(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 19 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The GBC Commercial Products Group has informed state and local officials it plans to lay off 21 employees at its Pleasant Prairie plant starting Aug. 1 and running over the next nine months.

The Illinois-based company, which makes plastic-working machines, said affected employees will be paid all earned wages and agreed-upon benefits upon termination of employment.

The workers are not represented by a union and have no bumping rights.

— Wisconsin’s bioscience employment is growing faster than the U.S. average in three of four major categories, according to a report released by BIO and Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit independent research and development organization.

Wisconsin’s job growth in agricultural feedstocks and chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and research, testing and medical laboratories all exceeded the U.S. average between 2001 and 2006, the Battelle study concluded. Only in medical devices and equipment did Wisconsin fail to grow at the U.S. average, but the state still ranked as a “specialized” state in that sector.

See story: http://blogs.wisbusiness.com/bio/

— Gov. Jim Doyle has issued an informal challenge to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger to come to Madison in September to attend the World Stem Cell Summit so he can see for himself the center of stem cell research.

Gov. Doyle, speaking to a crowd on the floor of BIO in San Diego, dismissed Schwarzenneger’s boast earlier in the day before more than 1,000 representatives of the biotechnology industry that California was the nation’s leader in stem cell research.

See story: http://blogs.wisbusiness.com/bio/

— Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc. and Right Management will sponsor the Summer Business Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s week-long minority student business program aimed at incoming business majors to facilitate their successful transition from high school to college with the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates of students of color.

As part of the week-long program, on Thursday, June 19, 25 participating students will visit Manpower’s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee and attend a career planning workshop facilitated by Right Management, experts in career management.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily

— Gov. Jim Doyle announced Wednesday that private dollars invested in Wisconsin start-up companies operating in high-growth sectors such as biotechnology increased by 43 percent to nearly $150 million last year.

According to a survey conducted by NorthStar Economics and the Wisconsin Angel Network there was $146.9 million in early-stage investments in 2007, up from $102.9 million in 2006 – an increase of 43 percent in dollars invested by individual angel investors, angel networks, early-stage funds and others interested in Wisconsin start-up deals.

See the Doyle release:



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Press Releases
4imprint Trend-spotter: Fresh Colors, Family Gifts are Hot for Summer Promotions
Blink Logic to Present at CapStone Investments Small-Cap Investor Conference
Canopus BioPharma Strengthens Its CB1400 Platform Technology for Mucositis and Oncology Treatments Through License Agreement with Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Cygnus Business Media Teams Up With Scripps Networks
Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program Promotes Energy Independence
Governor Announces $400,000 Brownfield Grant to Canterbury Court, LLC
Harley-Davidson, Inc. to Report 2nd Quarter Earnings Thursday, July 17, 2008
JohnsonDiversey Food and Beverage Customers Save More Than One Billion Gallons of Water in 2007
McCormick Foundation Launches Neighbors in Need 2008 Campaign for Midwest Flood Victims
Orion Energy Systems VP to speak at national energy-efficiency summit
Plexus Hosts Investor Day
Summer Slowdown? Not at Pabst Farms
Telsource Selects Metrix to Optimize Scheduling
Tuesday truth #2: E-85 is cheaper than gasoline
Wisconsin Alternatives to Government Health Care Takeover
Wisconsin Diesel Truck Idling Reduction Grant Program Offers $2,000,000 to Truckers to Help Reduce Fuel Costs and Air Pollution
Wisconsin Health Information Organization Partners with Ingenix to Create Statewide Health Care Data Source
Wisconsin Public Service Agrees to Settlement to Resolve Air Permit Issues
World Allergy Organization Highlights Global Allergy Impact

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


300 jobs lost as Niagara paper mill closes: The NewPage paper mill in Niagara is closing at the end of the week — much sooner than previously thought. NewPage bought the North American operations of Finland-based Stora Enso for $2.5 billion in December. The sale included the plant in Niagara. The company says it’s shutting down the plant that employs 319 people and will consider selling it. The closing date had shifted from the fall to mid-July. And now, plant officials say it’s closing this weekend. Mill Manager John Reichert says the closure is tough on everyone, especially because the dates kept changing. NewPage President Rick Willett said earlier this month business is down as advertisers deal with an uncertain economy. After NewPage purchased Wisconsin Rapids-based Stora Enso North America last year, the company then began a restructuring process.

Without Milwaukee, SEWRPC in doubt: Waukesha leaders unhappy with metro push to leave… With several Milwaukee aldermen beginning a push for the city to leave the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, the future of the commission and regional initiatives could be left in doubt. Because the commission is set up to meet the needs of the metro Milwaukee area, the absence of Milwaukee County would cause problems with obtaining federal money and serving the needs of the entire region, SEWRPC and Waukesha leaders said Wednesday. And though the resolution by the Milwaukee aldermen is advisory, leaders in the planning group and from Waukesha are taking it very seriously.

New companies gain 43% more funding in 2007: Wisconsin businesses attractive to investors… Early-stage companies in Wisconsin pulled in $147 million of funding last year, 43% more than in 2006, according to a report released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Technology Council. The report relied on data from angel investing groups and a survey of major state law firms to patch together a picture of the funding going into the state’s youngest, highest-growth companies. “We know the $147 million is understated,” said Joe Kremer, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, which is overseen by the tech council. Wisconsin companies pulled in $102.9 million in 2006, according to last year’s report. Average deal size also increased to $4 million from $2.24 million a year earlier, the report shows.

Madison bans cheap liquor sales downtown: The Madison City Council is banning sales of cheap liquor in the downtown area as a way to curb panhandlers. The council approved a proposal on Tuesday to ban sales of less than a six pack of beer or malt liquor — with the exception of imports or microbrews — and less than a pint of liquor, and fortified wine. Alderman Mike Verveer proposed the measure. He says it’s intended to make it more difficult for alcoholics who panhandle and intimidate people to get liquor. Conditions will be added to liquor licenses at grocery, convenience and liquor stores when they’re renewed this month. The council says it’ll look at whether to extend the ban to other parts of the city in the next few months.

Developers add hotel, industrial site to Pabst Farms: Oconomowoc mixed-used development Pabst Farms on Wednesday announced two projects at the Commerce Centre at Pabst Farms — a Staybridge Suites and a speculative industrial building. Both are breaking ground this month. Staybridge Suites is an extended-stay product of the Holiday Inn family with more than 100 locations nationwide. The new hotel will be directly west of the new Aurora Medical Center in the town of Summit, and will anchor a section of Pabst Farms that is slated to include another hotel, an office building and a restaurant. The hotel will include 128 suites with full kitchens, separate living and work areas, and studio, one-bedroom, and tw-bedrooms floor plans. The hotel is expected to open in early spring 2009.

Potawatomi casino in Milwaukee celebrates expansion: Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee will hold a grand opening celebration Thursday to mark the casino’s expansion. The casino will hold the largest drawing in its history: One guest will win $100,000. A hundred other guests will win $1,000 prizes. The two-year expansion project has created an additional 500,000 square feet of entertainment space, a new six-story parking structure and a vehicular bridge connecting the parking structures to the James E. Groppi Unity Bridge. Other changes include two new restaurants, an additional 1,500 slot machines, an increase of the number of table games by 60, a new location and additional space for the Poker Room, and the addition of off-track betting.


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)
– Fiserv wins Microsoft partner award

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy hailed as model for nation

– 19th renewable-energy fair could be big draw with rising prices

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Bush looks offshore for remedy to high oil prices

– Group wants county to assess impact of oil decline

– Niagara closing could help local mills

– Brunswick’s Bristol unit unveils home theater seating line

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Wausau Paper plans $15 million investment

– J W Industries celebrates 50 years in Pittsfield

– Case IH makes large equipment sale

– Military orders $9.9M in armor kits from Oshkosh

LABOR (back to top)
– NewPage moves up Niagara closing

– Area employers struggle to cover for deployed military employees

– Survey: Fewer graduates finding work

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Join the clubs: Three new venues aim to boost live music scene

– Twigs branches out online to boost sales

– Trapani’s delicious marinara like grandma used to make

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks open lower as FedEx issues profit warning

– Area schools stung by investments

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Council backs Appleton river development

– Water Crest condos feature Lake Monona sunset views

– Little Chute approves fee for new housing

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farms carry most of Dane County’s $75 million in flood damages

– State & National Milk Production Up in May

– WPA Offers New Community Outreach Program

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Officials file application for funding for proposed Dane County commuter rail system

– I-39 northbound opened

– Outlook for airlines is grim

– Flooding is hurting Wis. railroads too

RETAIL (back to top)
– Pamida, CVS penalized for checkout scanner errors in Wisconsin

– Sears aims for young, hip, urban shoppers

– Projects move forward at Pabst Farms

– Bergstrom to feature used cars at former showcase

REGULATION (back to top)
– Quinton’s gets 3-day alcohol license suspension

– Idling reduction grants offered in state

– Local action on drink specials still on ice

TOURISM (back to top)
– Floods won’t affect camping in Wisconsin

– Flooding no match for Fiesta Waukesha

– Work to start soon on Les Paul exhibit in Waukesha

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Alliant uncertain of financial impact of storms, flooding

– Lawrence Drive property owners win dispute over sewer work in De Pere

– Madison weans self from coal

– Power loss assessed

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Aurora receives performance-related funding

– Two Madison ShopKo stores to feature medical clinics

– Lawmakers scrutinize nursing home agreements

– Health clinic names executive director

– Cancer-treatment lodge receives $100,000 boost

– Congress to add to $1.8 billion Bush request for flood aid

– Wisconsin Supreme Court rules against Acuity Mutual Insurance

– Bank appoints Diane Hendricks to late husband’s board seat

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Winner of ‘Apprentice’ talks at Lambeau Field

– Employers offer aid to avert foreclosures

– Exec pay parallels company earnings

– Kuester to lead $50M Zilber initiative

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Steve Johnson: Drained Delton an unwelcome tourism draw

Media Partners
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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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