For the record - Central Virginia

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AdvantaStaff Inc., a Chester-based staffing services company, cut 261 jobs in May after losing a customer contract. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Henrico County-based Altria Group and its subsidiary Philip Morris USA will appeal a federal appeals court decision upholding a ruling that found major tobacco companies guilty of racketeering and fraud in the marketing of cigarettes. Labels and branding terms such as “low tar,” “light” or “mild” were ruled fraudulent in the 10-year-old civil case. (The Associated Press)

London-based Biocontrol Ltd. opened a U.S. affiliate, Biocontrol International Inc., at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond to support collaboration and development projects in the U.S. The company’s lead product focuses on destroying pseudomonas infections, which are highly resistant to normal antibiotic treatment. (News release)

DuPont Co., a Wilmington, Del.-based industrial firm, will cut 450 to 500 jobs at its Spruance plant in Chesterfield County starting in late July. The move is part of a companywide work-force reduction of 2,000 jobs in the face of a slowdown in global demand for DuPont products. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Richmond-based Dynamic Brands Inc.acquired the assets of ForeFront Holdings LLC. The move gives the company a number of well-known brands for golf bags and accessories, such as Burton, Datrek and Miller Golf. Dynamic Brands already owns the Bag Boy and AMF Golf lines, among others. (News release)

First Health Services Corp., based in Henrico County, is being sold to Magellan Health Services Inc. for $110 million in cash. First Health, now owned by Bethesda, Md.-based Coventry Health Care Inc., provides pharmacy benefits management and other services for Medicaid programs. (The Associated Press)

Genworth Financial Inc., a Richmond-based provider of insurance and financial services, retired much of its long-term debt with recent payments of $330 million and $331 million. The company will not have any more long-term debt due until 2011. Genworth built up its cash through layoffs, a large-scale expense-cutting program and the sale of its insurance businesses in Mexico. It also plans an IPO for 49 percent of its Canadian mortgage-insurance business. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hunton & Williams, a Richmond-based law firm, laid off 23 lawyers and 64 staff members at its 14 U.S. offices as a result of the economic downturn. The firm has 1,000 attorneys in 19 offices worldwide. Last winter, 70 staff members, none of whom were attorneys, accepted early retirement. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaiser Aluminum, of Foothill Ranch, Calif., cut 56 of 125 jobs at its Chesterfield County plant and closed the Bellwood facility temporarily for July. The plant, which makes drive shaft tubes for autos and seamless tubes, will also cease manufacture of rod and bar products. The move comes after the company laid off 125 workers last December. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

LandAmerica Financial Group Inc., of Richmond, sold six subsidiaries for $28.5 million after receiving approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Two Virginia units, LoanCare Servicing Center Inc. and LC Insurance Agency Inc., were bought by Fidelity National Financial for $16.3 million. Buyers Protection Group Inc. bought four other companies that were based in Alpharetta, Ga. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a West Virginia judge should have disqualified himself in a case involving Richmond-based Massey Energy Co. In a 5-4 vote, the court decided that West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Brent Benjamin should not have been involved in the case because Massey’s CEO Don Blankenship had spent $3 million on the judge’s election campaign. By a 3-2 vote, the West Virginia high court last year reversed a $50 million verdict against Massey. (Reuters)

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., a Springfield, Mass.-based insurance services company, will hire up to 40 sales agents in the Richmond area. The move is part of a nationwide effort to hire 4,000 agents. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

MeadWestvaco Corp.,  a Henrico County-based paper products manufacturer, announced plans to close its beverage packaging plant in Wilmington, N.C., with the loss of 105 jobs. Equipment will be moved to MeadWestvaco’s Lanett, Ala., plant, and production assigned to other company facilities. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The State Fair of Virginia settled a lawsuit against Tennessee-based Universal Fair after claiming Universal was infringing on its trademark and misleading vendors. The State Fair is moving to a new location in Caroline County. Universal plans to hold an event at the State Fair’s former site in Henrico County. In the settlement, Universal will drop the “state” from the name of its event and clearly disclose that the event is not affiliated with the State Fair of Virginia. (The Free Lance-Star)

WellPoint Inc., a provider of health insurance services, cut 100 positions in its information technology help-desk operations after deciding to outsource much of that work. About 50 jobs will be lost in the Richmond area, and most of the remainder in Indianapolis. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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