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Top News Links: Friday, Sept. 30

New roof, windows happening at Powell plant renovation

It's been two years since renovations began of the Powell Avenue Steam Plant, Alabama Power's project to convert a century-old power plant into a mixed-use concept in the Parkside district. It was a big undertaking: the Steam Plant was built in 1895 and was used until 2013 to convert coal to energy. The building is in the "envelope" phase, meaning Alabama Power is working on parts of the building's facade, like the roof and window replacements. – AL.com

WSJ ranks Samford top university in Alabama

Samford University is the top-ranked university in Alabama, according to new rankings released this week by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Samford is ranked #218 out of the 1,061 U.S. universities and colleges that appear in the new student outcome and teaching-focused rankings. – Samford.edu

Friday insight: Three lessons for business from Brangelina

The news coverage, memes, talk show commentary, video mockery, and rumors are flying so fast it’s amazing the internet hasn’t broken. Since it’s such a popular topic, let’s ponder for a minute what the business world can learn from this epic Hollywood breakup and the very public aftermath. – CUInsight

Atlanta Fed’s Lockhart expects hike ‘before long’

A top U.S. Federal Reserve official said Thursday he supported the U.S. central bank's decision to leave interest rates unchanged at its policy meeting this month until there was more evidence the economy is approaching the Fed's goal of full employment and 2 percent inflation. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said he expects the Fed would raise interest rates "before long.” – Reuters

Rule will ban arbitration from nursing home contracts

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a rule that will ban nursing homes and long-term care facilities from requiring residents/patients to sign pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition for receiving federal money through Medicare and Medicaid. – News release

Opinion: Cobb County can now pick up Braves tab

Don’t say Atlanta never did the Braves any favors. When Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves wrap up their final game Sunday at Turner Field against the Detroit Tigers, they’ll be throwing away a gift they never deserved. They’re tossing aside a 20-year-old ballpark in Atlanta proper for a $700 million SunTrust Park in Georgia’s suburban Cobb County for one of the most specious reasons imaginable: The city wasn’t paying them enough money or attention to stay. – MarketWatch

Car sales nationwide expected to decline again

U.S. new-vehicle sales are projected to decline for a second consecutive month, even as incentive spending reaches a record high. The forecasts reinforce the notion that industry sales have leveled off after six consecutive years of gains coming out of the recession. But analysts aren’t expecting a downturn. – Automotive News

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