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Top News Links: Thursday, May 5

Medical errors may be third leading cause of death

A new study by patient safety researchers published in the BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, on Tuesday showed that medical errors in hospitals and other health care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States -- claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer's. – Washington Post

Anniston nurse optimistic about Medicaid funding

Chase Thomas still hopes state lawmakers find a way to reverse impending cuts to Medicaid. But the Anniston nurse practitioner is prepared for them anyway. “It'll impact me financially, but we’ll still keep the doors open, even if I have to borrow against my own house,” said Thomas, who owns Pediatrics Plus in Anniston. “But I honestly can’t imagine Alabama wants any more embarrassment, so I think they’ll do something.” – Anniston Star

Church of the Highlands buys conference center

One of the largest churches in America, the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, announced this week that it has purchased the sprawling Cahaba Grand Conference Center as a permanent home for its 14th campus. Lead Pastor Chris Hodges told the congregation that the church purchased the conference center for a quarter of its value but he did not say how much the church paid for it. – Christian Post

UAH spinoff wins $100,000 in Launchpad alumni competition

A company started by a University of Alabama in Huntsville professor has won $100,000 in Alabama Launchpad's inaugural LEAP Alumni Startup Competition. GeneCapture was co-founded with two others by Dr. Krishnan Chittur, interim chair of the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, and is located in the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. – News release

CSRA subsidiary lands $96M supercomputing contract

The CSRA subsidiary CSC State and Local Solutions has received a five-year, $96 million contract from Alabama’s state supercomputing agency to provide network and internet connections to 550 institutions within the state’s academic community. – ExecutiveBiz.com

Town strikes down strict bathroom law

The city council in Oxford narrowly voted on Wednesday to recall an ordinance that drew criticism from national equality groups for making bathroom use based on gender identity rather than birth sex a crime. The law passed last week appeared to be the first in the country to threaten violators of such bathroom rules with criminal penalties. – Business Insider

New abortion law will move at least one clinic

At least one Alabama abortion clinic will be forced to move under a bill the state Legislature passed Wednesday. The House of Representatives voted 73-19 for the legislation in the final hours of the 2016 session, sending it to the governor. – AP/McClatchy 

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