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Top News Links: Thursday, March 26

Supreme Court: Look again at districts

A divided U.S. Supreme Court says a lower court must take another look at whether Alabama’s Republican-led Legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state's legislative voting districts. The justices split 5-4 Wednesday in ruling that a three-judge panel did not properly consider whether state officials illegally packed black voters into too few voting districts. – Decatur Daily

SB 289: Most awful bill of the year?

If you haven't heard of this state Senate bill, it will surely be discussed at length in the coming weeks. On its face, it is a simple, two-page piece of legislation that repeals two laws. Those laws: a requirement that doctors send written notifications to women whose mammograms show they have dense breast tissue and a requirement that insurance companies operating in Alabama establish minimum coverage lengths for childbirth. – Montgomery Advertiser

Obama to address payday loan phenomenon

President Obama is traveling to Alabama today to discuss payday loans, among other economic issues. Alabama has one of the highest numbers of payday lender stores in the country, and policymakers in the state are trying to crack down on such “predatory” lending practices. – PSMag.com

Cover familiar for new Harper Lee novel

The cover for Harper Lee's new novel will surely remind you of the cover for her old one. On Wednesday, HarperCollins unveiled the jacket art for Lee's "Go Set a Watchman," the unexpected follow-up to her classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." The new cover, like the one for "To Kill a Mockingbird," is a moody illustration featuring an oak tree in front. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

B&G wins $83M Huntsville project

Brasfield & Gorrie announced that the company has been selected to build a new greenfield water treatment plant for Huntsville Utilities. Awarded the $83 million project through a competitive bidding process, Brasfield & Gorrie will begin work on the new Southeast Water Treatment Plant in March 2015. – News release

AT&T spends $1.3B on upgrades in state

AT&T made 370 broadband, capacity and connection upgrades to its Alabama network in 2014, the telecommunications company announced this week in its year-in-review report. The firm said it spent more than $1.3 billion on its wireless and wired Alabama networks from 2012-14 to improve reliability, coverage, speed and performance for residential and business customers. – AL.com

Doster wins Germantown project

Doster Construction Company was recently awarded the Fountains at Germantown project in Germantown, Tennessee. Construction on this 249-unit project begins immediately and is scheduled to complete in winter of 2016. A six-story, 622-space parking deck will also be included. – News release

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