From WisBusiness.com …
— Envirotest has told state and local officials it plans to close its Waukesha facility, resulting in permanent layoffs of as many as 105 employees at this site and 11 other locations starting July 1, 2008.
Envirotest runs the Wisconsin Vehicle Inspection Program, but its state contract is expiring. The inspection program’s Web site lists Envirotest Wisconsin as a subsidiary of Environmental Systems Products Inc., based in East Granby, Conn. The company said all affected employees are being offered two weeks separation pay. In addition to Waukesha, other communities affected by the shutdown include Milwaukee, West Bend, Sheboygan, Burlington, Kenosha, Racine and West Allis.
State Workforce Development Department officials said the agency is working with its regional partners to assist the affected employees in these 12 locations. The Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, and the Washington-Ozaukee-Waukesha Workforce Development Board have Rapid Response teams contacting the company to arrange orientation sessions for the affected workers in their areas.
— Traveler spending in Wisconsin remained strong and steady last year, despite rising gasoline prices, economic uncertainty and poor winter and spring weather, according to a study released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The 18th annual Economic Impact of Expenditures by Travelers on Wisconsin report estimated that travelers here spent $12.78 billion in 2007, virtually a dead heat with the returns for 2006.
The state saw growth in both the business travel and meetings and convention travel sectors. Estimated expenditures by business travelers grew .34 percent, from $2.42 to $2.43 billion, while estimated spending by meetings and convention travelers increased 5.86 percent, from $1.28 to $1.36 billion.
— Milwaukee real estate developer and philanthropist Joseph Zilber plans to announce another significant gift to “rebuild” his hometown today.
Zilber, the 90-year-old founder and chairman of Zilber Ltd. and Towne Realty Inc., will make “a major announcement regarding the future of the City of Milwaukee,” according to a statement released by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s office. Zilber’s announcement will take place in the rotunda of the Milwaukee City Hall on the ground floor at 10:30 a.m.
Last August, Zilber announced he would donate $50 million to organizations in the Milwaukee area in an effort to revitalize the community. He said he would give $30 million to the Marquette University Law School and later announced a $10 million gift to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to create a School of Public Health, a $3 million gift to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and a $1.5 million gift to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
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· 5th Annual Bradley Prize Ceremony
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For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82
Med Flight helicopter crashes, killing all on board; Cause of accident still being investigated
A surgeon, nurse and pilot were killed when a University of Wisconsin Hospital Med Flight helicopter crashed shortly after dropping off a patient Saturday night in La Crosse. The cause of the crash was being investigated Sunday, but UW Hospital chief operating officer Margaret Van Bree said it appeared to have struck a hill or some trees. There were no survivors. The helicopter dropped off a patient at the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and was returning to Madison when the crash occurred, Van Bree said.
– Med Flight loss highlights risk to health-care workers
– ‘It’s just terrible. It’s such a loss.’
– Dr. Bean was always busy, ‘got so much done’
– Nurse, EMS instructor Coyne ‘really affected a lot of people’
– Lipperer was longtime Med Flight pilot
– Studies show hike in EMS aircraft crashes
Washington prepares for farm bill fight
A top Bush official said Friday that supporters of a new farm bill compromise might have the votes to override an expected presidential veto. “If you look at what happened at the end of this bill when it became clear it wasn’t going in a direction the president was going to support, they sort of put something in there for everybody,” Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said in a conference call. “Everybody gets to take home something from the farm bill that is important to their district or their constituents. That’s hard to vote against.” “We have an uphill battle here to sustain the veto,” Schafer said. The House is scheduled to vote on the $300 billion bill Wednesday. The Senate could vote on the measure by week’s end and send it to the president.
Class action status granted in Kraft case
Employees of Kraft Foods have been given class action status for their lawsuit seeking pay for time spent putting on and taking off safety equipment. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb says current and former hourly employees who worked at the company’s Oscar Mayer meat processing plant in Madison since May 2004 can take part. Crabb says the group includes at least 1,000 workers.
State’s cheese title safe for now
Cheeseheads don ‘t need to be bleu: Experts say predictions that California will soon overtake Wisconsin as the nation ‘s top cheese producer are unlikely to come true. The Golden State and its happy cows gained quickly on Wisconsin in the past decade, but plants in California are maxing out while efforts to boost production in Wisconsin are paying off, said Dick Groves, longtime owner of the Madison-based trade publication, Cheese Reporter.
Zilber gives $50 million; Philanthropist hopes to revive low-income areas in city, encourage others to give
Milwaukee philanthropist Joseph Zilber will announce Monday that he is committing $50 million over the next 10 years to improve life in low-income neighborhoods in the city. The goal, according to a draft of remarks to be made by Zilber, is “to revitalize Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and reconnect all of her citizens to social and economic opportunity.” Zilber’s text says though rates of poverty, crime and other problems are much too high in Milwaukee, “I believe the current reality presents a far more interesting and hopeful story. In fact, Milwaukee may have the best chance in decades to engineer a new future for itself and its citizens.”
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
– The fuel of their ambition
ECONOMY (back to top)
– Residents encouraged to spend stimulus money close to home
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Screen time for Baileigh builds brand; TV, movie exposure help spur sales of metal fabrication equipment
LABOR (back to top)
– City Wide Insulation settles overtime lawsuit
SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Family-owned nurseries facing growing threat from Big Box stores
– New City Center restaurant pays homage to Oshkosh’s past
INVESTING (back to top)
– Money manager sees system on the mend
– Time for financial spring cleaning
– Fixed-income securities can deliver gains
REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Jury: Ashwaubenon marina should be credited; Boardwalk says Riverside owes money
– Hope Builders helps De Pere family with home makeover
– Green Bay: Condos added to Haven Way project
AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farming boost may stall green land gains; Higher crop prices have farmers leaving conservation effort
– Farm, planting costs are up, so groceries should continue to climb
TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– A busy world pivots around the port
– Supply and demand create pain at pump
– Commuters hop on bikes in face of $4-a-gallon gas
– Stevens Point: Hwy. J railroad overpass construction begins
– Fond du Lac looks at road salt needs
RETAIL (back to top)
– Natural Ovens struggling with transition to new owner while battered by high prices
– Kwik Trip plans to continue expanding its support center facilities
REGULATION (back to top)
– Neenah, Menasha beef up code enforcement
– Police: Rebate checks focus of newest scams
– Long, snowy winter benefits Granite Peak
– Oneida back higher per capita payouts
HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Assisted Living experiences a rebound; Falls-based firm posts second-best return
FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– New firm sees potential in Vietnam
MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Abdoo helped grow Wisconsin Energy’s power plans
– Innovation Network group meets Thursday
– Torinus column: Time to turn health care pricing on its head
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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