Marshall County’s new economic development director is cautiously optimistic a deal can be finalized to keep a local factory in business. Jay Bahr tells “The South Bend Tribune” the receiver in charge of Whitley Products is trying to find another buyer for the financially strapped business. A deal fell apart Friday because the two sides were too far apart on price, forcing the embattled Plymouth plant to close its doors. About 40 people are without jobs as a result. Whitley Products makes fabricated tubular products for agriculture and off-road heavy equipment. The company’s fate has been uncertain for the past several months. It first closed in January, citing financial problems, but reopened a week later. Whitley Products officials then sent a WARN notice to the state advising it “would likely permanently cease all its operations” in Warsaw and Plymouth and all employees would be terminated between April 22 and May 6.