(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 3 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— TODAY: Luncheon with new UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin

The guest at WisBusiness.com Luncheon at the Madison Club is new UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin.

To learn more about Chancellor Martin visit: http://www.chancellor.wisc.edu/

The 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.

— The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is due to hold public hearings today in Eau Claire and La Crosse on Northern States Power Company’s (NSP is a division of Xcel Energy) request to adjust its electric rates by $67.4 million (14.3 percent on average) and natural gas rates by $5.3 million (3.3 percent on average). Xcel has requested to increase its electric rates by 8.6 percent. In addition to addressing fuel and maintenance cost increases, the NSP/Xcel rate hike sets a target rate of return for shareholders at 11 percent.

Testimony can be heard on-line at the PSC website from 3-6:30 p.m. today from the following places: the Amnicon Room at PSC Headquarters in Madison; at the Old Library, room 1132 at the UW-Eau Claire; and from the Wing Communications Building, room 102 at UW-La Crosse.

Last week, Xcel Energy released its third quarter earnings, reporting $223 milllion or $0.51/share compared to $255 million or $0.59/share in 2007. Xcel attributed the lower earnings to unfavorable summer weather conditions (moderate temperatures) and lower-than-expected sales growth, meaning lower home construction and lower air conditioner use depressed third quarter income. Outages at nuclear plants raised costs $17 million during the third quarter as alternative fuels replaced energy from nuclear plants. Utility officials said the current credit crisis had not affected its credit rating or ability to borrow, based on long-standing credit arrangements and good liquidity.

The utility reports plans to increase rates in Minnesota and Colorado as it continues with its rate hike requests in Wisconsin.

— The fear of more western Wisconsin layoffs remains strong, and was fueled last week when Ingersoll-Rand Co., which acquired Trane in June, disclosed plans to lay off several thousand employees and close some plants around the world.

In a new WisBusiness column, Gregg Hoffmann says it’s not clear whether Trane operations in La Crosse will be affected. Layoff plans were disclosed by Ingersoll-Rand CEO Herbert L. Henkel in a conference call with analysts, after the company announced third-quarter earnings.

Read more about the potential impact of the Ingersoll-Rand announcement:




**NOV. 18: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading**

Discovery World


7:30-9 a.m.

Featuring: Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel, former Commerce Secretary Cory L. Nettles of Quarles & Brady, Competitive Wisconsin Director and former Commerce Secretary William McCoshen, state Sen. Ted Kanavas, a member of the Senate committee on economic development, and UW-Madison political scientist Ken Goldstein.

Moderated by Mike Gousha of the Marquette Law School and host of “UpFront with Mike Gousha.”

Presented by WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness in cooperation with Competitive Wisconsin, MMAC and Discovery World. Quarles & Brady is an initial sponsor of the event.

See details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=139211



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Press Releases
· AG Van Hollen: Milk specialties company of Sheboygan County ordered to pay $75,000 for violations of state water pollution control laws
· AG Van Hollen: Wayside Dairy Farm, Inc. of Brown County ordered to pay $56,250 for violations of state water pollution control laws
· Dept. of Commerce: Gov. Doyle announces funding for D&S Manufacturing, Inc.
· Dept. of Commerce: Gov. Doyle announces funding for Northland Stainless, Inc.
· Dept. of Natural Resources: Phillips Plastics Corporation Multi-Shot raises Green Tier flag
· Dept. of Workforce Development: Governor Doyle announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at RR Donnelley, Monroe
· Gov. Doyle: Announces agreement with federal government to offer health care to childless adults
· Milw. Mayor Barrett: Letter to Judge Kremers regarding foreclosures
· Milwaukee Co. Board Chairman Holloway: Voters will have opportunity to consider lower property taxes
· WFTC: Scary job offshoring numbers released on Halloween
· Wisconsin Health Care Association: Wisconsin ranks last in payment for resident care costs

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


Oshkosh Corp. gets $1.2 billion Army contract: Just days after losing out on a military contract to develop a vehicle to replace the battle-tested Humvee, Oshkosh Corp. secured a new deal with the U.S. Army worth an estimated $1.2 billion. Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corp., will add more than 6,000 upgraded vehicles to the U.S. Army’s Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicle fleet under a new three-year contract from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command.

Oshkosh gets $46M defense truck order

Kimberly-Clark buys shares of Colombian subsidiary: Kimberly-Clark improved its position on a global scale this week. The firm, which has operations in 80 countries, announced it reached agreement to purchase remaining shares in its Colombian subsidiary. K-C will acquire 31 percent of the remaining shares. The transaction is expected to close in late January.

Energizer wins injunction against Spectrum in battery patent suit: Energizer Holdings Inc., which makes batteries, razors and personal care products, said Friday it was granted a preliminary injunction in a patent infringement case against Spectrum Brands Inc. that will keep some of its competitor’s batteries off store shelves. Energizer is alleging Spectrum infringed one of its patents by importing primary lithium batteries made in China and selling them under the Rayovac Lithium label in the U.S.

Madison Gas & Electric buying more wind power: Madison Gas and Electric said Friday that it is now buying 50 megawatts of wind power-generated electricity from a wind farm in northeast Iowa under a 10-year agreement with a unit of FPL Energy. The wind farm is among four new wind farms in Wisconsin and Iowa that began to produce electricity this year, expanding Madison-based MGE’s wind power capacity by more than 12 times to 137 megawatts in 2008.


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)
– Charter makes changes: Expanded Basic up $2 a month; HD tier cut by $3

– Newspapers see sharp circulation drop of 4.6 pct

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Palmer Johnson expands production

– Johnson Controls wins supplier diversity award

LABOR (back to top)
– Retirees should expect decrease in state pension fund checks

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Madison nanny service branches into Fox Valley

– Domnitz Flowers in Two Rivers offering special creations for 70 years

– New MERLIN group aims to help startups

INVESTING (back to top)
– Session focuses on market volatility

– Miller Electric parent declares dividend

– Halloween trick no treat for many investors

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Pribbernow Painting expanding operation

– Few women in real estate development are paving the way

– Menomonee Valley renewal wins award

– Oconomowoc condo project developer defends construction holdup

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Pest management sessions are scheduled across state

– State veal, livestock producers eye California proposition

– Groups receive money from Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

– Succession plan urged for family farm transition

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Coast Guard’s new compliance date for credentials is Dec. 1

RETAIL (back to top)
– Wausau retail stores decline hiring holiday staffs in tough economy

– Despite economic skid, beep goes on at shops

– Steinhafels Furniture finding ways to thrive in down market

REGULATION (back to top)
– Barrett’s foreclosure moratorium request denied

TOURISM (back to top)
– Former promoter offers exit to Milwaukee Mile stalemate

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Mike Ruesche files small claims case against Enbridge Energy for pipeline workers’ use of land in Seneca

– Alliant Energy 3Q profit slips on flooding costs

– Alliant Energy reports lower earnings

– MG&E adds to supply of wind-produced electricity

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Bellin Health to open new Ashwaubenon retail shops

– Pact would expand BadgerCare to childless adults

– GoodMoney an alternative to payday lenders

– Take it to the bank: M&I still leads the Madison metro area in deposits, but smaller banks also fare well

– Bank told to improve consumer policies

– Mortgage insurance CEO would do it all over again

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Who’s news: Poyry names new executive vice president

– Management program slated in Green Bay

– Roundtable program provides network for CEOs

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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