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Top News Links: Thursday, Jan. 23

Background check company accused of fraud

United States Investigations Services, whose background checks helped National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis get security clearances, has been accused of fraud by the government in a suit filed in federal court in Montgomery. – Businessweek

BancorpSouth to acquire Austin bank

Mississippi's BancorpSouth will acquire Central Community Corp., parent of Austin-based First State Bank Central Texas, pushing the bank much deeper into the competitive Texas banking market. — Associated Press

Bill to strengthen Bronner’s position dies in committee

Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow's bill to give Retirement Systems of Alabama chief David Bronner "total unilateral control" to make investment decisions failed in a House committee today. – Times Daily

Gaming revenue down sharply in Mississippi

Competition from other states seems to have led to the weakest gaming revenue year for Mississippi casinos since 1997, according to numbers released today by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. – MBJ Business Blog

Alabama one of 11 most dangerous states for drivers

Alabama finds itself on a new list of the 11 most dangerous states to drive in, because of a “dangerous lack of basic safety laws.” – Washington Post

ASU officials cite reasons for bond ratings downgrade

Alabama State University officials say investments that increased the school's debt, a forensic audit and inquiries from an academic accreditation agency likely factored into a downgrade of the school’s bond ratings from Moody's Investors Service. – The Republic

Former Toomer’s Drugs pharmacist may oppose Bentley

State Sen. Billy Beasley, a Barbour County Democrat and pharmacist who formerly ran Toomer’s Drugs is said to be seriously considering a run for the governorship. – Auburnvillager.com

Energen reports quarterly dividend

Energen Corp. has announced a quarterly dividend with shareholders of record on Friday, February 14th to be paid a dividend of 0.15 per share on Monday, March 3rd. – TickerReport.com

Highland Avenue tower gets green light in Birmingham

The $40 million, 15-story Highland Avenue apartment tower plans to begin construction in March or April after winning design approval before the Birmingham Design Review Committee. – al.com

Malcovery has lessons from Target security breach

Malcovery, a Birmingham cybersecurity firm, has released a ‘Special Report: Lessons Learned From the Target Data Breach,’ a free threat intelligence briefing that analyzes recent reports from key players in the industry to identify key takeaways from the recent data breach at Target. – PRWeb.com

GE Intelligent Platforms announces 50-job expansion

General Electric Intelligent Platforms in Huntsville has announced a $2.7 million expansion project that will create 50 new jobs. – The Huntsville Times

Splash pad on the way in Cullman

The Cullman County Commission awarded a Hanceville construction company a $164,000 bid to build a splash pad at Sportsman Lake Park. – Cullman Times

UWA wins grant for Mercedes tech program

The University of West Alabama has received $100,500 from the Delta Regional Authority a for their Mercedes-Benz Automotive Technician Program. – Alabama's 13

Avion Solutions awarded contract

Huntsville’s award-winning Avion Solutions, Inc. has been awarded a SeaPort Enhanced Multiple Award Contract to provide analytical, engineering, technical, and programmatic support services across all seven geographic zones defined by Navy requirements. – Avion Solutions

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