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Top News Links: Thursday, Nov. 19

Task force recommends Medicaid expansion

The Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force today recommended that Gov. Robert Bentley and the Legislature “move forward at the earliest opportunity to close Alabama’s health coverage gap with an Alabama-driven solution.” That coverage gap exists for Alabamians who are too poor for mandated insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid under the state’s income qualifications. – TimesDaily

Birmingham nonprofit revenue down 18 percent

Birmingham’s economy may be improving in many areas, but the top nonprofits on our most recent List posted declines in revenue in their latest fiscal filings. Average revenue among nonprofits on our list fell by 18 percent from last year, with assets also falling by more than 5 percent. Given Birmingham’s significant role in Alabama’s nonprofit sector, local trends could indicate a slowdown in the state’s overall nonprofit activity. – BizJournals.com

Terrorist attack spurs gun sales in state

A terrorist attack on America's oldest ally has Americans seeking extra security. "I came out and bought a 223 semi-automatic assault rifle... because of things going on in the world today and recent events," Ted Atkinson told ABC 33/40. Across central Alabama, many gun stores say they've seen a spike in sales since the attack on Paris. – ABC33/40

German union opening joint office with UAW

Germany’s largest trade union is opening a joint office with the United Auto Workers in Tennessee to promote labor issues at German automakers and suppliers in the southern United States. Frankfurt-based IG Metall estimates that 100,000 people work for German-owned automotive companies in the U.S. Unlike at their parent companies’ factories in Germany, most of the U.S. workers aren’t represented by unions. – Detroit News

Former union president sentenced for embezzlement

Federal prosecutors say a former union president who represented Veterans Affairs Hospital workers has been sentenced to prison time for embezzlement. Officials said Wednesday that 44-year-old Stephanie Hicks of Birmingham was sentenced to six months in prison, six months of home detention and is ordered to pay more than $92,000 in restitution to a local branch of the American Federation of Government Employees union. – AP/WDEF

Corporations sponsor HRC Alabama biz summit

HRC Alabama held its first major conference with Alabama businesses last week. “The Future of Workplace Inclusion: LGBT Equality” had several major corporate sponsors, including: Alabama Power, Apple, BBVA Compass, Protective Life, Sprint, Balch & Bingham, Books a Million, Merrill Lynch, HealthSouth, Adams and Reese, and Ameriprise Financial—Cummings, Tuohy, and Associates. – HRC.org

Alabama Power MIX initiative drawing crowds

Alabama Power’s MIX initiative to engage young professionals and millennials had another successful outing in Birmingham this month and now may be destined for other parts of the state. The second MIX Night Out at Saturn Birmingham in Avondale drew more than 260 people for the “Battle of the Boards” event to support the junior boards of Birmingham Railroad Park and Freshwater Land Trust. – APC

Alabama Splash Adventures ups its game

Alabama Splash Adventures is adding new rides in 2016, the Bessemer theme park announced on Facebook Wednesday. One is the classic tea cup ride and the other is called Drop Zone. "Drop Zone will raise guests of all ages nearly 30 feet in the air and offer riders a series of rapid climbs and falls. Up to six guests will be able to ride Drop Zone together," the company stated. – AL.com

Frady rejoins Beason & Nalley in Huntsville

S. Hobie Frady has rejoined the Beason & Nalley team in Huntsville. His primary focus will be businesses that contract with the federal government, a niche focus of Beason & Nalley for over 15 years. – News release

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