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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 20

Housing sales up in August

August Alabama residential real estate sales were up more than 6 percent compared to a year ago and year-to-date sales are up more than 7 percent statewide; sales up in all five of state's largest cities. — Alabama Center for Real Estate

State faces probe over kids' insurance

The federal Department of Health and Human Services says Alabama owes $1.7 million for enrolling children in more than one health program at a time. — al.com

BAE announces Anniston plant closing, layoffs

BAE Systems announced yesterday that it will close its Anniston military vehicle overhaul facility at the end of the year, letting all 145 workers go; decision is latest in a series of military-related cutbacks to hit Anniston. — Anniston Star

Regions blasted for "payday loans"

Consumer advocates in North Carolina have taken issue with a new Regions Bank "Ready Advance" loan, saying it's a type of payday loan; Regions argues that it meets a customer need. — Charlotte Observer

Major grant for Mitchell Cancer Institute research

The National Institutes of Health have awarded a $1.1 million grant to Mitchell Cancer Institute for continuing research on a screening test aimed at early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. — Mobile Press-Register

Groundbreaking scheduled for Toyota expansion

Festivities marking the groundbreaking for expansion at Huntsville's Toyota engine plant are slated for Tuesday, Sept. 25. — Huntsville Times

Mobile, port win praise from state and national officials

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood told Mobile officials that the Port of Mobile was a key factor in attracting Airbus; Jim Byard, head of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, told Mobile officials that the Gulf Coast city is a "point of pride" for the entire state with its new industry announcements. — Mobile Press-Register

Big Communications back to downtown Birmingham

Advertising and communication firm Big Communications is moving its offices back to downtown Birmingham, new location on Second Avenue North. – Birmingham News

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