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Top News Links: Monday, July 30

Pew study says RSA pension plan underfunded

A review of state pension plans by the Pew Center for the States says Alabama's public pension plan is funded only at 70 percent; several changes have already been made to address the shortfall. — Tuscaloosa News

Residential real estate sales up

Sales of residential property are up 10 percent for the first half of 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate. — Birmingham Business Journal

Jefferson County faces possible court fight, possible ratings cut

Jefferson County bondholders are preparing for a court battle over whether they should be paid less on their bonds because the sewer system they funded has dropped in value. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Moody's says it's considering a drop in Jefferson County's ratings because the current Caa3 may not reflect the potential loss to bondholders. — Reuters

ThyssenKrupp looks for buyer, other alternatives for Calvert mills

Faced with a multi-year slump in demand for steel, ThyssenKrupp evaluates options for the Mobile-Washington County mills. — Mobile Press-Register

Dothan casino reconsiders bankruptcy status following raid

Raid on Center Stage Alabama, near Dothan, may cause rework in bankruptcy plans; Houston County official says site expected to re-open for paper bingo and other events. — Dothan Eagle

Provider latest to begin class action against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

A retired chiropractor from Tuscaloosa has initiated a class action suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, alleging that the company's sales arrangements violate antitrust laws; this is at least the fifth such suit filed since April. – Birmingham Business Journal

Southern Company shuts down one unit at Farley

Southern Company, parent of Alabama Power, has shut down one reactor at Farley nuclear generating plant near Dothan to fix the cooling valve on one of several diesel generators, which are designed to operate the reactors if power goes out. — Dothan Eagle

Rail strike interrupting Colombian coal shipments

A strike by workers on the railroad moving coal from Colombian mines to ports has interrupted deliveries so that Drummond, for example, may be able to load only three of five expected ships. — Reuters

Wi-fi updates at Innovation Depot

Blue Ocean Technologies, one of the first tenants of Birmingham's Innovation Depot, has upgraded the Wi-fi system at the business incubator offering improved bandwidth and allowing each business to create its own network within the system. — Birmingham News

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