The Spotsylvania County Industrial Development Authority won a half-way victory last week in its battle with The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star over naming names.

Spotsylvania County Circuit Court Judge John A. Jamison ruled that a company that tentatively has been awarded a $7 million low-interest loan by the development authority will not have to be identified while the authority appeals the judge's earlier decision ordering disclosure of the name. a

The Free Lance-Star had sued to have the company identified and wanted the name disclosed while the legal fight continued to the Virginia Supreme Court. But Jamison went along with the authority's counterargument.

An appeal could take months or even longer, but the authority indicated that it will name the company as soon as the firm has acquired a site for its new operation in Spotsylvania -- which could come in a matter of weeks. The authority said earlier publicity could jeopardize the company's chances of buying land at a reasonable price.

"We feel very strongly that we have to protect the identity of the corporations we deal with," said Steven T. Foster, who is secretary-treasurer of the authority as well as administrator of Spotsylvania. s

In its aggressive economic development program, Spotsylvania, which is 50 miles south of Washington, has issued a number of low-interest industrial revenue bonds to companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the county.