(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 1 May 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Rising costs are forcing Chromalox to close plants in two southern Wisconsin communities in July and lay off a total of 110 workers, according to company officials. The firm, formerly known as Ogden Manufacturing, makes electrical heating and control products.

Company officials say restructuring means it must shut down its factories in Albany, where 80 employees will be terminated; and Orfordville, where 30 will lose their jobs. None of the workers have bumping rights.

They say the positions will be moved to other manufacturing locations and that workers will be given the chance to relocate.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=124910

— Gov. Jim Doyle is touting the enrollment of 72,000 new people in the state’s BadgerCare Plus program since Feb. 1, 45,000 of them children. The state’s original goal was to enroll about 26,000 individuals in the first 12 to 18 months.

“This much higher than expected enrollment, I think, signifies two things. First, the incredible demand that is out there the people in this state that need affordable health care and second, it is the result of a lot of work in that both in state government and in our cooperating agencies,” Doyle said during a news conference at Day Care Services for Children Inc. in Milwaukee.

On Feb. 1, the state launched BadgerCare Plus, which allows families, regardless of income, to have access to affordable health care coverage for their children. WisPolitics reported last month that the state signed up 64,000 new people for the program in the first month after it was launched.

Doyle said that the state is not dismantling the current health care structure, but streamlining family Medicaid, BadgerCare, and Healthy Start into a comprehensive program. He wants to make Wisconsin America’s health care leader and have 98 percent of the population insured.

“Here in Wisconsin, even though we have hardly been immune from this downturn, we have still made it a commitment to protect our basic values and to continue our vital services and maintain our financial integrity,” Doyle said.

*Listen to Doyle’s press conference:

*See the WisPolitics story from March:

— The upcoming presidential election is changing the dynamics of the third annual May 1 “Day Without a Latino” march, organizers say.

The yearly march is organized by Voces de la Frontera to bring attention to issues that affect the immigrant community. This year, the organization is calling for the Bush administration to stop what they say are raids on families and workplaces targeting illegal immigrants. They have also called for the government to decriminalize employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, director of Voces, said this march is different because it is an election year.

“We are really calling on the next president to pass immigration reform the first 100 days in office,” she said.

See more on this and other Milwaukee news later at http://milwaukee.wispolitics.com

— Milwaukee-based Weyco Group Inc., which designs and markets men’s shoes, is reporting first quarter net earnings of $5.1 million, down about 10 percent from $5.7 million for the first quarter of 2007.

Diluted earnings per share were 43 cents per share in the first quarter of 2008 down 8.5 percent from 47 cents per share for the quarter in 2007.

Net sales were $61.3 million for the quarter, a decrease of 4 percent from 2007 first quarter sales of $63.9 million.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/30/#weyco-earnings-down-10-percent


Monday, May 5, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Monday, May 5, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs CEO Marsha Lindsay.

See a recent profile on Lindsay from Madison Magazine: http://www.madisonmagazine.com/article.php?section_id=918&xstate=view_story&story_id=235830

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.




Use these links to jump directly to a news summary topic
Technology | Biotech | Economy | Manufacturing | Labor | Small Business | Investing | Real Estate | Agribusiness | Transportation | Retail | Regulation | Tourism | Utilities | Health Care | Financial Services | Management | Business Columns |

Press Releases
Alliant Energy Corporation Announces First Quarter 2008 Earnings Release and Conference Call
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Introduces Industry’s Most Comprehensive Transparency Initiative to Wisconsin
Aurora Health Care Honors Volunteers from Throughout Eastern Wisconsin
Deadline to Apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Is May 26
Harley-Davidson Goes Raw to Give Younger Generation Freedom to Discover
ITT Educational Services, Inc. Announces the Opening of an ITT Technical Institute in Wisconsin
Mary Madigan Joins The Guild, Inc. as Vice President of Merchandising
Most Effective ‘Medicine’ to Slow Aging? Gerontologist Promotes Movement
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Adds Eau Claire Restaurant
Schneider Logistics’ New Regional Logistics Center Offers Shippers Expanded Network
Stem Cell Pioneer Thomson Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Stevens Point Brewery’s Nude Beach Exposed
Up To $125 Off Vegas Vacations
Use Stimulus Check or Tax Rebate to Fund Job Change/Loss by Starting a ‘Career Asset Working Capital Fund’
WebZack launches trade show software

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


ThedaCare will build for the future: ThedaCare officials are launching a $90 million renovation project they say will cut the time patients spend in hospitals and the cost they pay. The Hospital of the Future initiative announced Wednesday is a three-year project that will redesign hundreds of patients’ rooms at Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. Costs will be covered by philanthropic gifts, the hospital operating budget and taking on debt, said Kathryn Correia, president of Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center and senior vice president of ThedaCare. The construction of the new tower and all room renovations should be completed at Appleton Medical Center in 2010. Renovations will be finished at Theda Clark by the end of 2011.

Closing of Albany, Orfordville plants affects 110 employees: A manufacturer of industrial heating products plans to shut down its plants at Albany and Orfordville, the Monroe Times reported. Pittsburgh-based Chromalox announced that a company restructuring will force the closing of its Ogden Manufacturing facilities, affecting 80 employees in Albany and 30 in Orfordville. In a news release, Chromalox said employees were told Tuesday and will have the opportunity to relocate. Production is to move to other plants starting in July. Albany Village President Larry Hanson said he learned about the closing because his wife has worked for the company for 28 years. “They kept this a big secret right up until the end,” Hanson said Wednesday. “They called my wife at home yesterday while she was on vacation and said they were closing.”

Manitowoc Company expands in China: The Manitowoc Company has formed a joint venture with Chinese crane manufacturer, TaiAn Dongyue Heavy Machinery Company Ltd., according to a news release. Eric Etchart, president of Manitowoc Company’s crane division, said the partnership allows the company to continue its global expansion and fulfill its goal of locally manufacturing and servicing cranes. “This transaction solidifies Manitowoc’s position as one of the world’s fastest-growing construction equipment manufacturers,” Etchart said. “By acquiring a joint venture interest in TaiAn Dongyue, Manitowoc furthers its mission of bringing manufacturing and service closer to the customer.” TaiAn Dongyue Heavy Machinery is in TaiAn City, Shandong Province, approximately 300 miles south of Beijing.

Baldwin, Kohl target railroads: Lack of competition called cause of rising shipping rates… Two Wisconsin lawmakers are taking on the railroad industry, saying a lack of competition on the nation’s railways has led to unfair shipping rates that are driving up costs for consumers. And their legislation to eliminate the railroad industry’s exemption from antitrust laws is gaining momentum in the House and Senate. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) that would eliminate the antitrust exemptions given to railroad companies for collective ratemaking agreements. A similar bill by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) is pending a vote in the Senate. Dozens of manufacturing companies, farmers and electric utilities in Wisconsin are behind the bill, arguing that increases in shipping rates are making them pass on part of those higher costs to consumers.

Briggs & Stratton to trim employment at Tosa plant: Briggs & Stratton Corp. has informed state officials that it is planning the permanent layoff of 27 employees from its plant in Wauwatosa. The job cuts include maintenance, tool room and automatic punch press workers at the plant, 3300 N. 124th St. Affected employees are represented by the United Steelworkers Local 2-232. The company did not provide a reason for the layoffs in a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. A company spokeswoman could not immediately provide further details. Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG) said earlier this month that it may have to cut back production later this year if demand for its products didn’t pick up by the end of May.

Madison ranked 10th worst city for homeowner debt, but local experts dismiss report: Madison has been ranked the nation’s 10th worst city for homeowner debt, which may put the city at risk for foreclosures, according to a recent article at Forbes.com. But the ranking’s methodology was blasted by local housing experts. The ranking is based on which of the country’s 150 largest housing markets have the highest percentage of home equity loans and second mortgages, combined with housing price trends. The city’s median home price was up 1 percent last year to $227,700. About 27 percent of the city’s 143,215 mortgage holders also have a second mortgage or home equity loan, while 1.5 percent have both, according to the article.

Target takes aim at downtown Milwaukee: Discount chain looking at 3 sites… Target Corp. is again showing preliminary interest in opening a store in downtown Milwaukee, a development that would help boost that area’s lagging retail landscape. But, even if Target decided to proceed, the economic slowdown would likely delay the discount store chain from moving forward on the development until the national retail climate improves. Target is considering three locations for a downtown store, according to people familiar with the process. Those sources asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.


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)
– New technology to help DISH Network serve apartments

– AT&T makes iPhone accessible to those with disabilities

– Rock County wi-fi still on the agenda

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Sensenbrenner Joins Effort to Repeal Ethanol Incentives

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Bankruptcy rate in Dane County lower than Wisconsin, national averages

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Oshkosh Corp. reports second quarter sales up

– GM posts $3.3 billion loss in first quarter

– Magnetek reports profit from year-ago loss

LABOR (back to top)
– Source of GM payments concerns retirees

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Popular chocolatier to open Hilldale shop

– Valley co-op earns bakers’ group kudos

– Fire destroys Silver Spur restaurant

– Shillings is first bar in Racine to go smoke-free

– Young entrepreneur takes panes to excel

INVESTING (back to top)
– Bucyrus announces two-for-one stock split

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Task force to consider alternate plan for Madison’s Central Park

– Green Bay must pay $5.3 million in Younkers deal, judge rules

– As market wanes, home stagers pick up the pieces

– Committee approves another set of $10,000 architectural plans for Park View

– Fair housing groups sue Bayshore developer

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Some farmers call land offer for power line from Madison utility company ‘an insult’

– Hunting Season Set in CWD Management Zone

– Grants to Help Dairy Processors Innovate, Expand

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airport hit with water bill

– De Pere roundabout plan wins some support

RETAIL (back to top)
– Kohl’s scales back expansion plans

– Wal-Mart site needs DNR nod

– Chefs, grocers: It’s easy being green

– Kraft reports strong sales of deli products

REGULATION (back to top)
– Senate panel to look at offer

– Senator Kohl Notified of Audit of Meat Processing Companies

– County fights state’s asbestos lawsuit

TOURISM (back to top)
– Miller Park second in SI fan survey

– Badger State Summer Games to leave Madison

– Milwaukee Les Paul exhibit strikes chord with kids

– Great Wolf secures $63.9M loan for development

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Severe winter boosts sales for WE Energies

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– St. Joe’s in West Bend gets new lease on life

– Nursing students sue Herzing, say school didn’t get the program accredited as promised

– BadgerCare Plus sign-up is today in Green Bay

– First Business reports profit growth

– Student loan plan advances

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– UWM names new engineering dean

– State awards recognize ten fresh, innovative designs

– Schneider opens brokerage center in Toronto

– Air Wisconsin’s Bartlett to leave US Airways board

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: 75 years later, Coon Creek Watershed still a marvel

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

(c)2008 WisBusiness.com.
All rights reserved. Reproduction or retransmission of this publication, in whole or in part, without the express permission of WisBusiness.com is prohibited. Unauthorized reproduction violates United States copyright law (17 USC 101 et seq.), as does retransmission by facsimile or any other electronic means, including electronic mail.