(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 14 Oct. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Gov. Jim Doyle says the state will continue its efforts to rescue the General Motors plant in Janesville despite the company’s announcement that the plan will be shut down before the end of the year.

“General Motors’ announcement of the final day of production at the Janesville plant is another tragic example where hard working families are carrying the brunt of the burden for the financial failures on Wall Street,” Doyle said in a response to the GM announcement. He said the state, union, local leaders and Congressional delegation would sustain attempts to “bring a new product line to the Janesville plant.”

GM has officially filed notice with the state that it plans to cease production and close its Janesville assembly plant on or about Dec. 23, resulting in what it described as “the indefinite layoff” of approximately 1,253 workers. The plant had been scheduled to be shuttered by 2010.

Janesville natives U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan both called the decision disappointing, but stressed that an incentive package prepared by a Janesville task force remains under review by company officials. U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl promised to work to convince GM to reconsider its decision.

See more: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=138811

— The Wisconsin Public Service Commision Monday scheduled technical and public hearings for the Midwest Natural Gas 4.9 percent rate hike to be held Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., in Madison at the PSC headquarters.

The preliminary hearing set a public hearing date to address issues related to the natural gas rate increase requested by Midwest Natural Gas in September. Company vice president James Senty said the rate hike was needed to bolster payroll at the small west-central Wisconsin utility as several staff had been hired away by other regional utilities offering higher pay.

In its rate-hike application the utility said the 4.9 percent increase would help cover increases in natural gas rates incurred this past summer, a softening of the business cycle and wage increases for its technical staff.

— Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group, the largest cardiology group in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the Midwest, announced Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by Aurora Health Care.

“We believe strongly that the affiliation with Aurora is in the long-term best interests of our patients,” said Masood Akhtar, president of the cardiology group. “We look forward to leveraging the strengths of Aurora’s fully integrated system to ensure that all patients benefit from best practices in heart care and the latest treatment options.”

With the 39 cardiologists of Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group, known in the medical community as CCC, Aurora will be creating a cardiovascular care specialty group practice that will provide heart care services for patients throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Press Releases

· ACS: Completes Institute for Influenza Viral Research for the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine
· Cornucopia Institute: Collateral damage: Organic farmers being squeezed out
· Delightful Watergardens: Making rainwater reuse beautiful – no rain barrels here!
· Lake Express: High speed ferry’s fifth season heads into final weeks
· Marian University: Regional business conference held at Marian University
· New North, Inc.: Boldt named among America’s safest companies
· Obama Campaign: Statement on Janesville General Motors plant
· Rep. Sheridan: Statement regarding this morning’s announcement by General Motors
· Sen. Robson: Statement on General Motors announcement
· U.S. Rep. Ryan: Statement on GM’s announcement
· U.S. Sen. Feingold: Statement on GM’s announcement today
· U.S. Sen. Kohl: Statement on General Motors’ announcement
· Wisconsin Hospital Association: Wisconsin group launches aggressive recruitment campaign to attract physicians
· Wisconsin Insurance Alliance: Grown in Wisconsin: The property and casualty insurance industry

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


Greenheck Fan to invest $10M in expansion: Greenheck Fan Corp. of Schofield will invest $10.3 million to expand its plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., a move that will add 102 jobs to the area during the next three years.

MillerCoors racks up wins at beer festival: MillerCoors won 14 medals at the Brewers Association’s annual Great American Beer Festival this weekend, including three gold medals. MillerCoors, the nation’s second-largest brewer, said its 2008 total was more than fellow large brewers Anheuser-Busch Cos., Pabst and Samuel Adams combined. Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), the nation’s largest brewer by a wide margin, was named the Large Brewing Company of the Year.

Ripon Foods to lay off 60 in December: In a tough economy and a tough cookie market, Rippin’ Good Cookies simply aren’t selling like they once did. As a result, Ripon Foods, a part of the Bremner Food Group, a subsidiary of the St. Louis-based Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., will lay off more than a quarter of its workforce Dec. 9.

AFT expansion aims to help boost economy: Advanced Fiberglass Technologies announced plans for a $15 million expansion that will broaden the company’s scope of production to include parts for wind-based power and methane digester systems. By diversifying its product line to include composites used in alternative energy development and adding 128 jobs in the process, the company could become a leader in bringing new industry to central Wisconsin, said Connie Loden, president and chief executive officer of the Heart of Wisconsin Business & Economic Alliance.


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)
– Digital signs of future created by Green Bay company

– EMSystems to buy Austin, Texas, firm

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Madison’s ailing Overture Center at crossroads, report says

– Next up for CEOs: Bring down costs

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Janesville plant closing no surprise to residents

– Janesville GM workers’ reaction

– Kohl jumped gun on GM plant closing

– NewPage to release earnings on Nov. 11

– Modine licenses technology to Bloom Energy

– Supermodel revs up Harley V-Rod ads

LABOR (back to top)
– Fox Valley: Employers plan pay raises in 2009

– Bergstrom Automotive eliminates jobs

– State unemployment funds dwindling

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Madison: Walcott sewing store on East Wash to close

– Covering the globe in gym floors

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks soar in record numbers

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Time right to buy foreclosed Green Bay homes

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Chronic wasting disease case first new case on Wis. farm since 2005

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Amtrak Hiawatha ridership up 26 percent

REGULATION (back to top)
– Judge says city can test for pollution on Tower Automotive site

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Point water rates may increase

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Doctor shortage grows in Wisconsin

– Take Care opens fourth area clinic in Howard

– Aurora adds cardiology group

– Aurora Health Care buys cardiology group

– M&I to buy Miami money manager

– First Wisconsin Bank to be sold

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Former CEO of Foth & Van Dyke dies

– Leinenkugel takes commerce job with ‘eyes wide open’

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–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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