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Top News Links: Monday, July 28

Hyundai grabs J.D. Power honor

For the first time, Hyundai is the top-ranked nonpremium brand in J.D. Power and Associates’ measure of new-car appeal – a month after leading nonpremium brands in the company’s Initial Quality Study. Hyundai is the first brand to rank highest among nonpremium brands in the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study and IQS in the same year. – Auto News

Opinion: Abuse simmers in ‘development’

The state of Alabama cheered the way it "reformed" ethics law in 2010, cutting out dangerous corruptions. You know, like the way students sometimes gave decent Christmas presents to hard working teachers. Lawmakers – surprise – did take care of themselves, allowing lobbyists to wine and dine them. Reform in Alabama never guarantees improvement. – Birmingham News

State criticized for Medicaid stance

Alabama's unwillingness to expand Medicaid is adding to the economic distress of the state's rural communities and further impeding their economic development efforts, officials said Sunday. The remarks were made at a rural economic development session to kick off the Economic Development Association of Alabama's summer 2014 conference in Point Clear. – AL.com

Clock running out on swap cases

Six years after credit-market turmoil began hitting local governments with rising bills for bond and derivative deals that backfired, the time limit will soon lapse for issuers to seek to claw back their losses by arguing that banks misled them about risks, said former Congressman Bradley Miller, a New York attorney. – Bloomberg

Montgomery execs more confident

A statewide study shows that Montgomery-area executives expect more growth and success than business leaders in any other part of Alabama. It was the second straight quarter that Montgomery has been the most optimistic area in the Business Confidence Index. – Montgomery Advertiser

Lawmakers pursue 3.5-day week

Lawmakers have been in a rush all of this election year to get back to their home schedules, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) is helping them with the upper chamber’s schedule. The Senate has held its last vote of the week like clockwork at 1:45 pm on recent Thursdays, giving lawmakers a chance to catch early flights home back home. – The Hill

Evers opens new office near Dothan

Evers & Associates, Inc., an Alabama-based independent insurance adjusting firm, has opened a new office location near Dothan, Alabama, expanding its claims services in Southeast Alabama. Josh Pike, promoted from the Evers & Associates Huntsville office, will lead the new effort. – News release

SBA loans available in 2 counties

Federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofits in Lauderdale and Limestone counties as a result of excessive rain, flooding, wind and hail on June 5-12. – News release

Two farmers awaited at White House

Two north Alabama farmers are among the local agriculture leaders being honored by the White House and the Agriculture Department this week. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. – AP

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