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Top News Links: Wednesday, May 27

Vulcan strengthened by new roadbuilding

Vulcan Materials Co.’s stock is leading the broader market as investors bet rising sales and cost cutting will buoy its profitability. Shares of the Birmingham-based company have outpaced the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by 49 percentage points since Oct. 8, when the stock-price ratio fell to a 14-month low. Vulcan’s stock closed at $90.28 on May 26, while the benchmark index was at 2,104.20. – Bloomberg

Budget unification bill moves forward

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that could pave the way for budget unification in the state, though it faces a steep road to passage. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, was one of several bills passed to potentially address a more than $200 million shortfall in the 2016 General Fund budget. – Montgomery Advertiser

Commission formed to improve budget process

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) has announced the formation of the Commission on Earmarking and Budget Reform. The commission, consisting of 7 members (5 Republicans and 2 Democrats), is tasked with studying Alabama’s budget-making process, how it stacks up to other states, and how it can be improved. The commission will meet multiple times over the next several months, compiling their recommendations to be delivered to the speaker. – Yellowhammer

Airbus, like competitors, wants unions at bay

Airbus workers will start loading aircraft parts into the French company's new Mobile A320 jetliner factory in late June, and top executives would prefer those workers remain non-union. That preference is clear from speaking with Airbus spokeswoman Kristi Tucker, whose comments sound like she’s reading off a script similar to the one used by her Boeing counterparts. – BizJournals.com

Alabama can inspire motorcycle enthusiasts

Two hours west of the Atlanta airport is a five-story, state of the art monument of glass, steel and concrete generally considered to be the finest motorcycle museum in the world. Designed by its founder, George Barber, to draw visitors from all over the globe to his hometown of Birmingham, those who make the trip to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum can immediately see they are witnessing a truly remarkable achievement. This is a place like no other. – GizMag.com

BP getting nod for record beach tourism

Fallout from the oil spill that left Gulf Coast beaches smeared with gooey tar balls and scared away visitors in 2010 is being credited, oddly, with something no one imagined back then: An increase in tourism in the region. Five years after the BP disaster, the petroleum giant that was vilified during heated town hall meetings for killing a way of life is now being praised by some along the coast for spending more than $230 million to help lure visitors back to the Gulf Coast. – ABC3340

Bill would thin retirement system rolls

A bill from Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, that would remove future Alabama Education Association employees from the state’s retirement system was carried over in committee Tuesday. Henry said that he is going to add to the legislation a total of 17 non-governmental entities now in the Teachers’ Retirement System. – Decatur Daily

MaterialsLab a lofty new research effort

A new approach to materials science research called MaterialsLab provides an unprecedented level of collaboration among stakeholders performing research on the International Space Station. "We want to conduct new investigations that fulfill a specific industry need or could lead to a new commercial application," said John Vickers, manager of NASA’s National Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. "If the automobile industry is having a problem with a specific material, we may be able to study that material on the station and get an answer that they couldn’t obtain through ground-based research.” – NASA.gov

Trade Winds-Africa conference shaping up

The registration deadline is approaching quickly for Trade Winds-Africa, a business development conference and trade mission slated for September. The Alabama delegation for the trip will be led by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Export Alabama Alliance. The registration deadline is June 15. – AL.com

Dynetics partners with Lockton on risk assessment

Dynetics, a 40-year provider of leading technology solutions, and the Washington, D.C., operations of Lockton Companies, the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm, have announced an alliance that provides Lockton’s clients direct access to QuickLook, a cost-effective, executive-level cyber risk assessment service. – News release

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