(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 3 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— A proposed utility rate hike could raise the electric bills of some Wisconsin industries by $1 million or more annually and put them out of business, a group is charging.

The Green Bay-based utility, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., wants to increase electricity rates by 7.75 percent starting in 2009. The WPSC also wants to increase natural gas rats by 2.16 percent a month. The request was submitted to the state Public Service Commission this week.

The company, which has 420,000 residential and business customers in the central and northern regions of the state, said it needs the increase because its costs are rising.

But Todd Stuart, executive director of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, said the request is excessive and his organization will fight to reduce the size of the proposed rate boost.

“We simply cannot afford this big of an increase when we are part of the global economy,” said Stuart, whose group includes some of the state’s largest manufacturers and energy consumers.

See the story:

— What can – and should – public officials, corporate leaders, farmers, small-business owners, community organizers, and the rest of us do about climate change in Wisconsin?

Hundreds of people from across the state are expected to convene at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center here on Wednesday, April 16, to address that question.

The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies’ second annual Earth Day conference will feature more than 40 speakers from government, academia, business, and the non-profit sector on the theme, “Sustaining Wisconsin’s Environment & Economy: Responding to Climate Change.”

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=122659

— Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp. says that as part of its efforts in the alternative energy sector, its ZESS 50 fuel cell zinc energy storage system has been chosen to provide a key element in the Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Future House USA home that will be on display at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

An estimated 5 million people will tour the Future House Village, a globally-inspired neighborhood of eco-friendly demonstration homes created by visionaries from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/2/#menomonee-falls-company-to-produce-energy-cell-for-future-house




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Press Releases
American Eagle Airlines to Begin Service Between Wausau, Wis., and Chicago O’Hare
AT&T Launches 3G Wireless Broadband Network in Madison
BIM IN: Broadcast Interactive Media Innovation Conference June 10 – 12 Madison WI
Conference Considers Response to Climate Change in Wisconsin
Customers of WPPI utilities save electricity to power 13,500 homes
Data Dimensions Assists Clients With Compliance of ‘Present on Admission’ (POA) Indicator Reporting Requirements as Part of the April 1, 2008 Timeline
Deadline to Apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans is April 30
Dunkin’ Donuts Announces New Franchisee in Milwaukee and Phoenix
GoDaddy.com Clicks with the Milwaukee Mile
Knupp & Watson Wins Gold Award at Regional ADDY Award Competition
Madison Media Institute | College of Media Arts Announces New Degree Program
Make Way for the ‘Arrival of the Prince’
Rabobank Advises on Landmark Transaction in the Cheese Industry
Skyward Adds First Customer in South America
Task Force on Global Warming
Travel Guard Offers Free Assistance to Travelers Stranded by Aloha Airlines’ Shut Down
UW-Madison Students Compete to Promote NASA
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation Requests New Electric and Natural Gas Rates for 2009 and 2010
ZBB Energy Corporation Announces Contract With Future House USA Project at Beijing Olympics

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


State gives loan to Inviragen: Firm to open lab in Madison… A state government fund that assists small Wisconsin high-technology businesses will provide a $250,000, low-interest loan to a Colorado company. Inviragen LLC plans to use the money to lease 4,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in Madison for developing vaccines to sell in emerging countries. The company’s vaccine research and testing center in Madison will have a budget of $2.8 million over three years and create up to 10 new research positions, said Dan Stinchcomb, chief executive officer. The company said in its loan application it expects to expand the number of high-salary positions at its Wisconsin facility significantly but did not provide specific numbers.

Charter Wire sees potential in valley: Firm will leave Third Ward for new location… Charter Wire, the last major manufacturer still standing in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, will move to the Menomonee Valley by summer 2009, giving the valley another large industrial development while creating a big Third Ward redevelopment opportunity. Charter Wire plans to buy 7.8 acres in the Menomonee Valley Industrial Center, where it will build a 160,000-square-foot facility. The company, now at 114 N. Jackson St., hopes to break ground this summer and move about a year later, said John Mellowes, vice president and general manager. The $20 million project will provide room for Charter Wire to expand, Mellowes said Wednesday.

Fergus’ bankruptcy to cost creditors about $81 million: Creditors will lose about $81 million in Scott Fergus’ bankruptcy, but people who reserved units at the ill-fated Pointe Blue evidently are not among the losers. Fergus, would-be developer of Pointe Blue, filed a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy Tuesday in the Eastern Bankruptcy Court of Wisconsin. A Chapter 7 is a liquidation of assets to give creditors part of what they are owed from what is available. As president of KeyBridge Development Group, Fergus, a state legislator from 1985-89, was the driving force behind the proposed Pointe Blue. It would have been Racine’s largest development. Fergus estimated Pointe Blue’s ultimate market value at $185 million to $220 million.

Kind & Ryan Pushing to Save Conservation Funding in Farm Bill: Two Wisconsin congressmen from each side of the political isle are joining forces in an attempt save key conservation programs in the next Farm Bill. Representatives Ron Kind of LaCrosse (D) and Paul Ryan from Janesville (R) will join officials with the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, and Defenders of Wildlife for a news conference on Thursday to discuss reports that farm bill negotiators are considering a proposal to eliminate nearly a $1 billion from conservation programs to fund a permanent agricultural disaster assistance program. According to the lawmakers, voluntary conservation programs help farmers in every state protect environmentally fragile areas, and help them to provide cleaner water and air.

Washington County hopes to get WIRED: Washington County business officials hope to develop a compelling case to secure the area a portion of $2.5 million in regional talent-development funds, an economic development official said. The Regional Workforce Alliance of Southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday formally announced the launch of its WIRED Innovation Fund, a program that will award individual $20,000 to $250,000 grants to develop partnerships and activities to lure more next-generation job opportunities to the Milwaukee 7 region. “These grants are going to be competitive,” said John “Jack” Caldwell, executive director of Economic Development/Washington County.


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 allows Freedom to have its own mailing identifier

– Tech advances stalling results

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Paradigm to add 25 ‘clean-tech’ jobs

– WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh is ‘green’ this year

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Fed chief says the R word

– Belonger joint venture wins naval station contract

– This weekend, nation’s top college hoopsters will compete on surface painted in state

– ZBB Energy gets Olympics exhibit

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Locally built truck sales continue to decline

LABOR (back to top)
– Janesville teachers ratify contract

– Training pays, Miller exec says

– Federal grant to fund regional training partnerships

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Zurheide Ice Cream to close its doors

INVESTING (back to top)
– Paper firm marks 10 years on NYSE

– Dow ends day down

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Madison area office construction hits highest level since 2000

– Affordable housing tour planned

– Court rules for Town of Wilson over lakefront landowners

– Lender takes over east-side condos

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farmers shop for new equipment at show

– State Corn Stocks Up, Soybean Down Last Year

– Farm Center Creates New Program To Help Minority Farmers

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Lawmakers face tough choices on transportation

RETAIL (back to top)
– High gas prices not easy cash for stores

– Ground Round in Green Bay to go smoke-free

– Dunkin’ Donuts takes a bigger dip into Milwaukee market

– Miller tries ‘craft style light’

REGULATION (back to top)
– City to study housing bias

– Lambeau project debt reduced to $113 million

– Indoor smoking ban to become law in Marshfield

– ‘Smoking shack’ questions may delay ban enforcement

– Inquiry into chemical industry’s role widens

TOURISM (back to top)
– Rep ousts artistic director Corley

UTILITIES (back to top)
– De Pere sees ‘significant’ surge in sewerage costs

– Wisconsin far behind in wind power survey

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Medical College awards healthy partnership grants

– Blue Cross in Wisconsin won’t pay for doctors’ mistakes

– Marine Bank faces deadline

– M&I parent reports earnings April 15

– FSA & RMA Monitor Federal Crop Insurance Program

– WSJ: National City, KeyCorp talking merger

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– CPA to be 1st woman to lead top accounting firm

– UW-Green Bay names media coordinator

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Eric Gwinn: Gadgets in a colorful spectrum

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–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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