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Top News Links: Friday, Nov. 2

Bonner picked to lead UA

Judy Bonner, who guided the University of Alabama while it searched for a president, has been named to the presidency — the first woman to hold the job — in the wake of the sudden resignation of Guy Bailey. — Tuscaloosa News

SSAB celebrates expansion

Swedish steelmaker SSAB Thursday celebrated the opening of its $220 quenching and tempering facility at its plant in Axis, near Mobile. — Mobile Press-Register/al.com

Ozark door plant closing

CraftMasters Manufacturing, which makes doors in Ozark, said yesterday they plan to close the 60-employee plant that was sold to Jeld-Wen earlier this year. — Dothan Eagle

Regional banks speak for themselves in regulatory debate

Birmingham-based Regions Financial and other regional banks are hiring their own lobbyists, seeking to distance themselves from Wall Street banks that face increasing federal regulation; regionals say they handle traditional commercial and retail loans, not the mega-deals that led to financial fiasco. — Businessweek

Bankless

One in 10 Alabamians has no bank account, according to a national survey. — CNN Money

Kessler Grand Bohemian hotel planned for Mountain Brook

Hotelier Richard Kessler said he expects to start work on a Grand Bohemian hotel in Mountain Brook as part of Daniel Corp.'s Lane Parke development. — Orlando Sentinel

Pollution fines, possible closure face ThyssenKrupp's Brazil plant

The Brazilian government has fined ThyssenKrupp's Brazilian steel plant — already up for sale — more than $5 million for pollution, could lose license to operate. — Chicago Tribune

State drops "smart" budgeting

The "smart" budgeting process Alabama adopted to make sure it spent money wisely has been abandoned due to budget constraints — a "disappointing" move, says good-government group PARCA. — Anniston Star

Automakers boost state employment numbers

Alabama's automakers account for a third of all job expansions in the state this year, EDPA leader says. — Anniston Star

Small business hiring up

Alabama is one of the few states where small business leaders say they plan to increase hiring, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. — Washington Post

Small business lending down

The Small Business Administration reports an 11 percent drop in lending to small businesses in Alabama. — Birmingham Business Journal

Consumer confidence up

A national survey shows consumer confidence higher than it's been in four years; Regions economist says good feelings come from better employment outlook and stabilizing housing prices. — Businessweek

Leadership changes at Vulcan Materials

Danny Shepherd has been named executive vice president and COO at Birmingham's Vulcan Materials. — PR Newswire

Alabama ranks high for favorable business climate

Site Selection magazine has ranked Alabama sixth among states for its favorable business climate, based on taxes, transportation, utilities and other factors. — Site Selection

Waterway funds bill in the works

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has announced plans to propose legislation adding a fee on locks to help raise funds to update the nation's waterways. — The Hill

Confucius Institute opens in Montgomery

Auburn University in Montgomery celebrates the opening of its new Confucius Institute today with an array of Chinese cultural exhibits and events. — al.com

Trail talks and treks

Eufaula's Wiregrass Birding Trail launches today; trail planners meet at Jacksonville State.  — Eufaula Tribune/Anniston Star

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