(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 1 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— We Energies has reached an agreement with Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club that will allow the utility to use the so-called “once-through” cooling system it built at its coal-fired Oak Creek power plant, company spokesman Barry McNulty said.

As a result, the state Department of Natural Resources issued a final permit for the plant’s water intake system Thursday.

The environmental groups had wanted to We Energies to use cooling towers and the issue had been tied up in litigation for about two years. McNulty said they have agreed to drop their opposition to the utility’s cooling system.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=132504

— When UW-Madison MBA students return for fall classes in late August, they’ll find new digs in the form of the $40.5 million east wing of Grainger Hall.

The 131,416-square-foot, four-story addition features enhanced space for Wisconsin Enterprise MBA programs, the Evening MBA and Executive MBA, all of which serve working professionals.

The new tower also features common areas for visiting recruiters, alumni and students –including the multi-purpose Plenary Room on the first floor — as well as the Capital Café and 29 modern classroom and meeting/breakout rooms.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=132493

— The Department of Justice thought it would be tough to prove that Gov. Jim Doyle’s office influenced the Public Service Commission’s decision to sell the Kewaunee nuclear power plant given the emphatic denial of PSC commissioners.

In a letter from Assistant AG Eric Wilson recommending the investigation be closed, it was noted that all three PSC commissioners emphatically denied any attempt to influence the decision from Doyle’s office.

Read Wilson’s summary of the case:

— Orion Energy Systems, a Manitowoc-area, energy efficient lighting manufacturer, will receive $854,500 in Community Development Zone tax credits. The money will be used to help the company expand and create new jobs in the area.

Orion officials said they’ll expand the company’s manufacturing capacity and build a new headquarters, which will encompass a technology management, demonstration and training center near its current facility in Manitowoc.

The project is expected to create 170 jobs and retain 115 jobs. Total project investment is $13 million.

See release:


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy.

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
· Appleton Completes $125-Million Mill Expansion
· Appleton Raises Prices of Its Carbonless and Thermal Products Sold to International Markets
· Biodiesel Basics #3: Biodiesel is Safer than Petroleum Diesel
· Female Logroller And “Duluth Real Woman” Shana Martin Wins World Title Despite Knee Injury
· Governor Doyle Announces $854,500 for Orion Energy Systems Expansion
· NewPage Closes Kimberly, Wisconsin Facility
· Rural Mutual Insurance and Wisconsin Farm Bureau provide farm management and safety resources
· Tradition Of Indycar Series Racing Returns In 2009 To The Milwaukee Mile, Set For May 30-31
· University Theatre Season Full Of Partnerships, Collaborations
· Wisconsin Energy Posts Second Quarter Earnings
· WMEP assistance generates a $226 million economic impact for Wisconsin manufacturers

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Miller cans test on craft beers; Company pauses after it hoped to retool Miller Lite
MillerCoors LLC is ending testing of its trio of craft styles of top-seller Miller Lite so it can rethink the brand, the company told distributors this week. The so-called Miller Lite Brewing Collection didn’t perform as well as expected in test markets including Baltimore, Minneapolis and Charlotte, N.C., spokesman Julian Green said Thursday. The firm had high hopes for the brand, which tweaks Miller Lite into various styles of craft beers such as wheat, amber and blonde ale.

– MillerCoors shelves plans for Miller Lite spinoffs

– Miller Lite’s sales decline

Orion makes another jobs promise; Manufacturer will get state aid to add 170 employees over next three years
Louie Mitcheltree remembered back to June 2004 when he was the only employee in the building, the former mammoth distribution center of Mirro cookware and bakeware. “There certainly have been a lot of changes,” said Mitcheltree on Thursday, a few minutes after Gov. Jim Doyle was in the Mirro Drive plant now owned by Orion Energy Systems. In return for agreeing to add 170 jobs over the next three years, Doyle said Orion will receive $854,500 in community development zone tax credits.

Power plant may have later debut
The We Energies coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek may open a few months later than projected but no longer faces opposition from environmental groups, the utility announced Thursday. The state’s largest utility said it has been notified by Bechtel Power Corp. that Bechtel now projects the power plant will open by the end of 2009, three months later than the target date of September 2009. We Energies Chairman Gale Klappa also announced that the utility reached a settlement Thursday morning with environmental groups that have challenged permits for the water intake structure in Lake Michigan that would be used to cool the plant.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– One-fifth of Madison-area homes will need to worry about transition from analog

– Charter says its customers have nothing to worry about

– Cost cutting helps Sonic Foundry cut loss

BIOTECH (back to top)
– The biotech bright spot

– Biotech Innoculates Wall Street

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Economy gains traction in spring

– Milwaukee: Area economy slows, reports indicate

– Lambeau sales tax revenues strong; But court ruling may dent stadium district’s finances

– Wisconsin Rapids: Money spent locally helps economy

– Madison: Bill Clingan named director of community development

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Lean manufacturing gains disciples in Wisconsin industry

– Doyle announces $2.88M harbor assistance project for Burger Boat

– Papermaker Appleton raises prices

– Appleton completes $125M mill expansion in Ohio

– Neenah Paper reports earnings Aug. 11

LABOR (back to top)
– For NewPage employees there are options after layoff

– Applicants for professional licenses must give immigration status

– Many truckers are on disability

– $45 million contract won’t reverse layoffs at Reedsburg plant

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Few small businesses apply for SBA flood loans

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Housing bill targets first-time home buyers

– Some pricey condos here are being snapped up

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Ethanol plant expected to boost economy

– Wisconsin sausage is huge in Japan…

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Minnesota official wants more info on Northwest/ Delta merger

– Cheaper fuel welcome, but little relief for local motorists

– Agencies investigate crash that killed two men at EAA

– States bridges lack funding

RETAIL (back to top)
– Brewery looking to create buzz with microbrews

REGULATION (back to top)
– Report: Smoke free ordinance provides good air quality

– Study shows smokes effect on air quality in bars

TOURISM (back to top)
– EAA, Ford extend AirVenture partnership

– Raptors return to AirVenture

– 100 things to do at Wisconsin State Fair

– Tourism secretary awards $28,250 to Hudson Area Chamber and Tourism Bureau

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Plymouth residents may see 30 percent sewer fee hike

– Probe Found No Proof Of Wrongdoing In Plant Sale

– Wisconsin Energy 2Q profits flat

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Oshkosh: Health insurance referendum coming in November

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Corporate consultants talk up triumphs

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Chet Gerlach: Stuck in Wisconsin is a great place to be

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
–YAHOO FINANCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/
–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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