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Top News Links: Friday, July 7

Lawmakers talk up infrastructure in Tuscaloosa

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon agreed Alabama needs better roads and bridges to stay economically competitive. "It's been 25 years since we've put any money in infrastructure," Marsh said. Marsh and McCutcheon were guest speakers of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce State of  the State luncheon. – WBRC

Amazon advertising first jobs for Mobile sortation center

Amazon has posted the first job openings for its new sorting center being built in the Mobile area, though rank-and-file hiring isn't expected to start until later this summer. The site, described as a "sortation center" by the retail juggernaut, is a $30 million project being built in an industrial park off I-10 Exit 13 in Theodore. Such centers are designed to give the company more control over its shipping and deliveries, allowing for improved service in the surrounding region. – AL.com

Italian restaurant opening this weekend at Pizitz

A modern Italian restaurant that also pays tribute to Birmingham's industrial past is the latest addition to downtown's Pizitz Food Hall. The restaurant, Fero, will open for dinner beginning this Saturday, July 8. "Fero is Latin for steel, and we wanted to pay homage to and recognize the city's history as a steel town," Matt Wagman, a co-owner of the restaurant, said in an interview with AL.com. – AL.com

Hoover devises app to encourage shopping local

More and more people are buying online, instead of in the store. The city of Hoover launched a new app, Live, Love, Shop Hoover, to try to slow that trend. It offers deals and incentives to keep people shopping in the city, instead of online. Glenda Burnett makes some purchases online, but prefers shopping in stores. – ABC3340

Alabama’s taxes may be higher than we think

Alabama has the fifth-highest combined state and local sales tax rates in the nation, according to a recent study by the Tax Federation. That's in spite of the fact that it has one of the lowest rates among states that levy sales taxes. According to the Foundation data, Alabama's combined sales tax rate is 9.03 percent, ranking it fifth. – AL.com

Baumhower’s acquires new beer management system

Baumhower's Restaurant has begun using a beer management and display system which promises to cut down on waste and increase sales. BeerBoard from U.S. Beverage Net is based in Syracuse, N.Y. and has been in business since 2005. It also recently signed Twin Peaks Restaurants to the BeerBoard SmartBar platform, which also includes a digital menu display system. The average bar loses 24 pints from every keg due to excess pours or comps. – AL.com

Court bans manufacturing of drugs by Alabama firm

An Alabama company has been barred from making or selling drugs after FDA inspectors found that medications were produced under insanitary conditions and in violation of current good manufacturing practice requirements. U.S. District Judge William H. Steele entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the United States and Medistat RX LLC of Foley; the company’s co-owners, Mark D. Acker and Timothy L. Fickling; and quality manager and pharmacist-in-charge V. Elaine Waller. – P&T Community

Diversicare buys Selma skilled nursing facility for $8.7M

Tennesee-based Diversicare Healthcare Services Inc. has purchased a 103-bed skilled-nursing center in Selma. According to a news release, Diversicare paid $8.75 million for Park Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The acquisition is expected to boost Diversicare’s annual revenue by at least $8 million. – BizJournals.com

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