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Top News Links: Friday, July 10

Legislature looks to work around Bentley’s special session

An email sent to members of the Alabama House of Representatives from Speaker Mike Hubbard reveals plans to thwart Governor Robert Bentley's abrupt call for a special session. The email shares plans by Speaker Hubbard and Senate Pro Temp Del Marsh to convene as called by Bentley on Monday, then immediately adjourn until Aug. 3. – AL.com

First chapter of Harper Lee’s new novel released

The first chapter of Harper Lee’s highly anticipated second novel, Go Set A Watchman, is now available to read online. Debuting in the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian, the first chapter was released Friday, four days before the book is due to hit shelves on July 14. – EW.com

Redstone avoids another Army downsizing

None of the 13,000 Army civilian and uniformed workforce at Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal will be laid off because of downsizing announced by the Army today, a top Arsenal official said. But if a second round of cuts happens as now planned in Fiscal Year 2019, that will likely change. – AL.com

Congressional fiddling may threaten state road work

Congress is facing a July 31 deadline to pass a new highway bill and without those funds, roadwork in Alabama may grind to a halt. The U.S. Transportation Department said President Obama's $478 billion highway plan would put more resources in Alabama’s highway and transit system. But so far Congress has not passed any long-range budget but instead has passed short-term plans. Without the plan Alabama would be facing trouble. The federal highway department reports 3,600 of the 16,000 bridges in Alabama are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. – WAFF

Fitness trackers may just be a fabulous fad

Deepak Jayasimha's fitness tracker is now with his father-in-law in India, where it sits unused. Annabel Kelly foisted hers off on the kids. Virginia Atkinson took hers off to charge the battery and hasn't picked it up since February. Although sales of Fitbit and other fitness trackers are strong, many of their owners lose enthusiasm for them once the novelty of knowing how many steps they've taken wears off. – Fairfax Media

Pelham gets its BP fair share

BP's landmark $18.7 billion settlement agreement involving litigation surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is resulting in a $106,760 payment to the City of Pelham to resolve any claims. The Pelham City Council tonight held a special meeting to approve a resolution concerning the settlement terms and releasing BP and other parties in the case from any claims. – AL.com

L&M Welding Supply acquired by Connecticut company

Mobile-based L&M Welding Supply Inc. has been acquired by Tech Air, a Connecticut-based distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related welding supplies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. – AL.com

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