Top Headlines: Mobile City Council votes for Amtrak return, Roofing company fined for teen death

Mobile agrees to fund its part of the great Amtrak return
With a 6-1 vote Tuesday, the Mobile City Council hopped on board with its support of Amtrak service by committing around $3 million starting in the year 2023 so that passenger trains can run between the Port City and New Orleans. But advocates for restoring the rail service along the Gulf Coast stressed that more work is needed – close to $2.2 million must be committed to improve infrastructure, and a train station will have to be built. –

Alabama company fined $15K over death of teen worker
A Birmingham-area roofing company was fined $15,000 over the death of a 15-year-old worker who was killed in a fall, the Alabama Department of Labor said Tuesday. The agency announced the penalty against Apex Roofing and Restoration of Pelham, which the state said was directing a job in which the youth fell 50 feet on to a concrete floor on July 1 in Cullman. The state fined the company for violating rules against minors working in elevated and hazardous areas. The fine was the maximum amount allowed by law, a news release said. – AP

Judge dismisses whistleblower suit that alleges fraud destroyed DRC
Declaring that the federal government has an “unfettered right” to dismiss whistleblower lawsuits filed on its behalf, a judge on Thursday threw out a civil suit alleging fraud responsible for the destruction of a local company. Murray Farmer, who worked for Mobile-based DRC Inc. when the firm won a contract to build sanitation systems in Honduras nearly two decades ago, filed the suit under the False Claims Act. He and two others alleged that the Central American country defrauded U.S. taxpayers with respect to aid provided by the U.S. government following Hurricane Mitch in 1998. – WALA

Gadsden Goodyear plant lays off 105 employees
Gadsden’s Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant laid off 105 employees last week, The Gadsden Times is reporting. That leaves the plant’s workforce down to 411 employees, according to United Steelworkers Local 12 President Mickey Williams. In December, 740 employees took part in voluntary buyouts at the plant. At the time, the company said declining demand for the “products that can be produced by most of the equipment at Goodyear-Gadsden drove the decision to adjust staffing levels at the plant.” –

Macy’s to close 125 stores, cut 2,000 corporate jobs, in hunt for growth
Stuck in a sales slump, Macy’s is shrinking to grow. The department store chain announced Tuesday it plans to shut 125 stores over the next three years and slash about 2,000 corporate jobs, as it closes its Cincinnati headquarters and tech offices in San Francisco. Macy’s said it plans to exit weaker shopping malls, and instead shift its focus toward opening smaller-format stores in strip centers. Macy’s has shuttered more than 100 stores since 2015. Still, looking ahead three years from now, even with these changes, growth at Macy’s looks abysmal. – CNBC

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Ford’s 2019 year-end profits down a frightening 99 percent
The botched introduction of the new Explorer SUV caused what CEO Jim Hackett said would be Ford Motor Co.’s “year of execution” to fall flat, with the Dearborn automaker posting a net income of just $47 million last year — a 99% decline from 2018. Hackett had hailed 2019 to be a turning point “toward a really bright future” as Ford undergoes an $11 billion global restructuring, cutting costs and doing layoffs. But the 117-year-old company’s flubbed launch of its best-selling SUV plagued the latter half of the year and sent SUV sales down 5%. – Detroit News

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