Top News Links: Wednesday, July 3

Professor questions Jefferson County bankruptcy exit plan

University of Alabama finance professor Robert Brooks told the Birmingham Business Journal the plan Jefferson County officials approved to bring their county out of bankruptcy doesn't address all the issues and could lead the county back into further financial difficulty. — Birmingham Business Journal

Automotive firm to expand in Opelika

APR LLC, an automotive engineering firm that works to improve acceleration, braking, cornering and fuel economy for Volkswagen products, announced plans for a $4 million expansion of its plant in Opelika, adding about 50 jobs at the 74-employee firm. — Opelika-Auburn News

Mobile Gas rates headed down

After a move by the Public Service Commission to lower the allowed return on equity for Mobile Gas, customers of the South Alabama utility should see a drop in billings. — Businessweek

Natural gas pipeline proposed

Sabal Trail Transmission is proposing a new gas transmission line that would originate at an above-ground facility in Tallapoosa County and travel 465 miles across Alabama and Georgia to a facility in Osceola, Florida. — Suwannee Democrat

Dixie Energy Trust acquires oil and gas interests in Conecuh and Escambia counties

Dixie Energy Trust has acquired oil and gas interests in a 985-acre area formerly termed the Brooklyn Field in Conecuh and Escambia Counties, as well as sites in Mississippi, from Fletcher Exploration for $5.5 million. — Canada Newswire

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NRC plans public hearing on Browns Ferry safety

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public hearing at Calhoun Community College July 11 to review safety findings following a red inspection alert at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant. — Athens News Courier

Study ranks Alabama 27th for road conditions

An annual study by the Reason Foundation says the nation's roads are getting better and ranked Alabama 27th among states. — Construction Equipment Guide

Compiled by staff

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