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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 5

Japanese plastics company looks in Limestone

A Japanese plastics company is eyeing a possible new location at the Elm Industrial Park in Athens, an official with the Limestone County Economic Development Association said Tuesday. – al.com

Hold the sales tax, pass the ammo

An Alabama lawmaker wants to add a third sales tax holiday to the calendar. In addition to back-to-school shopping and severe weather preparedness, guns, ammunition and accessories could also be tax free one weekend each year. – WTVM.com

Payday lending bill may still have life

Seemingly dead just a few weeks ago, lawmakers plan to revive a proposal to regulate payday lending in the state, albeit in a more modest form. – South Union Street blog

BioCryst gains against Marburg, Ebola viruses

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has announced the online publication in the journal Nature of extensive laboratory and nonclinical characterizations of BCX4430, including efficacy results in animal models of infection with Marburg virus and Ebola virus, two highly virulent pathogens responsible for viral hemorrhagic fever diseases. – Globenewswire.com

Mississippi law firm expanding in Birmingham

The Butler Snow law firm is expanding in Alabama, adding 19 attorneys to its office in Birmingham. A spokesman for the firm said the expansion will bring its national staff of attorneys to nearly 280, with a total of 24 in Birmingham. – Sunherald.com

Alabama takes Site Selection’s seven spot

After landing a series of major projects in 2013, Alabama scored high in Site Selection's economic development success rankings, claiming the No. 7 spot for the most new and expanded facilities per capita last year, according to an announcement Monday from the magazine. – Made in Alabama

Credit Managers’ Index slumps

The Credit Managers' Index, published by the National Association of Credit Management, seems to having a hard time leaving 2013 behind. The February reading fell to 55.6, sending the CMI back to where it was in December, when the index fell to a recent low point. – NACM.org

Brasfield & Gorrie get Airbus project work

Hoar Program Management has awarded Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie the first of four general contractor packages for Airbus' A320 final assembly line under construction in Mobile. – al.com

West Marine to open anew in Orange Beach

West Marine has announced the grand opening celebration of its new, expansive store in Orange Beach, to take place April 4-6. This new store, to replace the previous Orange Beach location, has twice the square footage with a fishing and bait shack, an expanded engine parts department as well as a large assortment of inflatable boats, outboard motors, paddleboards and kayaks. – Westmarine.com

Total construction spending leaps in January

Total construction spending nationwide in January posted the steepest year-over-year increase since 2006, with growth in public construction as well as private residential and nonresidential spending, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Associated General Contractors of America. – AGC.org

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