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Top News Links: Monday, May 15

Massive Mercedes expansion on pace for 2018

Fourteen months after its first column was installed, work continues on the massive new body shop at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance. The shop is at the center of the $1.3 billion expansion the company announced in September 2015. Most of the construction work there is finished, but there are still months of work to be done installing equipment and getting the shop ready to operate by sometime next year. – Tuscaloosa News

Brooks throws hat into increasingly crowded ring

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who represents Huntsville and much of North Alabama, will enter the race for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Jeff Sessions. Qualifying for candidates to run in the special election ends Wednesday. It is expected to be a crowded field, with Brooks among the four candidates who will stand out. – WHNT

BASF program introduces young students to chemistry

A group of high school juniors from rural Washington County have become the first students in North America to experience a BASF program that gives them an inside look at the world of industrial chemistry, and its lessons made an impression. BASF's first-ever United States presentation of its Teen Lab program ended Friday afternoon with a little home cooking in a USA lab, as the students saw liquid nitrogen used to make ice cream. – AL.com

This list might yield a deal on a lake home

Think a lake house is only for the ultra rich? Think again. Sure, you might have trouble finding affordable real estate on Lake Tuscaloosa, but Alabama has 37 lakes. LakeHomes.com recently compiled data on all the lakes in the state (and many other southern states) in their Lake Market Report Spring 2017. The Birmingham company uses MLS data, which collect all broker listings from a geographic area to allow coordinated access to every broker and agent. – AL.com

Repercussions continue from global ransomware attack

The ransomware attack unleashed on Friday has affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, according to Europe's law enforcement agency Europol on Sunday. The malware, which locks files and asks for payment to unlock them, hit businesses and institutions across the world, including shipper FedEx, train systems in Germany, a Spanish telecommunications company, universities in Asia, and forced hospitals in Britain to turn away patients. – APR

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