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Top News Links: Tuesday, May 19

Aston Martin CEO: Alabama ‘obvious choice’

Aston Martin is set to make a decision on building a second factory, likely to be in the United States, by the end of the year, CEO Andy Palmer said. The U.S state of Alabama is the “obvious choice” for a new plant to build the upcoming DBX crossover, Palmer told Automotive New Europe. A decision has not been made yet, he said. – Auto News

Walter Energy may lay off 370 in Brookwood

Walter Energy could lay off up to 370 employees at its Brookwood mining facility if market conditions don't improve, the company said Monday. The company sent WARN notices to all union heads and all salaried employees at Jim Walter Resources Mine No. 7, the No. 5 preparation plant and the central shop, supply and management office. – AL.com

Shunarrah law firm believes in billboards

The fourth most active firm in the state has a vast presence through advertising on busy area roadways, boasting thousands of billboards. Alexander Shunarrah told AL.com that he trusts "his gut" when it comes to advertising, evolving from phone books to billboards and YouTube videos. A native of Birmingham, the lawyer has covered most of the state with advertisements geared toward various audiences. – AL.com

Birmingham metro home sales up 8 percent in April

According to the Greater Alabama MLS, Birmingham metro area residential sales totaled 1,222 units in April, an improvement of 7.8 percent or 88 units from the same period last year. This represents the best sales results for the month of April since 2008. Year-to-date sales through April are up 11.4 percent from 2014. – AL.com/ACRE

State’s ‘distinctive’ killer comes from a barrel

Heart disease and cancer are the most common killers in the United States but a new map sheds more light on exactly what’s killing Americans in each of the 50 states. Using statistics from 2001 to 2010, the map highlights the “most distinctive” causes of death, rather than what kills the most people. A ‘distinctive’ cause of death is when the rate is higher compared to the national average. – VOA News

Alabama high court: No contract, no bad faith

In many states, pleading and proving the existence of a valid contract is necessary for both a breach of contract cause of action and also for a viable bad faith claim, and the Alabama Supreme Court addressed exactly that issue last year in Alfa Life Ins. Corp. v. Kolza. In that case, a man misstated his driving record, got a “conditional receipt” from Alfa and died in a wreck the next day. – JD Supra

Report: Blue Bell to lay off 40 in Sylacauga

Alabama workers are being affected by Blue Bell's partial shutdown after a listeria outbreak linked to its ice cream. WBRC-TV reports Blue Bell Cream Creameries as saying 40 people are being laid off at its plant in Sylacauga. The plant is temporarily closed, and another 182 workers are being furloughed temporarily. The company said there will be another five layoffs and 70 furloughs at other facilities in Alabama. – AL.com

Sanders Trust acquires $12M cancer center

The Sanders Trust, a leading health care real estate investment firm located in Birmingham, has acquired a new $12M cancer center located near Albany, N.Y. This property is the first New York acquisition for TST, which now has acquired or developed health care properties in 20 states. – News release

Birmingham-Southern receives $1M donation

A husband-and-wife pair of alumni and former board members that fell in love at Birmingham-Southern College are returning that love by donating $1 million to the college. Dr. Peter Bunting and his wife Derry established an endowed fund to support the Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action at BSC in 2007. The fund coordinates the college's service-learning program. – BizJournals.com

JamisonMoneyFarmer attends summit

One of Alabama’s largest accounting, tax and advisory firms, JamisonMoneyFarmer PC, met with six other US-based CPA firms from California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Wisconsin, and five firms from Germany for the U.S.-German Accounting and Tax Summit.  Perry Barnett of Rushton and Company, LLC of Gainesville, Georgia acted as host for the event. – News release

Deadline Friday for ADAI grant applications

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is still accepting grant applications for the remainder of this week for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. The application deadline for these specialty crop block grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is this Friday, May 22, 2015, 5:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (CST). – News release

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