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Top News Links: Tuesday, June 4

Opting out of Medicaid expansion doubly costly to state

Alabama, one of fourteen states opting against Medicaid expansions and the associated federal dollars, still has to pay added costs of federal health plan. — Market Watch

Insurance costs up, raises erased for Huntsville Hospital employees

Huntsville Hospital, the major health care system in Northern Alabama, has announced plans to curtail employee raises, change contributions to retirement plans and increase insurance costs for its 8,000 employees, blaming sequestration and new health care law. — Huntsville Times

Auto seat maker DAS North America plans expansion

Montgomery-based DAS North America, which makes seats for Hyundai and Kia vehicles, plans to quadruple its workforce from 100 to 400 employees. — Montgomery Advertiser

IT firm Infosys faces continued federal scrutiny

First accused by a Huntsville whistleblower, IT Giant Infosys has called back its founder as it faces continuing scrutiny from the federal government over its use of the B-1 visa program to bring in workers.  — IT Business Edge

Canfor to acquire Scotch & Gulf Lumber

British Columbian firm Canfor Corp. says it has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Scotch & Gulf Lumber, based in Mobile, for $80 million over three years. — Canadian Private Equity

Sessions continues support for littoral combat ships

While calling for austerity in most government spending, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions continued to support the littoral combat ship built by Austal USA in Mobile, even while others question its value. — Bloomberg

Stratolaunch pairs with Orbital Sciences for rockets

Stratolaunch Systems, the Huntsville-based space exploration company, now plans to power its launches with rockets from Orbital Sciences, which was already a design partner in the project. — Huntsville Times

Quantam acquires J2

Systems engineering firm Quantam Research International has acquired J2 Technologies, which has specialties in aviation and missile defense; both firms are headquartered in Huntsville. — Quantam PR

Huntsville firms tapped for Army contract

Two Huntsville firms, Alatec Inc. and TEC-Masters Inc, will share in a $49 million support contract  for the Army's Fire Center of Excellence in Oklahoma. — Huntsville Times

Belew to head Talladega bank

Retired bank president John Belew has been named  president and CEO of First National Bank of Talladega. — American Banker

UA team to lead Oklahoma tornado research

A team led by scientists from the University of Alabama will assess Oklahoma tornado damage for lessons about better building practices. — University of Alabama PR

Alabama one of two states with declining home prices

While 48 states report increasing home prices, up an average of 12 percent from last April, Alabama's prices are down 1.6 percent; by metro area, prices are up 5.1 percent in Birmingham-Hoover, up 2.4 percent in Anniston-Oxford, up 0.8 percent in Mobile, down 1 percent in Tuscaloosa, down 1.6 percent in Florence-Muscle Shoals and Gadsden, down 3.6 percent in Montgomery, down 3.7 percent in Dothan, down 4.8 percent in Auburn-Opelika, down 5.9 percent in Huntsville and down 14.2 percent in Decatur. — CoreLogic

Leaflet campaign targets school tax credit proponents

Proponents of Alabama's new law giving tax credits for private school tuition are being targeted in a leafleting campaign by an unregistered group using a Georgia post office box for its address. — Montgomery Advertiser/South Union Street

ADO founder says Alabama worker income is slipping

Doug Smith, who founded the Alabama Development Office, says pay for workers in the state has been slipping since Republican governors took the state's helm in 2002. — Florence TimesDaily

Apple CEO Tim Cook reflects on his Southern roots

Speaking at Duke University, Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about his early years in Alabama and his role models, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. — Business Insider

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