(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 9 May 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The DNR has issued a permit for the We Energies power plant in Oak Creek that doesn’t require the utility to build water cooling towers.

The permit instead allows the utility to move ahead with the water intake cooling system it has already built. The process pulls in water from Lake Michigan and then returns the warmer water to the lake.

Clean Wisconsin criticized the decision in a release, saying the warmer water will devastate aquatic life in Lake Michigan.

The DNR’s Todd Ambs said that a cooling tower system would take up more energy, emit more pollutants and use more water than the pipe system. He added that fisheries around Lake Michigan have endorsed the plan and that final DNR approval will require extensive monitoring of the plant.

Ambs said the permit is currently in draft form and available for public comment. He added that environmental groups could voice their concerns at a public hearing on June 9 and that the department would make a final recommendation within a few weeks of that hearing.

“This is a draft permit issued following extensively biological review,” Ambs said. “We firmly believe it is the best available technology.”

The DNR was forced to review the permit after a federal judge struck down rules the DNR had previously used to approve the cooling system.

Environmental groups have contested the plant since its initial stages, and Clean Wisconsin again stated it would continue its challenges of the DNR permit.

“You’d expect DNR to exercise the highest level of care and scrutiny for a project with this much potential for environmental damage,” Clean Wisconsin attorney Katie Nekola said in the statement. “Instead, they’re willing to help WE Energies avoid federal rules that would protect our natural resources.”

See the Clean Wisconsin statement:

— After months of slumping sales, Kohl’s Corp. today reported April same-store sales increased 3.5 percent from the same month a year ago, due in part to improved performance in seasonal categories.

The sales reflect performance at stores opened at least a year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the Menomonee Falls-based same-store sales to increase by 2 percent, on average.

Kohl’s said its total sales increased 12 percent in the four-week period ended May 3. As a result of April’s performance, Kohl’s now expects its annual earnings to exceed its previous guidance of 40 to 42 cents per diluted share.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/5/8/#retail-sales-show-signs-of-life-at-kohls

— SABMiller plc, the London-based parent company of Miller Brewing Co., says it has agreed to acquire a 99.84-percent interest in the Ukrainian brewer CJSC Sarmat.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Ukrainian competition authorities and other customary pre-closing conditions.

Sarmat is one of the largest brewers in the Ukraine and, upon completion. It is owned by System Capital Management Ltd., a diversified holding company that manages a number of interests in the Ukrainian market.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=125673




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Press Releases
Appleton Applauds U.S. Commerce Department Decision to Sanction Unfair Imports of Lightweight Thermal Paper From China and Germany
Emageon Inc. to Host First Quarter 2008 Financial Results Conference Call May 12, 2008
Midwest Air Group Reports April Performance
Restaurants Hungry for Data-Rich Expansion Strategy
SABMiller plc announces entry into the Ukraine
Summit Environmental Corporation Signs Exclusive License and Distribution Agreement With Just-In Case Fire, Ltd.

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


Invitrogen signs deal for WARF stem-cell patent: A California biotech company that had expressed frustration over Wisconsin’s stem-cell patents has signed a licensing agreement for stem-cell technologies with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. “We were able to work out our differences,” said Joydeep Goswami, vice president for stem cells and regenerative medicine at Invitrogen Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif. Invitrogen, which announced the agreement Thursday, is one of the largest of 25 companies that have signed 30 licensing agreements for stem cells with WARF, said licensing manager Andy DeTienne. WARF holds the patents on discoveries by UW-Madison scientist James Thomson.

Schneider slows trucks to 60: Schneider National, the nation’s largest truckload carrier, announced Thursday its plans to expand its fuel conservation efforts by voluntarily slowing down its fleet to 60 mph. The effort will reduce the fleet’s consumption of diesel fuel by more than 3.75 million gallons a year and reduce truck CO2 emissions by 83.25 million pounds a year — the equivalent of taking 7,259 cars off the nation’s highways, according to a company news release. The 3 mph slowdown, which builds upon the company’s 30-year track record of environmental stewardship, was announced during a news conference Thursday in Washington, D.C., as the American Trucking Associations unveiled its strategies for minimizing the carbon footprint of the trucking industry.

American Superconductor nears profit with booming wind business: A booming global wind power business centered in American Superconductor Corp.’s Middleton-based Power Systems unit has more than doubled revenues and made American Superconductor profitable on an operating basis, the company reported Thursday. The results and the firm’s 2008 forecast handily beat analysts’ expectations and sent the stock soaring more than 20 percent Thursday morning. The Devens, Mass.-based company reported that for its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter ended March 31 it posted a net loss of $1.8 million, or 4 cents per share, on revenues of $38.4 million, compared to a year-ago net loss of $11.4 million, or 33 cents per share, on revenues of $19.1 million.

Illinois Tool Works outbids Manitowoc Co.: Companies working to acquire Enodis… Illinois Tool Works Inc., a conglomerate known for making dozens of mostly small acquisitions every year, secured agreement Thursday on its biggest deal since 1999 when British restaurant equipment supplier Enodis PLC accepted its $2 billion buyout. The all-cash offer trumped an offer that Enodis agreed to last month from Manitowoc Co. Inc., leading investors and analysts to speculate about a possible bidding war. Manitowoc said Thursday it was considering its position and would make an announcement later. Illinois Tool Works, a Glenview, Ill.-based manufacturer of engineered products with more than 800 business units in 49 countries, made an offer that was 8.5 percent above the Manitowoc bid.

GE possibly wellspring of state’s innovation: Firms look to its health care sector as a development ally… Southeastern Wisconsin has a much better shot at pulling talent out of the wealth of resources at GE Healthcare than technology, a panel of current and former GE executives said Thursday at a meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Brookfield. With just less than 7,000 employees in southeastern Wisconsin and one of the most prolific patent-generating machines in the state, many look to GE Healthcare as a potentially strong economic development ally. GE hasn’t historically filled that role, however, because of its research and development centers in far-flung places such as China, Germany and India, said Robert S. Pothier, president and CEO of PointOne Systems LLC in Wauwatosa.

Lawmakers, farm groups react to latest farm bill proposal: Wisconsin’s only congressman on the House Agriculture Committee says he’s pleased with Thursday’s announcement of a final Farm Bill conference agreement and looks forward to its passage. Rep. Steve Kagen of Appleton says the new policy will begin much needed reforms in direct farm payments, and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables throughout American school lunch programs. “This Farm Bill will be great for Wisconsin’s economy,” said Kagen. “I have been working hard with both Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee to guarantee that this new Farm Bill will be great for our health and our agricultural economy. The Farm Bill literally determines what we eat and what we look like, and in that sense it is really a public health bill.”


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)
– DRS Technologies contemplating deal

– ‘Next generation’ of in-flight broadband under development

– Premier Electronics wins for fun room

– An iPhone for $199?

BIOTECH (back to top)
– WARF licenses flu vaccine technology to local company

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Stimulus checks are in the mail — for some

– Americans cut back as pump prices soar

– R.R. Donnelley reports earnings

– Sluggish market, slow recovery predicted

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Pierce lands Army contract

– Bemis Co. declares 22-cent dividend

LABOR (back to top)
– Competing House bills use databases to check workers’ legal status

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Area bar-restaurant reopens in West Salem

INVESTING (back to top)
– Integrys income down, shares up

– M&I files to register acquisition shares

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– City may take over Lake Point condo project

– Housing market woes hit home

– Country Inn buys Meadows center

– Park East developers bide time to buy property

– Plans dropped for Holiday Inn downtown

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– No hay-day for horse owners

– WMMB Election Results Announced

– Prices Higher on NASS Cheese Survey

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– High fuel prices hurting airlines more than 9/11, Midwest exec says

– Schneider slows to 60 mph; Truckers introduce green plan

RETAIL (back to top)
– Retail sales stage comeback in April

– Monroe brewery unveils new beers

– Harley-Davidson thumbs nose at dire forecasts

– Madison lands new theater in border battle

– Bon-Ton posts April sales decline

– Kohl’s April sales improve; earnings expected to top outlook

REGULATION (back to top)
– DNR backs method to cool power plant

– Cudahy mayor silent on vote denying Wal-Mart

– Grafton OKs mall funds

TOURISM (back to top)
– Kalahari Resort breaks ground on $15 million indoor entertainment facility

– Overture unveils ’08-’09 season lineup

– Green Bay area tourism office changes name

– Telemark venture sets first hotel project

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Well 12 shut down after chlorine, fluoride problems

– DNR reissues permit for Oak Creek power plant

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Doctors encourage insurers to cover diabetes-curing bariatric surgery

– Drug clean sweep programs get fund boost

– New program lets some Wis. residents ship drugs for disposal

– Orthopedic project gets under way in summer

– Thrivent growth plan means more field representatives

– Hard lesson learned in home loan industry

– U.S. suspects fraud by Sunset Bank customer

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Wausau Paper notes enhanced Royal line

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: Landmark silo gone, and perhaps its history, too

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–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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