For the Record - Southwest Virginia, Augus 2012

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Alpha Natural Resources, a Bristol-based coal mine operator, will close four mines and related facilities and reduce production at several other mines in Kentucky. The company will also close several satellite offices, including one in Richmond. The moves come in response to a decline in coal demand and new pollution regulations for power plants. (

Carilion New River Valley Medical Center will partner with Virginia Commonwealth University, Aetna and CVS Caremark on a program to build a new model for a greater role by pharmacists in managing prescription drugs for patients with chronic diseases. The effort is tied to a three-year, $4.2 million federal grant. (The Roanoke Times)

HCA Virginia Health System, parent company of LewisGale Regional Health System, and Coventry Health Care, a Bethesda, Md.-based managed health-care provider, reached an agreement on allowing HCA patients to be covered by Coventry. The agreement was reached two months after a previous contract expired. (The Roanoke Times)

Delta Dental, a Roanoke-based provider of dental insurance, formed the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation to provide grants that will help promote oral health education and greater access to oral health-care services. The foundation was launched with a $2.5 million donation. (The Roanoke Times)

LewisGale Regional Health System signed a deal with MedExpress Urgent Care, a West Virginia-based urgent care provider, which includes a preferred physician referral network. MedExpress is beginning to establish itself in the Roanoke Valley, and LewisGale gained a foothold in the growing market for urgent care services. (The Roanoke Times)

Radford University students took second place in the Eastern Conference of the first season of the National Cyber League competition, designed as a training ground for students to practice their skills in cybersecurity exercises. Radford’s team finished sixth nationally, two spots away from qualifying for the national playoffs. (News release)

Rowe Furniture, a manufacturer of upholstered furniture, laid off an unspecified number of employees at its Elliston plant because of the economic downturn. The company considered reduced workweeks for all employees but decided layoffs provided a better solution. Rowe employs about 650 workers, most of them at the Elliston facility.
(The Roanoke Times)

The Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center plans to hire 13 people as part of a national effort by the Veteran Administration to better serve mental health issues faced by returning veterans of recent wars.
(The Roanoke Times)

TowneBank, a Portsmouth-based bank, will open an office in Roanoke County. Part of its mortgage division, the office will have three loan officers initially but may expand. (The Roanoke Times)

Tread Corp., a manufacturer of bulk handling equipment for the explosives industry, laid off 100 workers at its Botetourt County facility in what was described as a temporary move. The company hopes to recall the workers by October. (The Roanoke Times)

UnitedHealthCare added 47 new jobs to its Roanoke call center, and staffing could increase to as much as 97, depending on demand. The hiring boost is a typical summer move in preparation for the open enrollment process each fall for Medicare when seniors may elect to pick new plans. (The Roanoke Times)

Virginia Tech received $250,000 from the Department of Energy to fund a laboratory for research in the area of radiation measurement and simulation to benefit the university’s growing nuclear engineering program. Tech also launched the Center for Drug Discovery as a research vehicle for development of new treatments for a variety of conditions, including cancer, Alzhiemer’s and diseases of the central nervous system. (News release)

Virginia Western Community College partnered with Bluefield State College in West Virginia to provide guaranteed admission for students in VWCC business programs. Included are reduced tuition rates for transferring students who meet certain GPA requirements. (The Roanoke Times)

First Bank of Virginia opened its first Roanoke Valley branch in Salem. Based in Troy, N.C., the bank has about 100 branches, mostly in North Carolina with a few each in South Carolina and Virginia. (The Roanoke Times)




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