Gas supply still low following Hurricane Ike

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Some gas stations in Virginia are still out of gas following closure of oil refineries along the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Ike,  including a few in Southern Virginia. On average, gas prices in the state jumped 24 cents between Friday and Monday. The state average is now $3.78. But the Roanoke region has seen higher jumps. The average price jumped 59 cents to $4.14. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Connecticut developer Arthur Collins is proposing a 385-condominum project in the Wards Corner area of Norfolk, despite a downtown in the housing markets and many unsold condos already in the area. Collins says the project will attract all income levels because prices will range from $150,000 to $350,000. (The Virginian-Pilot

Allegheny Energy Inc. is seeking alternatives for approval of its Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line in Pennsylvania. The power company is asking the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to consider the power line in two separate pieces in hopes that a critical piece could be approved before a longer portion. Two Pennsylvania judges recommended that the commission not approve the power line. A Virginia State Corporation Commission judge recommended approval of the Virginia portion of the power line, contingent on approval from Pennsylvania and West Virginia for their portions. (The Winchester Star)

For the Record

Norfolk Southern Corp. received a $50,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to further research into battery-powered electric locomotives. The railroad company will also spend $65,000 on the project. The grant, one of 13 announced by the FRA, is geared towards design of a prototype battery for electric locomotives that would reduce fuel costs and emissions. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts in Danville will remain in their current locations. City officials, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. General Services Administration and court officials met to discuss the future of the downtown post office and federal court building at the request of Rep. Virgil Goode. Rumors had circulated that the site would be closed and federal court cases disbursed to other Western District facilities in Lynchburg, Roanoke and Charlottesville. The GSA, which leases the courts and chambers in the building, said it intends to renew the lease with the Postal Service when it expires next year. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport expects to receive about $4.5 million from the Virginia Aviation Board to begin work on a runway extension project. The board tentatively approved the allocation but is expected to make the grant official. The extension will probably cost an additional $35 million to $40 million, and approval of the initial funding is a sign the board will help pay for the project. A gravel road in the path of the extended runway will have to be relocated, and wetlands mitigation and erosion issues have to be addressed. A runway extension has been planned since 2003 to allow aircraft to take off in humid conditions with greater fuel and passenger loads. With a longer runway, more types of aircraft, including larger regional jets, will be able to use the facility. (Daily Progress)

RV Cole Furniture of Richmond will replace its bricks-and-mortar store with an online operation. The store, located in Richmond’s Shockoe Slip, has had a Web presence for five years and now will shift all sales online. RV Cole will retain its suppliers so customers will have the same selection of contemporary furniture. Owner Rudy Valente, 82, built a furniture empire in New York after coming to America in his early 20s. He still retains many of his Manhattan customers after he closed several stores and moved to Richmond to be near his grandchildren. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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