- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
GOP’s Corker urges rejection of UAW at Volkswagen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Detroit’s troubles have been front and center in the heavy campaign by union opponents seeking to dissuade workers at Volkswagen’s lone U.S. assembly plant from voting for representation by the United Auto Workers.

Billboards near the Chattanooga plant have linked the UAW to shuttered auto plants in Detroit, and Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker repeatedly returned to the city’s bleak fate during a press conference Tuesday.

Corker said a UAW win at the German automaker’s lone U.S. plant would be a blow to the pro-business culture the city has built and hurt efforts to lure other companies.

“Let me just ask you this question: How many companies from South Korea, or Japan or Germany make a stop in Detroit look at locating there? Not a one,” he said. “And it’s because of the culture that the UAW has largely contributed to.”

About 1,500 Volkswagen workers are eligible to cast ballots in a three-day election beginning Wednesday. They’ll decide whether the plant becomes the South’s first foreign automaker to unionize. But it wouldn’t be the UAW’s first foray into the state.

Workers at the General Motors plant in the Nashville suburb of Spring Hill, about 100 miles west of Chattanooga, have been represented by the UAW since the facility produced its first vehicle in 1990.

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Package explodes, killing Tenn. lawyer at home

LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) - Investigators said Tuesday that a package sent to a rural Tennessee home exploded, killing a lawyer who lived there and injuring a woman.

Police said 74-year-old Jon Setzer was killed and 72-year-old Marion Setzer was in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Hospital on Tuesday.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officials declined to say what kind of package was sent to the Lebanon home.

“A package was delivered. As far as where or when, I can’t give that information,” TBI spokeswoman Illana Tate said.

Along with the TBI, agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating at the home on a rural cul-de-sac. Crews in white hazardous materials suits were walking around the property, and official vehicles filled the yard of the red brick two-story home with white dormers on Tuesday.

“We will be here night and day trying to come to the quickest resolution to this issue as we can,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said.

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2nd lawsuit in works against Tenn. cemetery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Relatives of three people buried at a Tennessee cemetery that is accused of mishandling bodies said Tuesday they don’t know where their loved ones’ remains are located because they were not allowed to see the caskets being lowered into the ground.

Charles Branch told reporters that workers at Galilee Memorial Gardens just stood around after a funeral and he left before seeing his mother’s casket buried. He said he returned to the cemetery in Bartlett but could not find the grave for his mother, Pearlie.

“When we want to go and spend time with her, we want to know where she’s at,” Branch said during a news conference at The Cochran Law Firm’s office in Memphis.

Two other clients of the law firm, Regina Simmons and Angela Watkins, told similar stories. Simmons said the burial service for her mother, Hattie Mae Simmons, took place under a tent and she did not even see a plot where she was supposed to be buried.

The cemetery’s owner, Jemar Lambert, was arrested Jan. 24 on charges that three bodies were buried in the same grave without permission. He has a court date scheduled for Feb. 24.

In a separate case, Lambert was indicted last year on charges that he sold burial plots to families on adjacent land not owned by the cemetery.

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3 men suspected in mall robbery held in Houston

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say three men suspected of robbing a Memphis mall jewelry store of $537,000 in Rolex watches are in custody in Houston.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Tuesday that the men, whose names have not been released, are awaiting extradition on theft and robbery charges.

Police say six men dressed in black with hooded shirts entered Reed Jewelers at Wolfchase Galleria Mall the night of Jan. 18, while the mall was still open. Police say four of them used sledgehammers to break the glass display cases and take the watches.

The robbers used two exits near the store to escape.

No injuries were reported. Despite early reports, police determined there were no shots fired.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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