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Top News Links: Friday, June 12

Alabama ranks second for cash home sales

Real estate market watcher Corelogic says Alabama has the nation’s second highest rate for cash sales of homes, second only to Florida.  Half of Alabama home sales were cash transactions, compared to a national average of 34.6. — Florence Times Daily

Giffords offers gratitude for ship builders, service persons on eve of christening

On the day before ceremonies to  christen the newest Austal USA ship the USS Gabrielle Giffords in her honor, the former Arizona Congresswoman offers thanks to those who built the ship and those who will serve on it. Christening is set for Saturday in Mobile. — AL.com

Most school-choice funds going to children leaving successful public schools

Some two thirds of the children receiving state funding to attend private schools are not coming from schools labeled “failing.” Most are, however, from low-income families. — Associated Press in the Tuscaloosa News

Montgomery “plume” clean up may revert to local alliance

Efforts to clean up groundwater contamination under a 50-block area of Montgomery may be turned back over to the local Downtown Alliance, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Alliance members are those identified by the EPA as potentially causing the contamination. — Montgomery Advertiser

Brundidge foods firm announces expansion, new product line

Southern Classic Food Group, in the Pike county town of Brundidge, is expanding, adding 75 jobs to its current 200 and creating a new line, Magnolia Vegetable Processors. — Dothan Eagle

Dothan hotels, restaurants hope for boost from Alabama State Games

Owners of hotels and restaurants in Dothan hope that the Alabama State Games, slated for this weekend, will boost tourism revenues. — Dothan Eagle

Honda to revisit financials in wake of airbag recalls

Japan’s Honda Motor Co. is reviewing its annual financial statements to account for an expected $363 million charge connected with defective airbags from supplier Takata. — Automotive News

Daimler working to reduce costs, catch top luxury rivals

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche announced plans to trim costs and increase efficiency, hoping to save even more than  the $2.25 billion it trimmed in the first three years of the campaign, 2012 to 2015.  Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes. — Automotive News

Coastal officials push to reinstate rail service

Citing its usefulness for commerce, emergency evacuations and economic development, as well as routine passenger service, Gulf Coast officials and Transportation for America are pushing for passage of Congressional bills to begin rail study, a first step toward restoring service destroyed 10 years ago by Hurricane Katrina. — AL.com

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