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Top News Links: Thursday, May 30

Russell Athletic to close Alex City plant

Following an announcement of major layoffs last January, Russell Athletic announced this week that it will close its plant in Alexander City – WSFA

Maxwell, Redstone, Fort Rucker civilian workers to face furloughs

Civilian employees at Montgomery's Maxwell Air Force Base, Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal and Dothan's Fort Rucker are expected to receive furlough notices next week, keeping them off the job for about 11 days; furloughs are expected to affect about 20,000 workers. — WSFA

Sales down, new stores up for Books-A-Million

Stock analyst questions Books-A-Million expansion when same store sales are suffering; CEO Finley defends action. — al.com

Specialty products doing well for Tate & Lyle

Specialty sweeteners are performing ahead of expectations for British firm Tate & Lyle, which recently reopened its sucralose factory in McIntosh, making the artificial sweetener Splenda. — ShareCast

Medical Properties Trust gets analyst nod

Birmingham-based Medical Properties Trust is highlighted by analysts among 14 strong REITs focusing on properties to serve aging Baby Boomers. — The Globe and Mail, Toronto

Tuscaloosa tops for job growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows statewide job growth totaling more than 9,000, or about half a percent, with Tuscaloosa tops among the state's cities. – al.com

Pizitz Building renovation ramps up

Bayer Properties says it will move ahead with plans to renovate the historic Pizitz Building in downtown Birmingham, first to take advantage of a new state tax credit for historic preservation activities. — Birmingham News

Alabama bank profits up, employment off

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reports that net income for the first three months at Alabama banks rose from $449 million to $555 million over last year, but that banks employ nearly 1,000 fewer workers. — al.com

Fogarty chosen to head trade development at port

Frank Fogarty has been chosen as vice president for trade and development at the Alabama State Port Authority, replacing Mark Sheppard, who died earlier this month. — Mobile Press-Register

Alabama earns Gold Shovel award

Alabama was one of four states honored by Area Development magazine with a Gold Shovel award recognized industrial recruitment; the magazine highlighted especially the Airbus decision to build its first U.S. assembly line in Mobile. — Alabama Department of Commerce PR

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