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Judge Denies Whistleblower Protection, Push to Preserve Dynamite Hill

Renosol Seating in Selma, Ala.

A Selma-based auto supplier is continuing its lawsuit against a former employee they fired, after a Montgomery County judge ruled whistleblower protections don’t apply.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Renosol Seating fired Kim King in March and filed a defamation suit against her. King tried to deliver a letter to the plant's customer, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery, saying she feared a chemical used in the car seat-production process was making workers sick. A Yale University medical study confirmed those concerns with blood tests showing several workers exposed to the hazardous chemical.

The U.S. Department of Labor later filed a separate federal lawsuit against Lear accusing them of whistleblower retaliation.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge William Shashy ruled last week that King's attempts to deliver the letter aren't necessarily protected by federal law.

An effort to protect the area of Birmingham known as Dynamite Hill is underway. The Magic City Agriculture Project is pairing with East Thomas Residents to create the Dynamite Hill – Smithfield Community Land Trust.

Susan Diane Mitchell is a board member of the Magic City Agriculture Project. She says it is important to preserve the area.

“We looked at where I’m living and where Smithfield is, in terms of a big push toward gentrification of Western Birmingham and how intrinsically valuable and important that preserving this historical significance of this area for black people in Birmingham is.”

Dynamite Hill got its name due to the number of bombings targeting black families and civil rights activists in the 1960’s. The effort is being funded through the crowdfunding site

Despite winning 34-0 over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday, Alabama fell one spot in the Associated Press rankings to #13. The Crimson Tide used a balanced offense and a strong defense to shutout the Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Coach Nick Saban’s defensive unit gave up only 92 total yards. He says that what he wants from them.

“I think our front guys did a really good job with rushing with four. We played a lot of split-safety coverages, which really helped us because they couldn’t run the ball either because of the front. The front allowed us to play the way we needed to play against a team like this who had us all spread out. They threw out a lot of plays on the perimeter and that was the key to their success.”

Alabama improves to 3-1 on the season. They travel to #8 Georgia for a Southeastern Conference matchup on Saturday.?

The Alabama Supreme Court is overturning a $5 million verdict awarded to state corrections officers who sued over pay and other job-related issues.

Corrections officers won the verdict in a 2010 class-action civil lawsuit over overtime, personal leave and other issues.

The officers originally sued the state prison commissioner and the Alabama Department of Corrections. That department claimed it was immune from lawsuit.

The plaintiffs then filed suit against the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority, which finances prisons and handles real estate.

A jury eventually sided with the officers and ruled against the authority. But the agency argued that it deals with prison financing and land and has nothing to do with personnel-related issues in prisons.

Alabama’s Supreme Court justices agreed with the state and reversed the verdict.

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