(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 14 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— A new statewide poll from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute finds jobs and the economy are top concerns for Wisconsin residents.

WPRI’s press release says state views of the problem of jobs is the highest number seen in all the group’s published polling going back to Jan. 1988.

Approximately 48 percent of Wisconsin residents view jobs, unemployment and the economy as the most critical issues in the state at this time: 31 percent believe that unemployment is the single biggest problem in the state and an additional 17 percent of Wisconsin residents view economic issues as the largest problem facing the state.

The survey of 600 Wisconsin residents was conducted by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Inc. and DiversifiedResearch from Nov. 9-10.

See more from the poll:


— Retail sales fell by a record 2.8 percent in October, worse than the 2 percent drop experts expected.

The 2.8 percent falloff reported by the Commerce Department is more than the 2.65 percent drop seen in November 2001 after that September’s terrorist attacks.

Read more from AP:


— Despite a projected $5 billion state budget deficit, lower gas tax revenues and rising costs for labor and materials, a Wisconsin DOT official says the agency plans to continue major capital improvement projects.

“We are part of the solution for a stimulus to the economy — not only in the short-term, pumping capital into the economy, but also in the long-term part of the solution dealing with the global economy,” Casey Newman, director of the state DOT budget office, said Thursday during the Transportation Development Association’s “Our Future Rides On It” conference at Madison’s Monona Terrace.

Newman said the reintroduced oil company surcharge included in DOT’s budget request would be designated for transportation projects. But, Newman added, “it’s up to the governor to decide how to spend the funds based on what’s best for the state.”

Read more about DOT news from the conference:


— For most of its 150 years, the family-owned F. Dohmen Co. has operated pretty much under the radar, building its wholesale drug business from its headquarters in Wisconsin. In recent years, it switched to providing outsourced business services to the producers and payers of life science products.

Now, a century and a half after it was started by German pharmacist Frederich Dohmen, the company is seeking a higher profile by creating a foundation and donating $750,000 to three charities that provide health care service to the neediest parts of the world.

In addition, the fifth-generation Badger State firm’s F. Dohmen Foundation is spreading its largesse closer to home by giving $500,000 to the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy for scholarships and $250,000 to the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Cynthia LaConte, the company’s CEO and a fifth-generation member of the Dohmen family, says ina new WisBusiness.com interview that the gifts “remind us of an important legacy, one that was founded on caring and a commitment to making lives better.”

Read more from the new interview:


— Looking for something to do this weekend? WisconsinNative.com’s list of “eight greats from around the state” includes the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Milwaukee and the Winterfest Carnival in Racine.

See the list of events from around the state:




Take advantage of an exclusive discount program for WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com Subscribers.

If you are a WisPolitics or WisBusiness subscriber, you’ll receive a 10 percent discount if you purchase two or more questions in the next monthly Checkpoint survey, a production of Wood Communications Group of Madison. That means the first question costs $900, and subsequent questions are $810 each.

The monthly “Checkpoint” survey of public opinion is a 500-person statewide random digit dial poll. The next survey is set to go into the field on Nov. 18.

Individual questions are due by Friday. Contact Kennan Wood at Wood Communications Group. Call 608-259-0757 or e-mail [email protected]



**Register now for the Tues. Nov. 18 event at Discovery World in Milwaukee featuring past and present state Commerce secretaries.

“State Economic Development in Recessionary Times: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading.”

Sponsored by Quarles & Brady, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University Law School and We Energies.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=138124



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Press Releases
· Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Cookies shipped to Wisconsin markets may contain melamine, food safety officials say
· Manpower Inc.: Manpower’s three CEOs will ring the closing bell on Friday
· Pettit National Ice Center: Executive Director to be featured on Time Warner Sports
· Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance: Biodiesel basics #18: Biodiesel production process

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


Report backs need for transmission line, does not favor one of 4 routes: A draft environmental impact statement on a high-voltage transmission line proposed to be built across Dane County says new lines are clearly needed in the area, where cities such as Fitchburg have grown 14 percent since 2000 and Verona’s population has swelled 45 percent in the past eight years — or electricity blackouts could occur by 2015. But a huge, new transmission line won’t be cheap. Estimates peg the cost at about $200 million to more than $500 million, depending on which route is chosen and if part of it is built underground.

Allen Edmonds lays off 40 employees: Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp. of Port Washington said Thursday that it has eliminated 40 jobs, or approximately 8 percent of its work force, because of a steep decline in consumer spending. The majority of the layoffs are in shoe manufacturing at the Port Washington plant, the firm said. The layoffs will reduce overhead expenses and reduce production to levels in line with retail and wholesale sales, said Paul Grangaard, president and CEO.

Richardson Industries lays off 18 workers: Sheboygan Falls-based Richardson Industries Inc. announced that it has laid off 18 production workers at its yacht interiors plant following an industry-wide drop in yacht sales. The employees were let go last week, according to Gary Kane, president of Richardson Yacht Interiors, who said the boating industry as a whole is being hit hard by the economic downturn and a lack of credit for consumers looking to purchase high-end recreational boats.

Wausau Paper cuts production; lays off 15: A decline in orders has led Wausau Paper to cut back its production and lay off about 15 employees at three plants, a company official said Thursday. The company has reduced its fourth-quarter specialty paper production by about 10 percent, or 6,000 tons, because of the economy’s downturn, said Perry Grueber, director of investor relations. The employees who were laid off worked at plants in Mosinee, Rhinelander and Jay, Maine. Grueber declined to specify how many positions at each plant were cut, and how much the jobs paid.


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)
– Resilient Technologies developing tougher tire for Army

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Scam artists feed off poor economy

– Poll finds economy, jobs top concern for 50% of Wisconsinites

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– AEM honors J.I. Case

– Overseas factories lose edge

– SABMiller earnings jump

LABOR (back to top)
– Postal Service cuts jobs, hours in Wausau

INVESTING (back to top)
– Lee earnings off 73 percent

– CEO: Stark Investments down, but not out

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Port Harbor Investments faces suit over non-purchase of Harry’s

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Brancel: Producers ‘Do’ Need to Re-Sign MILC Agreements

– Laubscher Appointed to National Dairy Board

– John Oncken: Custom farmers fill important role

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Air Wisconsin October traffic down 6.8 percent

– Commuter rail could finally be on track

RETAIL (back to top)
– Officials look for mall plan options

– Kohl’s 3rd-quarter profit falls 17 percent

– Target to replace Wauwatosa store

– Sears store in Menomonee Falls will close

REGULATION (back to top)
– Study: Paying more for alcohol saves lives

TOURISM (back to top)
– Great Wolf may lose Ohio resort

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Brown Co. not immune to shortage of doctors

– County wants to open rehabilitation center

– Marshfield Clinic feels doctor shortage

– The Buzz: Upscale gym reopens in Menasha

– St. Vincent Hospital cited for organ donors

– Petasnick: Hospitals already seeing economic impact

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Virent names new CEO

– Cudahy named top business person

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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