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Top News Links: Thursday, March 3

Congress awakens to possibility of President Trump

The possibility of Donald Trump as Republican nominee — and perhaps president — is suddenly very real for the GOP in Congress. After months of denial that the billionaire businessman could swipe the nomination from more establishment candidates, disconsolate Republican senators and House members dealt with a growing inevitability after Trump's wins in seven states Tuesday cemented his front-runner status. – AP/Daily Times

Internet remains a challenging place for sales tax

Change is heading to the world of sales tax. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota still restricts the ability of states to assess sales tax, even though the rise of e-commerce in the years afterward has drastically changed the retail market. Alabama has been at the forefront of states trying to tax e-commerce with its Simplified Sellers Use Tax Remittance Program. – Accounting Web

Pepsi sign coming down in Birmingham

The controversial Pepsi sign in downtown Birmingham is being replaced by a sign for UAB. Crews started construction on the billboard from the 17-story Two North Twentieth building Wednesday. It's expected to be finished in two weeks, according to a press release. The sign is 179 feet by 25 feet. The sign was installed early 2014 without approval from the Birmingham Design Review Committee. – AL.com

Golden State Foods launching plant, will create 173 jobs

California-based Golden State Foods Corp. has launched construction of a $63 million state-of-the-art meat processing facility in Alabama, expanding its investment in the project announced a year ago. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for the new 165,000-square-foot facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park, which will create 173 jobs. – Made In Alabama

Auto supplier bringing 75 jobs to Oxford

A Canadian-based automotive supplier plans to open a plant in Oxford and hire at least 75 workers starting in April. The Calhoun County Economic Development Council announced Wednesday that Kobay Enstel-South, LLC would be opening a facility between April and May. Officials said the company would use a building owned by the council and hire workers over the next three years. – Anniston Star

Alabama’s last dry county legalizes alcohol sales

Pop the champagne! Two cities in Alabama’s last completely dry county voted to legalize the sale of alcohol on Tuesday. Clay County was the last completely dry county in the state, which has several other counties that are considered “dry,” but have cities that allow the sale of alcohol. – USA Today

Tommy Bice announces plans to retire as top educator

Alabama Superintendent Tommy Bice says he's stepping down after more than four years at the helm of the K-12 education in the state. Bice, 61, made the surprise announcement Tuesday in a press conference. The outgoing superintendent said he felt it was the "right time" to change roles after 39 years in education. He will leave the department March 31. – AP/KSL.com

Gulf oil drilling not slowed by low prices

Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to increase next year even as new offshore development and exploration have slowed to a crawl, weighed down by a drastic drop in oil prices. The increased production will be fueled by 14 Gulf of Mexico drilling projects in various stages of development. – The Olympian

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