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Top News Links: Wednesday, July 5

Car sales news mostly good for Alabama OEMs

Two of Alabama's three automotive companies posted gains in June sales in what was for the U.S. market the sixth straight month of declining numbers. Mercedes-Benz USA today reported its best-ever June sales of 28,994 units, an increase of 1.8 percent. Honda's U.S. division reported a sales bump of 1 percent over this time last year, with total June sales of 139,793 Honda and Acura vehicles. Hyundai, however, reported a drop of 19.2 percent, according to the Associated Press– AL.com

Winn-Dixie donates Fourth of July profits to vets

Winn-Dixie celebrated veterans this Independence Day. The grocery chain's parent company Southeastern Grocers, which also owns BI-LO and Harveys, is donating 100 percent of all profits earned on July 4 to Hope for the Warriors, a national nonprofit that provides services to veterans and their families. Customers will be given the opportunity to make an additional donation at checkout. – AL.com

Alabama finishes second to last in startup survey

With President Donald Trump proposing to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while startup activity trends upward for three years in a row and reaches pre-Recession levels, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis identifying 2017’s Best & Worst States to Start a Business. The analysts compared the 50 U.S. states across 20 key indicators of startup success. Alabama finished second to last, beating only Mississippi. – News release

Company looking into problem at fireworks show

A shell was inadvertently shot into a crowd of spectators during Duncan Bridge Marina’s annual fireworks show on Smith Lake Monday night, a spokesperson for the pyrotechnic company handling the show said Tuesday. Danny Turner, the general manager of Adamsville-based Pyro Shows of Alabama, said a defective shell detonated inside its mortar tube, which caused an adjoining tube to fire its shell into the crowd. – Daily Mountain Eagle

Sikorsky lands helicopter contract worth at least $3.8B

Sikorsky will help build more than 250 Black Hawk helicopters for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales customers as a result of a new contract with the U.S. government. The Lockheed Martin company announced Monday it has signed a five-year agreement with a contract value of approximately $3.8 billion and a total value potentially reaching $5.2 billion. Sikorsky said it will begin delivering the aircraft in October 2017 and continue through 2022. – AL.com

Roofing company’s buy-a-roof, get-a-gun ad goes viral

The owner of Digital Roofing Innovations is going viral. His in-your-face ad says the company is offering everyone who gets a roof installed a free AR-15. The Navy veteran was dressed for attention when he said “Donald Trump says make America great again. I say make America gun again. MAGA!” The ad, posted to the company’s Facebook page on Tuesday, has nearly 900 shares early Wednesday. – WHNT

Physicians post statement decrying proposed Trumpcare

We, the undersigned Alabama organizations, representing not just physicians but the thousands of low-income Alabamians served by them, want to express grave concerns with the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The BCRA fundamentally changes how Medicaid is funded, dismantling the program by capping its funding, shifting much of the financial burden to the states and likely leading to enrollment cuts — meaning less coverage for those who need it most. – Cullman Sense

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