Montgomery officials to sue state over intermodal project

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Montgomery County officials announced they will sue the state over its decision to spend public money on an intermodal facility in Elliston.

The county will argue that spending $40 million in state money violates the state’s constitution’s ban on using public money for private industry. Part of the $40 million from the state would be used to build a road that would run directly from Interstate 81 to the intermodal facility, which the constitution allows.

State Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer announced earlier this month that Norfolk Southern would be allowed to proceed in building the facility in Elliston, despite objections from town residents and the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. (The Roanoke Times)

A plan to help regulate crab harvesting has been put on hold because of a lack of state funds. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission wanted to start a $300,000 tagging system to help officers identify illegal crab pots, but it will likely be put on hold for at least another year. (Daily Press

Northern Virginia localities should face another tough budget season. Fairfax County officials are expecting a $430 million shortfall. (The Washington Post


Smithfield Foods Inc. reported a $12.6 million loss for the first quarter of its fiscal year, due mostly to higher grain costs. During the same quarter in 2007, the company had a $54.6 million profit. Corn prices had risen 39 percent. (The Virginian-Pilot)

For the Record

Consultants in Cardiology, a cardiology practice based in Roanoke, will become part of Carilion Clinic, the Roanoke Valley’s largest health care provider. Consultants has operated for 35 years, and is the largest cardiology practice in Southwest Virginia with a staff of 100, including 14 physicians. The merger takes effect Jan. 1. Contracts with individual physicians will be worked out beforehand and Carilion will purchase the practice’s assets. Carilion will pursue new ventures through the deal, including development of a congestive heart failure clinic and other specialized programs. The merger agreement is one of the largest Carilion has made with a local practice since its decision two years ago to shift from a traditional hospital business model to a physician-led clinic. (The Roanoke Times)

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