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Top News Links: Tuesday, June 21

Hyundai plant prepares for third vehicle launch

Hyundai’s Alabama plant will start mass production of the Santa Fe Sport SUV this week, adding a third vehicle to the automaker’s busy Montgomery assembly lines. The launch is set for Wednesday, and the move will allow Hyundai to meet growing demand for the vehicle amid a strong U.S. market for trucks and SUVs. – Made In Alabama

World Series hurler, Grammy winner have plan for Mobile

Jake Peavy and Trina Shoemaker hear a future that the rest of Mobile can only dream of. They and a like-minded team are betting that a new recording studio can do more than put Mobile on the map as a destination for musicians with songs to capture. Beyond that, their real goal is to give the Gulf Coast its own new sonic identity. And if that sounds overly optimistic or outlandishly ambitious, consider this: Peavy knows what it takes to win a World Series (or two) and Shoemaker knows what it's like to earn a Grammy Award (or three). – AL.com

‘Dirt Pass’ a new way to support state parks

Keeping the state park system open in Alabama has been a recent up-hill – and political battle. Now, there's a new way citizens can get involved in conserving the state's natural treasures. With the purchase of a "Dirt Pass," park-goers and trail-users can sport a rubber wristband that acts as a donation toward the improvement and management of the state's trail systems. – Montgomery Advertiser

Walmart Pay expected to go live Thursday

Customers at more than 120 Walmart locations across Alabama should be able to check out using their smart phones starting Thursday. Company spokeswoman Molly Blakeman says Walmart Pay is also rolling out in Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. – AlabamaNewsNet

Victim identified in fatal industrial accident

A 20-year-old woman has died after being injured in an accident at a Chambers County industrial plant. The Chambers County Coroner's Office said Regina Elsea died Sunday after being critically injured in a Saturday accident. According to a statement from the Chambers County Sheriff's Office, the incident happened at Ajin USA in Cusseta, which manufactures automotive parts. – AP/The Dispatch

Apple owes about $6.3M to Alabama in e-book suit

Officials say Alabama consumers will receive more than $6,300,000 from Apple Inc. in a lawsuit over inflated e-book prices. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Monday that the tech giant is expected to spend about $400 million to compensate consumers across the country and Alabamians are slated to receive approximately $6,357,100. – AP/AL.com

Alabama’s lightning strike rating goes to 4th

The trend looks brighter for the state of Alabama when it comes to lightning related insurance claims. State Farm ranks the state at 4th in the nation this year, which is down from 2nd in the nation in 2015. The state’s largest home and auto insurer reports paying out almost $8 million on 1,264 lightning claims across the state in 2015. The average cost per claim was about $6,200. – Dothan First

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