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Energen sells gas utility to Laclede in push to become pure exploration and production company

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Laclede Group Inc. is acquiring Alabama Gas Corp., the natural gas utility business of Energen, for about $1.28 billion in cash. The deal will expand Laclede's geographic footprint beyond its home state of Missouri and boost its customer base from 1.13 million customers to about 1.55 million. Alabama Gas Corp. is the largest natural-gas utility in Alabama. Laclede, a natural-gas utility based in St. Louis, will also take on about $320 million of debt as part of the agreement.

Activists arrested after protest at Alabama immigration facility

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Seven immigration activists were arrested in Alabama on Monday after blocking the entrance to a facility where the federal government houses immigrants it plans to deport. The activists chained themselves to the front doors of the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama, to protest immigrant deportations, according to an immigrants rights group, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. Dozens of other protesters gathered at the detention center.

Alabama county emerges from second-largest municipal bankruptcy

By Melinda Dickinson BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Alabama's Jefferson County on Tuesday closed on a $1.78 billion sewer bond deal and brought an end to what had been the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy before Detroit filed for court protection from creditors in July. On the same day that Detroit, a battered industrial center, won an eligibility order from a federal judge allowing its Chapter 9 bankruptcy to proceed, Jefferson County declared an end to its $4.2 billion case filed on November 9, 2011.

ThyssenKrupp to sell U.S. plant for $1.97 billion: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp <TKAG.DE> will sell its U.S. steel plant to a consortium of ArcelorMittal <ISPA.AS> and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal <5401.T> in a deal worth 200 billion yen ($1.97 billion), Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported in its online edition on Tuesday, without citing sources. It added that the two buyers would split the purchase cost evenly and would announce details in early December.

New legislation would make Decatur jobs a condition for ADM incentives deal

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Archer Daniels Midland would be required to create new jobs in Decatur should the agribusiness giant receive state incentives for keeping its headquarters in Illinois, legislation filed Thursday said. ADM said in September that it plans to move its global headquarters out of the central Illinois city, relocating 100 key employees and creating 100 new information technology jobs. Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities have been reported as potential destinations. ADM is the largest employer in Decatur, and several thousand jobs would remain there.

'Physician to the Stars,' Rexford Kennamer, dies in Alabama

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Rexford Kennamer, the so-called "Physician to the Stars" who told actor Gary Cooper he had terminal cancer and whose high profile client list included Rock Hudson and Frank Sinatra, has died in Alabama at 93, his nephew said on Wednesday. Kennamer, who long worked as an internist and cardiologist in Beverly Hills, died of natural causes on September 28 at the Montgomery home of his nephew, Richard Kennamer.

Alabama lawyer who got Martin Luther King out of jail dies at 85

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Civil rights lawyer and Alabama State Representative Demetrius Newton, who fought alongside Martin Luther King., Jr., for equal rights during the struggle against segregation in the 1960s, died Wednesday, an Alabama House spokesman said. He was 85.

No need for German-style works council at U.S. plant: Daimler

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler <DAIGn.DE> sees no need for a German-style works council at its U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, the production chief for the carmaker's Mercedes brand said on Tuesday. "We just don't need it," Andreas Renschler told journalists at the Frankfurt auto show. Renschler added that while he was "no fan" of the idea, management would remain neutral and leave the decision to workers whether to organize themselves.

Alabama Nuclear plant releases carbon dioxide; no damage, injuries

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - A carbon dioxide spray used as a flame retardant was inadvertently released and an alert declared at a nuclear power plant in southern Alabama early on Saturday, plant owner Alabama Power Company said, adding there were no signs of fire or damage and no injuries or health threats. The Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant operates a two-unit electric-generating plant near Dothan, Alabama, about 200 miles south of Birmingham.

Analysis: History offers few happy endings for Detroit to follow

By Michael Connor and Tiziana Barghini MIAMI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Detroit officials hope the bruising bankruptcy battle ahead of them will be rewarded with the birth of a leaner, more efficient and ultimately prosperous Motown. History, however, has few story book endings to offer as a guide when it comes to U.S. municipal bankruptcies.
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