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Top News Links: Thursday, July 13

New company will take your headstone digital

Cemeteries are filled with stories, many of which will never be told. But a new Alabama business aims to change that. More-Than-A-Dash.com is offering the chance to tell the stories of the departed through the use of social media and digital technology. Callie Lowe of Gadsden, who developed the idea with her husband Sam, said she believes her experiences prepared her to help tell those stories. – AL.com

Ivey erases 18 Bentley commissions, task forces

Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday disbanded 18 commissions, councils and task forces set up by Gov. Robert Bentley. The casualties included the Alabama Advisory Council on Gaming and the Grocery Tax Task Force, which aimed to recommend ways of taking the state’s four percent sales tax off groceries. – Montgomery Advertiser

ACCS prepares for rollout of Apple curriculum

Gov. Kay Ivey and Chancellor Jimmy Baker announced Wednesday at the meeting of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees that beginning this fall, students will have the opportunity to enroll in a brand new curriculum designed by Apple, Inc. called App Development with Swift. Alabama’s community college system is one of only six in the country chosen to offer the program, and has four community colleges participating in the pilot phase. – News release

Pudding cake maker wins deal with Wal-Mart

An Alabama-grown business in Coffee County is optimistic about the future after landing a deal to sell its frozen pudding cake at Wal-Mart stores across the country. Coffee Baking Co., founded in 1996 in Don Holley's grandmother's farm house in southeast Alabama, reached an agreement in January to sell its Kinston-made frozen pudding cake at 300 Walmart stores. – WTVY

Grant paves way for Mar-Jac Poultry expand in Franklin County

A $300,000 grant will help Mar-Jac Poultry expand in a big way in Franklin County. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the Community Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The infrastructure funds will assist Mar-Jac's efforts to create a $35 million feed mill that will employ 30 people in Spruce Pine, a small, unincorporated community off U.S. 43 near Phil Campbell. – AL.com

Alabama losing more clothing retail stores

Seven Gymboree and Crazy 8 locations are on the chopping block in Alabama as the teen clothing retailer works to find the right size store base. Gymboree will shutter approximately 350 stores, mainly Gymboree and Crazy 8 store brands, as part of its bankruptcy efforts to reduce its $900 million debt. – Dothan First

Eastern Shore Center in south Alabama sold

The 540,000 square-foot Eastern Shore Shopping Center at 10200 Eastern Shore Drive in Spanish Fort was recently acquired for $18.5 million by non-local investors based out of New York, according to court records. Developed by the MGHerrin Group and designed by Birmingham-based CMH architects, the property was the first lifestyle center to open in South Alabama on Nov. 17, 2004. – Lagniappe

Bright Health plans to expand to Alabama

Consumer-driven healthcare company Bright Health announced today that it plans to expand to the Birmingham, Alabama, market in 2018. Bright Health filed with the federal government to begin offering consumers Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama’s Shelby and Jefferson counties during fall 2017 enrollment for the 2018 plan year. – BusinessWire

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