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Top News Links: Wednesday, June 1

Testimony: Hubbard hired to open doors

The president of an education curriculum company testified Tuesday that he hired Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, in a $7,500 a month consulting contract, to open doors with legislative leaders in other states as the company tried to sell digital courses to school systems. – AP/Times Free Press

Mountain Brook’s Lane Parke complex sells for $73.3M

A high-end apartment complex in Mountain Brook has been sold in a $73.3 million deal. Evson Inc. developed Lane Parke Apartments, the 276-unit complex that is 97 percent leased. JLL Income Property Trust -- a non-listed real estate investment trust -- bought the complex. The apartments are part of a 12-acre, $140-million luxury mixed-use development including the Grand Bohemian Hotel and a retail development. – AL.com

Arc Terminals donates $100,000 to Mobile Fire-Rescue

Last summer, Arc Terminals got in the doghouse with Mobile leaders and environmentalists alike for storing sulphuric acid on the waterfront before receiving permission to do so. On Tuesday, city leaders praised the company for a six-figure gesture of amends. – AL.com

Ascend Chemicals opens new lab at Decatur facility

Ascend Specialty Chemicals is opening a new application lab at the company’s Decatur facility. The new lab will support the company’s growing formulated product line to serve the coatings, asphalt and oil and gas industries. The opening of the lab is one of several planned and ongoing strategic initiatives to support Ascend’s growing specialty chemicals business. – News release

Report: State’s auto parts workers see pay decline

While the number of auto parts workers in Alabama surged by 64% since 2001, between 2001 and 2013, “monthly earnings for Alabama auto parts workers have declined by 42 percent — more than any other major auto-producing state. That’s according to a report by the National Employment Law Project. The average Alabama auto parts worker took home $1,593 less in 2013 than he or she did in 2001.” – Nelp.org

Birmingham cited for big Uber, Lyft potential

 Southern metro areas present the biggest opportunity for Uber and Lyft to change your life. In a big report out Tuesday morning, Morgan Stanley analysts Michael Zezas and Adam Jonas look at the impact the proliferation of services like Uber and Lyft could eventually have on municipalities — and municipal financing — across the U.S. Birmingham is cited as one such city with big ride-booking potential. – Slate

Mobile City Council delays Bel Air Mall vote

The Mobile City Council has again delayed a decision on a proposed multimillion-dollar tax incentive plan for Bel Air Mall. Presented in early May by Mayor Sandy Stimpson, the proposal would grant $500,000 in sales tax breaks annually for 15 years, for a total of up to $7.5 million. – AL.com

As of today, you can buy beer-to-go in Alabama

The law passed in March goes into effect June 1, allowing breweries to sell six-packs and growlers (refillable glass jugs) straight from the tap room instead of having to go through a grocery store or convenience store. "(This) puts us on a level playing field with a lot of the other states in our country," said Brian Kane, Managing Partner of the Fairhope Brewing Company. – WALA/WBRC

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