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Top News Links: Wednesday, May 20

House passes austere General Fund budget

The House Tuesday approved an austere General Fund budget that none of its members like and the governor has already said he'll veto. But House Ways and Means Committee chairman Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, said he hopes the final version of the budget looks nothing like what the lower chamber approved on a 66-36 vote. – Montgomery Advertiser

Report: Alabama saw 18,000 new jobs in 2014

Companies planning new facilities or expanding existing operations in Alabama announced more than 18,000 new jobs and nearly $3.4 billion in new investment during 2014, reflecting growing momentum in sectors including automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing. The 2014 New & Expanding Industry Report was released Tuesday by the Alabama Department of Commerce. – Yellowhammer

BBA to host College-2-Career Intensive on June 8

The Birmingham Business Alliance will launch a daylong initiative to connect recent four-year college graduates with local companies and provide them with basic skills and resources to navigate the Birmingham job market. The College-2-Career Intensive will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 8 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 2101 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North. – News release

I-22 interchange work inches toward completion

I-22 interchange construction at I-65 continues with a completion date set for late August 2015. The $168 million project includes a network of ramps and bridges and is the next to last piece required to complete I-22 in Alabama. Smaller entrance and exit ramps are being constructed now. – AL.com

Southern Cancer Center to research melanoma 

Southern Cancer Center’s research program has been chosen to participate in a new study for metastatic melanoma using the common cold sore virus. The trial will begin in May. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with over 73,000 new cases developing each year. For patients with advanced metastatic melanoma, these clinical trials will study how a genetically modified herpes simplex virus (talimogene laherparepvec or T-VEC), can target and kill cancerous cells within the body. – News release

State ranks 9th in growth of women-owned firms

Alabama has an estimated 129,600 women-owned firms, employing 102,300 and contributing roughly $17,681,300 in revenues according to the latest State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased 74% since 1997.  Alabama is ranked 9 (86.4%) in growth of number of firms over the past 18 years and 31 (72.8%) in growth of firm revenue between 1997 and 2015. – News release

‘Growler’ beer sales bill still alive

The push to let Alabama craft breweries sell beer to go has stalled in the Alabama Legislature this session, but a scaled-back bill allowing "growler" only sales still has a chance of becoming law. The measure, Senate Bill 452, would let brew pubs and craft breweries sell up to a gallon's worth of beer per day, per person, in portable jugs that the customer could take home. The jugs, known as growlers, are typically 64 ounces, a half-gallon. – AL.com

AG: Alabamians bilked by phony cancer charities

Attorney General Luther Strange announced Tuesday that Alabama is joining all 49 other states in a lawsuit against several “phony” cancer charities that allegedly scammed donors out of $187 million while using funds to go on cruises and buy jet skis, concert tickets, and memberships to online dating sites. – Yellowhammer

United Bank employees teach kids to save

More than 1,000 students at eight different schools across the region heard from United Bank employees during April and May about the importance of saving as part of the American Bankers Association’s annual Teach Children to Save awareness program. Teach Children to Save was developed by the ABA’s Education Foundation. – Atmore News

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