Early Briefing: Jobless At Va.'s Unemployment Office

* How's this for timing in an economic downturn? The Virginia Employment Commission said it plans to close its Fairfax office and relocate 45 positions in offices around the state to save an estimated $1 million on building and operating costs.

The announcement comes after the commission last month eliminated 243 staff positions, which included laying off 157 workers.

* Alexandria inaugurated a free trolley service that, starting today, will run every 15 minutes, ferrying passengers from the King Street Metro station to the waterfront, where they will be able to hop aboard a water taxi and head across the Potomac River to the new National Harbor resort in Prince George's County.

* Dominion Virginia Power's plan to build a coal-burning power plant in southwest Virginia cleared a major hurdle Monday when it was approved by the State Corporation Commission, despite objections from environmentalists.

Dominion is pushing to build the $1.8 billion plant in Wise County, in Virginia's coal country, as part of a multi-pronged strategy for meeting the state's growing demand for electricity.

* The Maryland Public Service Commission said its investigation into the way electricity was purchased for 1.1 million customers in 2005-06 found no evidence that Baltimore Gas and Electric and its parent company, Constellation Energy, colluded to charge higher prices.

* The governor and legislative leaders have apparently corralled enough votes to send a bill to the full Maryland Senate that would repeal the state's new tax on computer services and offset part of the lost revenue with a surcharge on the income of millionaires.

By Dan Beyers  |  April 1, 2008; 7:16 AM ET
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