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Top News Links: Friday, Jan. 16

Greenetrack cries foul in New York

Greenetrack, Inc., one of the rejected bidders for a casino in Orange County, has filed a complaint with the state Comptroller's Office alleging that the state casino board broke state laws when it approved three instead of four casino projects last month. – Poughkeepsie Journal

Area economists see bright 2015

The weather was gloomy. The forecast was not. Some of the area's top economists gathered under cold, gray skies Thursday in downtown Montgomery and painted a rosy picture of the year ahead during an annual outlook conference. – Montgomery Advertiser

Bentley to sign trade pact with Peru

Alabama's governor and Peru's ambassador to the United States are scheduled to sign a memorandum to strengthen ties and promote cooperation between the state and the South American country. – AP/AL.com

Huntsville wraps up airport upgrade

Huntsville International Airport in Alabama wrapped up a nine-month improvement project that saw the reopening of 10,000-foot Runway 18L/36R and adjacent taxiways after they were strengthened and their paved shoulders widened. The $16.5 million construction effort–which also included upgrades to LED lighting and signage–was financed mostly by an FAA discretionary fund grant. – AINonline.com

Joe Thomas installed as chamber post

Joe Thomas, a financial advisor with the Capstone Financial Group, was installed today as the 2015 president of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce. – AL.com

Alabama second in cash sales of homes

Cash home sales reached a peak in January of 2011, when 46.4% of all home sales in the United States were sold for cash. That peak was nearly double the pre-housing crisis average of around 25%. In October of 2014, cash sales comprised 35.5% of all home sales, down from 38.7% in October of 2013, and marking the 22nd consecutive year-over-year monthly decline. Alabama trailed only Delaware in cash sales in October, at 51.3 percent. – 247WallSt.com

U.S. Foods Alabama wins honor

Montgomery-based U.S. Foods Alabama has been named Distributor of the Year by International Dairy Queen subsidiary Unified Supply Chain. “U.S. Foods Alabama is a leader in the industry,” USCI Chief Supply Chain Officer Roger Hubbard said. – Montgomery Advertiser

Economists: We pay a price for low taxes

Alabama's extraordinarily low property taxes have kept the state's educational attainment - and thereby per capita incomes - from increasing, two economists said at the Economic Outlook Conference in Montgomery Thursday. – AL.com

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