(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 2 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Wisconsin Department of Revenue Department Economist John Koskinen says the Badger State economy is doing better than most of its neighbors and should post a growth rate of up to 1.5 percent this year.

Speaking on WISC TV’s “For the Record” program Sunday, Koskinen said that rate should increase to 3 percent as economic conditions improve for both Wisconsin and the nation.

Koskinen also said Wisconsin’s employment level is lower than many other states and below the national average. For April, the Badger State jobless figure was 4.4 percent, down from 5.2 percent in March and well below the U.S. unemployment level of 4.8 percent.

— North Dakota-based Tharaldson Lodging Companies has told state and local officials it plans to terminate oprerations at the Hudson Fairfield Inn in Hudson and the Milwaukee Holiday Inn Express in Wauwatosa by Aug. 15. .

As a result, officials said the hotel management firm will lay off 22 workers in Hudson and 31 in Wauwatosa.

Tharaldson operates the hotels for Fargo Hotels and New Century Hotel Portfolio, which plan to run the Wisconsin properties themselves. Tharaldson said the laid off workers may be able to apply for their old jobs.

— LaCrosse Footwear Inc. says it will shut down two distribution centers in the La Crosse area, eliminating 32 jobs, and shift the work to a new plant to be built near Indianapolis.

Company spokeswoman Erin Patterson Small Business Times that the firm had issued a request for proposals and received 40 responses from three markets, including La Crosse, to be the new location of its Midwest distribution center.

The company said its criteria for the new site included: competitive annual costs; government/economic incentives; property tax abatement; foreign trade zone designation; accessibility to interstate transportation hubs; distribution center selection options and proximity to a major ground/air hub. LaCrosse Footwear is based in Portland, Ore.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/5/30/#lacrosse-footwear-to-shift-jobs-to-indianapolis

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REGISTER NOW: “The Wisconsin Economy in a Time of Uncertainty”

Tomorrow, 7:45 AM at the Madison Club

–A WisBusiness.com-WisPolitics.com Forum presented by AARP Wisconsin–

Panelists include: Scott Lockard, U.S. Bank, Madison market president, James R. Imhoff, Jr., chairman/CEO. First Weber Group, Inc., Bill Duddleston, director of the Center for Economic Education at Edgewood College, Department of Revenue Administrator of the Division of Research and Policy John Koskinen, and State Representative Patricia Strachota, Chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and The Economy.

For more details go to: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=127084

For ticket information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 and [email protected]

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Press Releases
DTE Energy Services Signs Purchase Agreement for Stoneman Power Plant
Johnson Controls Increases Disaster Relief Assistance to China
Keep Your Cool and Sanity This Summer!
Kikkoman Celebrates 35 Years of U.S. Manufacturing
Miller Lite Providing Ultimate Reward for Pro Sports’ Champions
PSC Approves Paddock-Rockdale Power Line in Rock and Dane Counties
Sonic Foundry’s Webcasting Platform Allows Universities and Their Celebrity Guests to Reach Virtual Commencement Audiences
Up-to-the-Minute Travel Insights From AIG Travel Guard
UW-Madison Students Design ‘Disaster’ for Wisconsin Rescue Training Facility
UWM Research Foundation awards $500,000 in catalyst grants
White Cap Real Estate Acquires Class A Professional Building in Waconia, Minn.
WindConnect(R) Selected to Perform Construction of the Locust Ridge II Wind Farm
Wisconsin Energy’s Leverett to Present June 5 at 2008 Citi Power, Gas and Utilities Conference

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


TOP STORIES
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Report: State to add 1,000 jobs by 2016: A large wave of retirees and the growth of startup businesses will help open up roughly 1 million job vacancies in Wisconsin by the year 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Workforce Development. About two-thirds of those projected jobs are directly related to older workers retiring and therefore leaving behind vacancies, said Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman. The medical needs of the aging baby boomer generation will also increase demand for health care professionals, Gassman said.
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05302008_11.asp

It takes a city to build a coal plant in Oak Creek: Project attracts 2,500 workers to Oak Creek… Megan McGuire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in history, but her heart’s desire was to see the world. First stop: Oak Creek. McGuire, 24, of Scranton, Pa., got a job with Bechtel Corp., general contractor for the $2.2 billion We Energies Oak Creek coal plant expansion, known as the Elm Road Generating Station Project. Bechtel, a global engineering, construction and project management corporation with headquarters in San Francisco, has contracts that take its employees all over the world, including Oak Creek.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=757259

Local stem cell firm gets fed grant: Chief scientist cited in Forbes magazine… Madison-based stem cell company Stemina Biomarkers Discovery Inc. has learned it will receive a $150,000 Phase I grant from the National Cancer Institute through the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research grant program, the Wisconsin Technology Council said in a news release Friday. Stemina, founded in late 2006 by chief executive officer Beth Donley and UW-Madison stem cell scientist Gabriella Cezar, is aiming to use human embryonic stem cells to help determine whether new drug candidates will cause birth defects in humans. So-called “biomarker” research can also test drug toxicity in other ways.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/289088

State plans to consolidate job assistance programs: The state plans to consolidate its job assistance programs in 12 regional sites, pulling staff from dozens of smaller communities and placing them in larger cities — a move advocates for the poor criticized. The Department of Workforce Development is consolidating its 157 employees involved in the program at 12 locations: two in Milwaukee and one each in Madison, Janesville, Kenosha, Pewaukee, Green Bay, Menasha, Wausau, Superior, Eau Claire and La Crosse. The centers rely on federal funding, and cutbacks require the consolidation, said Dick Jones, agency liaison for the department.
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory14.asp

Third Wave acquires patents from Agilent: Madison-based Third Wave Technologies Inc. announced Friday that it would acquire intellectual property from Agilent Technologies Inc. related to DNA and RNA analysis. Terms were not disclosed. Third Wave said it would acquire patents and patent applications from Stratagene’s Full Velocity program. Those patents are used in a genetic test known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Third Wave’s genetic technology is called Invader. Third Wave said the acquisition would support the company’s laboratory testing product Invader Plus, which couples the Invader chemistry with PCR. Third Wave said the acquisition also supports the next generation of Invader chemistries, which will amplify and detect DNA, RNA and microRNA on real-time PCR instruments.
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/288953

Feingold asks India to lower tariffs on heavyweight bikes: Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold says he wants officials in India to lower a tariff that he says is preventing Harley-Davidson from selling its bikes there. The Democrat says he urged three different government officials in the country during a visit there this week to lower the 60 percent tariff. He made the comments Friday in New Delhi during a call with reporters. Feingold says he argued that India doesn’t produce the same kinds of heavyweight motorcycles that the Milwaukee-based company does. Harley-Davidson has said it wants to do business in motorcycle-hungry India, but it wants the tariffs reduced first.
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/business/front/topstory05.asp

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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)
– Huge possibilities, tiny product
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756845

– Tech columnist lambasts FCC chair over lagging U.S. broadband
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/289061

– Scientist group on solid ground
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080601/APC03/806010515/1028

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Heparin crisis a blow to company
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/289189#start2

– Custom therapy foreseen for cancer patients
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=757248

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Canadian company to build sand plant in Chippewa Falls
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/06/01/wi/13wis.txt

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Oshkosh Corp. in driver’s seat for new technologies
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756847

– Bassett Mechanical prospering under third-generation leadership
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080601/APC03/806010494/1028

LABOR (back to top)
– Job loss stresses workers
http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/MNH0101/806020594/1980

– Job center gains workers
http://www.gazettextra.com/weblogs/latest-news/2008/may/31/job-center-gains-workers/

– Trades turn to apprentice mentors
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048716&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048716%26snippet%3Df

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Red Apple owner ‘not going to stop’ smokers despite citations
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/WDH0101/806020591/1981/WDHnews

– Séura’s simple beginning turns into big-time growth
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080601/GPG03/806010673/1247

– Madison company offers twist on designated-driver programs
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory08.asp

– Princeton now has its own Village Pub
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/OSH0101/806020428/1987

INVESTING (back to top)
– NorthStar Coop Stockowners Receive in Patronage, Dividends
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=671&yr=2008

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Foreclosure woes hit pair who moved from Wisconsin to California
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/289314

– City to consider inspecting rental properties
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/06/02/local_news/doc48436ca84333a453553376.txt

– Company’s homes let the sun shine in
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756877

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Madison schools to end agriculture program
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/289255

– Audit: Wis. is effective in protecting food, dairy supplies
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory05.asp

– Young Breeder Panel to Highlight National Holstein Convention
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=669&yr=2008

– Old Iron to be on Display at Wisconsin Farm Tech Days
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=670&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Diesel price in Madison hits record, highest in state
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/289313

– Wisconsin motorists slow down, official says
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory02.asp

– Rail congestion pits suburbs against companies
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048717&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048717%26snippet%3Df

RETAIL (back to top)
– Vine & dandy: Wollersheim expansion is more proof that the state of wine is fine in Wisconsin
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/289057

– Pizza Hut turns 50 in tough time for the industry
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/289060

– Evans Department Store in Manitowoc is going out of business
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/GPG03/806020543/1247

– Natural Ovens sees improvement
http://www.htrnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/MAN0101/806020387/1984

– Sale of hybrids gaining traction
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=757105

REGULATION (back to top)
– Bartender rules proposed
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/289188

– Iowa immigration raid spurs calls for action against company owners
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/06/02/news/04raid02.txt

TOURISM (back to top)
– EAA eyes expansion for year-round facility
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080531/GPG03/805310507/1247

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Power line gets initial OK
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/289114

– MGE seeks 7 percent rate increase
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/289126

– Gift boosts windmill project
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/APC0101/806020451/1979/APCnews

– Door County water under microscope
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048715&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048715%26snippet%3Df

– An enormous cavern, painstakingly blasted
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=757092

– A blooming bright idea
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756874

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Dane County Day Report and Treatment Program aims to help nonviolent defendants with drug or alcohol problems
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/289260

– Med Flight service 24/7 again
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/289160

– Doyle reappoints Lintz to EMS Advisory Board
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/GPG03/806020540/1247

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Jittery banks cutting dividends
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756872

– Garner elected to M&I Bank board
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/GPG03/806020544/1247

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Regional, national corporate leaders weigh in on business climate
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05302008_10.asp

– LaCrosse Footwear’s exodus complete in 2009
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/05/31/news/01footwear0531.txt

– Bucyrus joins Harley on IndustryWeek list
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/26/daily38.html?surround=lfn

– State labor secretary reaches milestone
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756871

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Greg Linnemanstons: Ethical behavior can be a good marketing strategy
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080602/APC0701/806020447/1436/APC03

– Tom Saler: Inflation’s an issue, not ’70s crisis
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756848

– Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt: Continually fine-tune your business
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080531/GPG0703/805310505/1247/GPG03

– John Torinus: Engineers, scientists are critical to area’s growth
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=756875

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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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