Roadhouse CEO unloads $6.9M in stock; tragedy strikes Calif. Taco Bells when pregnant worker killed in car crash; fiancé is employee, too; Ford extends $400K supercar production

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:55 p.m.

Ford 2017 GT supercar
An overhead photo of the 2017 GT; Ford will produce them for four years.
Kent Taylor

TEXAS ROADHOUSE founder and CEO Kent Taylor sold $6.9 million of company stock at a hair more than $46 a share Tuesday through yesterday, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Taylor still owns 4.2 million shares worth $192 million at TXRH shares‘ closing price this afternoon of $45.47.

TACO BELL: In San Jose, Calif., a one-day-old baby boy was in critical condition at a South Bay hospital early this morning, after his 18-year-old mother died in a car accident Wednesday. Both the victim, Dulce Capetillo, and the infant’s father, her fiancé Pedro Cortes, were Taco Bell employees working the late shift. Capetillo’s brother was driving her to pick up Cortes at the Taco Bell where he worked. “I just can’t imagine the pain he is going through right now,” said Taco Bell area supervisor Jose Gonzalez. South Bay Taco Bells now have donation boxes in honor of Dulce; the company plans to match customer donations. And a GoFundMe page is also in place to help with funeral costs (ABC 7).

In Toledo, Ohio, a sheriff’s deputy has been fired after making what were considered inappropriate Facebook posts about Taco Bell employees he said had made vulgar remarks about him.

Deputy Thomas Hillenbrand, 57, a 19-year employee, was canned Wednesday. His Facebook post July 23 said a black employee and a co-worker inside the restaurant yelled “Black lives matter,” and laughed at him while he was in his car in the drive-thru. The deputy was in uniform at the time.

His Facebook post said: “I guess we’ll see if they’re still laughing after I call their corporate office on Monday and unload on someone.” He also encouraged fellow officers to boycott the restaurant. Replying to a comment on his post saying he should have reached through the drive-thru window, Hillenbrand wrote: “Couldn’t reach them. In the pre-camera days, you know what would have happened” (Toledo Blade).

GE will turn the site of a burned-down warehouse at Appliance Park into a “sustainable meadow,” rather than rebuild it. The building was destroyed in April 2015 during a spectacular fire (WDRB).

BROWN-FORMAN is bottling a Prohibition-era version of its Old Forester bourbon. Called Whiskey Row 1920, it’ll give bourbon aficionados a taste of what bootleg whiskey might have tasted like during the 13 years of prohibition that started in 1920 (Lexington Herald-Leader).

FORD said today it will extend production of the $400,000 carbon fiber 2017 GT supercar by two years, to a total of four, and has sent letters to potential customers updating them on the status of their requests. “While we can’t build enough Ford GTs for everyone who has applied, we are going to produce additional vehicles” to satisfy the automaker’s most loyal customers, said Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We want to keep Ford GT exclusive, but at the same time we know how vital this customer is to our brand.” Last spring, Ford said it had received more than 7,000 applications to buy the car, with just 500 planned for production (press release).

In other news, the Speed Museum has laid off seven employees — 8% of its workforce — and switched two positions to part-time from full-time, as it plans its 2017 budget: $8.3 million, with nearly 30% for operating and maintaining the building. The museum also has set an attendance goal of 150,000 visitors for 2017. With the staff changes, the Speed now has 78 full-time and 39 part-time employees. It reopened last spring after a $60 million renovation (Insider Louisville and Courier-Journal).

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