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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Calling International Paper Co.'s plan to idle its Franklin plant "a deep blow" to Virginia, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is promising help to the nearly 1,100 families affected by the closure.

Kaine said Thursday that he would direct the Virginia Employment Commission to dispatch an economic crisis strike force to Franklin within the coming days.

The world's largest maker of cardboard box materials announced plans Thursday to cut 1,600 positions in four states as it brings capacity in line with sharply diminished demand.

Besides the Franklin plant, the company plans to close plants in Albany, Ore., and Pineville, La. It also is permanently shutting down an idled mill in Valliant, Okla.

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