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Top News Links: Monday, Sept. 21

G Mommas Cookies among entrepreneurial spotlights

Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of Donald Trump's reality TV show, "The Apprentice," was in Alabama on Sunday to offer advice and encouragement to a Selma-based entrepreneur. The visit was the first in a 10-city tour Rancic is doing to promote Small Business Big Game, a competition sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks that will award one small business a free Super Bowl commercial. Ten finalists were chosen, and the public will decide the winner in an online vote. Rancic is meeting with each of them, and in Selma, that's Robert Armstrong and his company, G Mommas Cookies. Armstrong’s company will be featured in the October edition of Business Alabama. – AL.com

State’s lawsuit climate ranking dips slightly

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 10th state lawsuit climate survey shows Alabama’s legal climate is 46th out of 50, a decline of three places since the last survey three years ago. The ILR’s survey ranking the lawsuit climate shows Delaware is first and West Virginia is 50th. Alabama’s lawsuit climate had made a modest gain in 2012, ranking 43rd, the highest ranking since the first survey in 2002. The gain likely was the result of the Legislature enacting the first civil justice reforms in over a decade, the Chamber’s ILR said. – Yellowhammer

New tax will hit private-pay nursing home residents

Private-pay nursing home residents could soon be paying more for their care after a new state tax goes into place Oct. 1. According to the Alabama Nursing Home Association, the tax allows Medicaid to be fully funded across the state. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the budget into law, which includes the new tax, last week. – WVTM

ADOT to host small business procurement conference

The Alabama Department of Transportation will host a Small Business Procurement Conference at the Hyatt Regency at Galleria Mall in Hoover on Sept. 21-23. The conference is for any small business in Alabama that is classified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in the highway construction industry and will teach business owners how to get more business from the state. Registration and more information can be found by visiting dot.state.al.us. – News Courier

Mercedes-Benz recruiter talks on opportunity to earn, learn

A specialist from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance spoke to students Friday who attend schools near the Walker County Center of Technology about job opportunities. Steve Colburn recruits for two automotive technical programs offered at two community colleges. “We’re seeking skill level workers to do the work that is being done in our plants,” Colburn said. “We integrated two automotive technical programs  — one at Shelton State and one at West Alabama — in which we train people to work on either our Automotive Systems Program or our Industrial Mechatronics [Industrial Maintenance] Program” – Daily Mountain Eagle

CDF Research adds veteran Stephen Cayson

CDF Research Corporation in Huntsville has added a new leader to its ranks. Stephen Cayson, who has nearly three decades of aerospace and defense industry experience, is CFDRC's new chief technology partnership officer. Cayson will serve as a liaison between the company's research and development (R&D) division and its partners and customers. – AL.com

TBA, Benergy partner for oil and gas strategy

Transworld Business Advisors of Alabama and Benergy Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership to combine Transworld’s strategic M&A transaction expertise with Benergy’s extensive oil and gas operating expertise to energy-related companies facing the current volatility and expected changes currently affecting their industry. – News release

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