(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 13 May 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— UW-Madison will launch a new living and learning community next fall for students interested in entrepreneurship.

Located within Sellery Hall with space for up to 65 students, the initiative aims to make entrepreneurship more readily accessible to newly admitted students with wide-ranging academic interests.

“Wisconsin has a long tradition of fusing the academic and residential aspects of student life together to help make the university a more welcoming place for undergraduates who desire faculty interaction,” says Anne Miner, Ford Motor Company Distinguished Professor of Management and Human Resources and director of the cross-campus Initiative for Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=125925

— Gov. Jim Doyle has signed an accord with the United Kingdom to promote a working relationship between the state and the country to reduce greenhouse emissions and promote low-carbon technologies.

The memorandum of understanding calls for Wisconsin and the UK to exchange ideas on cutting greenhouse emissions and commits the state to joining the International Carbon Action Partnership and work to create a global carbon market.

“We have lessons to learn from each other,” said Hilary Benn, the UK’s secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and minister of Parliament.

Doyle had previously signed an accord with Midwestern governors to reduce greenhouse emissions and announced an initiative to cut mercury emitted by Wisconsin power plants. He said the deal signed today wouldn’t place any additional requirements on Wisconsin, but will expand the resources available to the state.

“We want to make sure we’re sharing experiences,” Doyle said.

Benn said he signed a similar agreement earlier today with Michigan and the UK had previously reached similar deals with California and Florida.

*Listen to the news conference:
*See the release:

— Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Department Stores says it will convert more than 50 of its existing New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland stores to solar power, representing nearly 80 percent of its locations in the three states.

With the East Coast solar installation, Kohl’s says it will become the largest retail host of solar power, and its distributed solar program is now the largest in the world among retailers. In a distributed solar program, silent, renewable energy is produced and used at the same location requiring no transmission infrastructure.

Kohl’s has converted more than 25 of its 88 California locations to solar power with plans to activate approximately 50 additional sites in the state. On average, the company says, solar panels provide 30 percent of a store’s annual energy, or enough to power 54 homes annually.

The total East Coast program is expected to offset 370 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the 20-year program and is equivalent to removing more than 36,200 cars from the road for one year.

See the release:

— Losses continue to pile up for Merge Healthcare Inc., a West Allis-based medical software company. The company’s net loss for the first quarter totaled $7.8 million, or 23 cents per share, which was a slight improvement from a loss of $9.7 million, or 29 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2007.

The company’s quarterly revenue was $13.7 million, down from $15.9 million in the same period a year earlier. Merge executives did not comment on the latest quarterly results, but company said it will conduct a conference call with analysts at 8 a.m. Thursday.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/5/12/#merge-healthcare-still-in-the-red




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Press Releases
Air Wisconsin Reports April Traffic
Appleton to Host American Legion Baseball Regional Tournament
Engineering Senior Turns Hobby into Cash
EPA Awards $37,271 Grant to Manitowoc Public School District for Clean School Bus Project
Experts and Public to Demand “No More Coal!” at Alliant Shareholder Meeting
Governor Doyle Signs Climate Change Agreement with United Kingdom
Kalahari Waterpark Resort Takes Family Fun Beyond Travelers’ Expectations with 110,000-Square-Foot Entertainment Complex
Kohl’s Distributed Solar Power Program Becomes World’s Largest Among Retailers
Leinenkugel’s Toasts American Craft Beer Week with Adventure, Innovation and Growth
MADD Calls on Wisconsin Lawmakers to Pursue Tougher Drunk Driving Laws
Nation’s First of its Kind Consumer Medication Return Initiative Creates Momentum for Safe Drug Disposal in the U.S.
National Lung Cancer Partnership Launches Campaign to Raise Lung Cancer Awareness Among Women
Printer will build on its success of having co-mailed 1-billion-plus catalogs in one year’s time
UW-Madison Builds New Entrepreneurship Learning Community
Wisconsin Protects its Share of Tourism Revenue in 2007

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


Boilermakers walk off the job in Kewaunee: Wages at center of union’s rejection… Boilermakers Local 487 walked the picket line Monday morning at Kewaunee Fabrications, just north of Kewaunee, after voting to reject the company’s latest contract offer. “We are just looking for a fair wage for union members and employees,” said union representative Russ Castro on Monday morning. “With the hike in the insurance premiums, we are barely getting an extra 15 cents an hour.” He said with the escalating fuel prices and food prices, the average worker is falling further behind every year. The vote took place at 7 a.m. Monday.

Budget fix includes borrowing, some cuts, but no hospital tax: Legislative leaders announced a deal Monday to fix a $527 million hole in the state budget by nixing a major tax hike, cutting some spending, increasing borrowing and delaying payments. But with more than a half-billion dollars of the state’s cash still hinging on three legal battles, the state may not have weathered all — or even the worst of — the problems in the budget ending in June 2009, analysts and the lawmakers said. Add to that a shaky economy, and Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch said he couldn’t promise the budget deal he helped broker would see the state through the end of the current budget.

Start-up firm gets venture funding: Silatronix’s better battery plan draws on Madison chemists… A Madison start-up has pulled in $500,000 of funding to develop an electrolyte that a group of high-level scientists thinks will make batteries and other storage devices much more efficient and safer. Silatronix LLC raised the money in March from Venture Investors and will receive another $500,000 if it meets certain milestones, said Winslow Sargeant, a managing director at Venture Investors. Silatronix is the first company created under a program Venture Investors started last year when it raised a $117 million fund.

Envirotest to close Waukesha facility: Envirotest Wisconsin LLC has informed state officials of its plan to close its facility in Waukesha and lay off employees at other sites, resulting in as many as 105 layoffs. The Milwaukee-based firm, which operates the state of Wisconsin’s vehicle testing program in the seven-county area around Milwaukee, said it plans to lay off between 50 and 105 employees from the Waukesha location, 1408 Poplar Drive, and from 12 other sites in southeast Wisconsin as of July 1, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development May 9.

700 possible victims named in $250M coupon fraud case: An additional 700 potential victims nationwide, ranging from food companies to newspapers, have been named in a massive fraud scheme involving the nation’s largest coupon company. Eleven men — mostly from International Outsourcing Services based in Bloomington, Ind. — were charged in March 2007 with 25 counts of wire fraud. Seven also have been charged with obstruction of justice. Early filings named more than 100 victims, including Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Co., and Gerber Products Co. But there could be 700 more victims, including ExxonMobil Oil, the Kansas City Star, and the National Pork Board, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said in a new filing in the Eastern District of Wisconsin late last month.

Will Milwaukee, like Youngstown, wither?: Forum would study how cities thrive… Explaining the urgency to create the first economic policy think tank for the Midwest, an official of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Monday pointed to the plight of Youngstown, Ohio. The city, which lost its steel mills and much of its population, has thrown in the towel. Instead of trying to grow its economy, it’s bulldozing entire swaths of the city and converting them back to prairie. Urban planners dub it the “shrinking city.” It’s a case of desperation, and it explains what’s at stake as the Midwest grapples with global competition, said Richard Longworth, a senior fellow at the foreign affairs organization and author of a recent book “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism.”


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)
– Sonic Foundry hosts media site conference

– Hospitals expand use of robots in surgeries

– Centurion buys Pewaukee’s Lake Systems

– DISH Network launching 22 more national HD channels

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Lawmakers push biofuels study

– Biodiesel team makes a test batch

– WI Corn Celebrating 100 Years of Better Breathing with Ethanol

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Charter loss narrows, but misses analysts’ forecasts

– Another day, another gas price record

– New S.C. Johnson firm launches national ad campaign

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Merge files 1Q report, sells overseas units

– Astronautics, Oshkosh win defense orders

– Appleton reports 1.6% quarterly sales boost

– Alliance Laundry reports earnings increase

LABOR (back to top)
– New county initiative seeks jobs for teens, ex-offenders

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Bodacious Boutique to close

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks advance as oil falls, dollar advances

– Emteq shareholders buy Cable Technologies of Montana

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Housing slump leads to layoffs

– Area home sales drop

– Housing markets are steady in Milton, Edgerton

– Building permits decline in April

– Mandel Group named to finish condo project

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– USDA: Wisconsin dry hay stocks at lowest levels since 1950

– Finally! Fieldwork is Underway in Rural Wisconsin

– Rain, cold threaten state crop yields

– Cashton cheesemaker joins elite group with master certifications

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airport gets big boost from flights to Phoenix

– Fuel costs may shrink merged Delta/Northwest

RETAIL (back to top)
– Stoughton Wal-Mart Supercenter on hold

– Plans for Bellevue Wal-Mart on hold

– Marcus plans theater complex in Park East

– $4 gas might stump old pumps

– Kohl’s adding solar power at East Coast stores

REGULATION (back to top)
– Doyle not happy with state budget deal

– Great Wolf settles proxy battle

TOURISM (back to top)
– Kalahari beefing up indoor resort

– Children’s museum details plans for new location

– Tourists spend $386M here

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Again seeking manager, water utility names two finalists

– Pair of reactors at Kewaunee Power Station are back online

– Use of wind energy expected to grow dramatically

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Crashed Med Flight helicopter lacked recommended safety equipment

– Med Flight loss highlights risk to health-care workers

– Unknown when Med Flight will resume service

– Credit union to offer online banking session

– West Pointe Bank remains leader in deposits

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– UW-Madison chancellor search: Sandefur stresses relationships

– General manager buys local video and film production firm

– Survey: Poor leaders turn off workers

– Mark David added to Kohler Interiors Group

– Zilber money comes with hope

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Larry Avila: ‘Lean’ expert says ThedaCare on healthy path

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

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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