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Top News Links: Monday, March 25

Georgia-Pacific plans $400 million lumber and plywood upgrades

Saying it anticipates an uptick in construction, Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific has announced plans to invest $400 million to upgrade lumber and plywood operations in its Southeastern facilities, possibly including its Alabama operations. — Atlanta Business Chronicle

State aid for Honda expansion

Gov. Bentley has approved a $300,000 block grant to build a new water line that will allow Honda to expand its facilities in Lincoln; already Talladega County's largest manufacturer, Honda is expected to create 50 additional jobs with this expansion. — ADECA PR

Legislators share blame for failing schools, state school official says

Legislators offering private school tuition tax credits to parents of children zoned for "failing" public schools must share the blame for school failures, since they have repeatedly cut education funding, says state school board member Charles Elliott of Decatur. — Birmingham News

Walter Energy blasts Audley Capital pitch

Birmingham-based Walter Energy, facing a challenge to five of its directors from one percent shareholder Audley Capital, says the British fund doesn't disclose background on its nominees that includes insider trading charges. — The Street

Walter closing North River mine and Canadian mine

Walter Energy has announced plans to close its North River mine in Alabama earlier than the projected 2014 date and to close its Canadian Willow Creek mine this spring. — Bloomberg

ThyssenKrupp hopes to sweeten bids for Americas mills

A Brazilian news agency is reporting that ThyssenKrupp is negotiating with bidders for its Brazilian mill and its remaining Alabama mill, hoping to recoup more of the $12 billion euros it spent on the projects than what top bidders have offered. — Reuters

Airport officials, contractors look for answers in deadly sign collapse

Birmingham airport officials and their contractors are continuing to investigate what caused the collapse of a flight information sign in the newly renovated air terminal; the falling sign killed a 10-year-old boy and injured his mother and two brothers. — Birmingham News

Tuscaloosa, Dothan lose towers; Mobile tower stays open

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced plans to close 149 air traffic control towers — including those in Dothan and Tuscaloosa — due to federal budget cuts, but the Mobile tower that services the planned Airbus facility will stay open. — FAA PR

AlphaPET expands in Decatur

AlphaPET, part of the Thai company Indorama Ventures, has announced a $190 million expansion of the Decatur plant where it makes resins for plastic beverage containers; the company is expected to add 75 workers. — WVTM-TV

Poultry organizations critique worker safety study

Organizations representing poultry and egg producers issued a rebuttal to claims in a Southern Poverty Law Center study that raised concerns about worker safety in poultry plants. — Meat & Poultry

Hyundai shows off new luxury Equus

Hyundai's new luxury sedan, the Equus, gets star billing at the New York Auto Show; the Korean automaker has its U.S. plant in Montgomery. — NBC News

Downtown Huntsville Inc. takes leadership role in city revitalization

A new economic development group, Downtown Huntsvlle Inc., has formed to take over revitalization leadership formerly handled by Big Spring Partners. — Huntsville Times

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