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Top News Links: Tuesday, July 2

Rocket contract for United Launch Alliance

United Launch Alliance was selected for a $1.1 billion DOD contract to build launch rockets for the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office; ULA employs 800 workers in Decatur. — Decatur Daily

Belle Foods starts bankruptcy proceedings

Birmingham-based Belle Foods, which bought the former Bruno's and Food World stores, has filed for bankruptcy protection. — Birmingham News

CSX wins suit over fuel tax

An Alabama revenue ruling that railroads must pay fuel tax while barges and trucks do not was overturned by the federal court of appeals yesterday, in a suit brought by CSX Transportation. — Birmingham News

Secretary of State resigns state post to take private sector job

Citing family considerations, Secretary of State Beth Chapman said yesterday she is resigning her elective post to take a job with an unnamed private sector company. — Montgomery Advertiser/South Union Street

Metal machining company Busche to expand in Decatur

Busche Alabama, which operates a metal machining plant in Decatur, announced this week that it plans to add up to 300 workers over the next five or six years. — Decatur Daily

Home prices up across U.S., mostly down in Alabama

CoreLogic reports that home prices are up 12.2 percent from last May on average across America, but Alabama cities mostly saw a decline; prices are down 7.7 percent in Decatur, down 7.4 percent in Auburn-Opelika, down 1.9 percent in Huntsville, down 1.7 percent in Montgomery, and down 0.1 percent in Dothan, Florence-Muscle Shoals, Gadsden and Tuscaloosa, but up 8.1 percent in Anniston-Oxford, 3.9 percent in Birmingham-Hoover and 2 percent in Mobile. — CoreLogic

Constitutional considerations

A committee working to revise Alabama's constitution pondered whether to make the governor's veto more powerful, by requiring more legislative votes to override it, but in the end chose to leave it as is — where the governor can veto newly passed legislation, but a simple majority of lawmakers can override the veto. — Montgomery Advertiser/South Union Street

Decatur steel plant to start operations in January

Jemison-Demsey's new steel processing plant, on the grounds of the Nucor steel mill in Decatur, is set to begin operations in January. — Decatur Daily

Birmingham Mountain Radio moves to the airwaves

Founded three years ago as an internet-only station, Birmingham Mountain Radio begins broadcasting today at 107.3 FM; the station will maintain its internet presence as well. — Birmingham News

Publix to break ground this month in Gardendale

Grocery chain Publix has announced plans to move ahead with a long-stalled store in Gardendale, with groundbreaking set for July 30. — al.com

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