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Top News Links: Friday, May 5

Federal budget directions millions to north Alabama

Hundreds of millions of dollars are to pour into defense and justice projects in North Alabama as Congress passed various appropriations bills Thursday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will receive $76 million to finish the construction of its Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) and Hazardous Devices School (HDS). The same bill also allows for a ballistic research facility and for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ U.S. Bomb Data Center to move to Redstone, and maintains the restart of advanced arson investigator training courses and additional training. – AL.com

Former bank exec to plead guilty in $5M fraud case

Federal authorities say a former senior vice president at Regions Bank has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in a $5 million bribery and wire fraud scheme. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham this week filed a plea agreement in U.S. District Court in the case against 67-year-old Philip Henry Cooper of Birmingham. Prosecutors say Cooper must repay Regions $5.1 million. – ABC3340

Austal has to wait on $9B U.S. Navy frigate contract

Mobile-based shipbuilder Austal will have to wait years before finding out if it will be awarded a contract to build the U.S. Navy's next generation of frigates, according to a press release Wednesday.  The U.S. Navy decided to delay the award of the contract, being contested by Austal and Lockheed Martin - which builds a different variant of the troubled Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), until 2020. – AL.com

Legislators have a shouting match over budget issue

What was an unremarkable debate over the General Fund budget exploded Thursday over accusations of poor budget prioritizing and state overreach. In the space of about 15 minutes, Sens. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham and Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City began yelling at each other Thursday evening over a proposal from Williams to move funding from the Department of Tourism to the Department of Veterans Affairs. – Montgomery Advertiser/Governing

These ladies can help with vintage gifts for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, you may be tempted to grab some generic item from a big-box retailer for the special women in your life. But if you’re anywhere near Tuscaloosa, Sylvia Parker, Jamie Cicatiello and Lori Watts have a better idea. The three women are the creative and curatorial force behind one of Alabama’s most unusual shopping experiences, the 5th Street Vintage Market. – ANC

Middle Bay Transportation partners with FSI Inc.

ASF Transportation Group today announced that subsidiary operation Middle Bay Transportation has entered into a strategic partnership with FSI Inc., one of the largest privately owned full-service intermodal drayage provider and container yard operator in North Carolina. FSI also operates Charlotte Intermodal Terminal, which is owned by the North Carolina State Port Authority. – Charlotte Chamber

Ford to lay off 380 workers at Kentucky truck plant

The troubles in the U.S. auto industry are impacting the South’s automotive industry. Ford wants to eliminate another several hundred jobs at the Louisville Assembly Plant. The automaker wants to bring its manpower in line with the current demand for its cars and trucks. – WDRB

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