Shenandoah Valley—For the Record

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An Annapolis, Md.-based development firm is negotiating a lease agreement to build an upscale retail shopping center on land owned by the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. The museum is in the process of negotiating a ground lease with Petrie Ross Ventures for about 40 acres of property on U.S. 250, said John Avoli, the museum’s executive director. (The News Leader)

A 189-acre parcel near the middle of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Frederick County will no longer be subject to possible development. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has purchased the land from the estate of Goldie Cooley Hudson, a descendant of the family that owned and lived at Belle Grove Plantation during the Civil War. (The Winchester Star)

SI International laid off 21 employees from its Harrisonburg office in early July, the company said. The information technology and network services provider now employs about 120 people at its patent-processing office, said Alan Hill, director of corporate communications for the company. He attributed the layoffs to an unexpected drop in patent applications. (Daily News Record)

Winchester’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Development has been recognized by the Virginia Housing Development Authority for its commitment to excellence. VHDA recently presented the city with a 2007 “High Performer” rating, a plaque, and a $3,400 check. The monetary awards are for local agency expenses for the federal Housing Choice Voucher program, which is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (The Winchester Star)

Winchester was fined $17,520 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for the discharge of sludge from its water treatment plant in Warren County into a tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. (The Winchester Star)

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