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Top News Links: Monday, July 27

‘60 Minutes’ tips hat to Huntsville’s Wikipedia founder

Over 200 times a second, half a billion times a month, somebody clicks on Wikipedia. It's the greatest argument-settler wrought by man, or at least the fastest, perfectly suited to our era of instant gratification. In a sense, it was probably in the stars that Jimmy Wales, the kid from Huntsville, Alabama, would become the Internet's most famous knowledge broker. – CBS

Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH coming to Auburn

A German auto parts maker has announced plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Commerce said in a statement that Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH is planning to build its plant in Auburn and production on engine components is expected to begin in 2016. The plant will make parts for Mercedes-Benz and other German automakers. – AP/AL.com

Lawmakers giving higher ed another look

Lawmakers have spent much of the year examining the General Fund budget and its expenses, looking for places to save money. Now, some north Alabama lawmakers are looking at possible changes in the larger education budget and how money is allocated for higher education. – Decatur Daily

State-run health insurance markets struggle

State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obamas health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

Ex-Im Bank bill makes progress Sunday

The U.S. Senate advanced a proposal to extend the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter as part of legislation to finance highways and mass transit for three years. The 67-26 vote during an unusual Sunday session moves forward the Senate’s effort to pass the highway bill as the Highway Trust Fund’s authorization is set to expire after July 31. – Bloomberg

Joint Center of Alabama opens at BMCS

The Joint Center of Alabama opens at Baptist Medical Center South today. The only one of its kind in the River Region, the center offers a full range of orthopedic services to help relieve pain and restore active lifestyles. – Montgomery Advertiser

TST purchases Tower Pointe Medical Center

The Sanders Trust (TST), a Birmingham firm that buys or develops medical properties nationwide and is moving aggressively to build its portfolio, has announced another acquisition. TST has purchased Tower Pointe Medical Center, a 42,000-square-foot medical office building in Greenwood, S.C., for $8.4 million, according to a news release. – AL.com

Symposium focuses on solar energy

Bonita McCay said the subject of a Tuesday symposium is a timely topic about an unlimited resource. The Shoals Solar Symposium is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. “As long as we have the sun, we’ll have solar power,” said McCay, vice president of the Shoals Environmental Alliance. “I really think this is the energy source of the 21st century.” – TimesDaily

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