(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 19 Feb. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …
— Wind farms in Wisconsin would face fewer local restrictions and commercial and residential building codes would be tightened under recommendations included in a draft interim report from the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force.

The report stresses energy efficiency while focusing primarily on actions that can be taken by electric utilities.

A spokeswoman for Roy Thilly, co-chair of the task force, said he could not discuss the document until it has been voted on today. The group will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main conference room of Wisconsin Public Power Inc., 1425 Corporate Center Dr., Sun Prairie.

The report says the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) should change rate-making policy to encourage conservation and that the agency should begin work immediately on proposed policy changes.

It also recommends that the state set a goal to reduce electric load by 2 percent and natural gas load by 1 percent per year by 2015 through increasing Focus on Energy, utility and self-directed industrial customer programs and through ratemaking policy changes.

And while it says there’s no silver bullet to blunting the effects of climate change, the report says the task force endorses a “silver buckshot strategy” that will use various tactics to reduce greenhouse gases now.

See the story and draft report: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=118527

— Wisconsin’s economy is facing “challenging times,” but should be able to weather a potential national recession better than many other parts of the country, Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer said Monday.

Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by WisBusiness.com, Madison Magazine and the Madison Club, Fischer said Wisconsin does not have either the “high hills” or the “deep valleys” of some coastal states.

“What we have is consistency,” he said. “We also have the strength of our exports and our entrepreneurship. We have a strong base here in Wisconsin.”

Even if there is a recession, he predicted some Badger State companies will thrive and grow.

He cited Oshkosh-based Marvel Manufacturing, which makes metal cutting machine tools, and cannot keep up with demand for its products. He said Marvel has increased its sales from $11 million to $30 million in the past three years and received a state grant of $250,000 to install new equipment, a move that could create 48 jobs in the next few years.

He also applauded the state’s surging biomedical industry, which he said has created 25,000 jobs in Wisconsin over the past decade and now has revenues of $8 billion annually.

In response to a question, however, Fischer acknowledged that the state’s paper industry is struggling, with recent plant closings announced in Port Edwards and several other communities that will cost hundreds of workers their jobs.

See story and listen to audio: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=118538

— The subprime mortgage industry collapse has not slowed down Mortgagebot LLC, the Mequon-based provider consumer-direct online and enterprise-wide point-of-sale mortgage-origination solutions, which posted a record year in 2007.

The company is reporting a record number of clients, record volume of its Mortgagebot PowerSite solution and record market penetration among commercial banks, savings institutions and credit unions.

Mortgagebot said its “same-store” mortgage originations were up an average of 22 percent.

“Research into consumer shopping patterns continues to verify that the online mortgage channel has truly arrived,” said Scott Happ, Mortgagebot president and chief executive officer.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/2/18/#mortgagebot-reports-record-year





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Press Releases

Leap Into Savings

Manitowoc Company Directors Approve 2 Cent Quarterly Dividend

Neenah Enterprises, Inc. and Neenah Foundry Company Schedule Conference Call to Discuss Quarterly Results

Skyway Management Denies Pilots Severance Package Given to All Other Employees

Wisconsin’s Largest Online High School Reaches Out as Open Enrollment Period Draws to a Close

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Turnover rate high among nation’s CEOs; Leaders under greater scrutiny amid layoffs, shutdowns, outsourcing: When Bemis Co.’s CEO Jeffrey Curler passed the torch to his successor Henry Theisen Feb. 1, he had plenty of company in corporate America. The month of January saw an unusually high departure rate for CEOs around the country. According to Chicago-based consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the departure of 134 CEOs in January was an eight-month high and a pace 58 percent higher than the December partings. But while it might not be safe at the top anymore for chief executives some places — 44 of the 134 last month resigned or were forced to resign, said Challenger — the transition at Bemis could not have been smoother.


New grads in demand; Employers seeing change in generations: Despite near-term economic uncertainty, college hiring is bolstered by the looming baby boom retirements, a generational shift with dramatic effects on the workplace, says Phil Gardner. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, says employers are requiring more from college graduates – and sooner. He says employers need new approaches toward recruiting and accommodating this work force.


Ads take flight: Madison airport seeks to stem passenger dropoff by promoting its changes: It’s all about the journey. That’s the theme of the Dane County Regional Airport’s first general advertising campaign designed to increase awareness of nonstop destinations, ease of use and enhanced terminal facilities. The journey for some, however, has been rough as the Madison airport continues to struggle with flight cancellations, delays and competition from the Milwaukee and Chicago airports. … The airport ‘s $70,000 ad campaign includes commercials on three radio stations and two billboards. Matching radio time and ad space provided by the vendors is expected to boost the campaign ‘s value.


Report: Delta, Northwest could announce merger this week: The board of Delta Air Lines will meet Wednesday to consider a merger with Northwest Airlines, a passive co-owner of Midwest Air Group Inc. of Oak Creek … The reported stock-swap deal would create the largest airline in the world, with 79,000 employees. Major hubs would be in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Detroit, the Journal-Constitution said. But in a recent letter to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Delta CEO Richard Anderson assured community officials that the airline would retain its hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Delta and its Comair subsidiary control more than 80 percent of the flights from the local airport.


Madison: Moco Market owner part of national retailing conference: Among the speakers at the 2008 Convenience Store Retailing conference include Apple computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and Megan Ramey, the Willy Street green convenience store owner. Ramey, who last year launched MoCo Market on Williamson Street, spread the word about her vision for a new kind of convenience store as an invited panelist last week. She participated on a panel on Maximizing the Customer Experience at the conference in San Antonio, Texas. The self-described Madison entrepreneur and new urbanism activist told that with her “modern convenience” store she aims to supply products that support an alternative lifestyle involving biking or walking to work.




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)

– Appleton: Tough market spurs JP Graphics owner to move to a Web audience


– It’s a Blu-ray world: Toshiba set to pull plug on HD DVD


BIOTECH (back to top)

– Illinois biotech conference set for Wednesday


ECONOMY (back to top)

– British mortgage lender is nationalized


– Jobless spend more time looking for work


MANUFACTURING (back to top)

– Badger Meter renews ‘poison pill’


– Neenah Paper moves vote back a week


LABOR (back to top)

– Bill Would Ban Screening Applicants Based On Online Court Records


– Jobless spend more time looking for work


– Man Dies While Working On Columbia County Oil Pipeline


SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)

– Appleton: Independent Printing adding new color press


– Creating T-shirts, gaining respect


– Kohler woman recycles grocery bags, discarded items into handbags and other accessories


INVESTING (back to top)

– Want to refinance? Rates low, but sorry, you don’t qualify


REAL ESTATE (back to top)

– Fond du Lac: Development proposed near Highway 151 Bypass


– British mortgage lender is nationalized


– Former Nuclear Launch Site Might Soon Be Park In Waukesha


– West Allis: Digital shortcomings doom city plan room


– La Crosse: Riverfront president to lead exchange trip to Argentina


– Two Rivers looking at a possible waterfront TIF district


– Menasha to seek grant for Gilbert site


– Janesville: City wants to purchase, raze downtown apartment building


AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)

– Beef recall does not affect Fox Valley schools


– State Proposes Local Changes for Meat, Feed, Rendering Regulations


TRANSPORTATION (back to top)

– Winona leaders worried about route of new bridge that crosses Mississippi River


– Salt supplies ‘adequate,’ say road departments; budgets strained


RETAIL (back to top)

– Snowblower Sales, Service Skyrocket This Winter


– Milwaukee: East Side getting bagels, thanks to Bruegger’s


– Sheboygan: Wheels stolen from auto dealership for the 6th time


REGULATION (back to top)

– Madison: City could pull liquor license for restaurant


– 1 sentenced in Allen-Edmonds fraud scheme


– Gun seller calls for concealed weapons law


– Stevens Point: City council extends hours of alcohol sales


– Green Bay liquor license to get review


TOURISM (back to top)

– Sheboygan: City receives tourism grant


UTILITIES (back to top)

– Interim report focuses on cutting energy use


– Integrys raises dividend


– Many lag in paying heating bills


HEALTH CARE (back to top)

– FDA checked wrong Chinese drug factory


– Eau Claire: Dove to expand at former fitness club site



– Waukesha County taking bids for banking


MANAGEMENT (back to top)

– Manitowoc: Chamber elects new board members for 2008


BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)

– Larry Avila column: A perk of Presidents Day, investors didn’t lose any money


– John Van Driest column: Support marketing goals by integrating public relations


– Larry Sobal column: Consider health care in primary vote


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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