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Blackshear new District 80 Representative, Food Desert in Fairfield

District 80 of the Alabama House has a new representative.

Chris Blackshear won the special election after earning more than 1,650 votes in a special election over challengers James McGill and Tommy Pugh.

The Special Election was held earlier this month after the death Lesley Vance in November of last year.

Blackshear claims the seat due to no democratic candidate challenging him for the position.  He will be sworn in on April 13th in Montgomery.

The U.S. Department of Labor is fining an Alabama auto parts supplier for workplace safety violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued seventeen citations to Daeil* USA totaling one hundred and seventy thousand dollars in fines. Daeil is a manufacturer in Valley, Alabama that supplies auto parts to Hyundai and Kia. The company is blamed for its failure to protect employees against machinery starting up during maintenance.
Joseph Roesler** is OSHA’s area director in Mobile. He says one of the violations against Daeil* was classified as willful.

“This was for the employer not providing specific procedures for going into the machinery and working on this stuff. This employer has been cited for these issues in the past, and knowingly, intentionally or with plain indifference continued to allow employees to be exposed to these hazards.”

Roesler says the safety hazards have resulted in injuries including at least one amputation at the facility. Daeil has two weeks to either pay its fine, request a conference to settle the amount, or contest OSHA’s findings.

Residents of Fairfield are worried the closing of their local Walmart will create two problems.

One is a lack of a nearby grocery store, as well as losing one of only two pharmacies in town. The neighborhood is impoverished and residents without a car may not be able to drive to the nearest store in Hueytown.

Fairfield resident Theresa Tremmer says she sees a bleak outlook for her hometown.

“It’s gonna, kinda sorta, go down. You know, no jobs for the people. It’s gonna be kinda sad. It’s just gonna be a big old empty building. Another big old empty building.”

The closing of Alabama Steel last year left many residents worried about the future of Fairfield. The local Walmart was one of over one hundred and fifty stores the retail chain closed across the nation last week. 

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