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Top News Links: Thursday, March 22

UAB professor, students help crack online crime ring

Prof. Gary Warner and his students helped FBI round up hackers who stole millions via internet. — MSNBC

Bargain price tags on luxury homes

Decorators' show house in 2010, Longleaf Estate in Vestavia Hills is now marked down almost half to $2.4 million — and among the bargain mansions listed by Forbes. — Forbes

Inspections, clinic hours on chopping block

Inspections of restaurants and septic tanks and clinic hours for rural health needs are in danger of cuts as state health department copes with 10 percent budget cuts. — WNCF-TV

Aircraft companies team to support development of jet biofuel

Three major aircraft companies — Boeing, Airbus and Embraer — have joined forces to urge development of aviation biofuels. — Reuters

Alabama plant helps plastic recycler meet goals

AlphaPet in Decatur, a plant for Thai Indorama Ventures polyester producer, will help the company grow from 3.2 million tons to 10 millions tons annually by 2014. – Fibre2fashion.com

Oil refinery proposal in Athens

Oil firm asks for zoning changes to accommodate proposed oil refinery. — Athens News Courier

Gas prices cutting coal market

Appealing gas prices make coal a tough sell to utilities, trimming some coal production. — Bloomberg Business Week

Elsie hopes Alabamians drink more milk

Borden's Elsie the Cow, a childhood memory for baby boomers, is back on billboards in Alabama and six other states, promoting milk consumption. — Industry Week

Music news

New Iron City music venue, expected to cost $3.9 million, should be ready by October, owner says. — Birmingham News

Music Hall of Fame, closed since January, to stay closed at least another 90 days, may move. — Huntsville Times

Emerson Avocent set to launch new gateway product

Avocent, acquired in 2009 by Emerson Network Power, says new universal gateway technology is ready to launch. -- Huntsville Times

Three Americans join Honda's North American leadership team

Tom Shoupe, president of Honda's Alabama facility, is one of three U.S. natives named to Honda's seven-member North American leadership team, long led by Japanese nationals.  — Bloomberg Business Week

Consulting firm opens Southeast headquarters in Huntsville

LMI, a consultant firm that bought Huntsville's Belzon last month, opens its regional headquarters in the north Alabama city today. – Huntsville Times

Alabama-based taco franchise owner grows

Tacala, based in Vestavia Hills, has purchased more than 30 additional franchises, solidifying its hold on top franchise-owner status. — Birmingham News

Luxury buyers back in market

Saks Fifth Avenue CEO visits Birmingham store, says sailing stock market is bring luxury buyers back to shops. — Birmingham News

Dynetics named to top space list

Huntsville's Dynetics has taken tenth ranking in a list of companies involved in commercial space projects. — Huntsville Times

Raytheon plant on target

Raytheon's new missile integration facility in Huntsville should be ready to ship missiles by January, leaders say. — Huntsville Times

Legislative activity

An Alabama Senate committee moves to increase tax breaks for moviemakers, but opponents question value to state. — WDEF-TV

Senate committee approves tying legislative pay to median household income. — Birmingham News

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