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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 22

ADOR moves closer to taxing internet streaming services

Netflix users, your binge-watching habit could soon get a little more expensive. The Alabama Department of Revenue has proposed an amendment that would apply the state's rental tax to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and others. The rental tax is 4 percent on all sales. There's a hearing for the amendment April 11 at 1:30 p.m. in Montgomery. – AL.com

Bill allowing church police gets national attention

An Alabama church is poised to create its very own police force thanks to a new bill that has already made headway in the state senate. Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in the outskirts of Birmingham, is seeking to hire a team of individuals who will be trained as cops to patrol its grounds. – Huffington Post

Envision Genomics names Grace Terrell CEO 

Envision Genomics, a genomics health company headquartered in Huntsville, has named Grace E. Terrell, MD MMM, its founding chief executive officer. Dr. Terrell is a national leader in health care delivery system reform. In 2012, she founded Cornerstone Health Enablement Strategic Solutions (CHESS), a North Carolina company dedicated to helping health systems and other medical groups transition to value-based medicine. – News release

AT&T’s $10M Alabama refund case avoids dismissal

AT&T affiliates’ $10 million tax refund petition on behalf of Alabama customers survived another state attempt to have the case dismissed, as a state appeals court denied a petition for rehearing. The case springs from a 2010 settlement agreement in class action federal litigation against AT&T over improperly collected taxes that customers said violated a federal ban on taxing internet access. – Bloomberg

Alabama Launchpad expands with regional competitions

The startup competition that has pumped millions of dollars into innovative companies across Alabama is poised to accelerate its impact. Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, is looking for communities that want to replicate the statewide competition on a local level. – Made In Alabama

Alabama population expected to grow steadily

Alabama population is expected to grow by nearly 500,000 people by 2040, according to the latest projections from the Center for Business and Economic Research in The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce. Expected economic development in major Alabama metropolitan areas and population trends are fueling the projected 11.3 percent increase. – News release

Wallace State greatly expands its genealogy collection

Through donations and purchases, Wallace State Community College is making a huge expansion of one of the area’s best resources for searching family origins. Several hundred books, documents, and microfilms have been added. The new material is broad and eclectic including books to locate German parish records; newspaper abstracts on Cullman and surrounding counties; Civil War spy reports; and letters from southern federal courts in the 1800s. – News release

BMW comes out swinging against Mercedes with new models

BMW Group plans the biggest rollout of new and revamped models in its history as the automaker fights back after losing the sales crown to Mercedes-Benz. Over the next two years, BMW will unveil 40 variants, including the new X2 compact SUV and full-sized X7 crossover. – Automotive News

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