(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 10 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Gov. Jim Doyle is vowing to refill Lake Delton, which was nearly drained yesterday when it cut through a road, ripped out a new channel to the Wisconsin River and washed away four homes.

Touring the disaster scene on Monday afternoon, Doyle said that the lake is crucial to the $1 billion annual tourism industry in nearby Wisconsin Dells. He said that the state will go to work immediately to figure out how to replenish the lake.

He expects a decision to be made in the next day or so. The lake is known as the home of “The Tommy Barlett Show,” which is one of the most popular attractions in the Wisconsin Dells area.

— Doyle says the flooding situation across the state is “very bad and, we are worried about it getting worse.”

Doyle was in Oak Creek yesterday surveying flood damage wrought by last weekend’s heavy rainfalls. He said in an interview with MSNBC that Milwaukee area homes were besieged by flooding and that small creeks have been turned into “raging big rivers.”

Doyle said he was thankful that there was no loss of life or serious injuries reported, but that there was “an awful lot of damage throughout the whole state.”

“Amazing to watch people pull together,” Doyle said. “People have been out all night sandbagging … neighbors have helped out neighbors. If there’s anything that’s good that comes from these kinds of challenges, it’s just watching people in Wisconsin pull together.”

See video of Lake Delton emptying:

— Madison’s Third Wave Technologies is being sold for $580 million to Massachusetts-based Hologic Inc.

The transaction should be completed this fall. Third Wave, which has about 180 employees, will remain in Madison and retain most of its employees, a Hologic spokesman said. The only layoffs expected may be in overlapping corporate areas.

The sale price of $11.25 per share represents a 24 percent premium to Third Wave’s average trading price over the last three months, officials said.

Hologic makes women’s health care products. Third Wave is developing tests to screen for human papillomavirus and recently submitted applications to the Food and Drug Administration.

See the Hologic release:

— A bipartisan group of Congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), will join a broad coalition of interests today to unveil “breakthrough legislation” designed to make health care insurance more available and affordable for the 47.1 million employees of the nation’s 5.8 million small businesses and for 14.1 million self-employed individuals.

Kind said the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Act) would lower health care costs for small businesses by allowing them to band together to obtain lower premiums, provide tax credits for small business owners to offset contributions to employee premiums and ban health status rating in order to protect businesses from large rate increases simply because one employee gets sick.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/6/9/#congressmen-to-unveil-breakthrough-health-care-legislation



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Press Releases
Alliant Energy advises caution around flooded homes & businesses
Community Members Demand DNR Upholds Law and Protects Lake Michigan
EPA Reaches Agreement With Mercury Marine on Clean-Air Violations
Hologic to Acquire Third Wave Technologies
Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport Contracts for PASSUR Field Condition Reporting Module for Operations
Project Summer Targets Employment Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities
The Chronicle of Higher Education and Sonic Foundry Partner to Webcast Executive Leadership Forum
Zizzo Group Promotes Scholler to Associate Creative Director

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


More bad news for Janesville GM plant: At least 300 employees likely will lose their jobs at the General Motors plant in Janesville this summer, a grim Brad Dutcher, incoming local union president, said Monday after another blow hit employees at the plant, targeted for closing by 2010. May sales of sport utility vehicles “continued to deteriorate,” GM spokesman Chris Lee said. So, when the Janesville factory downsizes from two daily shifts to one in July, instead of expanding the remaining shift to 58 vehicles an hour, as earlier planned, it will hold production to the current 44 vehicles an hour. “It’s certainly a lower cost alternative since we don’t have to rebalance the assembly line,” Lee said. GM won’t estimate the latest job loss, even though union officials are out with their projection.

Madison biotech Third Wave to be bought for $580 million: Third Wave Technologies is expected to stay in Madison even though a Massachusetts medical diagnostics company plans to buy the company, experts say. Hologic, a Bedford, Mass., company with sales last year of $738 million and more than 3,500 employees, said Monday it will buy Third Wave for $580 million cash, or $11.25 a share. Third Wave will become a Hologic subsidiary. “The combination of Hologic and Third Wave brings together two great companies that employ complementary technologies but share a common mission: to help save the lives of women,” said Jack Cumming, chairman and chief executive of Hologic, in a written statement. Hologic, founded in 1985, makes products such as mammography and breast biopsy systems, and ultrasound bone density screening machines.

Possible 300 jobs in Point AIG: Almost 300 new workers could join the AIG-Travel Guard’s 750 current employees when its new headquarters opens next year. John Noel, the CEO of AIG, said the company is in the final stages of adding three large pieces of business and could bring on the new work force in six months. “This wasn’t in our dreams 24 years ago,” Noel said. “This is beyond any dream (my wife) Patty and I could have had.” The company broke ground last week on its new facility in the Portage County Business Park. The job growth is an anomaly in the current state and national economy. This month, General Motors announced it is closing a plant in Janesville and NewPage announced it will cut 200 jobs next year.

Lake vanishes as residents watch; environment, economy imperiled: Lake Delton, a 267-acre water playland for thousands of tourists each summer, drained Monday after a portion of the sandy lakeshore was breached following heavy rains and took four houses with it. “The lake is gone,” said Greg Matthews, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources’ South Central region. No injuries were reported. The dam itself held, but a section of shoreline did not, washing out Highway A and creating a 400- to 500-foot wide outlet to the Wisconsin River, 700 feet away. A swirling chocolate malt of angry liquid escaped through the gap, spreading into the marsh and carrying houses, trees and an upside-down pontoon boat with it.

Storms take toll on state’s rivers, farmers: Several parks, trails have been closed… The weekend deluge is beginning to run itself out on many rivers in southeastern Wisconsin. But conditions on many rivers still remain above flood stage. And the heavy rainfall also is exacting an early toll on the state’s farmers as produce crops lie in water-choked fields and traditional crops such as corn are struggling to take root. On the recreation front, several state parks and three popular state trails have been closed. In Sheboygan County, the state Department of Natural Resources closed Kohler-Andrae State Park through today because of storm damage and flooding on the Black River. Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County was also evacuated and closed. Rocky Arbor State Park also is closed.

MillerCoors names more execs, prepares to open next month: MillerCoors is naming new executives as it prepares to begin business next month. Federal regulators approved the merger of the nation’s second and third-largest brewers, Miller Brewing Co. and Molson Coors Brewing Co., last week. The companies said blending their U.S. operations will help them compete against U.S. industry leader Anheuser-Busch Cos. The company is pulling from executives at Milwaukee-based Miller and Denver-based Coors. Incoming Chief Executive Leo Kiely said MillerCoors will be stronger than either company could be on its own. Kiely said the new company will be in place July 1. He said executives will decide which jobs are best kept in Milwaukee, Golden, Colo., or other locations. He didn’t say where the new headquarters would be.


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)
– Scientists develop world’s fastest computer

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Evansville Biodiesel Plant Project Officially Scrapped

– Cutting Edge Dairy Technologies to be Featured at FTD

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Kikkoman to establish R&D center at UW-Madison

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– National Geographic to feature Pierce Manufacturing

– GM to slow down line speed

LABOR (back to top)
– Employers hold off on hiring

– Long, hot summer likely for job seekers

– Interns a win-win on the job

– Some area employers plan to hire

– Union sticks to basics to keep edge

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Platteville company wins business plan contest

– Seroogy’s tradition offers recipe for sweet success

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks finish widely mixed after Friday’s sell-off

– Plexus Corp. investor day planned in Illinois

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Ice & Expo Center investors seek local support

– Construction starts on aquatic center

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Grain facility retracts request for permit in Texas

– Weekend downpour causes crop damage

– Ag secretary renews effort to preserve farmland

– Wisconsin FFA Convention Kicks-Off in Madison

– Crop Report: Dryer, Warmers Weather is Now Needed

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– City votes to end wrap-around ads on buses

– Ferry transports more than 1,000 on first day of service

RETAIL (back to top)
– Businesses pull tomatoes after salmonella scare

– Remaining stores hurt by mall project, lawsuit says

REGULATION (back to top)
– Smoking ban on the table in Middleton

– Judge seeks end to suit over land royalties

– WBIA Applauds Doyle For Supporting Renewable Fuels Standard

– Congressman asks DOJ to halt Northwest-Delta merger

– Mercury Marine agrees to settlement with EPA

TOURISM (back to top)
– Dells resort guests cancel; shows and tours limited

– Overture crowds smaller than expected

– Capturing the Harley spirit

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Aldermen to review ‘brutal facts’ on fix for water plant

– Appleton’s water plant could need $17 million in repairs

– Results show city had about 7.8 million gallons of sewer system overflow

– Colby considers energy efficient schools

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Death prompts care analysis

– National City invests $4.8M in Brewery project

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– MillerCoors fills out roster

– Author challenges corporate thinking

– Menasha Corp. CEO earns industry honor

– Midwest names Malloy as Skyway president

– Russ Britt: Businessman helped save Milwaukee Ballet

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Adam Dalke: Savings a key to financial stability

– Larry Avila: A diverse economic base is a good for Wisconsin

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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