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Top News Links: Monday, Nov. 24

Bentley: Budget fix will require ‘more revenue’

Gov. Robert Bentley said he wants to be upfront with voters. The state is facing a budget crisis and fixing it the right way will require changes that some people probably won't like. "It's going to require more revenue. Is everyone going to be happy? No, they're not" Bentley said. – AP/TimesDaily

State jobless rate falls to 6.3 percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average. Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent. – AP/Star-Telegram

Foxx: Lack of highway bill hurts South

Congress’ failure to pass a long-term highway bill is especially damaging to Southern states, where the federal government pays for most road construction and where populations are growing, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said this week. – Montgomery Advertiser

Stifel Financial acquires Merchant Capital

Stifel Financial has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Merchant Capital, LLC, a public finance investment banking firm headquartered in Montgomery, which together with offices in Atlanta and Columbia, South Carolina, serve the Southeast. – StreetInsider.com

Dothan home sales up 27 percent

Homes sales for October in Dothan were up almost 27 percent compared to this time last year, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate. For the entire year, sales are up by 1.3 percent. At this time last year, 876 homes had sold. This year that total is at 887 total units sold. – Dothan Eagle

Immigration an awkward dance for business

Corporate America prefers Republican control on Capitol Hill, invested dearly to achieve it, and yet on immigration reform — a top priority — they line up with Democrats who favor looser visa restrictions and a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally. – Fortune

Hibbett beats Wall Street expectations

Hibbett Sports Inc. on Friday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $16.9 million. The Birmingham-based company said it had profit of 67 cents per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 62 cents per share. – CNBC

Businesses warned of tax scammer

The state's top tax official is warning Alabama taxpayers to watch out for a phone scam using her department's name. State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee says someone claiming to be an employee of the Department of Revenue is calling taxpayers and telling them that they need to pay an amount due immediately. She says her department generally communicates by mail. – AP/Sun Herald

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