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Top News Links: Wednesday, Nov. 11

MLK III to speak at SEUS Japan 38

Martin Luther King III, a human rights activist and eldest son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will speak next week at a joint meeting of organizations that seek to strengthen economic and cultural ties between seven Southeastern states and Japan. – Made In Alabama

University of Alabama to help assess needs of vets

The University of Alabama School of Social Work has partnered with The Community Foundation of South Alabama to assess the needs of military veterans in the southern region of the state. Dr. David Albright, Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health and associate professor of social work at UA, will lead the needs assessment of an estimated 63,000 known veterans. – UA News

Governor’s move may green light more gambling

Is Alabama's governor setting the stage so the state's antigambling laws can be changed in the next legislative session? Last week, Governor Bentley, by executive order, said the state's highest law enforcement officer Attorney General Luther Strange was no longer to lead the war against gambling. Instead, the governor placed the power in the hands of local sheriffs and district attorneys. – ABC 3340

Five projects to get $21M in oil spill money

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved spending more than $21 million on projects to restore areas of Alabama's Gulf Coast. The money will be used to launch five projects focused on natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Officials say the projects include fisheries and ecosystem monitoring, a project to bolster the state's artificial reef program and strategic land acquisition. – AP/CBS-12

Small rally in Birmingham calls for wage hike

About 30 people gathered outside Birmingham City Hall Tuesday to join in a national campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Pastor Gwendolyn Webb - arrested as a teen in Birmingham's Children's Crusade in 1963 - spoke at the rally, comparing the cause of economic justice to her own experience in the Civil Rights Movement. – AL.com

Obamacare has lowered state’s uninsured rate

According to a report from WalletHub, Alabama’s rate of residents without health insurance decreased 2.45 percent from 2010 to 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. The report ranks Alabama 37th nationally for that decrease. The uninsured rate in Alabama is 12.15 percent, which ranks the state 35th in the nation. – WalletHub

Huntsville system denies Verizon claims

Huntsville City Schools is responding to Verizon's claims that the system violated the terms of its agreement, refuting certain statements the Internet service provider said Monday. The school system is referring to its enabling agreement through the WSCA (Western States Contracting Alliance Agreement), which the system entered to help develop the OmniLynx Program. – WAAY

Fenwick invests in Powell & Mahoney

Fenwick Brands, a leading consumer packed goods investor and operator in Birmingham, has made a growth capital investment in Powell & Mahoney, a leading natural cocktail mixer company. As a result of the investment, Fenwick will acquire a minority stake in P&M, which will continue to be led by Powell & Mahoney founder and beverage industry veteran Mark Mahoney. – PR Newswire

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