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Top News Links: Thursday, October 6

PMT announces launch of Southern Automotive Alliance

PMT Publishing Co., Inc., publisher of Business Alabama, announces the publication of a new magazine, Southern Automotive Alliance. The magazine is designed to help maintain the evolution of the Southeastern automotive industry into a regional community and to serve as a communication tool within that community. – News release

Alabama Launchpad expanding to Shoals

Alabama Launchpad, a business plan competition that has helped turn dreams into reality for entrepreneurs and innovators across Alabama, is expanding. The Shoals area will be the first regional site for Launchpad, which was started by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama a decade ago. – Alabama News Center

Fed may face shakeup no matter who wins in November

The Federal Reserve may be headed for a shakeup regardless of who wins the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton has called for greater diversity at the U.S. central bank, while defending the practice of recent U.S. presidents from both parties of not commenting on monetary policy. Donald Trump has been vague on how the Fed should change but has spurned its monetary policy independence. – Bloomberg

Birmingham spending $61.3M to upgrade energy efficiency

Birmingham is investing $61.3 million in energy upgrades in 125 city buildings, which will save the city $100 million in energy and operational costs over the next two decades and create local jobs. The city contracted with Trane to coordinate and complete the project over the next two years. – AL.com

Rules changing on prepaid credit cards

Prepaid cards are a growing segment of electronic payment that often function like debit or credit cards, but currently aren't regulated like them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is changing that, requiring prepaid card providers to conduct some of the same credit checks and disclosures required of credit card providers. – APR

Alabama NAACP opens annual convention today

The Alabama NAACP will open its 64th Annual Convention with a press conference today at 10 a.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. “We are very excited about this year’s convention as we have a lot of information to engage, empower and lift up the community,” said Benard Simelton, Alabama President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. – Birmingham Times

Berta Vineyards takes state’s top wine honors

The 2016 Alabama Commercial Wine Competition boasted 50 wines from 13 wineries and two breweries.  This year, Jules J. Berta Vineyards, a Marshall County winery with roots deep in its craft took home the top award – Winery of the Year. Jules Berta’s family’s home in Albertville is surrounded by the beginnings of what makes their livelihood thrive. Everything the winery produces is a product of the family’s land and work. – WHNT

Big Mike’s in Thomasville takes statewide steak honors

Big Mike’s Steakhouse of Thomasville has been named the winner of the 2016 Alabama’s Best Steak contest. The Alabama’s Best Steak contest kicked off July 18 with a nominations round that generated votes for more than 140 Alabama restaurants. The eight most-represented restaurants moved on to compete in the “Elite 8” Facebook photo challenge where fans “reacted” to their favorite restaurant’s ribeye steak picture. – Southeast AgNet

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