(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 23 Oct. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Unemployment rates decreased in each of the state’s 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in September compared to August, according to new figures from the state Department of Workforce Development.

When compared to September 2007, rates were lower in three MSAs, higher in five and unchanged in four. The Madison MSA had the lowest rate in September at 3.4. The Janesville MSA recorded the highest rate at 6.4 percent. When September preliminary job numbers are compared to the September 2007 totals, the results show decreases in job accounts among all 11 metro areas.

Unemployment rates decreased in 67 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties during the month of September, increased in three and remained the same in two.

See the DWD release for more details:

— The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is requesting that U.S. Department of Interior temporarily suspend its review of the tribe’s application to open a casino in Kenosha and allow the issue to be passed along to be decided by next presidential administration.

See more from Milwaukee’s Small Business Times: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/10/22/#menominee-tribe-asks-feds-to-postpone-review-of-proposed-kenosha-casino

See the tribe’s press release: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/081022Menominee.pdf

— Two national leaders with common roots in Janesville but divergent political views on Wednesday delivered the keynote addresses to the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Biotechnology & Medical Device Association.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan provided the more than 300 conference attendees with sometimes widely varying views of the current economic and financial crisis, and how the federal government must help the country emerge from it.

Feingold said the country was tiring of political talk associated with the presidential campaign. A “nuts and bolts” discussion about how to ensure economic growth was needed to “build on the economic development momentum we’ve generated in Wisconsin,” Feingold said.

Feingold told the audience of biotechnology and medical device industry executives, scientists and service providers that his recently announced “E4” economic development plan would provide the kind of support the industry needed to continue to innovate and grow. He said the plan would increase support for small businesses through expansions of the SBIR and STTR grant programs, a series of initiatives to help those businesses find qualified workers and funding to foster the development of energy-related “green collar” jobs.

Ryan, the most senior Republican member of the House Budget Committee, said the country is at “a critical crossroads” and that entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, if left unreformed, would consume 40 cents of every dollar sent to Washington, more than double today’s amount, by the time his young children are his age. Ryan outlined his economic development plan, “The Road Map for America,” which he told conference attendees would ensure the fulfillment of the health care and retirement security missions of current entitlement programs, pay off the federal debt and make America more competitive.

With the number of U.S. retirees set to double from 40 million to 80 million as the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age, the time is now for health care reform, Ryan said. He said the goal of health care reform must be universal access to coverage, while ensuring that neither “health care or government bureaucrats” are put in charge of the system. Doctors and their patients, he said, should be arbiters of the system

Read more from their addresses: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=139648

— Gov. Jim Doyle joined Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor and Northwestern Mutual CEO Edward Zore Wednesday in cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of an $85 million addition to Northwestern’s Franklin campus.

The addition adds 230,000 square feet in office space to house 1,100 employees, includes a training facility, several multi-purpose conference and dining rooms, and a 156,000 square foot, 1,655-vehicle parking structure.

Doyle said the expansion shows that the 150-year-old company is committed to being a part of Wisconsin’s future and represents “a real commitment” to the state on behalf of Northwestern Mutual. Doyle noted that the state provided $7 million in incentives to help the project, which he described as “a small part of the investment being made.”

Zore said that despite difficulties facing the insurance and financial industry globally, Northwestern Mutual is strong.

“As a company that’s been around for one-and-a-half centuries, we know what it takes to succeed in tough times,” Zore said.

Read more about the ribbon-cutting: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=139647



**NOV. 3: New UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin**

Madison Club

11:45 a.m.

The next WisBusiness.com Luncheon at the Madison Club, organized by the Madison Club, Madison Magazine, and WisBusiness.com, is slated for Monday, Nov. 3 at 11:45 a.m. The guest is new UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin.

To learn more about Chancellor Martin visit: http://www.chancellor.wisc.edu/

The 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.

**NOV. 18: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading**

Discovery World


7:30-9 a.m.

Featuring: Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel, former Commerce Secretary Cory L. Nettles of Quarles & Brady, Competitive Wisconsin Director and former Commerce Secretary William McCoshen, state Sen. Ted Kanavas, a member of the Senate committee on economic development, and UW-Madison political scientist Ken Goldstein.

Moderated by Mike Gousha of the Marquette Law School and host of “UpFront with Mike Gousha.”

Presented by WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness in cooperation with Competitive Wisconsin, MMAC and Discovery World. Quarles & Brady is an initial sponsor of the event.

See details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=139211



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Press Releases
· 1sky: Community leaders call on candidates to prioritize legislation for green jobs
· AG Van Hollen: Files judgment against Pfizer, Inc. resolving a five-year investigation into the company’s marketing of Bextra and Celebrex
· Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation: Wood Products Conference November 5 in Cable
· Dept. of Workforce Development: September 2008 local unemployment rates announced
· Focus on Energy: Wisconsin program recognized with national award
· Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin: Asks BIA to temporarily suspend consideration of Kenosha casino application
· Midwest Environmental Advocates, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center: Great Lakes environmental groups file challenge in federal court to EPA rule that would open the door to invasive species
· UW-Stout: Makes agreements with two Chinese universities
· Wal-Mart: Commits to Wis. farmers for expanded produce supplies

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


Wisconsin job loss figures show biggest year-to-year drop since 2004 : Local job losses continued spreading last month as each of Wisconsin’s metropolitan areas fell behind from where they were 12 months earlier.

Finmeccanica completes $5.2B DRS buy: Italian aerospace firm Finmeccanica S.p.A. said Wednesday that it completed its $5.2 billion acquisition of New Jersey’s DRS Technologies Inc. Finmeccanica purchased all outstanding shares of DRS, the parent of DRS Power & Control Technologies in Milwaukee, for US$81 per share in cash. The deal, announced in May, included the assumption of about $1.6 billion in debt, including convertible notes, the company said in a release.

Tribe requests supension of Kenosha casino application: The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is asking the U.S. Department of the interior to suspend its review of its application for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha because it fears it will be rejected by the Bush Administration. Tribal chair Lisa Waukau wrote a letter to George Skibine, the acting assistant secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs saying that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will respond to political pressure to issue a “hasty, arbitrary and capricious end-of-term disapproval of our long-pending application.”

State to receive Pfizer settlement: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says Wisconsin will receive $954,000 from a multistate settlement with Pfizer Inc. over the marketing of its Celebrex and Bextra products. The state Department of Justice’s share is part of a $60 million settlement filed Wednesday with 32 other states and the District of Columbia.


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)
– Biotech executives’ conference focuses on forming alliances

ECONOMY (back to top)
– State, Appleton report more jobs

– Foreclosure rate in state still below U.S. average

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Kimberly mill closing a key election issue

– Kimberly-Clark nearly hits savings goal

– Great Lakes ship gets upgrade, new life at Bay Shipbuilding after layoff

LABOR (back to top)
– Telemarketing workers resign over anti-Obama phone calls

– WCO musicians and management engage in bitter public battle

– Job protection gets critical

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Karl’s Event Rental to build tents at Vancouver Olympics

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Group of business owners from Wisconsin Rapids and Plover buys ShopKo Plaza Mall for $450,000

– DNR to accept donation of 440 acres in Lower Wolf River

– Construction to begin on Monona senior housing development

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farmers decline to make presidential endorsement

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Air Wisconsin reports passenger use drops

– Northwest Airlines ‘well positioned’ in slow economy

– Milwaukee extends Duncan’s parking ticket pact

RETAIL (back to top)
– Retailers worry Fox Valley shoppers will act like Scrooges

– Order a coat – and your Christmas tree – from Lands’ End

REGULATION (back to top)
– Fond du Lac City Council backs smoke-free workplaces

TOURISM (back to top)
– Business leaders using basketball trip to sell city

– Milwaukee Mile mismanaged, says former chairman

– Wells chairman expects faster recovery

– TCF earnings miss expectations

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Verhagen named interim Menasha Utilities GM

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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