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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 30

Big Apple takes note of Alabama’s Sock Queen

Nine years ago, when she was 27 and unhappily selling real estate, Gina Locklear went to her parents with a proposition. She wanted to make socks. Not the basic white socks the family had specialized in, but fashionable socks, with organic cotton and dyes. “I want to get into the sock business,” she told them. “I want to make a sustainable sock.” – New York Times

Mason’s employer, ACEGOV, has been quiet lately

Almost all that can be definitely said about the Alabama Council for Excellent Government comes from legal filings, social media posts and its web page. It started in February 2015 to “advance the agenda of Gov. Robert Bentley,” with two of the governor’s former aides listed as incorporators. During the regular session of the Legislature last year – the first of three sessions dealing with the General Fund budget – it vigorously touted Bentley's efforts to pass a tax and revenue package. But since the fall, its activities have died down. – Montgomery Advertiser

As Airbus gets hotter, Boeing to cut workforce 10 percent

The world's biggest aircraft manufacturer will cut 10 percent of the workforce in its home state of Washington as a result of global competition in the aviation industry, the Seattle Times reported. Boeing is expected to shed 4,000 jobs by June with “hundreds of executives and managers” going, according to the newspaper which has obtained an internal Boeing document. That figure may be only half of the total cuts this year, the media reports. – RT.com

State Senate to take up captive insurance bill

The Alabama Senate is expected to soon take up legislation passed unanimously by the state House of Representatives last week to update the state’s 10-year-old captive insurance company statute. Under the measure, H.B. 270, approved on a 98-0 vote by the Alabama House, a $100,000 annual cap would be imposed on the annual premium tax captives could be assessed. – BusinessInsurance.com

Lawmakers set hearings on Medicaid spending

Lawmakers will go over the Alabama Medicaid Agency’s spending from top to bottom in a series of hearings beginning next month, the Senate budget chairman said Tuesday. The move comes as legislators prepare to stiff-arm Medicaid on their way to the next fiscal year. – Anniston Star

Digium’s gladly gone to the dogs

Telecommunications equipment supplier Digium opened its doors last week to some four-legged friends for the Dog Days of Digium. The Huntsville firm joined the 20 percent of companies nationwide that allow employees to bring pets to work. Companies have found that allowing pets increases productivity and morale, while also lowering the stress levels of employees. – News release

Hubbard trial to happen in May, judge says

A judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss ethics charges against House Speaker Mike Hubbard and said Hubbard should be ready to go to trial in mid-May. Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker rejected defense claims of prosecutorial misconduct in the case against the high-ranking Republican. The judge wrote that none of the accusations warranted dismissing the case. – AP/TimesFreePress

Plastics recycler expanding to Alabama

A Windsor, Canada-based plastics recycler is expanding into Alabama to take advantage of the growing auto industry in the southern United States. “A business like ours is trying to follow our customers and expand with them,” said Jeremy Berger, CEO of Green Processing Co. Inc. The new site in Birmingham will provide access to an automotive hub that includes Alabama, Tennessee, and South and North Carolina, said Berger. – Windsor Star

Southern Company leasing space at Colonnade

Southern Co. has signed a lease to fill one of the most prominent office vacancies in metro Birmingham. Southern Co. told the Birmingham Business Journal on Tuesday that it will relocate a large portion of its local operations to the Colonnade North and Colonnade South office buildings off U.S. 280. – BizJournals.com

Keel authenticated for USNS Yuma at Austal

Austal USA in Mobile hosted a ceremony Tuesday celebrating the keel authentication of the Navy’s eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport, USNS Yuma, Naval Sea Systems Command reported. The keel was said to be “truly and fairly laid” as it was authenticated by Douglas Nicholls, mayor of Yuma, Ariz., by welding his initials into the keel plate. Authentication represents a milestone in the ship’s construction as the keel is the symbolic backbone of a ship. – Seapower Magazine

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