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Top News Links: Thursday, July 26

State officials serve search warrant at casino, confiscate machines and cash

At the direction of attorney general Luther Strange, law enforcement officials raided the Center Stage casino near Dothan, confiscating gambling machines and cash; officials call for legislative action to clarify rules and increase penalties for violations. — Birmingham News, Dothan Eagle

Austal begins moving commercial shipbuilding from Australia to Philippines

Philippine news sources says Austal, which build ships for the U.S. Navy in Mobile, plans to move its commercial shipbuilding from its home in Australia to the Philippines to take advantage of lower labor costs. — Philippine Daily Inquirer

Advocacy group questions closure of state psychiatric hospitals

States, including Alabama, are closing publicly-funded psychiatric hospitals, leaving insufficient beds for individuals with severe mental health conditions, study says. — Birmingham News

HealthSouth founder Scrushy out of prison

Richard Scrushy, who was convicted on bribery conspiracy charges that also sent Gov. Don Siegelman to prison, was released from federal custody yesterday. — CBS News

FinFisher spyware surfaces in Alabama

Alabama gas station owner and advocate for  Bahrain democracy is one of three targeted by sophisticated spyware, researchers says. — Bloomberg

Chinese buy-in to American business grows

Chinese investment in the U.S., like Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group moving into Thomasville, may top $8 billion this year. — CNN Money

L-3 Communications wins $1.98 billion helicopter contract

L-3 Communications Group Army Fleet Support has been awarded a $1.98 billion contract for helicopter maintenance and logistics at Fort Rucker. – Dothan Eagle

Rail strike prompts surprise bump in coal prices

Coal prices, which have been slumping due to a cool market, experienced an unexpected 25-cent a ton increase this week in response to a rail strike that's halting shipments from major Colombian mines, including that owned by Alabama's Drummond. — Reuters

Busy time for state's automakers

State's big three automakers all hiring new workers to meet growing demand, association leader says. — Birmingham News

New dreams of rail across northern tier

A Virginia think tank is proposing a freight and passenger rail line from Memphis to Pennsylvania via Huntsville, part of a plan to cut truck traffic on Interstate 81. — Huntsville Times

Bus boycott organizer dies at 96

Thelma Glass, who helped organized the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56, died Tuesday at age 96. — Montgomery Advertiser

Drilling begins at new Alabama oil well

First Titan Corp. has begun drilling its new well in the Little Cedar Creek oil field in Conecuh County. — Marketwatch

Revenue down at Mississippi coastal casinos

Revenue at Mississippi's coastal casinos dropped 4.3 percent in the past year. — Memphis Commercial Appeal

Georgia company to update Village Mall in Auburn

Hull Storey Gibson Companies have acquired foreclosed mall, describe plans to renovate and increase occupancy. — Opelika Auburn News

Run the accessories, save the emissions

Zero RPM, makers of a system to power auto accessories without running the car's engine, got a gubernatorial kick off yesterday in Cullman County. — Cullman Times

Green power for automaker's forklifts

Plug Power Inc. says Mercedes-Benz has purchased 72 of its hydrogen fuel cells to power forklifts in its Alabama factory; Air Products will provide the on-site hydrogen stations. — Hydrogen Journal

Another guilty plea in foreclosure bid rig case

A sixth person has pled guilty to bid rigging and mail fraud in a South Alabama scheme in which buyers would not bid against one another at foreclosure auctions, then bid again among themselves. — Mobile Press-Register

Municipals fleets test drive propane

Mobile police, the State Docks, the Baldwin Emergency Management service, the Department of Agriculture & Industries and several Alabama counties are all testing propane fuel, looking for savings. — Local 15 TV

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