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Top News Links: Tuesday, Sept. 1

Drummond lawsuit says EPA violated FOI Act

Drummond Co. Inc. says in a federal lawsuit filed Friday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has violated the Freedom of Information Act by not providing documents related to the agency's investigation of the North Birmingham superfund site where toxic chemicals have been found in the soil. Drummond's ABC Coke operation operates a manufacturing facility in Tarrant near the superfund site along 35th Avenue North in Birmingham. – AL.com

Judge seals Bentley divorce proceedings

A judge ordered Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's divorce case to be sealed from public view Monday, and the governor told cabinet members that he would not let distractions get in the way of his push for budget and policy changes. Tuscaloosa Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hamner issued the order to seal the file after the couple's attorneys filed a motion jointly requesting that the records be kept private. – ABC

Philanthropist Max Cooper dies at 99

Max Cooper, 99, an influential McDonald's franchise owner and philanthropist, passed away at his home on Sunday. Family and friends remembered his life on Monday. Cooper originally started life as a businessman with his own public relations agency. One of his clients was Ray Kroc, the man credited with creating the modern McDonald's. Through his company, CLP Corporation, Cooper eventually owned and operated up to 45 McDonald's restaurants in Birmingham, Gadsden and Anniston. – WBRC

Planned Parenthood sues over Bentley cut

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit to block Governor Robert Bentley's effort to cut off Medicaid payments to the organization's Alabama clinics. Planned Parenthood Southeast said the move penalizes low-income women who seek contraceptive and preventative health care services at the clinics. The lawsuit was filed in Montgomery federal court. – WMUR

AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III to retire

Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor John G. Veres III has announced to faculty and staff his plans to retire near the end of the current academic year. Veres made the announcement Friday at the annual Faculty and Staff Convocation. “John has been a dedicated leader at Auburn Montgomery and a valued member of the greater Auburn family,” said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. WSFA

Guild Mortgage opens Gadsden office

California-based Guild Mortgage Co. has opened a new branch in Gadsden. Cliff Daugherty, a banking and mortgage industry veteran with over two decades of experience will serve as manager of the Gadsden branch. Guild has correspondent banking relationships with credit unions and community banks in 47 states. – News release

Michigan company buys Smiths Machine

Livonia-based Arch Global Precision LLC has acquired machined component supplier Smiths Machine LLC. Terms of the deal, which closed late last week, were not disclosed. Smiths, located in Cottondale, supplies parts to the aerospace, defense, energy and locomotive industries, Arch said in a news release. Tim Smith, CEO of Smiths Machine, will remain with the company as vice president of sales and operations, as well as all 63 employees from Smith. – CrainsDetroit.com

John Wyatt identified as plane crash victim

John Gary Wyatt, president of Wyatt General Contractor was killed in a plane crash in Shelby County on Aug. 27. Wyatt leaves behind his wife Mary and his two children, according to a release from Samford University. Wyatt was a well-respected leader in the local business community, and led his family’s business to its current success. – BizJournals.com

Four teams split Alabama Launchpad winnings

Two teams from the Birmingham area, one from Mobile and another from Opelika, split $240,000 in startup business funding as winners of the latest round of the Alabama Launchpad competition. The program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama is designed to help entrepreneurs get capital to launch their businesses. – AL.com

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