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Top News Links: Thursday, Oct. 2

ACLU challenges new abortion law

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to stop a new Alabama law that places additional requirements on girls seeking abortions without their parents' approval. The suit, filed in federal court in Montgomery, said the Alabama law creates additional barriers for girls who can't seek parental consent because they are victims of abuse or neglect. – AP/ABC News

Hire of a state senator OK, panel says

The city of Montgomery can hire a state senator for $30,000 to help with youth activities planned for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march, the Alabama Ethics Commission said Wednesday. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

Welcome to the Bank of Walmart

Walmart is the world's largest retailer, a status it earned by putting every product a shopper could conceivably need under one roof. For years, though, one major area of consumer activity had proven elusive: financial services. That's set to change in late October, when Walmart will begin offering basic transactional accounts under the brand name GoBank. – The Week

HudsonAlpha, UAH working on biotech

Officials hope a new partnership between the University of Alabama in Huntsville and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will benefit the growing biotech industry in the Rocket City. – AL.com

Why is the moon so craggy?

Using data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), managed in part by NASA’s Huntsville assets, mission scientists have solved a lunar mystery almost as old as the moon itself. Early theories suggested the craggy outline of a region of the moon's surface known as Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms, was caused by an asteroid impact. However, mission scientists studying GRAIL data believe they have found evidence the craggy outline of this rectangular region is actually the result of the formation of ancient rift valleys. – NASA.gov

SRG gobbles up 20 more Fridays

Southeast Restaurant Group, which currently operates TGI Fridays restaurants in Alabama and Louisiana, announced today the purchase of an additional 20 Fridays restaurants. BusinessWire

Tyler to provide services to Huntsville

Tyler Technologies Inc. has signed a contract with Huntsville will offer its Munis enterprise resource planning solutions in order effectively to integrate human resource and financial system of the city. The agreement includes various training sessions, professional services and other support from TYL. – Indices Media

USNS Trenton moving along at Austal

Austal USA launched Tuesday another joint high speed vessel at its shipyard on the Mobile River. The future USNS Trenton is the fifth out of ten ships the defence contractor is building for the U.S. Navy. – AL.com

Health, education grants provided in Selma

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with Public Interest Projects has announced a package of new grants to promote opportunity and health for young men of color in rural communities in the South and Southwest.  The Black Belt Community Foundation, of Selma, is one of four organizations selected. – Greene County Democrat

AmeriPride acquires Valley Industrial

AmeriPride Services Inc., a leading supplier of linen and uniform rental services in North America, has acquired Valley Industrial in Decatur. AmeriPride began servicing the new customers out of its Tuscumbia branch in mid-September under the leadership of Benjy Crenshaw, general manager. – Textile World

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