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Top News Links: Monday, March 31

Nix named Small Business Person of Year

Harvey Nix, chief executive officer of Birmingham-based Proventix Systems Inc., has been named Alabama's Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. – Alabama's 13

Education deal struck on Goat Hill

Gov. Robert Bentley and lawmakers Friday afternoon said they had reached a compromise on funding teacher insurance in 2015, which could clear the way toward passage of the education budget. – Montgomery Advertiser/South Union Street Blog

Amtrak CEO scouting for funding boost

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman will visit with Birmingham area mayors Monday as the passenger rail operator seeks a funding boost it says is necessary to maintain and improve its service. – al.com

Farmers nervous about Big Data in fields

Agriculture is cautiously entering a new era in which raw planting data holds both the promise of higher yields and the peril that the information could be hacked or exploited by corporations or government agencies. – AP/Galveston Daily News

E-cig craze strong in Madison County

“It’s a community and it gets people off of cigarettes, and as long as I can grow that and make that better, and make it a part of it, I’m more than happy to do so,” Will Thompson told WHNT News 19. Once every two months, he sets up an event in Madison County for people to come together, share stories, buy products from vendors, and encourage each other to keep kicking the cigarette habit. – WHNT.com

Farmland disappearing in Alabama

Farmland is disappearing in Alabama, but state and local officials don’t think it’s a worrying concern for the state of the agriculture industry. – The Piedmont Journal

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