Parature, a provider of online support software in McLean, appointed Dan Yoo as chief financial officer. Before joining Parature, Yoo co-founded ReliaQuote, an Internet insurance brokerage firm.

Princeton BioMeditech Corp., a diagnostic products company, plans to build a $7 million manufacturing facility at the University of Virginia Research Park. The plant would create 115 jobs in Albemarle County.

Internal Revenue Service suspended plans to close some taxpayer help centers, including the one in Baileys Crossroads in Northern Virginia.

Reznick Group, an accounting, tax and business advisory firm with about 500 employees at its Bethesda headquarters and 900 nationally, said it would expand its presence in the Washington area by opening an office in the Tysons Corner area.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. of Olney, the parent company of Sandy Spring Bank, announced the appointment of Daniel A. Russo as senior vice president and internal controls officer. Sandy Spring said it created the position in response to the annual compliance requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

University of Maryland researchers are studying ways to use the proteins in tobacco for industrial means, a project that could inject new life into the state's disappearing tobacco-growing industry. Tobacco sales have dropped to 1.4 million pounds this year from 9.58 million pounds in 1998 .

Free discount cards that reduce the cost of prescription drugs for local residents are being considered by Arlington, Fairfax, Howard and Prince George's counties as well as the District. The program is offered by the National Association of Counties.