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Top News Links: Friday, January 4

Alabama poised for big economic gains

Alabama will rank second only to Nevada for economic growth in the next six months, according to a new projection from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. — al.com 

Drummond's monster machine walks again

A 7-million-pound drag line crane that has sat idle at Drummond Co. mining property for 17 years is coming back to life in Alabama's coal fields. — al.com

Transocean agrees to $1.4 billion payout

Swiss-based Transocean, owner/operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig associated with BP's 2010 oil spill, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion for a criminal penalty and claims. — Bloomberg

Not enough, says Gov. Robert Bentley. — al.com 

Alabama autos see strong 2012 sales

Hyundai's Sonata and Elantra both posted 200,000-plus sales for 2012, while Mercedes-Benz and Honda also had hot years, with sales up 6 percent. — al.com 

Southern Co. plant number two on toxicity report

Southern Co.'s coal-fired Gaston Steam Plant in Shelby County ranks number two in the country for the amount of mercury pollution released in the atmosphere, according to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project. — EIP PR

Florida firm picked for Alabama state contract

A Pensacola firm, Gilmore Services, has been selected to destroy records for Alabama's Division of Land Planning. — Storage & Destruction Business

Energy Services South acquired by Texas firm

Energy Service South, based in Livingston, has been acquired by Texas-based Power Line Holdings Inc. — al.com 

Insurance rates outstrip payouts, coastal residents claim

Residents along the Southern coasts are challenging insurance rates they say are too high in comparison to claims and payouts. — Wall Street Journal

White-Spunner, Advon team for Stennis project

Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction, teamed with a small Florida firm Advon, has been selected for a construction contract at Stennis Space Center. — White-Spunner PR

Vivo Biosciences wins NASA project

Vivo Biosciences will coordinate with NASA on a project to see how human tumors respond to increased radiation in space. — Birmingham Business Journal

Snowbirds flocking to coast

End of holidays signals start of snowbird season in coastal counties. — WPMI-TV

Monster truck visits Shelby County

Monster truck nicknamed "Grave Digger" drew crowds in Pelham before Birmingham competition that kicks off today. — Shelby County Reporter

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