Alabama Officials Seek Way to Keep IP Mill Open

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COURTLAND, Ala. (AP) -- State officials say they are looking for a way to save the International Paper mill in Courtland.

The company has announced plans to close the mill in early 2014 and terminate 1,100 employees. The governor, the state secretary of commerce, and officials from the Courtland area talked by phone Friday about what might be done to try to retain the mill. In the past, the state government has helped some plants modernize rather than close. But officials who participated in Friday's conference call said demand, not technology, is the reason that International Paper plans to close the largest employer in Lawrence County.

Democratic Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville told the TimesDaily ( ) that officials are fighting to keep the plant, but he's not optimistic.