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Top News Links: Wednesday, Feb. 3

Birmingham Council OKs $2M for HealthSouth

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday approved nearly $2 million in incentives to HealthSouth Corp.'s future headquarters site in Liberty Park. Birmingham is providing $1.9 million toward the cost of remediation and site preparation for the new corporate campus at 9001 Liberty Parkway, a site owned by CRHQ LLC in the city limits of Birmingham. – BirminghamNews.net

Southern Company issues mixed Q4 report

Southern Company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) but that could change following its just released fourth quarter 2015 earnings report. Southern Company beat expectations on earnings per share at 44 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents. But revenues of $3,606 million were under the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,437 million. – Zacks.com

Bentley: Plan for less poverty, fewer prisons

Gov. Robert Bentley last night laid out his vision for the Alabama he wants to see when he leaves office in 2019. That vision includes less poverty and fewer prisons. The state will be turning 200 years old that year, the governor noted before an audience gathered inside the Capitol, and he shared his belief that a better century depended on conquering those two issues. – Anniston Star

Oyster farming may be our future

An oyster renaissance in the Southeastern U.S. is under way — from Virginia all the way down to Florida's Apalachicola Bay. The region is adopting the aquaculture that restored a decimated oyster industry in the North, and it has led to a huge boost in oyster production. – NPR

Huntsville sees 1,400 new construction jobs

Construction jobs are on the rise in the Huntsville area despite a growing worker shortage across the nation. The Associated General Contractors of America announced Tuesday the Huntsville metro was among the fastest growing in the nation last year with the addition of 1,400 new jobs between December 2014 and December 2015. – AL.com

Disaster loan outreach centers to close soon

The U.S. Small Business Administration is closing the four Disaster Loan Outreach Centers that opened following major flooding last year around Alabama. Flooding victims have until 3 p.m. Thursday to access the centers. The centers were set up in four counties, including Montgomery County, following flooding that occurred on December 23-31. – AlabamaNewsNet

Montgomery loses top confidence spot

For the first time in more than a year, Montgomery isn’t the most confident business environment in the state. That’s according to a quarterly survey of the state’s business leaders, gauging how well they expect to do over the next three months. Mobile took over the top spot from Montgomery in the first quarter of 2016. – Montgomery Advertiser

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