(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 23 May 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Kenro Incorporated, which makes plastic products, has notified state and local officials that it plans to close its Fredonia plant and lay off 88 workers beginning July 21.

Some of the workers are represented by the UNITE HERE Midwest Chicago Joint Board Local No. 2484. The company said the layoffs are expected to be permanent. Fredonia is about halfway between Milwaukee and Sheboygan.

— The Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition announced a statewide radio ad campaign to begin next week with the aim of educating the public on the positive economic, environmental and practical benefits of ethanol use in Wisconsin.

The coalition says the 30-second radio ad, which will begin running statewide on Tuesday, promotes the benefits of the ethanol industry to Wisconsin, including its potential to create jobs, lower gas prices, and reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil.

See more:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=126874

— The Wisconsin Commerce Department is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Main Street economic development program this evening at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

Commerce spokesman Tony Hozeny said the state provides advice for the revitalization effort, which has resulted in $1 billion being invested in downtowns in three dozen Wisconsin communities large and small over the past two decades.

“This isn’t on the outskirts of communities, but right downtown,” said Hozeny. “And it comes from the towns themselves. We provide counseling, but there’s no state money.”

Main street communities include: Algoma, Beloit, Chippewa Falls, Columbus, Darlington, De Pere, Eagle River, Fond du Lac, On Broadway (Green Bay), Lake Mills, Lincoln Village (Milwaukee), Marshfield, Mishicot, Monroe, Osceola, Pewaukee, Platteville, Portage, Prairie du Chien, Rhinelander, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Ripon, Sharon, Sheboygan Falls, Stevens Point, Sturgeon Bay, Tigerton, Two Rivers, Viroqua, Watertown, Wausau, West Allis, West Bend and Whitewater.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=126924

— Gasoline prices around the state have shot up in anticipation of tight oil supplies as demand picks up over the Memorial Day weekend. In Milwaukee, gas cost $4.20 a gallon and many stations. In Madison, the figure was nearly $4, some 60 cents higher than at this time last year. Yet the AAA is reporting that roads will be crowded for the holiday.

Crude-oil futures edged higher in volatile trading Thursday after surging to a record high of $135.09 per barrel earlier. Some analysts are predicting $5 a gallon gas this summer.

The American Petroleum Institute today reported a fall of 4.1 million barrels in crude oil supplies. Analysts had expected a rise in inventories.

See Small Business Times story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/5/22/#gas-prices-skyrocket-ahead-of-holiday-weekend

See Channel3000 story: http://www.channel3000.com/automotive/16372695/detail.html?treets=c3k&tid=2655249198813&tml=c3k_7am&tmi=c3k_7am_1_07000305232008&ts=H

— In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no WisBusiness.com or WisPolitics.com editions on Monday.

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REGISTER NOW: “The Wisconsin Economy in a Time of Uncertainty”

–A WisBusiness.com-WisPolitics.com Forum presented by AARP Wisconsin–

The WisBusiness.com-WisPolitics.com breakfast event at the Madison Club in downtown Madison will feature discussion of the impact of the nation’s economy on Wisconsin. With the looming presidential election and recent economic turmoil, find out how you should be safeguarding your financial security.

For more details go to: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=126211

For ticket information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 and [email protected]

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Press Releases
A Historic Icon, Northernaire Resort and Spa, Reclaims Its Title as the ‘Waldorf of the Wilderness’
Are Reunions Recession-proof?
CPSC Posts Recall to its Web Site
Human resource management chapter earns 24th Superior Merit Award
Lake Lawn Resort Receives Unanimous Plan Commission Approval for Next Phase of Development
RMT Awarded Remediation Subcontract for Langley Air Force Base

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


TOP STORIES
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Papermakers call for stricter tariffs on imports: As overseas paper production increases and more is imported, American-based papermakers are hoping the federal government will step in to help level the playing field. Since 1990, the U.S. paper industry has lost almost 950 mills, yet in the past three years, 224 new mills have been opened, according to the Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council. “We need to have fair trade. … We need to have laws in place,” said Tom Peplinski, a NewPage employee and member of the United Steelworkers Local No. 1306. “If we have those laws in place and we (still) lose to companies in China or Indonesia, so be it.”
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/WDH0101/805230676/1981/WDHnews

Casino bets on the Valley: With 18 months of construction and $240 million invested on expansion, the Potawatomi Bingo Casino is a dream catcher on a grand scale… The nearly completed $240 million expansion of Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 1721 W. Canal St., is, in a word, huge. The two-year construction project is huge, from the vehicular span that connects the James E. Groppi Unity Bridge with the new 1,700-stall parking structure, to the 500,000 square feet of new floor space that will more than triple the casino’s size. The new amenities will be huge, from the two new restaurants, food court and lounge/bar area to the 1,500 new slot machines and 60 additional table games. And the anticipation is huge among casino and construction staff working at a feverish 24-hour-a-day pace to meet the scheduled June 19 grand opening.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754202

Kohl & Feingold vote for Senate farm bill veto override: Although both of Wisconsin’s two U.S. Senators feel it has its flaws, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold voted to override President Bush’s veto of the bipartisan Farm Bill on Thursday. Kohl says he supports the legislation for its provisions to extend and strengthen the safety net for dairy producers, allow interstate commerce of state-inspected meat products, and implement much-needed reforms to the federal food stamp program and other key nutrition initiatives. “The Farm Bill is not perfect, but it includes meaningful measures to strengthen the family farms and small businesses that give life to our rural communities. Congress is on record with overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill, and I’m pleased that the Senate protected the measure from the President’s veto.” Kohl said.
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=636&yr=2008

State’s energy outlook bright: Two new power plants to open in time for peak summer electricity season… The outlook for the summer’s electricity supply has improved again this year, as Wisconsin is on the verge of opening two new power plants approved for construction in recent years. Within days or weeks, power plants could be starting up in Port Washington and Wausau. Those extra plants, coupled with the opening of the $420 million power line between Wausau and Duluth, Minn., give utilities and energy regulators confidence heading into summer, when demand for electricity spikes on hot days. “We’re in good shape, and better than last year,” said Robert Norcross, administrator at the Public Service Commission.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754123

Lighter schedules at Waukesha foundry: Lower demand for truck components has decreased orders, Waukesha firm says… A slowdown in sales for heavy-duty trucks is translating into less work for employee’s at International Truck and Engine Corp.’s Waukesha foundry. The company has temporarily halted production at the foundry this week and next week, said Roy Wiley, a spokesman for the firm’s parent company, Navistar International Corp. The Waukesha foundry at 1401 Perkins Ave., which has between 200 and 250 employees, manufactures diesel engine components for Ford F250 pickup trucks, he said.
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05222008_09.asp

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

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
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– U.S. falls in global broadband rankings
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287510

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Ethanol group responds to criticism with statewide radio campaign
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287767

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Reaction mostly positive to Spectrum pet business sale
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287704

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Pierce names new executive in Florida
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/APC03/805230535/1028

– Going green saves green
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048661&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048661%26snippet%3Df

LABOR (back to top)
– American Axle local approves contract, ends strike
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287823

– Home front sacrifices on companies’ minds
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/APC0101/805230536/1979/APCnews

– Ex-workers from MEGTEC Systems are eligible for help
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG03/805230603/1247

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Lady Moxie owner gets national attention
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287507

INVESTING (back to top)
– Dow ends day up after two-day plunge
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC03/80522107/1028

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Panel addresses how to deal with foreclosures
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG0101/805230625/1978/GPGnews

– Group seeks to revitalize Wausau’s near west side
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/WDH0101/805230696/1981/WDHnews

– Bradley Center plan footprint may grow
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754111

– Condo lender to settle suit
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754074

– Home prices in state make minuscule gain
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754073

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Congress overrides Bush farm bill veto
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG03/805230602/1247

– Farm Bureau Seeks Solutions to Stray Voltage Disputes
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=637&yr=2008

– Prices Up on NASS Cheese Survey
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=638&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Wisconsin gas prices reach another high going into Memorial Day weekend
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287810

– Airlines ponder how far they can push customers
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287808

– Pace picks up for city’s bike couriers
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754121

RETAIL (back to top)
– Brown Shoe sees full-year sales below estimates
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287723

– Awards spell success for bringing back Broadway
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG03/805230598/1247

– Rice prices trouble local restaurants
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05222008_19.asp

– Cudahy Wal-Mart plan back
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=754114

– ‘Soft’ economy widens Bon-Ton quarterly loss
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily35.html?surround=lfn

REGULATION (back to top)
– Plan to trim cell phone cancellation fees draws criticism
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287475

– Electric hustle? Farmers speak out on stray voltage bill
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/05/23/news/z03stray.txt

TOURISM (back to top)
– Campgrounds look for busy year
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/WDH0101/805230719/1981/WDHnews

– Green light for Les Paul show in Milwaukee
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05232008_02.asp

UTILITIES (back to top)
– ATC predicts better electricity supplies for Wisconsin this summer
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287807

– American Superconductor adds four wind farm orders
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287506

– Alliant unit RMT inks deal for air force base work
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287515

– Winter heating costs set record
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/APC03/805230534/1028

– Melrose residents rocked by water project cost
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/05/23/news/z04melrose.txt

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Med Flight to resume flights Friday
http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/287719

– HospiceCare completes $20 million fundraising effort
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287768

– Construction starts on Stoughton hospital project
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/287680

– Session focuses on health care costs
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/APC03/805230527/1028

– House accelerates plans for veterans clinic
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG0101/805230621/1207/GPG01

– Bill provision protects Green Bay hospital
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/GPG0101/805230632/1207/GPG01

– State issues insurance complaint report
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily42.html?surround=lfn

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– With new execs, Fiserv seeks cohesion
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05222008_10.asp

– M&I adds three Twin Cities branches; seven more planned
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily34.html?surround=lfn

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– New UW-Parkside chancellor endorsed
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287740

– Duluth Trading Company’s videos are a (literal) smash
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/286747

– Time Warner to split company
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/APC03/805230532/1028

– Fornaro elected chairman of AirTran
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily33.html?surround=lfn

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: Raemisch Implement looks to the future
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287752

Media Partners
Channel3000
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine
BusinessWeek

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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