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Top News Links: Tuesday, March 14

State’s unemployment rate among worst in nation

Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent despite improvement nationally, leaving the state with the third-worst jobless rate in the United States, according to reports released Monday. State statistics showed the January rate was up one-tenth of a percent from the December rate of 6.3 percent. It also was well above the year-ago rate of 6.1 percent. – Montgomery Advertiser

BBVA economists predict 3 Fed rate hikes this year

BBVA Compass economists lay out their reasons for raising their estimate to three rate hikes in 2017 in their latest Fed Watch report, pointing to the underlying strength of the economy and a series of hawkish speeches by key Federal Open Market Committee members. – Benzinga

Quorum Health to sell 60-bed Alabama hospital

Quorum Health, the financially troubled hospital spin off of Community Health Systems, will sell Alabama-based 60-bed Cherokee Medical Center to NNZ Holdings. The deal is expected to close within 60 days of the announcement, pending regulatory approvals. – HealthcareDive.com

Kirklin Clinic renovations nearing completion

Construction is wrapping up on a $10 million project with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System to renovate the 3rd and 4th floors of the John N. Whitaker Building in Birmingham. The 64,000 square foot renovation will convert the existing space into high-end medical clinics and physician offices as part of an expansion of The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital. – News release

Bostic replaces Lockhart at Atlanta Fed

Raphael W. Bostic, a former Obama administration housing official, has been selected as the new president of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, becoming the first African-American to head one of the Fed’s 12 regional banks. He succeeds Dennis Lockhart, who retired last month. The Atlanta Fed covers Georgia, Alabama, Florida and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. – WTOP

Teenage entrepreneur builds crawfish empire with dad

At only 15 years old, Blaze Malone decided with the help of his dad, Randy Malone, he was going begin raising and trapping crawfish in Selma. Now, 12 years later, he spends hours each day doing just that. "I sold them to some of my buddies for cookouts, then I got a bunch of T-shirts made and some business cards and by the second year it was all I could keep up with." – AP/Selma Times Journal/USNWR

Mother-daughter construction workshop planned

The second annual “Power UP: It’s a Mother-Daughter Thing!” to empower young women and their mothers to become educated, engaged, and explore career opportunities in the construction industry will be held March 21 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the AIDT/Alabama Workforce Training Center, 3500 6th Avenue South, Birmingham. – News release

Trump shows signs of easing automotive regs

When President Trump visits the Detroit area this week, he’ll come bearing a gift: a first step toward relaxing rules that could cost automakers about $33 billion. Trump will announce as part of a visit to Ypsilanti, Mich., tomorrow that his administration will begin re-examining fuel-economy standards set by the Obama administration, according to two people familiar with the plans. – Automotive News

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