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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 18

Analysis: Follow the Minnesota model, Alabama

Alabama doesn't need that. It needs a new path altogether. Like the one Minnesota is on. In 2010, Minnesota was in bad shape. There was a $6.2 billion deficit and 7-percent unemployment. About 9 percent of the state lacked health insurance and median household income had declined for the fifth straight year. – Montgomery Advertiser

Don’t do that, Senator Shelby urges

During an interview on Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims on Tuesday, Sen. Richard Shelby expressed concerns that Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s $541 million tax hike proposal could negatively impact that state’s economic development efforts. “Well, I don’t think it’s going to help,” Shelby said. – Yellowhammer

Poultry industry inspection changes afoot

In his 29-years overseeing the factory lines at Alabama poultry plants, federal inspector Charles Stanley Painter has seen some things that have made his stomach churn. "It's not kosher to take chickens out of the drains and put them on the lines, but I saw it happen," said Painter, National Joint Council of Food Inspection Local Unions chairman. – AL.com

Airbus already bracing for union initiatives

Airbus already has developed a strategy to counter an internally expected move by labor unions to organize the A320 final assembly line that opens later this year in Alabama. “I don’t think there’s any question that organised labour will want to try to approach our employees there,” Alan McArtor, chairman and chief executive of the US-based Airbus Group Inc., says. – Flightgobal  

Eaton gets portion of $2.5B Army contract

Power management company Eaton today announced it was contracted by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville to help upgrade utility monitoring and control systems at U.S. government-operated facilities around the world. Eaton is one of 13 companies to receive the $2.5 billion shared capacity multiple award task order contract. – BusinessWire

Mabus goes to bat for LCS program

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus urged a group of House lawmakers not to curtail the pace of production for the littoral combat ship at a hearing on the military's budget Tuesday. The House Committee on Armed Services met to discuss the funding request for the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, a key law used to bankroll the Pentagon. – AL.com

Samson to get $343,500 for nutty expansion

The city of Samson will receive a significant award from the state of Alabama to aid in city infrastructure improvements near a planned business expansion. Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper informed Sen. Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb, Tuesday that Samson will receive a $343,500 industrial access award. The money will help the city improve roads and other infrastructure needs around Brooks Peanut Company, which is planning an expansion. – Dothan Eagle

Hummingbird names new creative director

After 5 years running WeAreSICK, the digital marketing and advertising company he operated primarily from Daphne, Matt Whitfield plans to merge with Mobile-based Hummingbird Ideas. Whitfield will become the company's new executive creative director. – AL.com

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