From WisBusiness.com …
— Kenosha-based JHT Holdings Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.
JHT, through its operating subsidiaries, including Active Truck Transport, LLC, Automotive Carrier Services Co. LLC and Unimark LLC, is a leading provider of transportation services for manufacturers of medium- to heavy-heavy duty trucks throughout the United States, and the company also transports imports from Canada and Mexico.
The company announced it has reached agreement with its lenders to restructure its balance sheet through a voluntary, pre-negotiated Chapter 11 reorganization.
— Oshkosh Corp. says the economic slowdown and the rising costs for raw materials are taking a toll on the company, and it now expects a third-quarter loss of $1.22 to $1.32 per share.
The manufacturer of specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies had previously projected third-quarter earnings per share of $1.40 to $1.50.
The expected loss relates to a non-cash charge for the impairment of goodwill to be recorded in connection with the company’s European refuse collection vehicle manufacturer, the Geesink Norba Group. The impact of the impairment charge on third fiscal quarter earnings is estimated to be approximately $175 million, or $2.32 per share.
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Commerce chief, aide run up big travel bills: Tab is $21,282 for trips outside U.S., even as Doyle tries to trim expenses… At a time when Gov. Jim Doyle has limited the travel of state employees, Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer has been dining on $80 dinners and staying at hotels that cost as much as $555 a night during overseas trade missions. Travel costs for the secretary’s office are up over recent years, in part because Fischer takes an administrative assistant with him wherever he goes. The two previous commerce secretaries under Doyle never took a lower-level aide with them on international trips. Fischer and his executive liaison, Deborah Godt, have often extended their trips, arriving or leaving more than a day before or after their state business abroad.
High water marks for city: Merger validates bid to be global water-tech center… For a glimpse at Milwaukee’s emerging role in the global water-technology industry, check Alok Maskara’s itinerary: In the past two weeks, he has flown from Milwaukee to China, then India, then Chicago, then London. Maskara is leading the combination of General Electric Co.’s fast-growing residential water group, based in Glendale, with the Brookfield-based residential water subsidiary of Pentair Inc. The merged entity is to be based in the Milwaukee area. “It’s the pre-merger rush,” Maskara said in a telephone interview from London. Pentair will own 80% and GE will own 20% of the venture, called Pentair Residential Filtration, with a staff of 1,100 in 15 facilities in the U.S., Europe and China.
Wisconsin milk prices much higher than national average: Residents of America’s Dairyland are paying significantly more for milk than people outside the state. The average price of milk soared to an estimated $20.80 per 100 pounds in June, up $1.70 from the previous month. That’s well above the national average of $19.40 per 100 pounds, which is up $1 since May. The USDA says prices for corn, soybeans, oat and hay also are up nationally and in Wisconsin. Corn averaged an estimated $6.20 per bushel in Wisconsin in June and $6.12 per bushel nationwide. That’s almost twice as much as it cost last year at that time.
Alcohol woven into small-town economy: The bar at Coppershot, a jumping downtown nightspot, gleams. Owner Scott Hanadel has plenty of help keeping the bar’s copper surface polished: the elbows of all those drinkers. The popular bar frequently is packed, especially when there’s live entertainment — no small feat in a town with so much competition for a drinker’s dollar. Including restaurant bars and those inside other gathering spots such as the local VFW post, New London has one bar for roughly every 420 residents. That ranks among the higher numbers nationwide but is not unusual by Wisconsin standards. A 1990 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that Wisconsin was home to seven of the country’s top 10 metropolitan areas with the most bars per capita.
Buzz growing for Point: New beers help propel decades-old firm into new markets… For more than 100 years, Stevens Point Brewery was best known for its Point Special brand, known as “The Blue Bullet,” an inexpensive, mainstream lager nicknamed for its familiar blue label. But six years after being sold to Milwaukee investors Joe Martino and Jim Wiechmann, Stevens Point Brewery now brews over a dozen beer brands and is growing faster than a speeding bullet. Most of those new beers, as well as a line of gourmet sodas, were launched by Martino and Wiechmann to tap into the nation’s growing thirst for craft beer and sodas. As a result, Stevens Point’s 2008 revenue, which the company wouldn’t disclose, is expected to be double what it was in 2002, when the brewery was sold, Martino said.
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– Sonic Foundry leader bets on Webcasts
– DirecTV launches on-demand service
– State Farm Technology expo ‘only days away’
ECONOMY (back to top)
– U.S. dollar loses influence around globe
– Hartland firm sells electronic catalog business
– Milwaukee could become biker mecca
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Janesville manufacturer takes labor costs to new level
LABOR (back to top)
– Job gains in insurance industry buck statewide employment trends
– Employers use federal law to deny benefits
SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Kewaunee family bakery keeps rising
INVESTING (back to top)
– Two stocks would gain from a drop in oil prices
– Kewaunee office ‘1-stop shop’ for land, homes
– Allied residents can’t afford ‘affordable’
– Michael Ruzicka discusses the local real estate market
AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– June milk prices expected to rise 30 cents in Wisconsin
– State & National Cheese Production Rose During May
– Higher gas prices have more people taking the train
RETAIL (back to top)
– Back-to-school house rock
REGULATION (back to top)
– Mayor blocks roundabout projects
– Magnolia adopts ordinance regulating wind turbines
– Scheduling error has annual festival in peril
– Parts for wind farm take over Green Bay rail yard
– Higher winter heating bills expected
HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Affinity Health cited for its green efforts
– Bellin clinic in Brillion adds cardio services
– Small banks are staying strong
– West Bend, Greenfield banks join forces
MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Commerce secretary travel costs are up
– Schreiber Foods VP appointed to college board
– West Salem disappointed by county’s reaction to streetscaping project
BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Maria Krueger: Online, traditional marketing need uniform message
– Ray Unger: There are bargains on Wall Street
– John Torinus: Experts offer ideas on warding off fiscal mess
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