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Top News Links: Friday, Jan. 20

Bentley wants more state control over Medicaid

If Congress moves forward with health care changes, Gov. Robert Bentley wants the states to have more power to determine eligibility and benefits for Medicaid recipients, end federal marketplaces for health insurance and replacement of the individual mandate for health insurance with incentives for enrollment. – Montgomery Advertiser

Liberty National about to get the 20 Midtown treatment

The old Liberty National building on 20th Street has been sitting vacant since 2010. The 80-year-old structure is riddled with asbestos, and one of the walls had begun to buckle. The developers that have built up the area around it are planning to bring new life into the old building: the 16-story building has been purchased for $3.6 million by a group that includes Scott Bryant of Scott M. Bryant & Co. and Dick Schmalz of RGS Properties, who developed 20 Midtown. – AL.com

Thieves getting more creative in how they break in

Gun thefts are on the rise, leading local gun shop owners to take new precautions. The fear is the stolen guns are on the street and could be used in future crimes. Thieves are finding unique ways to get what they want, like the thieves who slammed a truck into Alabama Guns and Outdoors in Pelham. – WVTM

Damn you, Watson, you made me buy a car

IBM's Watson has struck again. The machine learning program, which has emerged as a popular tool for agencies and marketers, is powering a new targeted digital campaign for Toyota that uses an algorithm to generate ad scripts. Breaking this week, the campaign is the latest example of how Toyota agency-of-record Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles is using "creative programmatic." – Automotive News

Chicago suburb hires Retail Strategies to fill storefronts

Carpentersville plans to use the expertise of a retail recruitment firm in order to draw in new businesses and help fill empty buildings. At Tuesday's board meeting, trustees unanimously approved a $50,000 one-year contract with the Alabama-based Retail Strategies, LLC., a firm also used by the towns of Plainfield and Charleston. – Chicago Tribune

Brown & Associates now Portside Advertising

Joseph Brown and Associates Advertising Agency has announced a rebranding as part of its strategic evolution and will now be known as Portside Advertising. Each with 20 years of marketing experience, Joe Brown and Edward Herndon united to assemble a larger, more refined team of marketers capable of redefining the limits of their clients’ success. – News release

Caterer who sickened dozens at wedding surrenders permit

A Moulton caterer has surrendered his food service permit to the Alabama Department of Public Health after preparing food for a wedding in November that made dozens of people sick. Darvin McDaniel of Indelible Catering is no longer authorized to prepare food for catering in Alabama. – WHNT

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