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Top News Links: Friday, July 31

Bentley taking heat for state education pick

For all the criticism they might endure, California education officials are rarely accused of being unqualified for their jobs. That’s not quite the case in Alabama. The state’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, is under fire for filling a vacancy on the state’s board of education with someone who lacks any credentials or background in education. – LA School Report

Army creating cyber campus at Redstone

 A fully operational, multi-organizational cyber campus is a unique asset for government agencies against the emerging cyber threats. In January 2015, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, acquired two Redstone Arsenal buildings, which are being dedicated to the cyber security mission. – Army.mil

Brock transformed banking in South

Alabama banking pioneer Harry B. Brock Jr. transformed the way banks do business in Alabama, turning Birmingham into a regional banking center and setting the stage for the expansion of banks across county and state lines. Brock, who co-founded Central Bank in Birmingham in 1964, later known as Compass Bank, served as chairman and chief executive officer of Compass until he retired in 1991. Brock died July 29. He was 89. – AL.com

Enjoying profits on the half shell

Alabama’s oyster reefs have historically harvested an average of one million pounds of oysters per year and have made it one of the top oyster producing states in the nation for more than a century. But changes to water temperature, environmental impacts, parasites and other issues have made the reefs unpredictable and, at times, unproductive. Oyster farming has emerged as a more controlled way of continuing Alabama’s oyster producing traditions. – Yellowhammer

Settlement reached in improper drug recall

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the state has reached a settlement in an investigation into allegations that a subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company improperly recalled over-the-counter drugs. Strange said in a statement Wednesday that the state has reached a settlement with McNeil-PPC, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. – ABC3340

Grants helping Wiregrass companies expand

 Less than a hundred feet separated the Todd family from a vision much larger than their already successful store on Highway 431 in Headland. The current Todd Syrup Farm store that contained syrup, relish, sauces and other products made on site could exist just fine with an associated septic tank, but the Todds were thinking bigger. However, the sewer line needed to serve the store stopped just short of the property. – Dothan Eagle

Sitel adding 200 jobs at Hamilton operation

Sitel, a leading global customer care provider, today announced the addition of 200 new full-time career opportunities to its Hamilton customer experience center. The new positions are made possible by client business expansions in the insurance industry and are for both coaches and inbound customer care agents. – News release

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