(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 13 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Wisconsin is expected to lose 9,500 jobs in 2008 with no growth predicted in 2009, the state Department of Revenue said in its quarterly economic outlook.

That amounts to a decrease of 0.3 percent after state jobs grew by 0.5 percent in 2007 and 0.9 percent in 2006.

The report said the state’s economy is expected to slow in 2008 and 2009, following the national economic trend. It attributed the weak growth to sluggish domestic demand due to turmoil in the credit system and housing sector with high gas and food prices contributing to the slowdown as well.

Overall the state’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 1.4 percent in 2008 and 0.9 percent in 2009.

See the report:

— The Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday on two companies that are planning to lay off a total of 72 workers this summer.

Q Services Company in Brookfield will permanently lay off 25 employees by June 30 and Cummins Filtration of Wautoma is permanently laying off 47 employees on August 8.

— A report released by Families USA gives Wisconsin a failing grade for its regulation of the health insurance industry.

The report says insurance companies in Wisconsin face no consumer protection laws regarding coverage of pre-existing medical conditions or spending of health care premiums. Citizen Action of Wisconsin alleged in a conference call with reporters that companies can deny coverage, refuse payment and revoke policies with no repercussions from the state.

*See the report:



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Press Releases
Agriculture Secretary Nilsestuen: Buy local to support farmers affected by the floods
Boston Market Selects RedPrairie’s Site Operations and Performance Management Solutions
Culver’s Begins Offering Sliced Tomatoes; FDA Approves Its Growing Region
DDN Executive to Offer Innovative Logistics Strategies
Engineering and Planning Firm Foth Hosting Conference on Sustainability
Financial Institutions Encourage Consumers to Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance
Focus on Energy Awards Grants for Renewable Energy Projects
Inacom Information Systems Announces New Partnership with Business Objects
Kohl’s Announces License Agreement with American Brand Holdings for Iconic Hang Ten Brand
Merge Healthcare Announces Redemption of Rights Under Shareholder Rights Plan
Microfield to Participate in CapStone Investments 2nd Annual Small-Cap Investor Conference
Miller Brewing Co. Employee Fund to Award $130,000 to Nine Milwaukee-Area Non-Profit Organizations
New North Meeting to Focus on Marketing for Entrepreneurs
PFSweb to Present at the Capstone Investments Second Annual Small-Cap Investor Conference
RF Technologies Sponsors Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course for OB Nurses
State will follow national economic trends through 2009
The Tommy Bartlett Show Will Go On
TomoTherapy to Present at Upcoming Investment Conferences
Travelers Sends Catastrophe Unit to Wisconsin
UQM Technologies CEO William G. Rankin to Present at the Capstone Investments Small-Cap Investor Conference in Milwaukee on June 18, 2008
Wausau Paper Declares Dividend
Wausau Paper to Invest $15 Million to Increase Efficiency of Brokaw, Wisconsin Mill
Wisconsin Energy One of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’
Wound Care Education Institute to Partner with Wisconsin Organizations to Improve Pressure Ulcer Care

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


Wisconsin Department of Revenue predicts economic recovery in 2010: The state’s struggling economy won’t recover until 2010, according to the latest quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook by the state Department of Revenue. Employment in the state is expected to decline by 0.3 percent this year followed by no change in 2009. On the bright side, the state’s exports continue to rise, aided by the weak value of the dollar. Wisconsin exports were up 11.8 percent last year, the sixth year of positive growth. Leading exports include machinery, computers and electronics, transportation equipment, appliances, processed foods and agricultural products. Top export markets are Canada, Mexico, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Wisconsin’s exports have grown steadily, report says: But economy is expected to slow in other sectors… Wisconsin’s economy is expected to slow in line with the national economy, but made-in-Wisconsin exports remain a bright spot in the state, according to the quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook released Thursday by the state Department of Revenue. “The Wisconsin economy is expected to slow in 2008 and 2009 following the national economic trend,” the report says. “After 0.5% employment growth in 2007, the forecast is expecting a small decrease in the number of Wisconsin jobs for 2008 and a steady state scenario in 2009.” State Revenue Secretary Roger Ervin cited “the credit crunch, rising food and oil costs and the housing downturn” to explain the national slump.

CDA vote is boon to WARF’s Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery: Madison’s Community Development Authority voted Thursday night to limit the fee it would charge to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for the use of CDA bonds in building WARF’s Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. The authority decided it would charge one-third of a 1 percent fee on up to $175 million worth of the bonds used to build the Institutes of Discovery, a dual public and private research center funded by three $50 million donations from the state, WARF and private donors John and Tashia Morgridge. The CDA authorized bonds for up to $185 million, making $33,000 the maximum discount WARF received on the project. If the total amount of bonds needed runs over $185 million, the CDA must hold another public meeting, restarting the process of issuing bonds.

School Specialty sees growth: Company executives hope to build on profitable fiscal year… School Specialty executives were upbeat Thursday as the major supplier of supplemental learning products heads into its busy period. “Our view is what we’re seeing so far is consistent with our expectations,” said David Vander Zanden, chief executive officer, in a conference call with analysts. Vander Zanden and two other company leaders fielded questions after the firm reported a record fiscal 2008 revenue of $1.09 billion, a 4.3 percent gain on the previous year. Revenue for the fourth quarter hit $173.6 million compared with $166 million in 2007.

Potawatomi opens new space Vegas-style: Potawatomi Bingo Casino unveiled its $240 million expansion Wednesday evening in a celebrity-studded sneak preview featuring live entertainment, celebrity impersonators and Vegas showgirls. The Potawatomi event began with a dedication ceremony held in a tent outside the expansion, just east of the existing casino. A grand entry of Native American dancers in full regalia was followed by an invocation presented by Potawatomi elder Billy Daniels. About a thousand attendees were expected for the dedication ceremony, which was open to the public, said Potawatomi spokeswoman Anne Leichtle. Once inside, about 3,000 invitees to a VIP sneak preview were greeted with celebrity impersonators of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Marilyn Monroe, along with a slew of Las Vegas showgirls.

WP&L vows to offset coal plant emissions: Environmental groups, regulators unconvinced… Seeking to win support for a new coal-fired power plant at a time when such projects around the country are being scrapped, Wisconsin Power & Light Co. vowed Thursday to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from its proposed power plant in southwestern Wisconsin. The Madison-based company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., said a combination of initiatives — including the shutdown of a small, old coal plant in Sheboygan — would yield emissions savings equivalent to those that would be generated by the $777 million new plant. The utility said it would expand spending on energy efficiency programs by 50%, boost use of wind power and expand the amount of wood chips, cornstalks and switchgrass that would be burned at its new coal plant, proposed to be built on the Mississippi River in Cassville.


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)
– Yahoo hires Google in plan to boost profit

– EPIC picks downtown

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Local biotech Centrose says drug candidates show strong anti-cancer powers

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Sale of Budweiser could get caught up in election year politics

– Inflation up by biggest amount in 6 months

– How will GM loss affect my taxes?

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Hybrid battery project boosted

LABOR (back to top)
– Gannett freezes pension plan

– Federal crisis squeezes road jobs in Wisconsin

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Soaring gas prices inspire scooter rental store

INVESTING (back to top)
– Dow up on strong retail report

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Milwaukee apartments rack up violations

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Midwest rains push corn prices above $7 a bushel

– State crop losses may reach millions

– FSA County Committee Nominations Start June 15

– Steinhauer to Receive WDPA Presidents Award

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Continental to eliminate service to Austin Straubel

– All aboard: Officials get chance to ride rails

– DOT reporting several major highway closures throughout the state

– American, other airlines raise fuel surcharge

RETAIL (back to top)
– Retail sales jump by largest amount in 6 months

– Panchero’s to close Ashwaubenon location

– Leinenkugel to report to CEO of new MillerCoors

– InBev CEO Brito wants ‘friendly agreement’ with Anheuser-Busch

REGULATION (back to top)
– Wisconsin fails to protect residents from health insurance abuses, report finds

– Alderwoman promotes break for developers

– Milwaukee sues Bar Louie owners

TOURISM (back to top)
– Dells’ waterpark resort pioneer expanding

– Organizers say $3.5M raised for German-American center

– Main Street Market seeks to attract locals, tourists

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Wisconsin Power & Light ties green projects to approval of Cassville coal plant

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Wis. fights health care inequities

– New VA patient service chief named

– Hospital grants health scholarships

– Coalition aims to improve kids’ care

– Aurora hospital taking shape in town of Summit

– From bad to worse: Residents may not get flood coverage

– FISC receives grant for senior services

– Bank lends a hand to flood victims

– Commerce State Bank switching to Metavante’s IBS system

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– U.S. Bank selects regional executive

– Green Bay group dives into diversity

– MTM International hires new chief financial officer

– Centergy hires executive director

– Kenosha Burger Kings change hands

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Bill Berry: Memo to workers: You’re on your own, suckers

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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