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Top News Links: Monday, May 7

Alabama auto market full up?

Alabama's automakers continue to add shifts and jobs, but state was passed over for two newest plants that went to Tennessee and Mexico. — Birmingham News

Martin Marietta takeover of Vulcan sidelined; MM plans appeal

A Delaware judge Friday put Martin Marietta Materials' attempted takeover of Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials on hold for four months, due to breach of confidentiality; Martin Marietta says it will appeal the decision. — Wall Street Journal

Tourism wins, education loses

The legislature has approved a bill to lengthen summer vacation, hoping to increase tourism revenue, while schools scramble to adjust school hours and calendars; Bentley mum on intentions about signing bill into law.  — Huntsville Times

Charter schools bill passes legislature

The Alabama legislature has passed a bill allowing charter schools, but only in the state's four biggest cities and only by revamp of existing schools. — Mobile Press-Register

Medicaid funding woes

Proposed cuts to state Medicaid funding also jeopardize $4 billion in federal grants, officials say. — Birmingham News

Judge overturns conviction for Mobile pharmacist

A Mobile pharmacist accused of paying kickbacks for patient referrals was freed last week when judge said that, despite jury verdict, prosecution failed to prove its case; no word yet on new trial. — Mobile Press-Register

Birmingham restaurateurs up for honors

Contenders Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings are in New York for James Beard Foundation Awards, to be presented tonight. — Birmingham News

Tobacco tax bill vetoed; new version introduced

Shortly after Gov. Bentley vetoed a bill that would have redistributed tobacco tax money in Randolph, Clay and Chambers counties — a bill opposed by Republican and Democratic leaders alike — sponsors introduced a new version up for hearing tomorrow. — Randolph Leader

Shrimp shells to bandages

Researchers at the University of Alabama study possibility of converting shrimp shells into bandages to curtail diabetic ulcers. — Birmingham News

Florida tourism official found dead in Alabama

Former tourism director from Okaloosa County in Florida's panhandle, accused of using BP oil spill restitution funds for fancy home and yacht, found dead in Alabama in apparent suicide. — Pensacola News Journal

Adventures at fishing retreat

Angling writer describes joys of fishing at Ray Scott's Trophy Bass Retreat. — Chicago Tribune

Gov candidate to New Zealand to be with (sperm-donated) kids

Bill Johnson, who ran as a conservative Republication for governor in 2010, moved to New Zealand to be with kids he fathered via sperm donations, his Prattville wife says. — Mobile Press-Register

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