in a kitchen bathed by the morning light, recipe developer Karen Rankin slices chocolate ganache squares that she is testing for a new cookbook by celebrity chef Ryan Scott. In the nearby video studio, videographer Caleb Zorn zooms in for a tight shot as food stylist Nicole McLaughlin prepares stuffed Granny Smith apples for an online how-to video for Health magazine. – AL.com

Capstone Development, UNA open new dorms

Capstone Development Partners, in conjunction with the University of North Alabama, celebrated the completion of Olive and Mattielou residence halls with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. Olive Hall, the most recently finished of two new structures, was completed on-schedule in January 2016 and welcomed 429 students at the start of the Winter 2016 semester. – GlobeNewswire

Alabama’s Black Belt shaped Civil Rights Movement

The Black Power Movement has its roots in Alabama’s Black Belt. Named for its dark, fertile soil, the crescent shaped region bisects Central Alabama. It was here in the antebellum days that King Cotton reigned supreme. In the mid-20th century, it saw the birth of the modern Civil Rights Movement with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. – USA Today

Vear, Vista Engineering plan Feb. 25 ribbon cutting

Sister companies VEAR Inc. and Vista Engineering will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 25 in Homewood for their recently renovated 8,000 sq. ft. offices and laboratory facility. “We’re happy to introduce this state of the art space to both the local community and to our clients who will benefit from the improvements,” said Raymond Thompson, owner of the firms. – News release

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