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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 19

Poor Alabama

Financial website 24/7 Wall Street ranks Alabama as the fourth poorest state in the nation, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, despite a dropping unemployment rate. — 24/7 Wall Street

Vulcan steps up plans for California quarry

Vulcan Materials, headquartered in Birmingham, announced this week that it will begin mine development at its Azusa Rock Quarry in California's San Gabriel Valley, to supply aggregates for California infrastructure and commercial development. — Market Watch

Colonial Properties sells Birmingham retail center

Colonial Properties Trust, headquartered in Birmingham, has sold its Colonial Promenade Tannehill, a retail center with Target and JC Penney, for $38.5 million. — Daily Finance

IP announces big investment in Georgia mill

Just after announcing plans to close its Courtland paper mill, the largest employer in Lawrence County, International Paper announced plans for a $150 million investment in its Coosa, Ga., liner board mill. — Huntsville Times

Judge set to act on Halliburton guilty plea in BP oil spill case

Halliburton, the cement contractor on the drilling rig for the BP well that exploded in 2010, killing 11 workers and creating the worst Gulf oil spill ever, pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and agreed to a $200,000 fine; Thursday a federal judge is slated to decide whether to accept the plea deal. — WVTM-TV Birmingham

Wednesday launch marks 75th success for United Launch Alliance

United Launch Alliance, which has an 800-employee plant making Atlas and Delta rockets in Decatur, celebrated its 75th successful launch Wednesday when an Atlas V left Cape Canaveral carrying an AEHF-3 satellite into orbit. — NASA Space Flight

Orbital Sciences joins elite group carrying loads into space

Virginia-based Orbital Sciences launched a space craft from Virginia's Eastern Shore yesterday, carrying a load of goods to the International Space Station.  — WVTM-TV Birmingham

Colombia maintains coal export target despite recent strike

Colombian officials say they hope to maintain the country's export target of 94 million tons of coal, despite a recently-ended seven-week strike at Drummond's operations there and an earlier strike at Cerrejon mines. — Reuters

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