(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 13 March 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, said the news that Wisconsin will host the World Stem Cell Summit in September “is another sign that we have become a world center for stem cell research and development.”

“Really, it’s only natural that it be held here,” Still said. “We are thrilled to host it and believe Wisconsin can put on a conference that demonstrates to the world what we have to offer,” he said.

Doyle on Wednesday announced Wisconsin had landed the event, a major coup for the state.

Doyle said the conference Sept. 22-23 will bring together top researchers, advocates, investors and other industry leaders to advance stem cell research and the promising life-saving technologies.

The World Stem Cell Summit will be held in the Badger State on the 10th anniversary of the breakthroughs of Dr. James Thomson and other UW-Madison researchers, who were the first to successfully isolate and cultivate an embryonic stem cell line in 1998.

See the story: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=120697

— Energy efficiency may be the fastest, cheapest way for states to address global warming, reduce energy costs for the poorest citizens and create and sustain good jobs, according to a new “green jobs” report released Wednesday.

The report, “Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy,” was prepared by the Madison based Center on Wisconsin Strategy in collaboration with the Workforce Alliance and the Apollo Alliance.

The report includes an action plan for state policymakers, highlighting policy, program, and system reform opportunities to embrace the greener and more equitable promise of the new energy economy.

See the story: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=120797

— Wixon, Inc., a national food ingredients company in St. Francis, will break ground Monday for a new culinary center to create and test food specialties, a meat pilot plant to develop new meat products and demonstration area.

The ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Wixon headquarters, 1390 E. Bolivar Ave.

The 4,200-square-foot culinary center and meat pilot plant, to be called the Wixon Innovation Center for Culinary & Protein, will add to Wixon’s food research and development capabilities for itself and its customers. The $2 million addition will also provide an area for Wixon to showcase products it creates for visiting customers.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/3/12/#wixon-to-build-new-culinary-center-in-st-francis

— The state Senate approved the Democrats’ economic development package on a party-line vote yesterday.

The package includes combined reporting of corporate income and franchise taxes, millions of dollars in new highway funding, and a tax boost for rental cars in Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee counties to fund a commuter rail project.

Sen. Pat Kreitlow, D-Chippewa Falls, said the combined reporting piece is simply a matter of fairness.

“Doesn’t it insult your sensibilities that corporations can make billions in profits, pay their federal income tax, then pay zero in taxes in Wisconsin?” he asked. “They use our roads. They need fire protection.”

Sen. Ted Kanavas, R-Brookfield, admitted there are parts of the package that he likes but dismissed combined reporting as “a tax increase on business” and said it’s going in the wrong direction.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said the package will do more to kill than create jobs in the state.

— Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, said there’s a push to bring the smoking ban to the Senate floor.

Robson said the Dems caucused on the issue for more than an hour yesterday, and some urged leadership to take up any version of the bill.

— A bill to deregulate some telecommunications companies passed the Senate on a voice vote Wednesday despite the objections of the AARP, CenturyTel, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

Robson voiced the groups’ objections to the bill, saying it is “bad for consumers” and allow telecomms to increase costs without notification to subscribers.

Sen. Jeff Plale, D-South Milwaukee, who authored the bill, said the bill will broaden the range of services to consumers, especially in rural areas.

“This is the bill that will actually bring some competition in telecommunications to the rural parts of the state,” he said.

— The Senate also passed a bill Wednesday to require electronics manufacturers to register with the DNR and arrange for collection and recycling of its goods.

Bill author Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, said it was important for the legislation to get approval because of the looming switch over from an analog to digital television signal slated for Feb. 2009. He said that will bring “a flood of discarded TV sets.”

The bill passed on a 30-3 vote, with GOP Sens. Grothman, Lazich and Leibham voting against.




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Press Releases
· Governor Doyle Announces World Stem Cell Summit to be Held in Madison
· Green Jobs” Report Released Today at the Wisconsin Renewable Energy
· Marshall & Ilsley Corporation to Hold Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 22, 2008
· Rider’s Edge, the Harley-Davidson Academy of Motorcycling, Moves into California
· The Manitowoc Company Forms Joint Venture With Leading Chinese Mobile Crane Manufacturer
· The Manitowoc Company to Present at AEM Investor Conference
· USW Calls U.S. Commerce Anti-Subsidy Duty on Thermal Paper China Imports ‘Strong Trade Law Enforcement’ for Paper Production Jobs in Wis., Oh., Penn.
· World Stem Cell Summit To Be Held In Madison

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


State foreclosures below U.S.; National frequency is twice as high: Wisconsin properties are being foreclosed upon at about half the national rate, according to data released Thursday. The state has a rate of one foreclosure for every 1,044 households, compared with one for every 557 nationally, RealtyTrac, of Irvine, Calif., said. That ranked Wisconsin 27th highest among the 50 states, RealtyTrac said. However, the foreclosure rate is growing much more quickly in Wisconsin than nationally, according to the company. It put the increase from February 2007 to February 2008 at 145.7%, compared with 59.8% nationally.

Plan for budget gap OK’d; GOP Assembly bill cuts spending by $250 million: Assembly Republicans passed a last-minute plan to plug a hole in the state budget late Wednesday that would reduce state spending by $250 million through mid-2009. The bill, which passed 51-46 mostly along party lines, would also nearly empty the state’s rainy-day accounts and beef up an accounting trick by $125 million.

Madison awaits word on Brown offices: Madison officials say they are still waiting to find out if the city remains a contender for a consolidated headquarters for Brown Shoe, parent company of Famous Footwear, which is based in Madison. Brown Shoe, with $2.4 billion in 2007 revenue, was said to be considering Madison, Dallas or St. Louis as possible locations for combining its corporate offices, currently in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Mo. The last time Mayor Dave Cieslewicz talked to corporate officials was in late January, aide George Twigg said Wednesday.

UW to host world stem cell summit: Madison — internationally known for stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin — will host a World Stem Cell Summit in September aimed at bringing together top researchers, advocates, investors and others to advance stem cell research and promising technologies that could save lives. “Embryonic stem cell research holds the potential to cure some of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases — from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis,” said Gov. Jim Doyle when announcing the summit at a State Capitol press conference this morning. “Stem cell research represents the promise to not only save lives, but to create economic opportunity for innovation and job growth as well.”

GM lays off second shift: The General Motors assembly plant in Janesville will lay off its second shift of workers next week as the automaker continues its efforts to stretch depleting inventories of parts from American Axle. The local plant is dealing with the two-week old United Auto Workers strike against American on a weekly basis. This week, the plant has cut its production in half and is running five-hour morning and night shifts.

Retail Sales Post Unexpected Drop: Consumers, battered by plunging home prices and a credit crunch, stayed away from the malls in February, pushing retail sales down by a larger-than-expected amount. It was another worrisome sign that the country could be falling into a recession. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that retail sales fell by 0.6 percent last month, far worse than the small 0.2 percent increase that analysts had been expecting.


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)
– Sonic Foundry again faces delisting by Nasdaq

– Charter launches highest speed Internet service yet in Sun Prairie, Baraboo

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Madison wins international stem cell summit; City beats New York, D.C.; scientists, investors to attend

– Two UW stem-cell patents upheld

– Madison will host World Stem Cell Summit

– Walker seeks to halt pathologist exodus; Emergency measures intended to prevent autopsy backlog

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Gold rush At $1,000 per ounce, consumers sell for big bucks

– Dollar Dips Below 100 Yen as Markets Tumble

– New, colorful $5 bill to debut this week; Currency part of Treasury’s ongoing effort to foil counterfeiters

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Pressed into service; State company expands business by rebuilding large machine

– Family feud moves to boardroom; Grede Foundries descendents push for own directors

– S.C. Johnson again defends Glade plug-ins

– Firm may be in talks to acquire Wrightstown’s Coating Excellence International LLC; Village, company plan to build third plant

LABOR (back to top)
– Pilot union leaders take a break in talks; Negotiations holding up possible Delta, Northwest merger

– Back pay due for workers of Bay View castings company

– Why interns are good for business; Smart companies look for talent, staff on shoestring

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– New store can help you clean out your closet

– A vision realized: Racine man meets — and exceeds — his goal to sell eyeglasses starting at $18 a pair

INVESTING (back to top)
– Third Wave stock jumps 31 percent

– Third Wave surges on positive report

– Clinical test results boost Third Wave stock

– Alliance Laundry posts $9.9M annual profit

– UPAF sets $10.6M campaign goal

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Underground parking garage sinks downtown hotel plan in La Crosse

– Madison eyes a shift in TIF

– Sparks fly over new Sun Prairie boundaries

– Office allocation deleted from Park East hotel plan in Milwaukee; 22-story building to have nightclub, restaurant

– Home construction declines

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Madison hosts Super Bowl of cheese

– Looking for ash borers

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Port of Green Bay sees drop in economic impact; Tonnage still well above levels from a decade ago

– Proposed KRM commuter rail still in need of funding mechanism

– Oil, gas prices drift higher

– State’s spring thaw rules to take effect

– Paltzer wants new name for Outagamie County airport

RETAIL (back to top)
– GM rejects proposed sale of Verona’s John Erickson Chevrolet

– GM says no to Erickson Chevrolet deal

– Festival Foods, Kwik Trip to employ nearly 250 workers; Manitowoc Plan Commission approves TIF amendment, funding for intersections

– February retail sales worse than expected; Decline of 0.6 percent another worrisome sign for the economy

REGULATION (back to top)
– Ozone rules tightened by EPA; county still violates

– Racine County in violation of smog rules; One of 345 counties violating new EPA standards

– Virtual deal is made; Doyle to sign law to keep online charter schools open

– Smoking ban? Some other time

– Under pressure, CDC releases Great Lakes pollution report

– Bill to Propose Expanded U.S. Backing of Home Loans

– Nash Finch to settle class-action for $6.75M

TOURISM (back to top)
– Bowling Congress offered more than $8M in incentives

– ‘Lion King’ grosses $6.2M, boosts downtown Milwaukee economy

– A tradition is revived; In 2009, the Great Circus Parade will again make its way through the streets of Milwaukee, after an absence of six years

– DNR fish manager: Sturgeon fishing changes necessary

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Wind farm bill runs out of gas

– Government Suspends Lending for Coal Plants; Risks Cited To Economy, Environment

– New energy touted; Renewable resources seen as economic spark

– Raw sewage dumped on wetland in Plymouth; 36,000 gallons of waste spills from manhole cover

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– An offset to drug industry’s sales pitch; Kohl panel looks at source of objective data for physicians

– Humana slashes earnings projections

– Kaplan offices set to expand in La Crosse, plan to move to Riverside Center II

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Gulfstream names sales executive

– Offering earned Blackstone co-founder $4.78B; CEO Schwarzman also received $350.7 million in compensation in 2007

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Penelope Trunk column: Take control of your career destiny

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