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Top News Links: Tuesday, January 2

Judge rules PwC was negligent in bank failure

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was negligent in connection with one of the biggest bank failures of the financial crisis, a federal judge has ruled, opening up the Big Four accounting firm to the potential of hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. PwC violated auditing rules and didn’t take steps that could have detected a $2 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the 2009 failure of Alabama’s Colonial Bank, the judge ruled. The ruling Thursday came in a lawsuit brought against PwC by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. – MarketWatch

Peoples Bank announces new regional market president

Peoples Bank of Alabama has announced that James Barnett has joined the company as Regional Market President for Jefferson County. He is a seasoned banker, having served in key lending and credit roles with two national banks, both of which were headquartered in Birmingham. Most recently James served as the East Region Credit Officer at BBVA Compass. – BusinessWire

Huntsville New Year’s Eve involves gunplay, 4 injured

Four people are being treated at a Huntsville hospital after being wounded in a shooting at a New Year's Eve party, reports WHNT. Emergency crews arrived to find three people shot, an 18-year-old and two who police say are in their 20s. All three suffered life-threatening injuries. Another person with less serious injuries was also brought to a hospital in a private vehicle. Huntsville police say the incident, which occurred outside the Palladium Event Center, involved multiple shooters. – CBS

Eighteen states raise minimum wage; Alabama does not

Workers in 18 states received a pay raise Jan. 1 as minimum wage was increased for some 4.5 million people. The increases in 10 states - ranging from a 35-cent-per hour in Michigan to $1-an-hour in Maine - were the result of legislation or ballot measures approved by voters. Other states with legislative or ballot-approved increases were Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. – AL.com

Enviromentalists give side eye to booming wood pellet business

Wood Pellets are big business. U.S. companies send almost a billion dollars worth of wood pellets to the European Union, which uses them to power energy plants. But the appetite overseas for wood pellets has conservationists in the U.S. worried about our forests. – APR

Airbus rival Boeing wins $17.5M mod contract on military tankers

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $17.5 million contract modification for engineering sustainment work on the service branch’s KC-135 tanker aircraft weapon system. The Defense Department said Friday the modification will establish negotiated prices under the second option of a previously awarded contract for the company to sustain KC-135 airframe along with mechanical and electrical systems, subsystems and components. – Executive Biz

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