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Top News Links: Wednesday, Sept. 30

Brace yourself for state office closings

State agencies will announce Wednesday what state parks, drivers' license offices and National Guard armories will shut down or reduce services because of budget cuts. Gov. Robert Bentley said state agencies will announce plans for dealing with funding reductions in the fiscal year that begins Thursday. – AP/Times Free Press

Walter Energy bankruptcy wins OK to use cash

The bankruptcy court overseeing the Chapter 11 proceedings of Walter Energy yesterday gave the company a lifeline to negotiate a new reorganization plan with a steering committee of senior secured lenders, extending the company’s ability to use its cash collateral through Oct. 21, according to a court order. – Forbes

Lying to customers at basis of VW crisis

I had thought the banking crisis was the pinnacle of organizational stupidity but then last week we hear Volkswagen lost 30% of their value. Why? Because they lied to their customers. According to CNN Money, regulators found that VW (that also owns the brands Audi and Porsche) programmed some of their models to turn on the emission control feature only during tests. – Colin Shaw/LinkedIn  

Do crowd funding, commercial real estate bonds mix?

Morgan Stanley Analyst Richard Hill has been digging around in the monthly remittance reports that accompany bonds backed by commercial real estate loans, known as Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Three loans worth a collective $71 million, made to real estate investment firm Colony Hills Capital and underpin two CMBS deals, have found their way to special servicing. The loans are secured by five multifamily properties in Mobile, according to the bank. – Bloomberg

Poarch Creeks still fighting legal battles

Earlier this month, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out Alabama’s most recent attempt to stop the Poarch Band of Creek Indians from operating electronic bingo casinos in the state. But on the same day, the 11th Circuit ordered a case involving the Poarch Creeks and Escambia County — this one over an attempt by the county to impose taxes on the tribes’ casino in Atmore — into mediation. – Montgomery Advertiser

NACC representatives visit Google Lenoir

Personnel from Northeast Alabama Community College were among the group from Jackson County, Alabama and the Tennessee Valley Authority who visited the Google Lenoir Data Center and Caldwell County in North Carolina to gather information and insight in order to plan for the announced Google Center in Jackson County. Dr. David Campbell, NACC President, and Patricia Combs, NACC Director of Educational Technology, were the college’s representatives in the group. – News release

Two new Walmarts open in north Alabama

Two new Walmart Neighborhood Markets opened in Alabama today at 7:30 a.m. Tuscaloosa's first Walmart Neighborhood Market will open at 4201 Hargrove Road E. Alabaster's will open at 9085 Highway 119. About 95 people will work at each. Both stores are open 24 hours all week. – AL.com

Dillard named new Digium CFO

Longtime Huntsville business leader Allen Dillard is joining Digium as the company's chief financial officer. Dillard, according to his LinkedIn profile, served as the CEO of Mobular Technologies for 12 years before taking this position. Mobular Technologies is located in Cummings Research Park and focuses on web-based interactive shareholder communications. – WAAY

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