(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 11 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Madison-based Famous Footwear is moving its corporate headquarters to St. Louis, home to its parent company, Brown Shoe. The relocation had been rumored for months and will affect 270 workers at the Famous Footwear offices on Mineral Point Road.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said he was “very disappointed” by the Brown Shoe decision.

“The City of Madison worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and others to develop an attractive package of incentives for Brown Shoe.

“I personally traveled to St. Louis to make the case for Madison, and City staff and I were in frequent communication with the company,” he said.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=123326

— Midwest Airlines, which grounded 13 of its Boeing MD-80 airplanes for wire inspections and cancelled 14 flights on Thursday, is going to furlough 35 pilots and downgrade another 22 from the rank of captain to first officer.

The Airline Pilots Association, which represents Midwest’s pilots, said it was told of the plans yesterday. The group said the rank reductions means the former captains will receive pay cuts.

The inspections, which were for safety reasons and mandated by the FAA, left several thousand passengers stranded.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/10/#midwest-grounds-flights-lays-off-pilots

— SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co. has named two executives to key positions in the MillerCoors joint venture, effective upon the closing of the transaction.

Tim Wolf was named chief integration officer-designate and Gavin Hattersley was appointed chief financial officer-designate of the prospective U.S. joint venture announced by SABMiller and Molson Coors last October.

Leo Kiely, current chief executive officer of Molson Coors, will be the CEO of the joint venture, and Tom Long, current CEO of Miller, will serve as president and chief commercial officer.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/10/#millercoors-adds-more-pieces-to-leadership-team

— Kohl’s Corp. is reporting that sales for the five-week period ended April 5 decreased 7.9 percent over the five-week period ended April 7, 2007.

On a comparable store basis, sales decreased 15.5 percent. For the nine weeks ended April 5, 2008, total sales decreased 3.2 percent and comparable store sales decreased 11.1 percent.

The company now expects its first quarter comparable sales to be in the negative high-single digit range and its earnings to be 40 to 42 cents per diluted share.



WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com have four events scheduled for April and May.

— April 14: University Research Park Director Mark Bugher

— April 22: Dale Van Atta, author of the new biography “With Honor; Melvin Laird in War, Peace, and Politics.” (See an excerpt from the book: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=122814)

— May 5: Branding expert Marsha Lindsay

— May 6: Wis. Elections expert Robert Booth Fowler

See details on all the events:





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Press Releases
A. O. Smith Schedules Conference Call Webcast to Review 2008 First Quarter Financial Results
Air Wisconsin Reports March Traffic
Brown Shoe Company, Inc. to Create Interconnected Footwear Company by Joining Madison, St. Louis Employees in St. Louis Headquarters
CellCast Urges FCC to Include Proven Cell Broadcast Technology in National Emergency Alert System for Cell Phones
National Insurance Services Selects The Standard for Nebraska School District Sole 403(b) Provider Plan
RF Technologies Assists Healthcare Providers in Avoiding Preventable Injury Conditions to be Denied Reimbursement by Medicare
State Patrol wins national award for improving large truck safety
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. Possible Acquisition of Enodis plc (‘Enodis’)
United Heartland Group Program Earns Record Dividend
UW-Whitewater students come together to fund a cure for PLGA

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


Famous Footwear to leave Madison: Brown Shoe, the parent company of Famous Footwear, is consolidating its corporate headquarters in suburban St. Louis, a move that will cost Madison some 270 jobs. The company announced Thursday that it would begin immediately closing its offices at 7010 Mineral Point Road and moving those positions to Clayton, Mo. It plans to complete the move by the fall of this year. Employees here will be offered jobs in St. Louis or a buyout package of 1.5 weeks of pay per year of service. The company also will offer relocation or outplacement assistance. “Moving our Madison office, which has the smaller population of the two, will be the least disruptive to our business and our employees, enabling us to continue providing great products and service to our customers,” said Famous Footwear President Joe Wood.

Plexus to move to new $18M office building in downtown Neenah: Plexus Corp. announced today that it will move its corporate headquarters to a new $18 million office building on the site of the former Glatfelter paper mill in downtown Neenah. The four-story, 94,000-square-foot office building will bring 325 employees into Neenah’s central business district. “This is great news for the economic health of Neenah and the continued revitalization of our downtown,” Mayor George Scherck said. “It is important for our community to retain and support successful companies like Plexus, whose roots run deep in Neenah but whose market extends worldwide.”

Grants link regional resources: WIRED fund helps create partnerships… A regional effort to reform the Milwaukee area economy through its work force takes a step forward today at Pier Wisconsin. That’s where the Regional Workforce Alliance of Southeastern Wisconsin will inform an expected 150 stakeholders about a $2.5 million fund to seed collaborations seeking novel ways to build talent in the Milwaukee 7 region. The WIRED Innovation Fund aims at fostering partnerships that will form sustainable, replicable approaches to accelerate development of a globally competitive work force in the region. The money is part of a federal Department of Labor initiative – Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development – that combines efforts in education, work force development and economic development.

Wis. attorney general asks FCC to block satellite radio merger: Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen wants the FCC to block a merger of the nation’s only two satellite radio companies. The U.S. Justice Department decided earlier this month to permit Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s proposed $5 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. The FCC still has to sign off. Van Hollen, a Republican, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Wisconsin’s congressional delegation on Monday complaining the deal would eliminate competition in the satellite radio industry, drive up prices for services and reduce channels available to Wisconsin listeners. “Broadcast radio is no substitute for satellite radio,” Van Hollen wrote in the letter. Sirius wants to buy XM for about $5 billion.

Cancellation headache continues: Midwest halts another 21 flights; American grounds hundreds more… Kevin and Peri Kerber and their 4-year-old daughter, Hannah, were looking forward to their Caribbean cruise. The ship left port Thursday afternoon. But the Kerbers weren’t on it, after their flight was canceled by Midwest Airlines. “We’ll try to catch up with the boat” once the family arrives in Florida, several hours late, Kevin Kerber said. They were among 3,600 Midwest Airlines passengers – along with around 250,000 American Airlines passengers – whose flights were canceled this week because of a Federal Aviation Administration order concerning MD-80 jets. Midwest Airlines canceled 21 Thursday flights and five flights on Wednesday involving its MD-80 aircraft so the jets could be inspected.

‘Earn while you learn’: State apprentice program seeks to train critically needed workers for the future: Cathy Mrotek’s eyes light up as she describes her new baby — an SNM, six-spindle, inch-and-a-quarter automatic screw machine. The $225,000 high-speed lathe can create a variety of lubricating and hydraulic equipment components out of brass, aluminum and steel. “It’s a never-ending learning process,” Mrotek, 45, said Tuesday of her job and the less than year-old machine at LDI Industries on Nagle Avenue in Manitowoc. Mrotek is one of 235 adults whose thirst for knowledge — and usually higher pay — has motivated them to take part in state-approved apprenticeship instruction this spring at Lakeshore Technical College.

Midwest Composite to receive $7.2M in expansion aid: Midwest Composite Technologies Inc. in Hartland will be awarded a $7.2 million industrial revenue bond allocation to help finance an expansion, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said Thursday. The company, which manufactures composite products, including molds, tooling, models and prototypes, will use the funds to help acquire an existing 69,000-square-foot plant. The more than $7.7 million project will create 13 jobs, Doyle said. The project is expected to allow Midwest Composite to streamline its manufacturing flow for increasing business. It will also enable the company to eliminate outsourcing, pursue its private label products with proximity to local medical corporations, and allow for future growth.

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)
– Innovation group sets session Thursday

– NAAB to Hold Annual Convention & Tech Conference in Milwaukee

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Farm Technology Days Heads Back to Marathon County in 2011

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Wintry March sends retail sales down

– Manpower to release earnings April 18

– Printing center gets $250,000 state grant

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Pierce unveils expanded PUC line

– Plexus news sets Neenah abuzz

– GRC Logics gets $1.3 million upgrade

LABOR (back to top)
– United Industries plant closure will cost 109 jobs

– An investment in the work force

– Midwest to lay off pilots

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– New beauty salon chained to green business approach

INVESTING (back to top)
– Dow up despite weak retail numbers

– Two local businesses decide to impose their own smoking ban

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Program aims to be win-win for renters, landlords

– Onalaska returns to riverfront venture

– Home sales drop

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– NASS Weekly Cheddar Cheese Survey Prices Mixed

– Producers Display Their Best at Pioneer Showdown

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– FAA taking heat for airline industry crisis

– Synchronized lights have fewer drivers seeing red

– Local flights so far unaffected by nationwide cancellation crisis

RETAIL (back to top)
– Kohl’s same-store sales plunge; firm cuts 1Q outlook

– Bon-Ton same-store sales down 5.3 percent

– Empty stores echo woes

– Costco’s neighbors multiplying rapidly at Grafton Commons

– Mexican chain opening in West Bend next week

– Marshfield Clinic works with Kwik Trip on new food lines

REGULATION (back to top)
– DNR delays action on mercury rule

– Permanent VHS rules get green light in Wisconsin

TOURISM (back to top)
– Local travel agencies unaffected by mass flight cancelations

– Herons to inhabit area: Thirty-five colorful statues aim to promote arts and tourism

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Fox Cities agencies prep for utility shut-off

– Swamped MMSD allows combined sewer overflows, blending

– Power outages hit 13,000

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– $140 million hospital to be built in Janesville

– St. Mary’s to add hospital in Janesville

– Brideau says two hospitals ‘makes no sense’

– Measles outbreak brewing, officials say

– UW System is looking for donations

– Waukesha group seeks audit of teacher retirement funding

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Marcus Hotels’ Otto joins Ministry Health board

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: Dairy ag sales reps provide labor of love

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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