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Top News Links: Tuesday, March 8

Lawmakers once again take up Medicaid challenges

Alabama could be in for another year of budget ping pong, with services to the state’s poorest residents at stake. Or lawmakers could knuckle down and find a way to give Gov. Robert Bentley the additional $100 million he’s requesting for Medicaid. We could find out as early as this week. – Anniston Star

How Birmingham thrived despite county bankruptcy

There was a time in Jefferson County when layoffs were measured by the gross. It was a time of shuttered hospitals, weeds as big as fourth graders, and potholes up to your elbow. But a funny thing happened on the way to economic infamy. Jefferson County’s largest city, the largest city in Alabama, began to blossom. – Citylab.com

Anniston workers trying for union representation

If you were to ask someone to describe Alabama, "union-friendly" is likely the last thing you would hear. As both a "right to work" and "at will" state, even mentioning the word "union" on the clock is enough to get some people fired. But since September 2015, employees at Anniston's New Flyer plant (formerly NABI) have been working towards unionization. – AL.com

Federal grant helps bring 150 jobs to Walker County

A new grant will help one company create at least 150 jobs in Walker County. A $300,000 award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will allow the City of Jasper to extend public water and sewer service to the planned Yorozu Corp. facility in Jasper Industrial Park. The company's $100 million plant will produce metal parts for suspension systems in vehicles built by nearby automotive manufacturers. Gov. Robert Bentley announced the award. – AL.com

Troy University students get smart exercise stations

The Troy University library has installed exercise bikes so students can study and pedal their way to regular fitness. So far, the response to the idea has been positive, says UPI, and the college posted a picture to Facebook stating that each of the machines at Troy and Dothan also has a station for laptops. – INQUISITR

Judge orders Harper Lee’s will to be sealed

Famously private in life, “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee is keeping her secrets even in death. Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris signed an order last week to seal Lee’s will from public view, according to court records available Monday. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

EBSCO donates $1M to Birmingham-Southern

EBSCO Industries Inc. has given a $1 million gift to Birmingham-Southern College to support the college's top priority of increasing student scholarships, college officials announced this week. "We are grateful to EBSCO Industries for their continued generous investment in the college's future," said BSC President Edward F. Leonard III. – AL.com 

Series of events to highlight state role in NASA efforts

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center officials are in Montgomery today through Thursday to spread the word about the importance of the state's role in NASA’s journey to Mars and to inspire the next generations of engineers, scientists and explorers during the Aerospace States Association’s Alabama Aerospace Week. – News release

Motion Industries acquires two new companies

Motion Industries, Genuine Parts Company’s wholly owned industrial distribution company based in Birmingham, has also completed the acquisitions of Epperson and Company and Missouri Power Transmission.  Combined, these two companies are expected to generate approximately $50 million in annual revenues. – News release

BIS Office Systems to unveil warehouse facility

BIS Office Systems, one of the fastest growing office equipment companies along the Gulf Coast, will unveil their new corporate warehouse facility to the business community at their grand opening on April 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3690 Carlyle Close E. in Mobile. This event is open to the business community. – News release

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