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Top News Links: Friday, March 13

Day 3: Hyundai rumors still sounding good

Multiple individuals familiar with Hyundai’s plans have told Reuters the automaker is in the final stages of negotiations with Alabama officials. “It’s a new assembly line right next to the current Alabama line. State of Alabama is negotiating final terms,” stated one source who knew about Hyundai’s discussions concerning tax breaks and incentives with Alabama. Still no official word. – TheNewsWheel.com

Forbes: Birmingham most affordable city

Business magazine Forbes has ranked the Birmingham metro as the most affordable city in America for 2015. Birmingham is primarily recognized for its affordable housing. Also highlighted in the report is the city's quality of life, its medical research industry and the number of large companies setting up plants nearby. – BizJournals.

Johns Manville to boost production

Johns Manville is on target to expand its thermoplastic polyolefin plant's capacity next month in Scottsboro, the company announced this week. The global building and specialty products manufacturer said construction on the TPO facility, which has been in planning for several months, will boost the plant's overall production by 20 percent when it moves online in a few weeks. – AL.com

Worker identified in Bibb County explosion

Parts of an industrial plant in Bibb County were still burning Thursday after a series of explosions Wednesday afternoon killed one man and injured several more, according to the chief of police in Brent. Police have identified the man killed in the blasts as Keith Leverette, 35. – AL.com 

Hibbett beats Q4 expectations

Shares of Hibbett Sports Inc. climbed more than 10 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. The Birmingham-based company posted quarterly earnings of $19.9 million, compared to $16.9 million, in the year-ago period. Benzinga

Private probation firm sued in Clanton

The Southern Poverty Law Center is filing a federal suit against a private probation company accused of targeting poor Clanton residents and threatening them with jail time for failing to pay fines. The suit announced by the SPLC on Thursday accuses Judicial Correction Services and a local manager of racketeering and extorting probationers for monthly payments. – Enewscourier

Alabama agency drops TKAM probe

Alabama investigators looked into whether the recent deal to publish Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" sequel involved financial fraud, but they have closed the inquiry, a state official said Thursday. – AP/Observer

Consulting firm opens in Mobile

Sue Cato Winter has opened a small business consulting company in Mobile called Great Ideas Inc. to offer a fresh path to expand and improve services. By asking the right questions she encourages ways to enhance customer service, tell the business’s story and create additional value for clients. Winter formerly served as general manager of Roberts Brothers Inc. – News release

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