(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 24 Nov. 2008

&TFrom WisBusiness.com …

— More than 40 state banks may end up applying for aid under the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program, part of the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to Wisconsin Bankers Association CEO Kurt Bauer.

“We are anticipating that anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the total 300 Wisconsin banks may decide to apply for the program,” he said. “We have certainly encouraged all of our member institutions to at least take a look at it and see if it would be a benefit to them.”

Bauer scoffed at calling TARP a “bailout.”

“It has been billed by some as that, but I disagree,” he said. “I think it’s actually not a bailout. I think it’s financial institutions taking advantage of below-market cost of capital that is being offered by the government.

“I think it will help the … banking industry depart from this downturn in the economy and (emerge) stronger than ever,” said Bauer.

To date, Associated Bank, Anchor Bank and M&I bank have gone public on their plans to apply for TARP funds.

See more from the WisBusiness interview with Bauer:

— In projects that attracted numerous potential contractors, the state Department of Administration closed bids on eight construction projects last week. Several companies from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan submitted bids on the projects.

Topping the list was the renovation of and addition to the UW-Madison School of Education Building on Bascom Hill, with a projected price tag of $24.4 million. Final bid approval is expected this week.

Several of the other projects include a $550,000 water boiler replacement project at the Ethan Allen School at Wales, $200,000 in fire alarms at Jackson Correctional Facility in Black River Falls and $144,000 for the installation of a solar power system at UW-Milwaukee.

Check these and other past bids: http://wisbuild.doa.state.wi.us/dfd/dfd_reports/bid_list_public-past.asp

See other upcoming projects:

— Logistics Health officials decided it was time to fight back last week.

The La Crosse-based health management company had been under fire for allegedly dragging its feet in providing health services to responders who helped in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists’ attack.

Read WisBusiness columnist Gregg Hoffmann’s take on the situation:

— In his latest offering, Fashion Forward columnist Mitch Bram looks at fashionable ways to dress for Wisconsin winters.

Read his column:

— See video of the recent WisBusiness.com/WisPolitics.com state economic forum where state leaders hinted that the state would piggyback on a possible national stimulus for states with an effort of its own in early 2009 in order to boost the lagging economy:

— Thomas Mackie — the CEO of TomoTherapy, recently told an Edgewood College gathering about his most important rules for success.

He said they are: “plan for disaster and design for success, don’t give up, stay with it if reward trumps risk, do what you do well and ignore the competition, hire people better than yourself, and have them hire people better than themselves, share rewards and spare risks, network, and be skeptical, yet optimistic.”

See video or listen to audio of his presentation:

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s news summary regarding the Public Service Commission and AT&T contained several inaccuracies. A corrected version of the item appears below.

The state Public Service Commission on Thursday voted to continue reviewing the effects of a partial deregulation of AT&T’s local service in Wisconsin, turning down an AT&T request to close the matter. The review involves a 2005 decision to suspend price regulation for basic local service provided by AT&T (then known as SBC Wisconsin).

During the discussion leading up to Thursday’s decision, PSC Chair Eric Callisto argued that “staff can monitor these issues and [this issue] does not warrant an annual report,” so the agency could close the docket.

But commissioner Mark Meyer successfully argued in favor of keeping the docket open, saying that AT&T still needed to be monitored because it has more customers using the affected level of service than any other provider.

“The arguments haven’t changed,” Meyer said. “In 2005 AT&T was the largest provider in Wisconsin. Since then they’ve lost market share, but they are still the largest provider.”

In the end, the PSC voted unanimously to keep the docket open.



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Press Releases
· Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin: Urges swift action on infrastructure investments
· Dept. of Revenue: October revenue collections
· Plum Creek: Honored with Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education award
· St. Croix EDC: Regional health cooperative honored at Synergy Conference
· Sub-Zero Inc., Wolf Appliance Inc.: Kitcheninspiration.com launches, offers personal designer experience at the click of a mouse
· U.S. Sen. Kohl: Calls on Treasury to help distressed homeowners as it moves to stabilize the economy
· Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation: 2008 Thanksgiving meal price survey

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


NewPage workers to picket parent firm in New York: The parent company of NewPage is willing to hear what a handful of workers have to say about either selling or reopening the shuttered Kimberly paper mill. Cerberus spokesman Peter Duda said Thursday that someone will meet with the contingent from Kimberly, which tentatively plans to travel to New York City on Dec. 8 to plead their case. “We’ll certainly meet with them,” Duda said.

Wisconsin’s lawmakers wary of auto bailout : Wisconsin has two auto industry plants. Both are in Rep. Paul Ryan’s district. But Ryan is not sounding overly sympathetic these days to automakers or their pleas for $25?billion in government assistance. Like most Republicans and a number of Democrats, Ryan opposes using part of the $700?billion financial bailout package to help the ailing industry, arguing it would not be the proper use of those funds. “This is not what the (money) is for or should be for,” he said. “It was to save the broader economy from crashing.”

MillerCoors hires ad partnership as agency of record: MillerCoors said Friday that a partnership of three marketing agencies has won the competitive pitch to become the brewer’s media planning and buying agency of record. The partnership, called MC Media, comprises Chicago-based Draftfcb, Initiative and Kinetic, an out-of-home ad agency in New York City. Draftfcb and Initiative are Interpublic Group agencies.

Hunters enjoy near-perfect conditions on opening day: Nearly perfect hunting conditions greeted southern Wisconsin hunters as the state’s regular nine-day gun deer season got underway on Saturday.


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

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Colleges fear financial aid bubble may burst’

– Frugality is in – nationwide and in Wisconsin

– Savings eaten up: Unlike gas, Thanksgiving dinner costs more

– Graef Anhalt acquires Planning & Design Institute

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Built to last: Verona’s Cleary Building Corp. continues to build its business even in a tough economy

– Nominees sought for manufacturer awards

LABOR (back to top)
– Jobless to get extended benefits

– American Family trimming its work force

– Researcher sees both sides of sick pay debate

– Fox Valley Technical College opens doors for workers

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Central Wisconsin housing market decline consistent with rest of state

– Real estate group backs sick leave law challenge

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Kuhn & Kuhn-Knight Becomes Kuhn North America

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Ashwaubenon’s Schneider gets FedEx award

– DOT project will take toll

RETAIL (back to top)
– Retailers hope for profitable Friday

– Consignment shops get boost from economic downturn

– Verona’s Miller & Sons may buy Kalscheur’s grocery in Mt. Horeb

– Halloween Express makes or breaks year in two months

REGULATION (back to top)
– Deadline nears for Wisconsin sales tax refund

TOURISM (back to top)
– Pabst Theater Foundation venues step into the limelight

– Ex-Visit Milwaukee exec Denis joins Door County bureau

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Downturn spreads to health care

– Pediatric radiologists leave to run imaging center

– States credit unions see growth

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– General Growth Properties retains adviser

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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