(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 11 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The Public Service Commission is set to issue an oral decision today regarding Wisconsin Power & Light’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Cassville, estimated to cost $1.3 billion.

The open meeting is set for 10:30 a.m. at PSC headquarters, 610 North Whitney Way in Madison.

See the agenda: http://psc.wi.gov/apps/eventcalendar/content/agenda.aspx?date=11/11/2008&id=1405

The PSC is also set to address a pair of requests for water rate hikes, one in Mercer and one in Madison.

The Madison Water Utility hearing is this afternoon at PSC headquarters. The proposed rates would increase annual revenues from water public utility service by an estimated $2.68 million, of which $2.44 million would be from general service customers and $238,000 would be from the public fire protection charge. The public fire protection provides an increase of approximately 12 percent compared to a 13 percent increase in general service rates. Go to http://psc.wi.gov and search for docket # 3280-WR-110 for more information.

— Des Moines-based Ruan Transport has filed notice with the state that it will close its Single Source Transport Co. facility in Green Bay, resulting in the permanent layoff of 39 employees on Jan. 6.

— The Transportation Development Association issued a report Monday on Wisconsin’s transportation system warning of a transportation funding shortfall and recommending a new funding mix.

The report was released in advance of a two-day conference in Madison this week on transportation funding.

The “Our Future Rides On It” report says rising construction inflation, a drop in gas consumption and declining American infrastructure has caused a national decline in transportation funding capabilities. The report further warns that Wisconsin, because of its reliance on revenues from the gas tax, is particularly susceptible to a funding shortfall.

See more: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=141206

— The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority recommended to Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature Monday that the RTA become permanent, have oversight authority over local transit and be authorized to levy up to a 0.5 percent sales tax to fund local transit and commuter rail.

Under the recommendations, the proceeds from the tax would stay within the county it was collected to fund the county’s transit system, and transit would be removed from property tax levies. The RTA would also receive all federal and state transit aids and be granted bonding authority for capital projects. Additionally, the recommendation calls for municipalities to be able to levy a 0.15 percent public safety sales tax.

See the RTA statement: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=141172

— A report released Monday by the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce shows a deepening shortage of doctors in Milwaukee and the state’s rural areas, with statewide demand for primary care physicians expected to double within 20 years.

In order to avoid a “bottleneck” in the state’s health care system, the report recommends initiating a program to keep graduating doctors in the state, attracting practicing doctors to Wisconsin, creating a better data and funding infrastructure for the state’s medical schools, and modernizing health care delivery methods.

Read the report: http://www.wha.org/pubArchive/special_reports/2008PhysicianReport.pdf

See the WHA statement: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=141163

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Nov. 18 in Milwaukee: STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN RECESSIONARY TIMES

**Register now for the Tues. Nov. 18 event at Discovery World in Milwaukee featuring past and present state Commerce secretaries.

“State Economic Development in Recessionary Times: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading.”

Sponsored by Quarles & Brady, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and We Energies.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=138124

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Press Releases
· Dept. of Commerce: Seeks comment on plan for federal neighborhood stabilization program funds for foreclosed property assistance
· Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority: Approves report
· Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority: Public opinion poll yields startling results on transit
· Transportation Development Association: TDA issues report on Wisconsin’s transportation crisis
· Wisconsin Credit Union League: Scam artists may prey on consumers’ financial fears
· Wisconsin Hospital Association: Physician shortage deepens in all areas of the state

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


TOP STORIES
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U.S. revamps, adds to AIG bailout: The federal government on Monday said it will take majority ownership in AIG (American International Group), providing it with an additional $40 billion, under a restructuring of the AIG bailout. The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury said the government will buy preferred shares in the struggling insurer, reduce a previous $80 billion loan to $60 billion, and replace another loan with $52 billion in aid, according to the story. All told, federal investment in the company will now total about $150 billion and will result in taxpayers owning about 79.9 percent of the company.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily4.html

MillerCoors to reopen Miller Caves, Visitor Center: MillerCoors said Monday that it will reopen the historic Miller Caves and the Miller Visitor Center on State Street this Friday following a $1 million renovation. The Miller Caves, at 60 feet below ground level, were created in 1849 to keep beer cool prior to distribution. In a new cave tour video, the ghost of Frederick Miller emerges from a mural on the wall to explain the use of the caves in the beer-making process. Other improvements to the Caves include renovations to the King Gambrinus fountain, an homage to the patron saint of beer, and improved acoustics.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily7.html

Group seeks funding to keep doctors in Wisconsin upon graduation: The Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce wants the state’s residents to lobby Congress for more money for programs that train doctors after they graduate from medical school. In addition, the organization wants to boost programs to train doctors willing to work in inner cities and rural areas and to provide incentives for doctors to enter primary care and agree to stay in Wisconsin. The recommendations are part of a new report that projects demand for care in Wisconsin to grow by 30 percent by 2030.
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20081111/WDH0101/811110512/1581&located=RSS

Single Source Transport to close Green Bay facility: Ruan Transport, a Des Moines, Iowa-based company, has filed notice with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that it plans to close its Single Source Transport Co. facility, 1970 S. Broadway, Green Bay, resulting in the permanent layoff of 39 employees on Jan. 6.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG03/811110560/1247

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

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
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Alice.com will take on Wal-Mart
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313799

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Papermaker Appleton’s sales up 3.2 percent
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081111/APC03/811110475/1028

– Boys’ invention is worth its salt
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34246044.html

– Rockwell 4Q profits down
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily10.html

– Alliance 3Q profits, revenue increase
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily5.html

LABOR (back to top)
– Lakeshore Technical College part of grant that aims to stem worker shortage
http://www.htrnews.com/article/20081111/MAN0101/811110542/1358&located=RSS

– High-voltage grant aims to stem worker shortage
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG03/811110556/1247

– County Board reverses some of Walker’s privatization plans
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/34212399.html

– Beloit College cuts workforce by 10%
http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/34207154.html

INVESTING (back to top)
– Young investors wonder what to do in falling market
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34234689.html

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Rome Town Board expected to award bid Thursday for $3.7 million municipal building renovation
http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/article/20081111/WRT0101/811110565/1806&located=RSS

– Housing starts decline in Dane County
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313727

– Barrett seeks bigger bailout
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34240749.html

– WHEDA gets new tax credits for housing
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34199704.html

– Commission OKs plans for offices, apartments
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34234699.html

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– USDA projects lower corn, soybean harvests
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081110/APC03/81110048/1028

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Economy dampens plan for freighter’s future
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG03/811110557/1247

– Con-Way Freight in Janesville closing
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34221329.html

RETAIL (back to top)
– Executive Q&A – John Baumann: The Swiss Colony looks to 21st century markets
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313425

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Construction continues on PCB processing plant
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG0101/811110601/1207&located=RSS

– Lines of success: Hooper Corp. succeeds by providing power and plumbing
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313424

– Cost, biofuels smudge lines in debate on coal-fired power plant
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34184364.html

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– State’s first flu case of season confirmed
http://www.fdlreporter.com/article/20081111/FON0101/811110397/1289&located=RSS

– Health care coalition hopes to toughen state’s alcohol laws
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/34246039.html

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Credit scores can be maintained despite economy
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081111/APC03/811110456/1028

– UW Credit Union plans new Fitchburg branch
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313739

– Actuant expands senior credit pact
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily9.html

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Packers president advises students on ethics in business
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG03/811110559/1247

– Harris Bank names Haupt regional president
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34204384.html

– Enzymatic Therapy chief to lead Nature’s Way after merger
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily2.html

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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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