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Top News Links: Thursday, March 23

Job seekers who used state website likely hacked

Hackers may have stolen personal information from people who used a job search database in 10 states, including Alabama. The Alabama Department of Labor on Wednesday announced the breach of the America's JobLink, a multi-state web-based system that links jobseekers with employers. Alabamians who used the state's free, online jobs database www.joblink.alabama.gov may have had personal information exposed. – AP/USNWR

Shipt to deliver Costco groceries in Florida, may expand here

Birmingham tech company Shipt has announced its first retailer partnership with a discount bulk retailer. Shipt launched a partnership with Costco this week, and Tampa customers now have three retailers to choose from: Costco, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Publix. – AL.com

Birmingham software company opens Canadian office

A Birmingham company that provides software to improve boardroom communications and efficiency has established an official Canadian headquarters and data center.  Directorpoint, based in downtown Birmingham's Innovation Depot, opened the office in Montreal because of an increasing demand from Canadian clients, according to a press release. – AL.com

Tiny houses to be sold on auction block

Twenty-five tiny houses will be auctioned off online next month as their northwest Alabama builder is liquidated to pay creditors. The auctioneer's website describes them as "in various stages of completion." Bear Creek company, Lil' Lodges of Alabama, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the auction was ordered by the court. The sale will be the evening of April 4 by Pearce & Associates. – AP/USNWR

USS Montgomery passes final sea trials

USS Montgomery (LCS 8) completed Final Contract Trials on March 17, marking the completion of the construction and initial operating testing of the Navy’s eighth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The trial, administered by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey, is part of a series of post-delivery test and trial events through which the ship and its major systems are exercised. The vessel was built in Mobile by Austal USA. – Navy.mil

Shelby Baptist names new CEO

Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster has seen a change in leadership after the hospital’s former chief executive officer returned to his previous post as CEO of Walker Baptist Medical Center, the hospitals’ parent company announced on March 22. Mike Rickman will serve as the new Shelby Baptist CEO following the departure of former hospital CEO Bob Phillips to the same position at Walker Baptist. – Alabaster Reporter

Alabama ranks third in cash home sales

In December of 2016, cash sales comprised 33.1% of all home sales, down from 34.4% in December of 2015, marking the 47th consecutive year-over-year monthly decline. Cash sales rose by 0.7 percentage points month over month. New York had the largest December cash sales share of any state at 47.9%, followed by New Jersey (47.6%), Alabama (46.1%), Michigan (44.3%) and Florida (42.1%). – 24/7WallSt.

Analysis: Forever Wild gives good return on investment

The Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust is a powerful economic engine that provides numerous fiscal benefits to communities throughout the state, a recently released analysis shows. The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in AlabamaConservation Alabama FoundationBirmingham Audubon and The Conservation Fund, conducted an analysis of the return on investment in land conservation through the Forever Wild Land Trust. It found that every $1 invested in land conservation returned $5 in “natural goods and services.” – Alabama News Center

Can Sears survive? Maybe not, filings concede

Sears used to be the titan of American retailing. But now its future is in doubt. Shares of the company's stock tumbled 12 percent today after the company acknowledged Tuesday in its annual 10-K filing that its future viability is not a sure thing. A 10-K is a report that public companies file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, giving a comprehensive summary of the company's financial performance. – APR

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