(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 7 February 2008

From WisBusiness.com …
— Wisconsin foreclosure filings reached record highs in January, according to newly released data compiled by ForeclosuresWI.com, a leading provider of Wisconsin foreclosure resources and statistics.

Robert Jansen, president of ForeclosuresWi.com, said foreclosures have jumped 70 percent over the last three years (from 12,311 in 2005 to 20,995 in 2007), with January showing no sign of improvement.

He said January produced the highest monthly foreclosure tally yet, with a record 2,443 Wisconsin homes entering foreclosure, nearly 45 percent more than in January 2007.

“These numbers are staggering,” he said. “We expect foreclosures to remain at escalated levels well into 2008, with some experts not predicting a housing market recovery until 2010.”

See the story at http://www.wisbusiness.com

— A decade ago, few Americans would have dreamed of traveling to Northern Ireland for a vacation.

But times have changed.

And the “Troubles,” as the conflict between Loyalists and the Nationalists was called, have subsided. Moreover, the now peaceful region’s economy is doing well.

With political stability returning to Ulster, the two sides are now sharing power. With that calm, Madison travel entrepreneur Philip Ryan – a native of Dublin, Ireland – is launching plans to take adventurous travelers to Belfast and the six Irish counties that remain part of the United Kingdom.

See story: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=117559

— Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin says several improvements are coming to Miller Park this season and that he’s confident the team will have a successful year in 2008.

During the Milwaukee Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon meeting Wednesday, Melvin said improvements will include a renovation of the .300 Club, an upscale restaurant at the park which will now be called the “The Metavante Club,” and a new sports memorabilia store to be located outside of the stadium.

“We’re always looking to improve the ballpark,” Melvin said.

Melvin expressed confidence in his young team and said he is looking forward to a successful season.

“We haven’t reached the ultimate goal of beating the post season; we hope that happens this year, but we have made great strides through the help of some of our young players,” Melvin said.

See story: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=117560

— Magnetek Inc. is reporting fiscal second quarter results that indicate the company’s restructuring plan and its relocation to Menomonee Falls from California are paying dividends.

Including the results of discontinued operations, Magnetek’s quarterly net income grew to $2.6 million, or 8 cents per share, which was a dramatic improvement over a net loss of $6.2 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Magnetek’s net sales grew to $29.0 million from $27.6 million. Magnetek, a designer and manufacturer of power control and delivery systems for the overhead material handling industry, announced this week it had acquired the assets and business of Enrange LLC of Canonsburg, Pa.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/2/6/#restructuring-pays-off-for-magnetek





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Press Releases

Alliant Energy Announces 2007 Results
Alliant Energy Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter 2007 Earnings Release and Conference Call
ASP Free Software Test Drive: WAUSAU Offers Opportunity to Experience Remote Capture Solution
Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States: A Wild Valentine to Remember
Cinematheque Begins Another Semester of Rarely Seen Films
ElderCounsel, LLC Appoints Board Chairman and Education Director
Foundation Awards Grants to Six States to Improve Addiction Treatment
Grammy Award winner Mark S. Doss to star in Florentine Opera’s Salome
Great Lakes Utilities and Wisconsin Public Service Ink Power Supply Agreement
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. to Hold Fourth-Quarter 2007 Earnings Call on February 20
Johnson Controls Announces Webcast of Automotive Analyst Conference Presentation
Ladish Reports $424.6 Million of Sales and $32.3 Million of Net Income for Fiscal 2007
Northwest Airlines Reports January Traffic
Regal Beloit Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results
WMEP speaker offers strategies for manufacturers to compete and win with U.S. suppliers at Feb. 7 meeting of the Milwaukee World Trade Association
World’s Greatest Joke-Teller Discovered in Seattle

For these and more releases visit


Generating a new business: Firm will sell power apparatuses… Two former executives from Briggs & Stratton Corp. and Generac Power Systems have started their own company that will sell generators made in China. Dorrance Noonan, former chief of Briggs’ power products segment, and Jeff Servis, former senior vice president of Generac Power Systems, say their company will sell portable generators and larger, standby generators under the Honeywell brand. The company, Northshore Power Systems, will be based in Milwaukee. It has signed an exclusive licensee agreement with Honeywell International to manufacture and sell generators in a wide range of sizes. Noonan left Briggs about five years ago.

Orion sees profit double: Sales boosted by demand for energy-efficient lights… Demand for energy-efficient lights by Fortune 500 companies such as Miller Brewing and Big Lots helped sales jump 72% in the fiscal third quarter for Orion Energy Systems Inc. of Plymouth. The company, which went public in December, said its profit doubled to $1.15 million from $560,000 in the quarter, with earnings per share rising to 5 cents from 3 cents. The boost came even as the company reported $729,000 in costs linked to the public offering. Seeking to take advantage of investor interest in environmental and clean-energy technologies, Orion went public in an offering that raised $78.6 million.

National Presto unit receives $97.5M Army order: National Presto Industries Inc. of Eau Claire said that its military munitions business has been awarded a $97.5 million supplemental award to supply the U.S. Army’s 40 mm systems program. AMTEC Corp., a provider of ammunition, fuses and firing devices, was awarded the contract Jan. 30. Deliveries under this supplement are scheduled primarily in 2009 and first quarter of 2010. To date, the company has received orders totaling $446.2 million under the multi-year program.

National defense spending helps local company grow: Federal dollars being spent to protect our nation and its troops on the ground are creating jobs here in north central Wisconsin. Clover Industries of Wausau on Wednesday announced it has received final approval of a $3.25 million defense contract to support research and development of two technologies for the U.S. military. The contract was one of two awarded to the small manufacturer, which designs and builds hydraulic cylinders and integrated cylinder systems. Together, the contracts total about $8.25 million, said Mike Priebe, company president. The company is developing advanced technology to facilitate the automated set-up and tear-down of the Army’s mobile command posts and is studying the feasibility of possible improvements to the Army’s 10-meter mobile communications antennas, Priebe said.


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)
– UW accuses Intel in federal lawsuit

BIOTECH (back to top)
– MATC offers course in caring for lab animals

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Analyst: Go global for success

– Carpet company to build warehouse

– Revenue jumps for Time Warner

– Foreclosures skyrocket 45%

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Manitowoc Co. reports sales jump

– Magnetek swings to 2Q profit

– Rexnord reports 3Q profit

– Regal Beloit reports improved profits

– Idled Chrysler plants resume operation

LABOR (back to top)
– Wausau Homes to trim 44 jobs

– UW System might pioneer ‘dual transcript’ for graduates

– Worker productivity growth rate falls

– Snow can’t stop workers at home

– Macy’s cutting 2,300 jobs under reorganization

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Businessmen grow Hortonville company from ground up

INVESTING (back to top)
– Neenah Paper plans common stock split

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Metropolitan Place II condo project faces foreclosure

– City OKs Butler St. project

– On Broadway: Monona street continues to develop

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin Farm Numbers Unchanged From Year Ago

– Hay Price Report: Values Are Increasing

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Midwest Airlines traffic down in January

– Snow leaves travelers stranded

– General delivery GM plant donates bicycles to Red Bike program

RETAIL (back to top)
– Big box limits for Middleton?

– Malls keep doors shut

– New movie ‘stores’ come to campus

REGULATION (back to top)
– Cigar merchants band together to act on regulatory atmosphere

TOURISM (back to top)
– Valley Fair in hole again

– City officials in no rush to stir up another Pointe Blue proposal

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Alliant Energy plans electric rate increases

– Wisconsin Public Service garnerslong-term deal with Great Lakes Utilities

– High-voltage line proposed for Warrens area

– Part of trail closed for utility work

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Doctor starts heart-research foundation

– ER fundraising goal exceeded: Franciscan Skemp’s drive raises more than $4.3 million for new development

– Ownership change means new name for Fiserv Health

– College aid info day on tap for Sunday

– Fiserv reports lower 4Q net income

– Bad loans weigh down AnchorBank profits

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Navitus inks contract with state of Minnesota

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Todd Perrault: Outgoing employees must act as mentors

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