Top News Links: Tuesday, Feb. 26

Decatur working toward $1 billion retail development

Decatur officials authorized the mayor to continue secret negotiations toward  a $1.3 billion retail development at I-65 and I-565; officials say it could provide 4, 000 jobs. — Huntsville Times

BP “put profits over safety, ” lawyer tells court

In opening arguments in a massive court case in New Orleans, seeking to place blame and assess damages for the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Department of Justice attorney charged that the British oil firm “put profits over safety” and then tried to shift the blame to others. — BBC

Legislature considering bills to time-limit lawsuits against Airbus

Both houses of the Alabama legislature are considering bills that would put a time limit on suits against an aircraft maker, saying they are similar to time limits in Washington State, where Boeing builds commercial aircraft. —

Airbus construction timetable announced

Groundbreaking for aircraft assembly plant set in two months. —

Court ruling could make investor fraud cases harder to prove

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Florida-based property investment firm St Joe Co, saying investors could not rely on information from short sellers to prove investment fraud; case could affect all investment fraud cases in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. — Fox Business

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Fed to continue asset purchases

In an effort to improve the job market, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will continue to purchase assets through the first half of 2013, president says. — Money News

Birmingham car dealer asks for $5 million in tax breaks

Auto dealer Serra Automotive is asking Birmingham officials for $5.27 million in tax breaks, saying it will relocate outside the city limits if its demands aren't met. — Birmingham News

Baldwin plans aviation training center

Baldwin County officials have announced plans for an aviation training center, similar to those operated by the state in other parts of the state, set to open in time to train potential employees for the new Airbus plant coming to Mobile. — 

Legislators try to block Gurley Mountain quarry

Legislators representing Madison County are trying to hurry through a bill that would prevent Vulcan Materials' development of a quarry at Gurley Mountain; nearby residents tried to prevent the quarry, but it was permitted by ADEM Feb. 15 and Vulcan began work the next day. —

GeoMet looks to sell Alabama wells

GeoMet, a Texas firm with interests in more than 1, 000 coal bed methane wells in Alabama, has hired a firm to help it sell off the assets. — Market Wire

Foreclosure ups and downs

Florence-Muscle Shoals has the lowest foreclosure rate in the state at 0.77 percent in December, down from a year ago, according to new data from CoreLogic; all Alabama cities are well below  the national average of 2.96 percent. Cities seeing a year-over-year increase include Mobile at 1.85 percent and Anniston-Oxford at 1.46 percent. Cities with a decrease include Huntsville at 0.84 percent, Auburn-Opelika at 0.96 percent, Tuscaloosa at 1.06 percent, Decatur at 1.08 percent, Gadsden at 1.11 percent, Dothan at 1.16 percent, Montgomery at 1.22 percent and Birmingham at 1.41 percent. — CoreLogic

Foreclosure suit settlement gives homeowners $101 million

Alabama homeowners are sharing in a multi-state, multi-bank settlement over mishandled foreclosures, with Alabama residents receiving about $101 million. — Birmingham Business Journal

Alabama credit scores down, other benchmarks mixed

The average credit score for Alabamians rated by Credit Karma is 625, second lowest in the nation and 23 points lower than the national average; credit card debt is down while mortgages, auto and student loans are up. — Birmingham Business Journal

Compiled by staff

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