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Top News Links: Tuesday, July 8

Protective Life spends freely on PACs

Protective Life Corp. has contributed more than $600,000 to political campaigns at the state and federal level, mostly to incumbent candidates, according to public documents filed with the Alabama Secretary of State's office. Protective Life Corp. donated more than a half million dollars to statewide political campaigns, rendering it one of the top corporate campaign donors. – Anniston Star

State wants to extend corrections deal

The Alabama Department of Corrections wants to extend by 14 months and $9.1 million a contract with a New Jersey company to provide substance-abuse counseling, rehabilitation and training to prison inmates. The contract, which will total $27.4 million since 2012, will be discussed Thursday. – Decatur Daily

Chinese investment benefiting Dothan

Nanjing Zijin-Lead Electronics will begin operating in Dothan this month, opening its 3D printing facility and bringing about 50 jobs to the city. The Nanjing-based corporation is part of a growing number of Chinese companies bringing their investments down South. – China Daily

Southern Company CFO selling

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) CFO Art P. Beattie sold 13,654 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.81, for a total transaction of $598,181.74. Shares of The Southern Company opened at 44.21 on Tuesday. – WKRB-13

New oil, gas leases being discussed

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold two public meetings in Panama City Tuesday to discuss two proposed oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. – News Herald

Auburn developing new aviation center

“The sky is the limit” for aviation education at Auburn University, according to Auburn University Regional Airport Director Dr. Bill Hutto. Auburn has announced plans for a new aviation center that will serve as a hub for instruction, research and outreach for the aviation and aerospace industries in Alabama. – OANow.com

Automotive conference Oct. 8-10

The Southeast has the fastest growing automotive industry in North America. In October, senior automotive executives from original equipment manufacturers from across the region will showcase their plants’ latest developments in Birmingham at the 2014 Southern Automotive Conference. – News release

Training offered for entry-level med jobs

Starting this fall, Wallace State Community College will offer a new health program aimed at helping individuals who are looking for entry into the medical field, or to change gears after spending time out of the workforce, whether from losing their jobs due to the economy, downsizing or other factors. – News release

Brand Energy Solutions opening July 16

Brand Energy Solutions will open a new office in Mobile on Wednesday, July 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at 3512 Brookdale Drive South.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. and Louisiana boiled crawfish and refreshments will be served.  Before the ceremony General Manager Doug Landry will welcome Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services top executives. – News release   

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