(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 13 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi told a Transportation Development Association conference Wednesday that rebuilding infrastructure is critical to the economic health of the state and the nation, and  the state is “ready to go” should Congress provide some financial incentive for transportation building in another stimulus package.

Busalacchi and Tom Skancke, president of Las Vegas-based PR firm The Skancke Company, discussed their work on the Congress-appointed National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission at the TDA’s “Our Future Rides on It” conference at Madison’s Monona Terrace. The commission report, released to Congress early last year, advocated a steady increase of the federal fuel tax over five years, followed by indexing the tax to inflation.

“This is going to require $3 trillion over the next 50 years,” Skancke said of maintaining the nation’s transportation systems. “That’s the number.”

Busalacchi said he prefers the commission’s recommendations to another economic stimulus, citing the limitations placed on emergency spending bills, but expressed confidence that “Congress will work it out.” He added that maintaining a consistent funding source is important because building more infrastructure will create jobs in a struggling economy.

The conference continues today with addresses by, among others, TDA’s Craig Thompson and DOT’s Casey Newman.

*See the agenda: http://pressrelease.tdawisconsin.org/index.iml?Article_ID=10229

*See more on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission: http://www.transportationfortomorrow.org/

*See an outline of Busalacchi’s prepared remarks: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/081112_Busalacchi_TDA.pdf

— Trane cut 20 salaried jobs at its La Crosse operations Wednesday and could eliminate 75 more jobs in upcoming months.

Citing the slowdown in the economy, Trane announced it will make centrifugal compressors for chillers at a plant in Taicang, China, rather than in La Crosse..

Compressors will continue to be made in La Crosse for the EarthWise CenTraVac Chillers. That chiller is the main product in La Crosse, where Trane makes air conditioning, ventilation, heating and building management equipment and systems for large commercial buildings. Chillers made in Taicang are primarily for the Asian market.

See more soon at www.wisbusiness.com

— Workers at a West Bend printing company will be getting elective surgery in India.

Under a pilot project announced this week by specialty printer Serigraph and Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, members can receive care at respected hospitals in India at lower out-of-pocket costs for non-emergency procedures such as joint replacement and back fusion.

The effort is dubbed “international medical tourism” and is to begin in January.

Dr. Michael Jaeger, managing medical director for Anthem in Wisconsin, said employers have increasingly expressed interest in accessing foreign providers as a means to reduce their claims, adding — quote — “they see medical tourism as a promising option for improving access to affordable, quality health care.”

Members who choose to access this international option will have a dedicated case manager who will coordinate all medical arrangements, including scheduling and special travel arrangements. All travel arrangements for the member and a traveling companion will be booked and paid for. The case manager will also help make arrangements for any necessary post-operative care in the United States.

Linda Buntrock, senior vice president at Serigraph, puts it this way: “The market for many products and services has gone global — why not health care?”

See details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=141408

— The Public Service Commission has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed transmission line from Rockdale to West Middleton and is seeking public input.

In 2007, American Transmission Company filed an application with the PSC for permission to build between 32 and 55 miles of new transmission line from the west side of Middleton to the eastern side of Dane County. The application also includes proposed substations and related facilities along four different route options, including routes along the Beltline in the City of Madison.

The draft EIS is a thorough study of the proposed project, outlining the potential for environmental, community and public health impacts. All public comments on the draft EIS will be considered when drafting the final EIS.



**Register now for the Tues. Nov. 18 event at Discovery World in Milwaukee featuring past and present state Commerce secretaries.

“State Economic Development in Recessionary Times: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading.”

Sponsored by Quarles & Brady, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University Law School and We Energies.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=138124



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Press Releases
· Adaptive Micro Systems: New LED digital display design provides price point breakthrough
· Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield: Introduces international medical tourism pilot program
· City of Milwaukee: $3 million Central City business expansion underway
· City of Milwaukee: Park East project quietly begins
· Regal Ware: Celebrates historic museum opening
· UW-Madison: Stealth drug idea snags Gates Foundation support
· UW-Madison: WAA’s first-year parents’ weekend brings $1.25 million to Madison economy
· UWM: Program reaches out to low income taxpayers at four locations
· Wisconsin Bankers Association: Don’t get scammed for Thanksgiving – A consumer alert
· Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance: Growing evidence ethanol industry can produce food and fuel
· Wisconsin Dental Association: Seven individuals, one group honored for service to dentistry, public oral health
· Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition: Tuesday Truth #22 – Corn prices fall, while food prices continue to rise

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


Rockwell to buy Chinese firm: Rockwell Automation Inc. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy a Chinese provider of industrial automation technology to the electrical power and other heavy process industries in China. Terms of the acquisition, expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2009, were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Charter Mfg. to cut jobs, close plants: Charter Manufacturing Co. said Wednesday that it will cut 155 jobs and close processing plants in Fond du Lac and Detroit because of the sagging U.S. and global economy. Charter will close the Charter Specialty Steel plant in Fond du Lac, and the Charter Steel Processing plant in Detroit. The job cuts are comprised of 63 in Wisconsin, 70 in Ohio and 22 in Michigan. The company now has 1,400 employees.

Sales double at NewPage: NewPage Corp. executives Wednesday gave no inkling they plan to reopen or sell the Kimberly paper mill like displaced workers want. NewPage shuttered the Kimberly mill Sept. 8 and shut down the Niagara facility earlier putting a total of 900 people out of work. But, if there was any positive news in a conference call with analysts, it was that the company doesn’t envision shutting any of the four plants still running in central Wisconsin. “At this point we don’t see a need for another permanent curtailment,” said Richard Willett, president and chief operating officer.

Northwestern Mutual agrees to pay $92 million in class action suit : Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay up to $92 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of failing to pay dividends on certain term life policies and using improper sales and marketing practices. The case was filed in California four years ago by a customer who alleged the sales material used by the Milwaukee-based insurer misled him about whether dividends would be paid on term life and disability insurance.


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

BIOTECH (back to top)
– EMD, once called Novagen, thrives in Madison

– UW biochemist wins Gates Foundation award

– State awards $250,000 loan to FluGen

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Despite failing economy, giving still high

– Auto bailout not an end-all cure

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Deficit aside, NewPage ready for economic challenges

– Charter Manufacturing closing FdL plant

– Miller Lite extends soccer sponsorship

– Cleveland Gear plans $14.3 million West Allis expansion

LABOR (back to top)
– Shifting Gears: Insurance experience helps businesswoman

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Ribbon cutting today for Suamico hotel

– Marketing begins for Green Bay’s riverfront WaterMark project

– Dane County foreclosure filings increase from September

– Madison: 10 percent of area homes sold at a loss

– Plans to create housing for residents with mental illness

– Developer proposes Greenfield housing project

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airline passenger rights plan grounded

– AirTran to charge $15 for first bag

RETAIL (back to top)
– Instant Replay sports bar opens in Green Bay

– Both Ben & Jerry’s stores in Madison close

– Target to replace Wauwatosa store

REGULATION (back to top)
– Tavern owners brace for expected statewide smoking ban

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Report forecasts lower winter heating bills

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Construction for drug abuse center at Winnebago Mental Health Institute OK’d by state

– Anthem, Serigraph unveil ‘medical tourism’ health plan

– GE, medical center team up to build cancer centers worldwide

– Despite market decline, new asset firm started

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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