(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 16 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

For the second time in 10 months, businesses and residents in Western Wisconsin have been hit by devastating flooding.

Once the damage is totaled from this spring’s rains and floods, it’s expected to exceed last August’s total. Vernon County’s early estimates alone approached $5 million early on, and they were just getting started counting. Crawford County and others were hit just as hard.

But, you can place your bets now that the vast majority of businesses and residents in the area will eventually dry out, get to work on repairs, and rebound. These are gutsy, hard-working people, who don’t ask for much from their government and believe in self-sufficiency.

Gregg Hoffmann writes about the latest rebuilding efforts in his newest column:


Gov. Jim Doyle says FEMA has declared a state of disaster in five of the most heavily impacted Wisconsin counties, making individual assistance available in Columbia, Crawford, Milwaukee, Sauk and Vernon counties.

— If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

For nearly two years, Mithridion scientists worked to develop drug technology to stop the death of neurons, the process that leads Alzheimer’s disease.

The prospects looked so convincing, in fact, that Mithridion won the 2005 Governor’s Business Plan Contest and a nearly $100,000 award that helped launch the company.

The company also got a lot of good exposure by winning the contest, which led to the investment of several million dollars by backers.

But if Trevor Twose has learned anything in his the second half of his career as a serial start-up entrepreneur – the first half was spent working for a major pharmaceutical company – it’s that not all drug prospects produce the results anticipated.

Read more in a new WisBusiness interview:




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Press Releases
EPA: Design Changes at Little Lake Butte Des Morts PCB Cleanup Approved
GE Healthcare Showcases Innovative Molecular Imaging Solutions at 2008 Society of Nuclear Medicine Conference
Health Care Honored by Premier Healthcare Alliance for Exceptional Supply Chain Innovation
Madison Advertising Federation Announces Julie Redders as the Successor to Retiring Executive Director Lois Weiland
Magnetek Announces Settlement of Legal Dispute
Marcus Theatres(R) to Install Digital 3D Technology at 12 New Locations Throughout the Midwest
Original Wisconsin Ducks Come to the Rescue in Baraboo
Planet Propaganda hires Corinne Schmutz as interactive coordinator
Storms Cause Outages Throughout WPS Territory
The Marcus Corporation Renews with PepsiCo Foodservice
Wisconsin Power and Light Announces Major Steps to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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


Midwest Airlines explores restructuring plans: Consultant firm to create plan to help cut costs… Oak Creek-based Midwest Airlines Inc., facing record prices for jet fuel, is working on a comprehensive restructuring plan that could result in additional service and job cuts. Midwest has hired aviation consultant Seabury Group to help create the plan, according to a memo to employees from Chairman and Chief Executive Timothy Hoeksema. He told employees the restructuring work will be completed within several weeks. Midwest and other airlines “are facing extremely difficult times,” Hoeksema said in the memo. Airline spokesman Michael Brophy said Friday that details of what Midwest is considering would not be released at this time.

Trucking firms hit hard in Wisconsin; one will lay off 340: Sustained high diesel fuel prices continue to put financial pressure on trucking companies in Wisconsin. WH Transportation Co. in Wausau announced on June 2 that it planned to lay off 340 employees in Wisconsin, Ohio and Georgia and cut back its business due to higher fuel expenses. Koschkee Transfer suddenly suspended its operations in Madison and Fennimore after bank financing fell through in April. And Stoughton Trucking, a sister company of Stoughton Trailers, has avoided expected layoffs this month after streamlining its operations. Diesel fuel prices in Madison were $4.64 to $4.89 a gallon late last week while regular unleaded gasoline was about $4, according to MadisonGasPrices.com, where drivers report fuel prices.

State’s export growth brightens economic outlook: Exports totaled $19.2 billion last year… Wisconsin’s exports sector continues to increase, even as the state’s economy is expected to slow over the next two years, according to a report released Thursday. Exports shipped from Wisconsin increased 11.8 percent in 2007, according to a quarterly “Wisconsin Economic Outlook” prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which included a special section on export growth. The export growth, boosted by a weak U.S. dollar, follows increases of 15 percent in 2006 and 17.4 percent in 2005. In 2007, exports totaled $19.2 billion, an increase of 79.6 percent since 2002. Last year marked the sixth year of positive growth in exports and the fourth straight year of double-digit increases.

Kenosha thrives after AMC: But as change benefited city, many of its workers suffered… An office building has replaced an old tannery. Museums, yachts, a marina, restaurants and boutiques cover a lakefront landscape once dominated by industrial buildings. And where row upon row of condominiums now stand, an American Motors Corp. assembly plant once employed thousands of workers. Some 5,000 people worked at the AMC plant when Chrysler Corp. closed it in 1988. As Janesville grapples with the announcement that General Motors Corp. will end production at its 2,500-worker factory there by 2010, Kenosha’s experience two decades earlier offers the lesson that a community can recover from the loss of a major employer.

Projected cost for new Alliant coal plant soars past $1 billion: The cost for Alliant Energy’s controversial proposed new coal power plant has soared to a range of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion, the company stated in a regulatory filing. Alliant previously said the new plant proposed to be the third unit of the Nelson Dewey Generating Station in Cassville would cost $850 million to $950 million. When initially proposed in 2007, the plant’s cost estimate was under $800 million. The company is facing heavy opposition from environmental groups as it seeks approval from the state Public Service Commission to build the 300-megawatt plant. Cassville is its top site option, while the Columbia Generation Station at Portage is No. 2.

House ag leader sounds off on farm issues, economy: Peterson: Higher gas prices needed to force changes… Rep. Collin Peterson flew Sunday into northeast Wisconsin to attend the Outagamie County Breakfast on the Farm and visit an experimental manure-to-energy project at the Wiese Brothers Farms in Greenleaf. Peterson, D-Minn., who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, also endorsed the re-election bid of Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, who serves on the committee. Kagen is being challenged by Republican John Gard, whom he defeated two years ago. Peterson credited Kagen for helping to get the Milk Income Loss Contract program in the new farm bill. “I look at the farm bill as the most important economic stimulus package we have,” Kagen said.


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)
– Technology helps drive Wisconsin dairy industry

– The sky’s the limit

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Stem cell method improved

– Bossie’s fancy new digs

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Gas prices hit another record

– Gas consumption declines

– NewPage research and development move nears

– Midwest price index rises in May

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Wausau Paper announces investments in Brokaw mill

LABOR (back to top)
– Job fair to key on needs of military veterans

– 23 sickened but OK after exposure to gas at Wausau plant

– Job center gears up for rush

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– De Pere’s Inspired Aroma goes online

INVESTING (back to top)
– Taking flight with air ambulance

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Janesville housing market uncertain

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin 4th in nation in maple-syrup production

– State Corn Board Gives Personal Crop Assessment Reports

– More Jumps on NASS Cheese Survey on Friday

– Farmland gets new advocate

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Parts of interstate reopen

– Air Wisconsin reports passenger use down

– Delta to allow free changes for flights thru Midwest cities

RETAIL (back to top)
– The hot dog gets a premium makeover at Madison’s Oscar Mayer

– Marcus to expand 3-D movie offerings

– Sausage restaurants help Johnsonville grow

REGULATION (back to top)
– License is the key to employment

TOURISM (back to top)
– Sunny days delight Green Bay’s Bayfest organizers

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Meeting set on heating, cooling plants

– Pump malfuction causes water woes on southwest side

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Hospital expands SANE program

– Hospital Sisters Health System to sponsor Illinois hospital

– Hartland dentist fills gap in dental assistants

– Transplant transformation

– Gathering health data is lengthy project

– IRS offers tax relief to Wisconsinites hit by storms

– Insurance claims continue to rise

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– What does Wisconsin need to grow?

– New North to hold panel discussion in Appleton

– Miller sends water to flooded areas

– New name reflects growth

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mick Hager: Not everyone wants to be leader

– Dana Kohlbeck: Mobile marketing poised for growth with technology tools

– Tom Saler: Oil prices will fall, but when is still uncertain

– John Torinus: Reality processed for easy digestion

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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