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Top News Links: Friday, March 20

U.S. Steel to build $230M arc furnace

U.S. Steel Corp. said Thursday it was moving ahead with plans to construct a $230 million electric arc furnace at its steelmaking facility in Birmingham. It also said it would construct a $47.5 million tubular products coupling facility at Fairfield Works to manufacture couplings for customers in the oil and gas industry. – News Journal

Torch embarks on major expansion

Torch Technologies CEO Bill Roark says his employee-owned technology services and solutions company will embark on a major 9-18 month construction project, which includes the renovation of existing facilities and development of a new headquarters and conference center in Huntsville. – AL.com

AAA changes delayed for second look

A Senate vote on changes to the Alabama Accountability Act was delayed Thursday morning as the sponsor tried to work out issues over the bill with other legislators. The changes, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, aim to broaden the reach of the Accountability Act while refocusing its impact. – Montgomery Advertiser

VA whistleblowers say they’re under attack

Two whistle-blowers say not only are they under attack for alerting the public about long wait times covered up in central Alabama's VA health-care system, but those wait times are getting longer. Hundreds of leaked documents sent to The Montgomery Advertiser in a seven-month period revealed patient abuse, inadequate care and unethical practices from the director and other staff at the Montgomery and Tuskegee hospitals. – USA Today

Companies partner to help struggling businesses

Four Birmingham stakeholders are partnering to bring business education and access to lending to businesses in economically disadvantaged areas. Inner City Capital Connections, a portion of a national nonprofit in Massachusetts, has partnered with Regions Bank, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Protective Life and Alabama Power to launch the program in Birmingham. – AL.com

Buick Building coming back in Mobile

The first phase of a roughly $5 million overhaul of the historic Buick Building in the heart of Mobile's former "Automobile Alley" is on track for a summer completion with its new owners slated to be the first tenants. Commercial construction firm Rogers & Willard Inc., who purchased the two-story, 40,000-square-foot structure at 455 St. Louis St. in late 2014, will move its roughly 30 employees in to about 6,000 square feet of renovated first-floor space. – AL.com

Judge: Transgender discrimination out

A federal court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act protects against anti-transgender discrimination in healthcare. – Equality Online

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