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Top News Links: Monday, June 1

‘Deepwater Horizon’ filming in New Orleans

Lionsgate has begun principal photography on “Deepwater Horizon” in New Orleans. The film is a presentation of Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment and Participant Media and a di Bonaventura Pictures / Closest to the Hole /  Leverage Entertainment production. The film stars Mark Wahlberg alongside Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien, Gina Rodriguez and Kate Hudson. – News release

Airbus components sailing toward Mobile

The first large components for an Airbus A320-family aircraft destined for assembly in the U.S. left the port of Hamburg, Germany, on Friday, bound for Mobile. The major component assemblies consist of the wings, produced in the UK; the rear fuselage section and tail cone, produced in Germany and Spain, respectively; the forward fuselage section, produced in France; and the cockpit, which contains parts from around the world. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers, from Spain and Germany, respectively, are also on board. Schedules call for the first aircraft — an A321ceo — to go to JetBlue in 2016. – AIN Online

UA’s Astrobiotics team wins robotics championship

It seems the University of Alabama is now known for more than just their championships in athletics, as a group of engineering and computer science students are adding even more academic trophies in a national robotics competition held by NASA. Alabama Astrobiotics won the University of Alabama a second national championship in NASA's Robotic Mining Championship last week after constructing their own autonomous robot capable of navigating the chaotic terrain of Mars. – Science Times

Huntsville, Birmingham get nod for fine dining

The results are in for USA Today's Best Southern Fine Dining restaurants poll. Cotton Row, founded by Chef James Boyce, was the top pick among readers this month in a contest on 10best.com. Highlands Bar & Grill and Hot and Hot Fish Club, both Birmingham establishments, landed in the Top 10 among 20 nominees selected by Southern travel experts. – AL.com

Mercedes Benz supplier still adding jobs

Rehau, a Cullman auto supplier that provides parts to Mercedes Benz and BMW among others, is recruiting workers to operate forklifts and assist in production. The company started recruiting for 145 positions in March and has filled about 120 of them. – AL.com

Alabama among top cutters of pupil spending

A number of states (Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama and Pennsylvania) have cut their pupil spending by more than 35 percent since 2008. State budget pressures have been the major driver. This is why the portion of public education funded by student tuition has shifted from between 30 percent to 40 percent a decade ago to between 50 percent and 60 percent today. – Reuters

Department of Conservation website wins honors

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ website, outdooralabama.com, was recently honored for its sleek, user-friendly design, receiving the Silver Communicator Award of Distinction in the government website category by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. This award honors excellence in marketing and communications. – BusinessWire

Alabama among states with lowest car tax

Alabamians, as most folks know, don’t care for property taxes. But what about when it’s time to hit the road? Alabama has the second-lowest real estate property tax, and the sixth-lowest car tax, according to new WalletHub research. Alabama residents pay an average of $170 a year in state vehicle property taxes. – WalletHub/Motley Fool

‘SEC primary’ looking good for March 1

Next year’s “SEC primary” is taking final shape. Last week Arkansas lawmakers gave final approval to legislation moving that state’s presidential nomination contest to March 1 – to match the same date set by Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Alabama lawmakers also gave final approval to a bill that would move their state’s 2016 primary election to March 1. – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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