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Top News Links: Thursday, October 4

SouthFirst under scrutiny from Federal Reserve

Sylacauga-based SouthFirst Bancshares has a federal mandate to report its finances to the Federal Reserve quarterly before paying stockholders or incurring debt, as part of a plan to improve its capital. — American Banker

Pine Belt Cellular picked for Black Belt service

Family-owned Pine Belt Cellular won a $10.2 million contract to provide infrastructure for cell phone service in parts of western Alabama, including Choctaw, Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties. — Montgomery Advertiser

Sterne Agee to acquire Florida mortgage company

Birmingham-based Sterne Agee investment firm has announced plans to acquire FBC Mortgage, based in Orlando. — The Gap Partnership

USNS Choctaw County launched at Austal USA

Austal's newest joint high speed vessel, the USNS Choctaw County, was launched in the Mobile River in a complex two-day process, before heading back to Austal for final fittings before sea trials. — DefPro.com 

Montgomery continues as high school sports host

The City of Montgomery and Alabama high school athletic organizations have signed another five-year contract allowing the capital city to host the summer conference as well as baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball and football events. — Montgomery Advertiser

No names on immigration "scarlet letter" list

An online list if illegal immigrants who have had run-ins with Alabama law enforcement so far has no entries, officials say. — al.com

New oil and gas well production continues

First Titan's new well in the Little Cedar Creek Field is producing some 387 barrels of oil and 391 cubic feet of gas daily, the company reports. — Business Wire

Helen Keller papers viewable on line

Archivists and historians have worked together to create a web-accessible view of correspondence among Helen Keller, her teacher Annie Sullivan and Sullivan's teacher. — PR Web

Florida wants more Chattahoochee water

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said his state needs a bigger share of fresh river water from Georgia to save its oyster industry around Apalachicola Bay; water from the Chattahoochee River, which feeds the bay, has been the subject of a lengthy court case among Florida, Alabama and Georgia. — Fort Myers News Press

East Alabama food bank works to restock shelves

The East Alabama food bank, facing its worst shortage in years, plans to host a food drive at Walmart Saturday. — Opelika-Auburn News

Daimler researcher joins UA engineering faculty

Bharat Balasubramanian, a researcher for Daimler AG for many years, has joined the engineering faculty at the University of Alabama to teach mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. — University of Alabama News

UA Communications Hall of Fame induction Oct. 11

Individuals who have contributed to advertising, libraries, radio and newspaper will be inducted into the state's Communications Hall of Fame on Oct. 11. — Tuscaloosa News

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