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Top News Links: Monday, Nov. 5

Prison jobs v private jobs

Prisoners say they depend on sewing and manufacturing jobs just like the private workers outside, as debate continues over federal contracts. — al.com

Australian biotech firm buys into Alabama coal

HIV drug developer Avexa has invested $4 million for a 25 percent share of Coal Holdings, including a share in its North Pratt Coal Seam; hope to use profits to fund drug research. — The Australian

Shipway to head Austal USA

John "Dugan" Shipway has been chosen as chairman of the board at Austal USA, which has major shipbuilding operations in Mobile. — Mobile Press-Register/al.com

Alabama port ratings up

Standard & Poor has raised its rating of Alabama State Port finances from BBB+/Stable to BBB+/Positive on increased port activity and improving financial metrics.  — Port Strategy

First Team wins $9 million contract at Rainsville community college

Auburn construction firm First Team has been awarded a $9.5 million contract to build a classroom and lab building at Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville. — First Team Construction PR

Energy savings conserve TVA power

The Tennessee Valley Authority said energy-saving initiatives in its region have conserved enough power this year to power 35,000 homes for a year. — TVA PR

Gambling machines taken in casino raid

State officials confiscated more than 350 gambling machines and cash from Southern Star casino in Lowndes County last week, the state attorney general reports. — Montgomery Advertiser

Casino developer wins another prison delay

Ronnie Gilley, developer of Country Crossing casino who was sentenced to prison for his role in a gambling vote-buying scandal, has won another delay before reporting to prison, due to health issues. — al.com 

Toyota triples profits

Toyota, which has a major engine manufacturing plant in Alabama, announced that its quarterly profits have tripled and raised projections for the fiscal year. — New York Times

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