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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 9

Luther Strange replaces Sessions in Senate

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has named state Attorney General Luther Strange as the replacement for Sen. Jeff Sessions. Strange, 63, has served as the state's attorney general since 2011 and had previously announced that he would run for the Senate seat in 2018 even if he was not named as Sessions' temporary replacement. - NBC News

Mobile officials lobby for tax credit renewal

If walls could talk, the Staples Pake Building at the corner of Royal and St. Michael streets would be buzzing with excitement about an ongoing project designed to breathe life into the 166-year-old building. According to Mike Rogers, the project’s general contractor, it would not have happened without the state’s historic rehabilitation tax credits. – Lagniappe

Despite laws, funeral prices remain hard to track

Shortly after Ed Howard's father was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer and given six months to live, Howard and his sister Kathy Howard-Almagor sat down and talked about what to do. One worry was their dad's funeral arrangements. They decided Kathy would call around to some funeral homes to figure out how much their father's arrangements would cost. – APR

Bessemer manager wins Regions’ top employee honor

Regions Bank today announced that Edward Lubembe, a branch manager in Bessemer, Alabama, is the February 2017 recipient of the Regions Bank Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community. – BusinessWire

Eyeglass retailer to open first Alabama location at Pizitz

Upscale eyeglass retailer Warby Parker will open this Spring in the Pizitz building, the company has announced. It'll be the first location in Alabama for the New York City-based brand. A representative declined to give any more details. – AL.com

Southern States raises $44.6M in stock sale

Southern States Bancshares Inc., parent company of Southern States Bank, has entered into a stock purchase agreement with several accredited institutional investors and additionally sold shares of common stock to accredited local investors.  In aggregate, proceeds of approximately $44.6 million in common stock were raised. – News release

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