(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 1 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— A mixed-bag economic report by Competitive Wisconsin Inc. (CWI) shows the state is falling further behind the national average in per capita income, number of new jobs created and the amount of new private businesses.

The survey – dubbed Measuring Success: Benchmarks for a Competitive Wisconsin – said per capita income fell to $34,476 in 2006, compared to the national average of $36,629. Bill McCoshen, executive director of CWI, called it one of the report’s “most troubling indicators.”

Wisconsin’s per capita income also continues to significantly trail that of its neighbors, Illinois ($38,297) and Minnesota ($38,751), the survey showed.

All totaled, the annual report showed that 17 benchmarks changed in 2006 from the previous year with eight improvements and nine declines. On the upside, 2006 showed increases in venture capital and export share, and decreases in unemployment and the percentage of uninsured residents.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=122352

— The Wisconsin Supreme Court has accepted two cases – one involving lead paint and the other asbestos – that will be closely watched by the business community.

The first case deals with product liability and could affect more than 30 similar cases pending in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. It stems from the alleged poisoning from lead paint of Ruben Baez Godoy, now 10, when he was a toddler in Milwaukee.

Godoy’s attorney, Peter Earle, contends lead paint made by Sherwin-Williams, du Pont and others was defective. He’s appealing a lower court decision that favored the paint manufacturers.

In the second case, the high court is being asked to decide how much insurance Liberty Mutual is obligated to provide Plastics Engineering Co. , which has been sued repeatedly over the past two decades by individuals who alleged they were injured by years of exposure to asbestos-containing products Plenco manufactured from 1950 to 1983.

See the release:

— Plymouth-based Sartori Foods Corp. has broken ground on a 115,000-square-foot cheese converting facility. The building will be the first tenant in Plymouth’s new South Industrial Park and is being constructed on a 25-acre parcel with significant expansion room, said Jim Sartori, president and chief executive officer.

The company expects to begin working at the new plant in December.

The new facility will slice, shred, dice, grate and cut the cheese that Sartori Foods produces in its four cheese plants, officials said.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/manufacturingweekly/2008/3/31/#sartori-cheese-breaks-ground-on-plymouth-facility




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Press Releases
Census Bureau to Survey Nation’s Spending Habits
Comic Wonder Strives to Reduce Prank-Related Injuries this April Fools’ Day
Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. Releases 10th Annual Benchmarks Survey
Governor Doyle Announces Funding for Great Northern Corporation
Governor Doyle Announces Industrial Revenue Bond Allocation in Ozaukee County
Governor Doyle Announces National Recognition for Wisconsin Permit Primer
Governor Doyle Launches Energy Independent Communities
Governor Doyle Signs Bills Into Law to Expand Access to Health Care
MGIC Announces Closing of Common Stock Offering
MGIC Announces Closing of Convertible Debenture Placement
SeqWright’s Partnership With Third Wave Contributes to FDA Success
Supreme Court accepts five new cases
Tricon Marine Breaks Ground on China’s First Western-Owned and Operated Shipyard
Zizzo Group Promotes Michelle Sieg to Vice President and Creative Director

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


State officials blast Treasury plan: Federal rules may hurt consumers, they warn… A Treasury Department plan to overhaul financial regulation could lead to higher costs for property insurance and less local oversight of state banks, and it won’t do much to help resolve the credit crisis, industry leaders and officials in Wisconsin said Monday. Although it might have been inevitable that government would demand more say-so over investment banks once the Federal Reserve jumped in to help save a big one, Bear Stearns Cos., some of the other moves are unnecessary and could hurt consumers, they said. The department laid out a restructuring plan that it said is intended to improve regulation of the overall financial system and prevent the kinds of problems plaguing the economy today.

Report: Wisconsin losing ground in income, job creation: Wisconsin is losing ground in the areas of per capita income and number of new jobs being created compared with the national average, according to the latest benchmarks report released by Competitive Wisconsin Inc. Competitive Wisconsin, a nonpartisan consortium of state agriculture, business, education and labor leaders, releases its “Measuring Success” report each year, grading the state in 33 areas of interstate competitiveness. The reports are prepared annually by the professional research staff at the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Transit study funds restored: County, city can assess best use for $91.5 million; timing may help Walker… The federal government has cleared a key obstacle that stood in the way of local authorities seeking to use $91.5 million in long-idle transit aid, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced Monday. Walker has proposed spending all of the money on express buses, while Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has proposed spending it for a mixture of express buses and streetcars. But it can’t be spent on anything until a detailed study is completed, and a bureaucratic mix-up drained a separate federal account of most of the $3.5 million that local authorities were hoping to use to complete the study.

Inviragen lands state aid for $2.8M expansion: Vaccine developer Inviragen Inc. in Mount Horeb has been awarded a $250,000 loan from the state of Wisconsin’s Technology Venture Fund to aid in a $2.8 million expansion. Inviragen will use the loan to lease a 4,000-square-foot laboratory and office space in Madison, Gov Jim Doyle said in announcing the Department of Commerce award. The laboratory will be used for preclinical testing and research to measure immune responses and to conduct further research of vaccine administration and delivery. The company is investing $2.8 million in the project, which is expected to create up to 10 new research positions.

Nuclear plant safety criticized: Kewaunee facility says it’s addressing agency’s concerns… The operating performance of the Kewaunee nuclear power plant declined in 2007, in part because of a safety finding that resulted in stepped-up scrutiny of the one-reactor plant east of Green Bay. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual assessment of Kewaunee found the plant operated safely overall. The owner and operator of the plant, Dominion Resources Inc. of Richmond, Va., is working to address concerns raised by the commission, spokesman Mark Kanz said. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses a color-coded system to rate the safety of nuclear plants.

Farmers to plant more soybeans: Many give corn a rest as fertilizer costs keep growing… Farmers in northeastern Wisconsin likely will follow a national trend of devoting more acreage to soybeans in an effort to cut costs of purchasing protein and nitrogen fertilizer. American farmers are expected to plant 74.8 million acres of soybeans this year, up 18 percent from 2007, but still a touch — 1 percent — under the 2006 record acreage planted to the commodity, according to a Department of Agriculture report released Monday. Kevin Jarek, crops and soils agent with Outagamie County University of Wisconsin-Extension Service, said he expects his county will see additional acres devoted to soybeans.


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)
– Delayed drug study possibly deliberate

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Central Wis. plugs into state energy plan

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Farmers planting less corn, which could mean higher grocery bills

– Sun Prairie rivals focus on growth

– Consumer spending has weakest gain in 17 months for February

– Weinbrenner Shoe wins $9.3M military order

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Local manufacturing index hits 5-year low in March

– Oshkosh Corp. to add offices

LABOR (back to top)
– Manpower to buy L.A. recruitment services firm

– Web distractions pile up at work

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Moms help moms: New business offers services to new parents

– Green Bay’s Camera Corner has nearly recovered from March fire

– Oconomowoc restaurant gets needed variance

INVESTING (back to top)
– Madison-area firms qualify for investor tax credits

– Financial system overhaul would give Federal Reserve power

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Panel recommends high-rise rezoning

– Wausau Club renewal ends

– Yacht condo project falls to wayside

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Six women will vie to be Alice in Dairyland

– Long winter delays planting

– Farm show starts today in Oshkosh

– March Milk Prices Expected to Go Back Up

– Minnesota/Wisconsin Dairy Policy Conference is Wednesday

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– New rules stop the ‘Bucky Bus’

– DOT not buying resident’s Highway X alternative

RETAIL (back to top)
– Reviving South Park Street

– Copps store to close in Oshkosh

– Miller revamps Miller Lite look

REGULATION (back to top)
– Neenah may take on new debt for improvement projects

– City apartment standards get a second chance

– Bay Valley recalls mislabeled salad dressing

TOURISM (back to top)
– Neville Public Museum exhibit begins Thursday

– Attanasio: Milwaukee Brewers could draw 3 million

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Power play: Rising global warming concerns mean utilities face more obstacles to plans for new coal plants

– Menasha steam plant net income $204,000 in February

– Power outages affect Greenville, Neenah

– MGE seeks 2.4% electric surcharge

– Kewaunee Power Station nuclear reactor down for refueling

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Gov. Doyle signs pharmacy bill at Marshfield Clinic

– Study urges change in older adult care

– Thompson Plumb launches new mutual fund

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Hartman appointed Chamco CEO

– CEO compensations draw ire, support

– U.S. attorneys handling Oneida Golf & Country Club embezzlement case

– Costumer moves into new home

– Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation names Stratton chairman

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Williquette: All workers have right to unionize

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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