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Top News Links: Tuesday, May 7

Money yes, accountability no, private school leaders say

As the state prepares to offer financial aid for private school education, leaders of private schools say they don't want the state to increase supervision, the Associated Press reports. — al.com 

Alabaster gives $1.9 million tax break to sporting goods firm

The city of Alabaster has approved tax breaks totaling $1.94 million to lure a Dick's Sporting Goods franchise to the city; in return for building the big-box store, the firm can keep a percentage of sales tax for 10 years or till it collects the cap amount. — al.com 

Environmental groups blast use of oil spill funds for beach convention center

Representatives of the National Wildlife Federation and Alabama Coast United have lodged strong protests over use of Gulf oil spill funds to build a convention center at Gulf Shores, saying it will not repair spill damage and could cause additional damage. — Financial Times

Housing prices down in Alabama, Birmingham up

Alabama is one of only four states where home prices (including distressed sales) dipped this month, with an average 3.1 percent drop, according to CoreLogic; metro areas were mixed, with Birmingham-Hoover up 2.1 percent and all other metros down — Decatur down 14.3 percent; Auburn-Opelika and Huntsville down 6.5 percent; Anniston-Oxford down 5.8 percent; Montgomery down 5.6 percent; Tuscaloosa down 5 percent; Dothan, Gadsden and Florence-Muscle Shoals down 3.1 percent, and Mobile down slightly at 0.8 percent. — CoreLogic

Beach accolades

Gulf Shores ranks number 9 on Parents magazine list of best beach towns for families in the U.S. — Parents

Navy memo highlights concerns over littoral combat ship

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting on a confidential Navy memo that questions whether the littoral combat ships, including those built at Austal USA in Mobile, have the armaments and crew to be valuable in meeting the Navy's mission. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Mitchell presents $50 million to University of South Alabama

In celebration of the University of South Alabama's 50th anniversary and in recognition of outgoing president Gordon Moulton, Mobile business leader Abraham Mitchell has made a $50 million gift to the school for scholarships and to support the Mitchell College of Business. — University of South Alabama

Hyundai sets production record

Hyundai's Montgomery plant set a production record in April and is poised to reach another in May, company officials say. — Montgomery Advertiser

Doubletree Hotels opens in Montgomery

A new Doubletree by Hilton has opened in downtown Montgomery, which is expected to prompt additional tourism and convention business, Chamber officials say. — Montgomery Chamber of Commerce

Boatright picks Gross & Janes to manage crosstie plants

Boatright Cos., which owns and operates railroad crosstie plants in several Alabama locations, has picked green tie processing experts Gross & Janes Co. to manage Boatright plants in Montevallo and Clanton. — al.com 

GeoMet to sell Alabama coal bed methane interests

GeoMet Inc. says it has agreed to sell its coal bed methane interests in Alabama to an unnamed "independent oil and gas company with interests in Alabama" for $63.2 million. — Market Wire

Dex Imaging acquires Tonertype

Florida-based Dex Imaging, a specialist in managed print services, has acquired Tonertype LLC, which has operations in Alabama and other states. — Dex Imaging PR

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