(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 7 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The Public Service Commission Thursday approved area code overlays for Wisconsin as demand for new numbers puts pressure on the 715 and 920 area codes. The new 534 area code will be introduced in the 715 area in the summer of 2010. The new 274 code in the 920 area may be implemented in late 2011. 

PSC Chair Eric Callisto said, “Overlays are the cheapest, most efficient way to implement area code relief, and our decision today will make future area code relief easier.”

Customers keep their own numbers and new customers are assigned new numbers with the new area code. Overlays fulfill federal requirements for 10-digit dialing and prevent splitting the state into new geography-based area codes.

— Gov. Jim Doyle opened the second day of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium with some dire words about the state’s near-term economic outlook before giving the crowd some reasons for optimism.

“You are going to hear me over the next several months giving you the gloomiest news about where the state is and what it is we have to do,” Doyle told the crowd gathered at the Monona Terrace Convention Center Thursday. “The world really changed for us in September and for all of the country. That’s the kind of gloomy set of facts that we are dealing with.”

Doyle said large deficits are on the way, but also expressed hope for the state’s economic future.

“We’re in a very difficult and tight time … We are going to see deficits that we have not seen since the early 1980s … the size of the deficit may approach Great Depression levels,” Doyle said. “At the same time there is an incredible range of economic activity here — growing groups of entrepreneurs and a growing infrastructure of how we get our ideas into the marketplace.”

Doyle said the past decade provided a clue to how the next decade would go.

“When I look back at technology in Wisconsin over the last 10 years, its been a remarkable 10 years,” Doyle said. “It shows us what the future holds.”

— New Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel, speaking after Doyle, said his goal is to make Wisconsin the best place to start and grow businesses.

“I am coming into this position with a committment to listen and learn,” Leinenkugel said.

Leinenkugel said one main reason he chose to join Doyle’s administration was the governor’s “passion for this state.”

Leinenkugel said his focus will be on the technology industry as a customer.

“I want to know what works, what doesn’t and how we can help you meet your goals,” said Leinenkugel.

Read more from Doyle and Leinenkugel:




**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 and Commerce and We Energies.

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



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Press Releases
· AG Van Hollen: Mann Bros., Inc. agrees to pay penalties for water pollution control violations
· Dept. of Workforce Development: Gov. Doyle announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at Phillips Plastics, Medford
· F. Dohmen Co.: Marks 150th anniversary with global charitable giving
· Focus on Energy: Award-winning marketing campaign leverages reality TV craze to drive home energy efficiency message
· Gass Weber Mullins LLC: Milwaukee judges Michael B. Brennan and John Franke to return to trial work
· MMAC: September Economic Trends report
· Mortgage Loan Inspection: Organization’s five-step plan fights predatory mortgage lending
· Stateline World Trade Association: Financial services for export businesses in today’s market
· Wisconsin Insurance Alliance: Study says Wisconsin auto insurance among least expensive in the country

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


Many more pink slips: Planned layoffs in Wisconsin so far this year are more than double the total for all of 2007, a factor labor experts blame on the sputtering U.S. economy. In the Milwaukee area, layoffs also already have exceeded last year’s total, filings for mass layoffs and plant closings with the Department of Workforce Development showed. Layoff notices filed through Nov. 4 have or will result in the loss of nearly 14,600 jobs statewide, an increase of 124 percent over the same period last year and nearly double the total job cuts indicated in filings with the state for all of 2007.

Associated Banc-Corp to participate in Capital Purchase: Associated Banc-Corp said Thursday it will participate in the new government program to inject capital into banks. Associated received preliminary approval for the sale of $530 million in preferred stock and related common warrants to the government. The sale will increase Associated’s capital ratio from 11.08 percent to 14.11 percent.

Mattel to cut 1,000 jobs; some in Middleton: Mattel Inc. said Thursday it is cutting about 1,000 positions worldwide because of the economic downturn that is clouding the holiday outlook for toy makers. The world’s largest toymaker said an undisclosed number of the cuts would be at its Middleton-based American Girl division, which has generally been turning in solid results.

Green Bay’s ACE work force expected to grow: A recently opened facility in downtown Green Bay building a new class of medium response boats for the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to employ as many as 100 people when it ramps up to full production by 2010. Work on the first 45-foot boat at ACE Marine got under way last month, and its parent company Manitowoc Marine Group officially opened the facility with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon that was attended by dignitaries, including the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.


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)
– AT&T nearly doubles top U-verse Internet speed

– TDS acquiring Elkhorn telecom company

– WKTI on-air staff out with format switch

– Craigslist to crack down on prostitution ads

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Eso Technologies wins Elevator Pitch Olympics

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Valley business people press for economic fixes

LABOR (back to top)
– Franke, Brennan leaving bench to join Gass Weber

– State pension fund loses $10 billion in October

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Subprime threat lingers in state

– Real estate investor Zellmer owes $10.6 million to M&I

– Former Grede building to be converted to U-Haul outlet

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Grass-roots group fights mega-farm operation

– Cross Country: Upright silos still have place on farm

– 2 firms launch dinners with local ingredients

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Air Wisconsin lends $35M to US Airways

RETAIL (back to top)
– The Buzz: A&W begins revival in Fox Cities

– Retailers see steep sales drop in October

– Bucatini to open at Greenway Station

– Kohl’s same-store sales drop 9 percent

REGULATION (back to top)
– Attorney has confidence in legality of Milwaukee sick leave ordinance

– Mann Brothers settles water pollution suits with state

TOURISM (back to top)
– Water park association honors Kalahari owner Nelson

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Market swoon to cost Wisconsin Energy

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Aspirus’ trauma care efforts rewarded

– Hospice center gets challenge grant

– Associated cleared for $530M Treasury infusion

– Six investment professionals form money management firm

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– New president named for Mercury Marine

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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