(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 25 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— During his two-year tenure as Wisconsin’s Commerce secretary, Cory Nettles worked to increase investment in the state’s industries, grow jobs and improve Wisconsin’s image in this country and abroad.

Some things don’t change. Nettles, a partner at Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, is still working to bolster the Badger State economy, only in this go-around, he’s comfortably ensconced in the private sector as an attorney and entrepreneur.

“Most of my time now is spent trying to walk the talk,” said Nettles in an interview with WisBusiness.com.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=134243

— Hartford has lost its longtime economic development advocate, Werner X. Wolpert.

Wolpert, a driving force in business promotion in the Hartford area, died Friday of natural causes. In May, he retired as executive director of the Hartford Area Development Corp. (HADC) after 16 years on the job. He was 80.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/8/22/#hartford-business-advocate-wolpert-passes-away

— Wisconsin once again will be the nation’s leader in cranberry production this year. That’s great for Western Wisconsin, and the entire state.

It also is enough evidence to support the industry’s cry for expansion in the region. Cranberry growers have petitioned the Department of Natural Resources to expedite the water quality certification process so Wisconsin can get a jump on expansion over Canada.

Growers would like to expand operations by 28%, which could mean more than 1,100 jobs in the state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a general permit for the expansion, but each cranberry operation wishing to expand stills need a water quality certification from the DNR which regulates the impacts to state wetlands.

See Gregg Hoffmann column: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=202

— Iowa County will receive a $500,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant–Public Facilities (CDBG-PF) program of the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to fund the construction of an addition to the Hodan Center, Inc.

Iowa County plans to construct a 10,000-square-foot, one-story building adjoining the present Hodan Center, which employs people with disabilities to make jams, pickles, sauces, soups, as well as cookie, pancake and dip mixes under the Recipes for Independence Program. The total project cost is $1,520,000. The project will create six to ten part-time jobs for people with severe disabilities, four full-time supervisory staff jobs and will retain over 75-part time jobs for people with severe disabilities.

Commerce administers the CDBG Program. These CDBG-PF grants play an important role in helping communities finance a wide range of projects designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community through the provision of community infrastructure, the expansion of tax base, job creation, and increased private investment in downtowns.



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Press Releases
American Corn Growers Association Endorses Obama
Governor Doyle Announces $500,000 for Hodan Center Expansion
Building the Mediasite Enterprise: How the University of Maryland, Baltimore Developed the Infrastructure and Consensus for Campus-wide Lecture Capture
Governor Doyle Announces Wausau Equipment Company, Inc. Expansion
History(TM) Announces Save Our History Grants
Marshall & Ilsley Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Dividend
Power-Save Energy Company Announces Aqua Finance as Power-Save Solar Consumer Finance Partner
UW-Madison Moves Up in Latest Rankings

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


Epic Systems’ $300 million expansion tangible sign of success: Madison firm helps in shift from paper to electronic health records … The complex of buildings, set on the crest of a small hill against a backdrop of slightly rolling farmland, is a startling sight. Epic Systems Corp. will have spent more than $300 million on the complex southwest of Madison when work on the most recent expansion ends late next year. It may be the most tangible sign of the company’s success. Epic’s revenue jumped from $31 million in 1997 to $500 million last year, and it is one of the state’s fastest growing companies. It employs 3,250 people, having hired on average at least one person every weekday for the past decade. Its payroll tops $250 million a year, and all but a few of its employees work in the Madison area.

Workers rally in last-ditch bid to save jobs: Hundreds of paper mill workers in Outagamie County plan a rally Sept. 6 in a last-ditch effort to save their jobs. About 475 workers will be laid off next month when the NewPage plant in Kimberly closes. Union leaders said the community’s survival depends on the plant, and countless families will be devastated if it closes. NewPage executives claim rising costs and foreign competition have forced it to shut down operations there. Union president Andy Nirschl has called on NewPage to run the mill or sell it to a company whose products don’t compete with NewPage. He says he hopes the rally will convince state and federal leaders to act to save the mill.

Focus on investing roots pays off for Heartland: Value funds’ performance deserves attention, analyst says … If the performance of Heartland Funds had stumbled while the firm that manages them was facing charges of fraud from regulators, it might have been deemed a consequence of being distracted by such a jarring accusation. But as the Milwaukee mutual fund firm Heartland Advisors Inc. defended itself for five years against Securities and Exchange Commission allegations and eventually settled on a much-less-serious charge, its value funds remained among the best performers in their categories. Now, says an analyst who had been reluctant to recommend Heartland’s value funds while SEC action was looming, it may be time to move past memories of Heartland’s ill-fated venture into high-yield municipal bond funds and look at what it’s really been good at all along…

Wisconsin ranks first in many national ag commodities: Farmers in the Dairy State continue to produce a wider variety of agricultural commodities than any other state in the nation besides California. The latest numbers from the Wisconsin Ag Statistics Service indicates that the state’s diverse farming industry continues to be above most as it ranked first nationally in at least nine different commodity areas during the past year. Officials say the state places first in total cheese production, as well as specific types of cheeses such as American and Muenster. Wisconsin also ranks on top for dry whey and milk goats. However, California took the top spot of being the leading butter producing state several years ago, and was still ahead in total milk production.

Case IH lands $12 million worth of cotton picker contracts in China: Case IH, a leading brand in the agricultural equipment business of CNH and Fiat Group, recently signed two contracts totaling nearly $12 million with the Xinjiang Agriculture Cultivation Group in China to supply 40 Case IH CPX620 cotton pickers. The pickers, manufactured in Benson, Minn., will be delivered to Division 1 and Division 6 of XACG in the third quarter of 2008 in time for the cotton harvest in Xinjiang Province. “As we look to expand our business in China, these new contracts represent a strong positive in that direction for our company,” said Franco Fusignani, chief executive officer of CNH International. Case IH CPX620 cotton pickers harvest from both sides of the cotton plant, providing customers with the best harvesting efficiency on the market.


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)
– Broadband growth slowing in U.S.

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Brown Co. to build methane facility

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Time Warner, Big Ten Network negotiations take ugly turn

– Take me to your market

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– LTC offering Lean program

– CEI signs energy agreement

LABOR (back to top)
– Labor leader Hicks ‘lives and breathes blue collar’

– Milwaukee paper lays off 22, none from newsroom

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Drinking and drying takes a hit downtown

– New members each bring something to Dynamic Print Group

INVESTING (back to top)
– Spectrum stock spirals to new low

– Analyst sees copper as a shining investment

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Wanted: Allied Drive architect

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Organic Valley puts brakes on expansion

– Dairy Product Grading Clinic to be Held September 30

– Door Co. orchard expects normal apple crop

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Dip in Labor Day travel expected, AAA says

– Lake Delton road project ahead of schedule

– Traffic ‘sufficient’ to sustain 2 area airports

RETAIL (back to top)
– Bank will take over Gagliano’s Market

– Packers CEO builds up marketing

REGULATION (back to top)
– PCB cleanup supplies to be stored in Town of Menasha

– Is EPA decision unfair for Waukesha County?

– Officials refuse to modify mercury rules

TOURISM (back to top)
– Big party for Harley-Davidson, owners group anniversaries

– Harley’s 105th combines thrill of the ride with family reunion of sorts

– Baseball at Frame Park is dream come true for promoter

UTILITIES (back to top)
– DNR: Wis. electric project could kill wood turtles

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– UW System audit says mental health needs outpacing resources

– Waiting times low at Valley hospitals

– Total of uninsured unknown

– General Casualty: Flounder to flourish

– UW-L takes financial hit on credit card fees

– Emergency flood aid now up to $81.5 million

– Nonprofits fear community development funds will drop

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Knupp & Watson sold to employee

– Kohl’s looks for continuity in new CEO

– New UWM engineering dean helps guide expansion

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Tom Saler: Subprime mortgage trauma is similar to S&L crisis

– Ray Unger: Don’t rely on conventional wisdom

– Greg Linnemanstons: If you’re not LinkedIn, you’re likely to be left out

– John Torinus: R&D collaboration can stimulate region

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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