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Top News Links: Thursday, July 17

Wendy’s Girl an Alabama native

She’s got copper-colored locks, a peppy personality and she knows how to talk millions of Americans into buying a Monterey Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich. She’s the Wendy’s Girl. The actress who has played the all-knowing, slightly kooky burger lover is a 28-year-old Alabama native named Morgan Smith Goodwin. – Yahoo

Drummond seeks contract extension

Colombia's second biggest coal producer, Birmingham-based Drummond, is seeking an extension of its mining contract in that country. Colombia's coal sector, the world's fourth biggest exporter, has faced many obstacles over the last year with Marxist rebel attacks on infrastructure and strikes. – Reuters

L&N Parkside off table for now

One of the many apartment complexes planned for downtown Birmingham is off the table. L&N Parkside, a mixed-use development that would have included 129 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail space, will not be moving forward. – BBJ

Birmingham homebuyers trend young

The Birmingham area ranks second in the nation when it comes to attracting millennial homebuyers, according to a new report. Builder magazine said the growth in homebuyers age 18-34 increased at such a rate between 2012 and 2013 to catapult the Birmingham-Hoover metro area to just behind Honolulu. – AL.com

Shopping center in Mobile planned

A groundbreaking for the McGowin Park Shopping Center near Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 25. George Alexandris of The Hutton Company, said he expects the 650,000-square-foot center to be complete by summer 2015. Retailers will include Costco, Field & Stream and others. – AL.com

Universities big at Farnborough

Team Alabama’s secret weapon at the Farnborough International Airshow was the state’s education community, which has played a strong supporting role in efforts to recruit new aerospace investment and jobs. Representatives from the University of Alabama, UAH, and Auburn University participated in London. – Made In Alabama

State’s irrigated cropland on rise

It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of Georgia’s farmland is irrigated, the result of a progressive expansion that has occurred in recent decades. Only about 150,000 acres are irrigated in Alabama, a number that ranks it high on the list of “under-irrigated” states, experts say. But a state tax incentive from a couple of years ago may have spurred some modest growth. – Southeast Farm Press

VC showcases Texas facility

The new Virginia College in Lubbock, Texas will showcase new career programs and its 55,000-square-foot facility at a grand opening today at the campus, located at 5005 50th St. Virginia College is part of Birmingham-based Education Corp. of America. – News release

Work commences on Arlington hospital

The Sanders Trust announced Wednesday that it has commenced construction on a new $16 million, 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Arlington, Texas. Construction of the roughly 48,000-square-foot Texas Rehabilitation Hospital is expected to be complete in June 2015. – News release

ART Fertility adds 3 technologies

ART Fertility Program of Alabama, recognized as a Best Fertility Specialist by Alabama Baby and Child Magazine, has added three of the most current and up-to-date technologies to their In Vitro Fertilization Lab that have the ability to decrease the miscarriage rate and increase the chance to have a healthy baby through IVF or Egg Donation. – News release

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