For the Record - Southern Virginia

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The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved studies for proposed alternative routes to Interstate 73’s route through Henry County. The county supervisors have proposed an alternative route, slightly west of the route drawn up by the Virginia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. The county’s proposal would bring I-73 closer to the area’s major industrial parks as well as to Martinsville Speedway. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Drake Extrusion, a Henry County producer of yarns and fibers, will invest $1.2 million to expand its production of filament yarns for residential upholstery. The investment will create 25 jobs. (Martinsville Bulletin)

The Industrial Development Authority of Danville is sponsoring a business plan competition with low-interest loans going to the winners. The money will come from the remains of a USDA grant from last year. The most a business could receive would be a $25,000 loan over two years at 4 percent interest. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Lester Group, a Martinsville-based building supply firm, bought Taylor Brothers Lumber Co. in Lynchburg after Taylor’s owner, Roper Brothers Lumber Co. of Petersburg, filed for bankruptcy. The Taylor Brothers operation was reopened and 25 former workers brought back to work. (News & Advance)

Oak Level Finishing & Repair Inc., a Henry County company that prepared raw wood for finishing, closed its operations with the loss of about 30 jobs. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Stanley Furniture, a furniture manufacturer based in Stanleytown, laid off 190 workers at its Stanleytown plant. The stagnant economy was cited for the move. (The Associated Press)

Techma U.S.A., a manufacturer of automobile parts, announced plans to close its Gretna plant with the loss of 89 jobs. The company, a unit of TECHMA Corp. of Japan, noted the move was made because of a decline in American automotive production. (Media General News Service)

U.K. West Inc., a Henry County provider of wood components for kitchen cabinets and store fixtures, closed after the economic downturn led to a decline in business. About 30 employees lost their jobs. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Virginia gave Martinsville a $1 million grant for a project to convert methane gas forming in its landfill into electricity. Red Birch Energy, of Bassett, received $750,000 to install a system that will enable the use of glycerin, a waste product of biodiesel production, in the generation of electricity. (Martinsville Bulletin)

VanDerHyde Dairy, of Chatham, received a $1 million grant from Virginia’s Biomass Energy Grant Program for its anaerobic digester project. The digester would process manure from the dairy’s 1,000 cows for methane to convert to electricity. The process would also use waste heat in hot-water production and in-floor heating. (Danville Register & Bee)

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