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Top News Links: Thursday, May 8

Thompson wins added Airbus work

Thompson Engineering has been selected to provide Quality Assurance material testing services for the final packages related to the Airbus Assembly Line project at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The two new contracts bring the total number of Thompson Engineering contracts for Airbus work to seven. – Thompson news release

Hyundai land settlement reached

After almost 10 years, a lawsuit involving the land where Montgomery's Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant now sits has been settled, with two groups of landowners set to be paid $3.45 million. – Montgomery Advertiser

Toyota chalks up record annual profit

Toyota hit a record annual profit and sales above 10 million vehicles for the first time, but today forecast a slower year ahead as the momentum from a weak yen fades. – AP/ABC News

Farmers open sesame acreage

East Alabama farmer Harris Sistrunk has successfully grown cotton and peanuts in the past, but now he’s looking for crops that require lower inputs, and sesame might just fit the bill. “This will be our second year for growing sesame, and we’re hoping to plant about 180 acres,” he says. – Southeast Farm Press

Sikorsky to build presidential choppers

Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has been awarded the initial $1.24 billion contract to build six new U.S. presidential helicopters, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. – al.com

DOT takes voluntary route on tanker safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday announced steps to improve the safety of shipping crude oil by rail, but unlike its Canadian counterpart, is taking a voluntary approach to the phase-out of older tank cars long known to be vulnerable in derailments. – SunHerald

New river trail may spark business

The addition of Alabama’s section of the Tallapoosa River to the Alabama Scenic River Trail this week means paddlers can better enjoy the underused river, trail organizers say. It could also pave the way for entrepreneurs to open up shop along its banks, helping local economies. – Anniston Star

Same-sex couple suing Alabama

A same-sex couple in Mobile has filed a federal lawsuit seeking state recognition of their six-year marriage. Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand married in 2008 in California, but have lived in Mobile for over a decade. They are also seeking for Searcy to have legal parental rights for their 8-year-old son, Khaya, who was born biologically to McKeand in 2005 but is being raised by both women. – Time

Florida charges Birmingham bookkeeper

A Birmingham woman under contract with the Florida Department of Financial Services stole thousands of dollars from the state when she didn’t remit to the state unclaimed property funds, according to court documents. Rebecca Adams, 55, is charged with aggravated white collar crime and grand theft. – Tallahassee.com

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