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Top News Links: Wednesday, Oct. 3

Dynetics wins big share of advanced rocket booster contract

Huntsville's Dynetics has been awarded $73 million of a three-firm, $137 million NASA contract to developed a booster rocket capable of supporting exploration beyond the moon. — Huntsville Times

Potential credit hit for Alabama

Moody's rating service is examining a possible drop in Alabama's credit rating after voters approved a plan to take money from a trust fund to balance the budget. — WAFF TV

Gas price hedging hurts Alabama Gas Co. customers

The Associated Press reports that a Public Service Commission member contends that hedging on gas prices by Alabama Gas Co. has added some $245 million to its customers' bills. — Montgomery Advertiser

Dothan boards sit tight on Country Crossing project

Two boards created to deal with former gambling center Country Crossing have chosen to wait for more information about the bankrupt facility before taking any further action. — Dothan Eagle

Mobile's Bienville Square honored as a Great Public Space

American Planning Association names Mobile's downtown park as one of 10 best public spaces in America. — Bienville Square PR

Technip to develop offshore oil field

Technip SA has been awarded a contract to develop the Dalmatian field in the Gulf of Mexico for Murphy Exploration & Production; the group's spool base will be in Mobile. — Equities.com

Snake milker may face endangered special regulations

Ken Darnell of Gordon, who milks rattlesnakes for venom used in various drugs, may face federal restrictions of the eastern diamondback rattler is determined to be endangered. — San Francisco Chronicle

New owners for two Alabama radio stations

Anniston's WFXZ-AM and Talladega's WTDR-FM have been sold by the Jacobs Broadcast Group to the Jeff Beck Broadcasting Group for $745,000. — rbr.com

Volkswagen picks Mexico for new plant

A Volkswagen executive says his company picked Mexico over the U.S. for a new Audi plant because of better tariff agreements for import-export companies. — Detroit News

Analysts spotlight Cook's Apple

Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at high-tech darling Apple under new leadership by Alabamian Tim Cook. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Alabama health benchmarks to come from Blue Cross plan

The essential health benefits required by federal law will be based on the 320 Plan from Blue Cross, which is the state's most used small group plan; differing plans set differing standards across the country. — Birmingham Business Journal; Kaiser Health News

Discrimination suit against Walmart

Three Tennessee women have filed suit against Walmart, claiming discrimination against female employees; they hope to be certified as a class, which would include Walmart's female employees in Alabama. — Business Week

Meet the man at the Marshall helm

Huntsville Times introduces Patrick Scheuermann, new director of Marshall Space Flight Center. — Huntsville Times

First steps toward statewide water plan

Water officials meet to begin organization of a statewide water plan. — The Daily Home

Supreme court race ads on horizon

Advertising is expected to show up soon in the race for chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court. — Anniston Star

Alabama business leaders lose confidence for fourth quarter, as usual

A University of Alabama survey of Alabama business leaders shows less confidence for a bright fourth quarter, as it has 8 of the last 11 years. — Birmingham Business Journal

Worker's comp downgraded, opts out of further grading

A.M. Best lowered its rating on Alabama's Self-Insured Worker's Compensation Fund from excellent to good and the fund opted out of further participation in Best ratings. — Birmingham Business Journal

Shaggy's chef wins shrimp contest

Ashley Cabona, chef at Shaggy's Harbor Bar & Grill in Orange Beach won this year's shrimp fixing context at the National Shrimp Festival. — Mullet Wrapper

Federal agencies plan anti-fraud summits across country

Representatives of several federal consumer protection and securities organizations have slated a series of summits across the country, hoping to equip ordinary investors to avoid fraudulent schemes; closest is tomorrow in Nashville. — Imperial Valley News

Campaign organized to stop illegal drug production

State officials have organized an education campaign to discourage  purchase of small amounts of over-the-counter drugs which are then given to illegal-drug makers to make methamphetamines, a process termed "smurfing." — Southeast Sun

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