Here’s a round-up of business briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send items for possible inclusion to

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Patrick County flooring manufacturer expands, adds 11 jobs

Ten Oaks LLC, a manufacturer of high-quality residential hardwood floors, will invest nearly $9.3 million in Patrick County to construct a state-of-the-art hardwood sorting and stacking facility, according to a release from the governor’s office.

The new mill will enable the company to strengthen its supply chain, optimize yield on raw materials, and improve production quality and efficiencies, all while creating a major new market for Virginia’s hardwood sawmills, the release said. The project will create 11 jobs and lead to the purchase of more than $18 million of Virginia-grown forest products over the next three years.

Ten Oaks was founded in 2004 in Stuart. In 2019, the company was acquired by Canadian-based Boa-Franc, a leading manufacturer of residential prefinished hardwood flooring. This new Ten Oaks facility is located less than 5 miles away from its manufacturing center and headquarters. Lumber will be used in the production of residential hardwood flooring at Ten Oaks, as well as commercial truck hardwood flooring for Prolam, a Canadian-based truck and trailer flooring manufacturer located next to the new Ten Oaks facility. Gov. Ralph Northam announced in June that Prolam would locate its first U.S. production operation in Patrick County.  

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Lumos expands fiber network in Albemarle, Augusta, Waynesboro, Bedford and Lynchburg

Lumos has announced an accelerated construction schedule for expansion of its fiber network in Virginia, adding more than 12,000 homes and businesses across five communities by the end of 2022.

The new localities will be Waynesboro, Augusta County (including the Stuarts Draft area), the Crozet community in Albemarle County, Bedford County and parts of Lynchburg.

Construction will begin immediately, with plans for completion by the fall of 2022. Some communities will have access as early as March 2022.

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Griffith speaks at a press conference on the HALT Fentanyl Act. From left to right, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Griffith, and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Griffith introduces fentanyl bill

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, have introduced the Halt Lethal Trafficking (HALT) Fentanyl Act. Currently, fentanyl and fentanyl related substances temporarily fall under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) due to a temporary scheduling order that runs through Feb. 18, 2022. Due to the increase in overdose deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl related substances, this bill will address the permanent scheduling of fentanyl analogues in the schedule I category as well as grant researchers the ability to conduct studies on these substances.

The Halt Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act closely tracks recommendations to Congress submitted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in September. It would permanently place fentanyl related substances into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, simplify registration processes for certain research with Schedule I substances, removing barriers that currently impede such work, and provide for exemption of individual FRS from Schedule I when evidence demonstrates it is appropriate.

“Fentanyl and its analogues are fuels that stoke the fire of the opioid crisis devastating families across the country,” Griffith said in a statement. “This bill introduced by Congressman Latta and I would recognize the danger of fentanyl related substances by permanently scheduling them while also allowing researchers to study their effects. As drug overdoses continue to claim tens of thousands of lives each year in our country, our bill offers a way to make progress amid the tragedy of addiction.”

Senator Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, and Senator Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate.

To view Griffith’s remarks at a press conference on the HALT Fentanyl Act, click here.