(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 5 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Mithridion, Inc., and Cognitive Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., both private drug discovery and development companies focusing on drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and other serious Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, have merged.

Mithridion is the surviving entity, and will maintain its headquarters and preclinical drug research laboratories in Madison and will have its early drug discovery and clinical drug development operations in Toledo, Ohio.

The merged company also announced the closing of a Series B funding round, which will provide it with $2.3 million in staged financing. Venture Investors (Madison, Wis. and Ann Arbor, Mich.), an existing investor, led the latest round. Also investing were the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and Wisconsin Investment Partners, a Madison-based angel group and an existing investor in Mithridion. Mithridion had previously raised $2.2 million in its Series A round.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=127938

— Marquette University has a new business school dean.

Linda M. Salchenberger, associate dean of academics in Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies, has been named the Keyes Dean of Marquette’s College of Business Administration and the Graduate School of Management, Interim Provost David Shrock announced today.

She is the first female dean of the college and the inaugural Keyes Dean, a deanship endowed by Marquette alumnus and retired Johnson Controls CEO James Keyes. Her appointment is effective Aug. 15.

A senior lecturer in Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Salchenberger holds an MBA and a doctorate in managerial economics and decision sciences from Northwestern. A graduate of Mundelein College, she earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

See the release:

— The Radford Company, Oshkosh Division facility, and Oshkosh Prefinish, Inc. will both be closing Aug. 29, which will result in the layoffs of approximately 52 employees.

The Radford Company warehouse and shop employees are represented by the Carpenters Industial Council. Because Radford anticipates shutting down the entire operation, bumping rights do not apply.

The Department of Workforce Development is forming a Rapid Response team, including local partners, that will contact the company and the union as an immediate, first step in arranging orientation sessions with all affected workers. The Department stands ready to help these dislocated workers find new jobs or update skills and training so they can support themselves and their families.

— For the sixth consecutive month, less than half of the monthly business activity indicators tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) showed improvement.

Six of 19 available metro area business activity indicators pointed upward in April, up slightly from March’s revised five improvements.
“Signs of improvement in the local economy have been limited in recent months, suggesting that more of the same may be likely in the near term,” said Bret Mayborne, economic research director for the MMAC. “Nonetheless, a sharp downturn in the number of unemployed – this indicator’s first decline in over one year – gives some cause for optimism.”

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/6/4/#mmac-data-shows-stagnant-local-economy

— WisBusiness.com-Edgewood College MBA Speaker Series:

Corey Chambas, President and CEO of First Business Financial Services Inc.

Monday, June 16, 5:45 pm

Sonderegger Science Center, Rm. 108, Edgewood College

–Part of the WisBusiness.com Speaker Series presented by Xcel Energy–

WisBusiness.com and Edgewood College present the MBA Executive Speaker Series on Monday, June 16, with special guest Corey Chambas, President and CEO of First Business Financial Services, Inc.

First Business is consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in Dane County, with company holdings in Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton and nearly $1 billion in assets. Mr. Chambas will discuss building and maintaining corporate culture in a public company and the state of the Wisconsin economy.

This event is open to the public. There is no charge to attend, but for food planning purposes please RSVP to [email protected]



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Press Releases
‘Beyond the Open Well’: New Biography Follows Sisters on Journey of Neglect, Sexual Abuse and Survival
Agent in Red Wine Found to Keep Hearts Young
Alliant Energy to provide $50,000 grant to Blackhawk Technical College
Apllied Tech garners award
Briggs & Stratton Corporation to Acquire Victa Lawncare in Australia
Farms need emergency plans before disasters strike
Godfrey & Kahn Names Rochelle H. Klaskin Madison Office Managing Partner
Governor Doyle Announces $10 Million to
Governor Doyle Announces “Lab on the Lake”
IMS Global Learning Consortium Awards Villanova University and Sonic Foundry ‘Learning Impact Leader’ for Lecture Capture With Mediasite
M&I Invites Musicians and Les Paul Enthusiasts to Create a Virtual Birthday Card
MadiSUN Initiative Seeks to Double Madison’s Use of Solar Energy
Manpower Inc. Named to 2008 ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ List at Forbes, Ethisphere Institute Joint-Conference
Marquette University names new business dean
Michels Corp Ranks High Among Top Contractors
New North to Promote Region’s Wind Energy Industry at International Trade Show
Northwest Airlines Reports May Traffic
Planet Green Presents ‘Get Your Green On’ Events at Major League Baseball Stadiums Across the Country
Skilled Nursing Facility Opens on Madison’s East Side
Steve Iverson Elected to Association of Language Companies Board of Directors
TDS Tosses Out Its e-Waste

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


What will Janesville do with the plant?: Analysts say it won’t be used to make cars… It’s unlikely that another automaker will take over the General Motors factory in Janesville when it shuts down sometime in the next two years, industry analysts said Wednesday. Simply put, the big, old plant is incompatible with the way that most automakers build vehicles. It’s also not in the South, where many of the automotive industry’s new plants have been built in recent years. “The reality is when you look at where the foreign automakers have put their assembly facilities, they’re not in the North,” said David Leiker, auto industry analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee. GM announced Tuesday that production will end in 2010 or sooner at the 2,400-worker factory and at three other North American plants that make SUVs and trucks that many people cannot afford to drive anymore.

4 other Wisconsin firms are also laying off workers: GM dominated the “plant closing” news Tuesday, but four other companies in Wisconsin announced they were closing operations or laying off workers. Two of the firms closing are in Janesville, where GM will shut down its oldest production facility over the next two years, while another firm is closing in Elkhorn, and hundreds are being laid off in Wausau. ThyssenKrupp Drauz Nothelfer NA and ThyssenKrupp Krause Inc. are closing their Janesville operations Sept. 30, with layoffs of 120 at ThyssenKrupp Drauz Nothelfer NA starting Friday and layoffs of 42 at ThyssenKrupp Krause Inc. starting Aug. 1. The firms make engine and transmission components and assembly line machinery for the auto industry.

Manufacturer sees growth despite slow economy: Robinson Metal is one of those local companies that seems to defy talk of a bad economy. And it’s one of those companies that exemplifies manufacturing in Northeastern Wisconsin. Business is good, the company is growing, and it needs more high-skilled workers. The Lawrence-based custom manufacturer recently completed a $4 million, 50,000-square-foot addition to accommodate its growing acoustical enclosures business. Its large, clean, 175,000-squarefoot operation on Eisenhower Drive “never really slows down,” said Scott Verboncouer, assistant general manager. “When our customers come through the facility, we want them to see people working and a clean environment,” said Mark Lambert, general manager.

LHI lands contract to treat ‘ground zero’ workers: As President Bush’s health chief, Tommy Thompson was criticized for not doing enough to help workers exposed to toxic debris from the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. Now, a company he leads has won a $11 million contract to treat some of those workers who responded to New York’s ground zero. The contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control is aimed at tracking the health of between 4,000 and 6,000 workers who live outside the New York City area, where a separate health monitoring program is in place. The CDC is part of the Health and Human Services Department, which Thompson headed in Bush’s first term. Internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press show the one-year contract went to Logistics Health, Inc. in La Crosse, where Thompson is president.

Merge completes $20M financing deal: Merge Healthcare Inc. said Thursday that it has completed its $20 million in financing under a securities purchase agreement with Merrick RIS LLC through a private placement. Pursuant to the terms of the private placement, Merge sold a $15 million senior secured term note due 2010 and 6.8 million shares of common stock as partial consideration for the term note and 14,285,715 shares of the company’s common stock at 35 cents per share, the company said. After giving effect to the payment of certain transactions costs, closing fees and the payment of prepaid interest, the net proceeds of the private placement to Merge were about $16.6 million.

AT&T to invest $20M in state: AT&T Inc. plans to invest more than $20 million in its Wisconsin wireless network in 2008. This will bring AT&T’s three-year planned wireless investment in the state to nearly $200 million. As part of the 2008 wireless network investment, AT&T is adding nearly 16 new cell sites throughout the state, including Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau. Terry Stenzel, AT&T’s vice president/general manager for wireless operations in Illinois and Wisconsin, said the new cell sites will improve AT&T’s wireless service for customers in the region. That, he said, is important since wireless data transmission for files such as text messages, music and video downloads has skyrocketed in the past year.

Researchers tweak stem cell creation: California team refines technique developed at UW… Researchers from California say they have improved a groundbreaking technique that reprograms skin cells back to the embryonic state, making the procedure safer by relying less on the use of viruses and genetic modification. The technique, first used last year by teams led by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, turned back a cell’s developmental clock by inserting four genes into the cell using a virus. The reprogramming work by Thomson and Yamanaka was hailed in November as a major breakthrough, producing cells that mimic embryonic stem cells without the ethically controversial destruction of human embryos.


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)
– Wi-Fi, video games all part of public libraries version 2.0

– War creates shortage of night vision gear for US EMS pilots

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Residents Challenge Wastewater Permit for Didion Ethanol Plant

– Water, water everywhere. Let’s study it.

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Congressional election debate begins at pump

– ‘Public Enemies’ bill for city services tops $160,000

– Wisconsin Way’s forums aim to effect economic, tax changes

– Winona bridge closure affects local commerce overnight

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Briggs & Stratton to buy Aussie equipment maker

– Doyle vows to fight to keep plant open

LABOR (back to top)
– GM workers wonder about pace of job cuts

– GM employees still in shock over announcement

– GM workers likely to have options

– Milwaukee CFOs expect hiring to increase in third quarter

– Productivity improves while wages moderate

– School projects give Wisconsin students skills to compete in the work world

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Upscale clothing boutique debuts on the Square

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks turn higher as oil prices retreat

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Homes on parade are moving quickly

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farm bill to deliver more food to state

– Planting not hurt by cool weather

– Wisconsin Set to Host National Guernsey Convention

– Comments Requested for Special Ginseng Pesticide Registration

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airline merger worries pilots

– South side bus route saved, for now

– Freedom ship’s tests continue in Marinette

– Trolleys pick up where they left off last summer

RETAIL (back to top)
– Second Honda dealership planned in Madison

– Seroogy’s new Ashwaubenon store opens today

REGULATION (back to top)
– State DNR publicizing new pier rules

– Court orders Juneau Village sold

TOURISM (back to top)
– Summer packed with arts events

– 20th Century Fox may set new comedy in Milwaukee

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Focus on Energy to Hold Farm Tours on June 10

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– State group part of health-care initiative

– AARP events to focus on health care, social security

– Lenders slash college loans

– UW Credit Union plans Northport branch

– Business Bank forms new board

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Marquette names first woman business school dean

– Regents to set salary for new chancellor

– Local printing companies ink merger

– Milwaukee companies among ‘most ethical’

– His work helps keep bartenders honest

– Nightclubs propose teen dance nights

– Cudahy to receive ‘Seize the Day’ award

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Tom Still: State’s a good place to do business

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