(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 21 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Midwest Airlines in fighting for its survival and is doing everything it can do avoid filing for bankruptcy, CEO Tim Hoeksema tells Up Front’s Mike Gousha in an interview.

To cut costs, the airline announced Sunday it is cutting service to San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Meyers and will make service to Orlando seasonal. In addition, its affiliate, Midwest Connect is trimming eight flights.

Last week, the company said it will trim its workforce by 40 percent and make other cuts. Hoeksema blamed the soaring price of airline fuel, which he said has doubled in the past year and is forcing airlines to shed 80,000 workers and cut hundreds of flights.

In addition, Gousha also discusses the MillerCoors decision to locate the company’s new corporate headquarters in Chicago.

See interview: http://www.wisn.com/upfront/16934566/detail.html#video

— Schreiber Foods has notified state and local officials that it plans to terminate 135 employees at its Wisconsin Rapids plant beginning Sept. 18.

Company officials, who did not give a reason for the layoffs, said the affected workers are not represented by a union and do not have any bumping rights. The state Department of Workforce Development said it has plans to meet with the soon-to-be dislocated employees.

— The GE Healthcare Life Support Systems plant in Madison, which makes anesthesia products, has cut 30 workers. Andy Bauer, business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 121, said company officials told him the layoffs of production workers should be temporary and that they could be called back when business conditions improve.

The Life Support Systems plant is on Madison’s southeast side. It was former called Datex-Ohmeda. GE Healthcare also has the former Lunar operation on the far west side of the city. That facility makes bone density screening devices, but is not planning any cuts. Combined, the two facilities have around 900 workers.

— A coalition of cranberry producers and processors has announced a potential expansion of cranberry acreage in Wisconsin that could eventually bring 1,115 new jobs to the state and have an annual economic impact of $75 million.

The coalition is seeking fast-track approval from the state for permits that would allow growers to increase the number of acres of the crop grown here to 23,000 from the current 18,000.

“Growers don’t want to have to wait two years to get the permits,” argued Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association head Tom Lochner, who said the move to expand is driven by a growing national and international demand for the fruit. He said the cranberry industry now contributes $350 million to the state’s economy and supports around 7,200 jobs.

Lochner said his group, as well as representatives of Ocean Spray Cranberries and Cliffstar, a juice producer, have met with Gov. Jim Doyle and the Department of Natural Resources to push their case.

Lee Sensenbrenner, a spokesman for Doyle, confirmed that the governor had met with cranberry growers.

“They are an important part of our agricultural economy,” Sensenbrenner said. “We want to maintain high environmental standards, but we can look at ways to streamline the administrative burden so they can make this investment here.”

Katie Nekola, who represents Clean Wisconsin, said her group would still want a “thorough environmental impact analysis to be done on any expansion plans to protect our valuable wetlands. And we would also want to preserve the public’s right to participate in the permitting process.”

See the full WisBusiness.com story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=131445

More than 25 government officials and environmental experts from China are in Wisconsin this week to attend the first “China-US Water Symposium: A Wisconsin Idea Approach, Connecting Science, Policy and Practice.”

The gathering is the brainchild of Xiaojun Lu, a UW-Madison microbiology doctoral candidate from Beijing and one of 1,300 Chinese students and 100 Chinese faculty on the campus.

“We hope this symposium will build relationships among scientists, business people, government officials and conservation groups,” said Lu, who helped start the “Environment & Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars” in 2006. Since then, the organization has grown dramatically and now has members in 21 states in this country and 25 provinces in China.

“Like all developing countries, China has a number of environmental problems, much like the U.S. did when it was industrializing,” said Lu, president of the group. “The visitors are here to learn lessons from the U.S.”

In addition to Madison, he said the Chinese delegation will visit Door County and Milwaukee. They will meet with researchers, government officials, business leaders and environmental group members while in the Badger State.

Lu said the group chose to focus on water because Wisconsin has a great deal of expertise in that area, plus numerous businesses that deal with water.

See story: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=131452

— Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc. is reporting second-quarter net earnings of $107.4 million, down about 33 percent from a profit of $160.4 million for the second quarter of 2007.

Wall Street reacted negatively to the news, and Manpower’s stock fell more than $8 on Friday to $47.55, down roughly 50 percent from a 52-week high of $95.13. The company’s revenues for the second quarter were $5.9 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the second quarter of 2007.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/7/18/#manpower-quarterly-earnings-down-33-percent


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy.

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
Best in Class: St. George’s University Medical Students Share Strategies for Webcasting Success
Hologic, Inc. Accepts Shares of Third Wave Technologies, Inc. in Tender Offer and Commences Subsequent Offering Period
Kaua’i Vacations New ‘Three for Free’ Deal
Manpower Reports 2nd Quarter and First Half 2008 Results
Midwest Hospital Recognized for Green Initiatives
WEYCO Group, Inc. Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call

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


Midwest Airlines to reduce flights, end service to eight cities: High fuel costs prompt company to limit offerings… Citing the struggle with rising fuel costs, Midwest Airlines has announced it will cut its flight schedule, dropping flights to leisure destinations. The airline will retain departures to core business destinations on which the company built its base. The changes roll back the Milwaukee-based service to levels that existed at the start of the decade — before a recession and the 2001 terrorist attacks. Flights to San Diego, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Fort Myers, Fla., will be cut entirely. Tampa will be the only Florida city retaining year-round service from Midwest. Nonstop flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle also will be dropped. Those flights will now stop in Kansas City, Mo., where the airline will pick up additional fuel and passengers.

Wisconsin’s fund to pay jobless running dry: With the economy struggling and jobless claims rising in the state, Wisconsin’s reserve fund for paying those claims could slip into insolvency in March of next year, a state projection shows. That could force the state, for the first time in two decades, to borrow money from the federal government to pay jobless claims by laid-off workers. The state’s unemployment reserve fund, already well below national averages and federal recommendations, has just a quarter of the cash it had 7� years ago on the eve of the country’s last economic slowdown, state and federal figures show. Steps to strengthen the fund reserves take effect early next year, but the fund could face a crisis if jobless claims shoot up before then, experts said.

Union workers seeing pink: State of organized labor not good for paper, other manufacturing sectors… Wisconsin workers are seeing a lot of pink this year. The state Department of Workforce Development has issued layoff notices affecting more than 9,500 workers this year, not including the 1,200 employees to be furloughed when the Midwest Air Group, the Milwaukee-based parent of Midwest Airlines, trims 40 percent of its staff as it announced last week. But it’s been layoffs in huge chunks affecting largely union shops — 850 United Auto Workers at General Motors in Janesville; 501 United Steelworkers at the Domtar paper mill to be shut down in Port Edwards; another 320 at the NewPage (formerly Stora Enso) facility in Niagara — that have dominated the labor news since Jan. 1.

Cranberry companies hope to grow more in Wis.: Two major cranberry companies are pushing Wisconsin farmers to grow more, but they say that can’t happen unless the state speeds the permit process. The presidents of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and Cliffstar Corp. say the state needs to speed up the permit process for farmers turning acreage into cranberry bogs. They are hoping to increase acres planted by 30 percent to 23,000 to help satisfy growing demand from overseas. Ocean Spray chief executive Randy Papadellis says the request should be good news for Wisconsin. The increase could create more than 1,100 jobs and add $75 million per year to the state economy. The cranberry industry already generates 7,200 jobs and $350 million per year in Wisconsin, the nation’s largest cranberry producer.

Schreiber Foods to close Wisconsin Rapids plant, cut 135 jobs: The local workforce in southern Wood County is taking another major blow as Schreiber Foods announced that it will shut down its dairy plant in Wisconsin Rapids in a few months. The Green Bay-based company said Friday it will eliminate about 135 production, quality assurance, laboratory and office jobs on September 30. Production will be transferred to Schreiber’s new facility in Carthage, Missouri. A spokesperson for the company said the products produced at the Wisconsin Rapids location tend to be shipped south to customers in the southeast United States and that moving the production to Missouri would help reduce transportation costs. The plant mainly processes and manufactures natural dairy products.

New Wis. regulations for commercial fishing: Wisconsin has proposed new regulations to govern commercial fishing on the Great Lakes, giving the state new tools to make sure the fishery is protected while reducing burdensome paperwork for fishermen, a state expert says. “Some of the laws were rather old and hadn’t changed with the times, and business practices have changed,” said Thomas Hansen, a warden who coordinated the revisions for the state Department of Natural Resources. The DNR is conducting hearings on the proposals and expects to have a final version before the Natural Resources Board by September or October, Hansen said. The changes, part of new laws already passed by the Legislature, were part of a nearly decade-long process following law enforcement actions in 1990s that resulted in multiple convictions for the illegal harvest and sale of yellow perch by a number of commercial fishers in Lake Michigan, Hansen 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)
– For AT&T, a whole new U-verse

– Wisconsin among highest spammed states

– Playing their e-cards right

BIOTECH (back to top)
– GE Healthcare cuts staff in Madison

– Officials will try to curb algae after receiving EPA study grant

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Consumers make changes — but will they last?

– Manpower Inc. sees second-quarter profits fall

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Bemis Co. earnings report to be issued

– Remaking MukLuks for the catwalk

– Workshop will focus on lean manufacturing

LABOR (back to top)
– State board reworks Job Centers reorganization

– Area businesses see lack of qualified workers

– Four-day workweek draws attention

– MATC LPN program lags in licensing, grads

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Ribbon cutting for Joannes Bed & Breakfast is Thursday

– Union hospitality keeps patrons coming back

– Divino Gelato scoops up second location

INVESTING (back to top)
– Cereal stocks still have pop

– Downtown Green Bay great for investments

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Alexander Co. plans to install boat dock

– 800-acre Racine County duck farm to be auctioned

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin’s cranberry acreage may grow to keep up with demand

– Wisconsin continues to lead in mink production

– Farmers in Wisconsin, nation to produce more wheat

– H&S Mfg, Kuhn Scores High in Dealer Satisfaction Survey

– State & National Milk Production Up in June

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Midwest regulars rethink travel after flight-cut announcement

– Many roads in Chequamegon-Nicolet could be closed

RETAIL (back to top)
– Starbucks at 2825 University Ave. to close

– Dealers see demand for fuel efficiency

– New Johnson Outdoors products tout latest technology

REGULATION (back to top)
– Appleton sets $50,000 aside for PCB legal work

– Congress considering a gas tax increase

– Proposed tax levy increase for Twin Lakes district to go to vote

– State might tweak project delivery

– Paid sick leave issue will likely go to voters

TOURISM (back to top)
– Businesses still reeling from lake drain

– Wausau to host world canoe races

– New statues are today’s mane event

UTILITIES (back to top)
– WPS ranks seventh of 12

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Popular Medicare plans to change

– Madison psychiatrist is a big Web hit

– Mixed data in transplant report

– Flight for Life to open new base in Fond du Lac

– Colorful solutions help state hospitals

– Dental Health opens sixth branch

– Treasury secretary: Banking system sound, deposits protected

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– ‘Chairman Bob’ meets Madison challenge

– Former UW-L provost named interim president at Utah university

– GE taps company veteran to lead health care unit

– Guiliani, Archie Manning headline Northwestern Mutual conference

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Barbara Wulf: Seekers must be flexible in fragile job market

– John Torinus: Transparency in Milwaukee health prices a long time coming

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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