Restraining order against Lear Corp, First Lady at Tuskegee and Tallapoosa County tax vote

May 11, 2015

First Lady Michelle Obama at Tuskegee University

A federal judge in Alabama recently ruled to leave a temporary restraining order in place against a Hyundai auto supplier after the company was accused of firing an employee during a federal safety investigation.

The ruling is a continuation of an order requested by the U.S. Labor Department after Lear Corp. fired former employee Kimberly King for making public allegations about exposure to hazardous chemicals in the plant.

King and several other employees had developed asthma and other breathing problems after working in the plant.

Lear Corp. filed a lawsuit in March against King after she visited Hyundai to complain about safety concerns.

Court documents say multiple tests by independent inspectors found the chemicals in the air were within legal limits. However, a Yale University blood test showed that multiple employees had been exposed to hazardous levels of a chemical used for making foam in car seats.

The company blames United Auto Workers for creating the controversy as a way to persuade employees to unionize.

UAW declined to comment on the allegations.

First Lady Michelle Obama was the Keynote Speaker at Tuskegee University in Alabama Saturday morning. Her message to the graduates was simple.

The First Lady addressed the near 500 graduates at Tuskegee’s Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Arena. She highlighted the successful African-American graduates of Tuskegee who helped advance civil rights for blacks in this generation.

“And now, graduates, it’s your turn to take up that cause. And let me tell you, you should feel so proud of making it to this day. And I hope you’re excited to get started on this next chapter."

This was the first of three graduation ceremonies the first lady will speak at this year. Mrs. Obama will also deliver remarks at Oberlin College in Ohio and a high school in her hometown of Chicago.

The Tallapoosa County school system is the latest group to ask for a local tax hike to go to education.

District leaders will go before the county commission today to request a one percent increase in the local sales tax. County taxpayers in the community just Northeast of Montgomery would pay an additional one point two million dollars if the measure passes.

Superintendent Joe Windle says the extra money would provide things like air conditioning at one school.

“We need to cool one of the lunchrooms that doesn’t have air conditioning. And those cooks work in August and September in 100-110 degree heat in that kitchen.”

Windle says the tax dollars would also provide internet service to the county’s five schools and its career center. Tuscaloosa voters recently approved the renewal of property taxes for schools. Baldwin County voters said no to a tax hike.