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Top News Links: Tuesday, Oct. 14

BL Harbert to build military housing

BL Harbert International LLC has been awarded an $18.4 million contract to build a military housing structure in the eastern African nation of Djibouti. The Birmingham-based contractor said that it won the design/build contract for the housing at Camp Lemonnier, issued by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command. – AL.com

NASA to mine water on the moon

There's a lot of water on the moon, and NASA wants to learn how to mine it. "If you're going to have humans on the moon and you need water for drinking, breathing, rocket fuel, anything you want, it's much, much cheaper to live off the land than it is to bring everything with you," said Lunar Flashlight principal investigator Barbara Cohen, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. – CBS News

HB 56 may have breathed its last

Alabama has quietly settled a lawsuit over what critics called the measure’s “scarlet letter” provision, which would have required the state to publish the names and other private information of immigrants unable to prove their legal status in state court. Alabama agreed last Thursday to drop the provision. The settlement is awaiting near-certain approval by a federal judge. – BuzzFeed News

Jeff County fights to keep sewer bond hikes

Jefferson County wants the U.S. Court of Appeals to allow an appeal immediately from a decision in federal district court last month that riled Wall Street by raising the specter that some collateral given for newly issued sewer bonds could be taken away. – Business Week

Millennials value phones, disdain cars

You’d think that by growing up in a car industry household, you’d automatically want to get your driver’s license the minute you could. But car industry people from across the South say that isn’t so. – Forbes

Opinion: Act now to reform taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to take up a lawsuit that says Alabama's caps on property taxes are racially discriminatory may appear to give state leaders a reprieve on rapid reforms to ensure public schools in impoverished areas are adequately funded. But they better not wait long. – Montgomery Advertiser

Gander Mountain may win incentives

A 15-year sales tax incentive could be offered to the developer of a west Mobile shopping center where a Gander Mountain store is set to open later this year. The Mobile City Council today will vote on an agreement with Westwood Plaza LLC that provides a rebate of sales taxes if the taxes collected at the shopping center exceed 140 percent of the taxes paid and collected during 2013. – AL.com

‘Spin doctors’ aren’t PR professionals

"It's just PR." We've all heard it — the implication that public relations is synonymous with clouding the issues, glossing over the truth, putting lipstick on a pig. Not enough business professionals understand the best practices and ethical standards that drive truly effective public relations — sometimes not even those who claim to practice it. – Montgomery Advertiser

State website declared a winner

The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) has selected Alabama’s official state website, www.alabama.gov, as a Silver Winner for the 2014 W³ Awards in the Government Website category. This award marks the third for alabama.gov since its redesign in May of this year and its second W³.  – BusinessWire

Contractors join to restore armor vehicles

A volunteer project to paint seven historic United States Army armor and cavalry vehicles that brought volunteer contractors from Virginia, Missouri, Florida, Alabama and Minnesota, to Ft. Benning Ga., is now complete. David Boyd, CEO of Vulcan Painters in Bessemer, organized the painting project. – News release

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