(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 25 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The state’s Global Warming Task Force has overwhelmingly endorsed a list of recommendations that would significantly reduce the state’s carbon dioxide emissions.

With three dissents, the 30-plus member group sent the report on to the Public Service Commission for review. It will then go to the governor, who may put some of the suggestions into effect through executive orders.

Doyle is expected to send the rest of the recommendations to the Legislature in a climate change package.

*See story:
http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=131919
*See final report:
http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/documents/MaTF20080724.pdf
*See PSC release:
http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=131940

— State Rep. Jim Ott, a former TV meteorologist, said in a release that the report’s recommendations would do nothing to change the global climate while costing the Wisconsin economy.

“There is no mention of how much more it is going to cost for you to drive your car, plow your field, heat your home, buy groceries or use electricity,” said Ott, R-Mequon. “What people really, fundamentally need to understand is that this Task Force is recommending a dramatic change in how we live our lives.”

Meanwhile, the Nature Conservancy endorsed the task force’s recommendations. Todd Holschbach, the group’s government relations director, said the proposals have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by “tens of millions of metric tons.

“This gives Wisconsin a head start as states deal with the impacts of climate change,” he said.

Read the Ott release:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=131962
Read the Nature Conservancy release:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=131909

— Snap-on Inc., a Kenosha-based manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions for professional users, is reporting second quarter net earnings of $66.9 million, or $1.15 per share, up from $43.8 million, or 74 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s quarterly net sales grew to $766.1 million from $711.9 million a year earlier.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/7/24/#snap-on-reports-strong-quarter

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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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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 July 29.

Individual questions are due by FRIDAY JULY 25. Contact Kennan Wood at Wood Communications Group. Call 608-259-0757 or e-mail [email protected]

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Press Releases
Bicycle and Pedestrian Conference to Address Energy Costs, Public Health
Governor’s Task Force Finalizes its Report on Global Warming Strategy for Wisconsin
Minimum Markup Law Costing Wisconsin Motorists Up to $278 Million

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


TOP STORIES
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Study: Minimum markup law too harsh: Measure helps some gas stations compete, owner says… A Depression-era law requiring stations to mark up gas prices wasn’t a big deal when it cost only cents per gallon, but the effect is too harsh today when it costs $4 or more. That’s according to a new study from the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, one of a number of groups calling for the law’s repeal. “Consumers should be irate,” study author Christian Schneider said. “It shouldn’t be the government’s job to make sure that they’re paying more for gas.” The minimum markup law requires gas station owners to charge at least 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price. It was intended to protect small station owners from large competitors selling below cost.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/GPG03/807250666/1247

GE Healthcare to buy Vital Signs for $860M: GE Healthcare has agreed to purchase Vital Signs Inc., a Totowa, N.J., global provider of medical products for uses such as anesthesia, in a deal valued at $860 million. GE Healthcare, a London-based unit of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) that produces medical imaging equipment in Waukesha, said Vital Signs will become part of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business, a provider of advanced technologies for patient monitoring, anesthesia delivery and acute respiratory care. “This acquisition is consistent with GE’s strategy to invest in high-technology, innovative businesses that deliver top-line growth, earnings expansion and expanded margins,” said John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare.
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily44.html?surround=lfn

LSI benefit extension denied: The federal government has denied an extension of unemployment and education benefits to workers who were laid off at LSI in Janesville as a result of production cuts at the General Motors assembly plant in Janesville. And whether GM workers will qualify for the extended benefits remains undecided. The Department of Labor ruled that the workers at LSI do not produce a product and therefore are not eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance that would extend benefits for up to 130 weeks. Typically, TAA status is granted on a case-by-case basis when workers are displaced by global competition.
http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/24/lsi-benefit-extension-denied/

Hologic takes over Third Wave: Third Wave Technologies became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hologic, of Bedford, Mass., on Thursday and shares of Third Wave common stock stopped trading on the Nasdaq market at the close of business. Hologic (pronounced ho-LAH-jik), a developer of diagnostic and treatment products aimed at women’s health care, bought Third Wave for $11.25 a share, or $580 million cash. It is the second-largest acquisition Hologic has made, of more than half a dozen in the past three years, said Tom Umbel, senior vice president of business development. “We think (Third Wave) can grow to become 10 percent-plus of what is Hologic today,” Umbel said. Third Wave had revenues of $31 million in 2007. “We think they could be $200 million … in five years,” he said.
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/297678

Wisconsin’s boating season hits rough waters: Businesses see decline in tourism… It’s been unusually quiet this summer on the Chain O’ Lakes in Waupaca where, normally, the buzz of boat engines starts shortly after dawn and lasts until dusk. For some lakefront residents, a decline in boat traffic is welcome because they never liked the noise and partying that’s associated with recreational boating. But it’s an uneasy silence for others whose livelihoods depend on summer tourism. “It’s a short season to make money. Basically, we have six weeks for boat rentals,” said Bruce Becker, owner of Becker Marine, which has been in business since 1949. Statewide, the 2008 boating and camping season got off to a slow start because of poor weather.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776240

Global warming task force approves final report: Wisconsin should drastically reduce greenhouse gases by mid-century, consider offshore wind farms, set up new auto emission standards and use more biofuels, a task force formed to fight global warming recommended in its final report Thursday. Gov. Jim Doyle created the 29-member panel by executive order in April 2007 and asked it to come with ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among the task force’s recommendations: Cut greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels within the next six years, and reduce that by another 75 percent by 2050. Create a single agency to track greenhouse gas data and efforts to control emissions.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297718

Roadrunner Transportation looks to go public: The owners of Roadrunner Transportation Services are seeking to take the Cudahy-based trucking and logistics company public. Roadrunner Transportation Services Holdings Inc. filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering. The number of shares to be offered and the price range remain undetermined. Robert W. Baird & Co. and BB&T Capital Markets will be the lead underwriters. Roadrunner is owned by Washington, D.C.-based private equity investor Thayer / Hidden Creek, which in 2005 bought two Milwaukee-area trucking firms, Roadrunner Freight Systems and Dawes Transport, and combined them.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776191

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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)
– GE Healthcare acquires Vital Signs
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776190

– Falls firm helping to create energy storage system for use in Africa
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776142

– Fox Valley Technical College receives training grant
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/GPG03/807250668/1247

BIOTECH (back to top)
– High school students help professor study diseases
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/07/25/news/01research.txt

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Mazo residents cautiously hopeful after news of plant closing
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/297783

– Kimberly-Clark sales set record
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/APC03/807250557/1028

– Schreiber Foods plant closure latest challenge
http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/MNH0101/807250636/1980

– The Grove grows
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/07/24/local_news/doc488957ee3f04e553821801.txt

– Kraft to expand pizza plant
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily43.html?surround=lfn

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Plexus records profitable quarter
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/APC03/807250548/1028

– Snap-on 2Q profits rise
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily40.html?surround=lfn

– Brunswick, Mercury Marine 2Q earnings sink
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily46.html?surround=lfn

– Mayville buys formed tubes manufacturer
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily45.html?surround=lfn

– Plant to halt production
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/297675

LABOR (back to top)
– June unemployment by the numbers
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/GPG03/80724149/1247

– Higher minimum wage offers little help as living costs soar
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080724/APC03/80724027/1028

– Black job applicant alleges Waukesha County discriminated in hiring
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07242008_03.asp

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– New owner brings jobs to Neillsville
http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/MNH0101/807250533/1980

INVESTING (back to top)
– Dow falls nearly 300 points on weak home sales
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080724/APC03/80724030/1028

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Milwaukee-area foreclosures up, but well below national figures
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776184

– Hilldale Phase 2 to start in August
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/297738

– City ends talks with Park Plaza developer
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/07/25/news/z01parkplaza.txt

– Janesville recognized for affordable housing
http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/24/janesville-recognized-affordable-housing/

– Brookfield swim club tests the water with $6 million pool plan
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776300

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Prices Mixed on NASS Cheese Survey
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=902&yr=2008

– Plan Announced to Aid Cranberry Bog Development
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=903&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Dane County Regional airfares 3rd highest in mainland U.S.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297641

– Airport losing traffic
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/297735

RETAIL (back to top)
– Park East housing-retail project still on, developer says
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776175

– Weak spring film slate hurts Marcus Corp. revenue
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily38.html?surround=lfn

REGULATION (back to top)
– Doyle panel votes to cut emissions, expand use of wind power
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776176

– Trial set in suit to block Delta-Northwest deal
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/GPG03/807250667/1247

– Product recalls rise; analysts recommend better relations with China
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776185

TOURISM (back to top)
– Fair assessment
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07242008_12.asp

– Hotel rush hits city corridor
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20049138&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20049138%26snippet%3Df

– State releases game fish into lakes
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=776239

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Verizon landlines restored to eastern Dane County
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297693

– Hortonville seeks DNR grant for dam modifications
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080725/APC0101/807250573/1979/APCnews

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Court strikes down tighter Medicaid standards
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory05.asp

– Report: Health care workforce not enough for aging boomers
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/297742

– Mercy announces cuts
http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/24/mercy-announces-cuts/

– Group wants health care reform on ballot
http://www.leadertelegram.com/story-news_local.asp?id=BH9M7REOEH9

– ThedaCare sells medical center buildings
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily42.html?surround=lfn

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Three mortgage lenders under federal investigation
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297775

– National City loss approaches $2B
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily41.html?surround=lfn

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Fiskars wins innovation award
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/297632

– Crane Appointed Chairperson of State Fair Park
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=901&yr=2008

– Foley partner joins Mayville Engineering board
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/07/21/daily39.html?surround=lfn

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: Cross Country: Checking in on manure digesters and farmer-entrepreneurs
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297708

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–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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