(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 24 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Dane County Circuit Judge Steven Ebert has rejected a lawsuit by business groups that attempts to stop the state from moving ahead with new rules restricting mercury emissions.

He agreed with the state’s position that it had followed the proper steps in implementing a rule that will require mercury emissions to be cut 90 percent by 2015.

The groups — Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Wisconsin Utility Investors, and the Wisconsin Paper Council — must now decide whether to appeal the decisiion or wait for the rules to become final and object to them new. The state’s Natural Resources Board is set to vote on the rules Wednesday.

See story: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/ap/index.cfm?page=view&id=D91G0F0O0

— Gov. Jim Doyle has appointed UAW Local 95 President Brad Dutcher and community leader and school board member Tim Cullen to lead the effort to keep Janesville’s GM plant open.

Cullen is also a former state Senate majority leader and served as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services under former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

GM announced earlier this month it plans to close the SUV and truck facility by 2010, if not sooner. Earlier this year, GM said it would end one of the plant’s two shifts and lay off more than 750 workers of the current 2,667 employees by this fall. Additional cuts have been announced since then.

The pair will coordinate federal, state and local resources with other stakeholders to maintain GM’s presence in Janesville, Doyle said.

See the release:

— Flood victims in 19 counties are now eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance following the addition of Dane, Juneau and Ozaukee counties today.

See the press release:

— Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. has announced the release of preemptive mortgage default tools that enable financial institutions to proactively identify and contact troubled borrowers with customized repayment solutions to try to keep them out of foreclosure. The new services include Predictive Risk Index Score Modeling (PRISM) and Home Retention Solutions.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the rate of foreclosure starts and the percent of loans in the process of foreclosure are the highest recorded since 1979. The number of homes in the foreclosure process or delinquent on payments is 8.82 percent (6.35 percent past due but not in foreclosure, plus 2.47 percent in foreclosure).

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/6/23/#fiservs-new-software-identifies-possible-foreclosure-candidates



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Press Releases
$100 Disney Gift Card Offer Returns for Remainder of 2008!
Fiserv Unveils Tools to Help Keep Borrowers in Their Homes as Delinquencies Reach Record Levels
Governor Doyle Announces Co-Coordinators in Effort to Confront GM Challenges
SavorWisconsin.com Adds Powerful New Search for Finding Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets
Storm and flood victims may qualify for tax relief
Three Years and Three Cities Later, Johnson Controls Develops Even More Young Leaders
Wildeck, Inc. Appoints Installation Manager
Ziegler Expands Its For-Profit Senior Living Team

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


Doyle: Group to try to keep GM plant open: Gov. Jim Doyle announced Monday that United Auto Workers Local 95 President Brad Dutcher and community leader Tim Cullen will act as co-coordinators in a community effort to respond to General Motor’s announcement that it is closing its Janesville plant. The effort will attempt to coordinate federal, state and local resources in an attempt to keep the auto plant open. Dutcher has worked at General Motors in Janesville for 23 years. A life-long Milton resident, he has been elected to five three-year terms as an officer for United Auto Workers 95. Cullen is a Janesville school board member. He is a former state Senate majority leader and secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services.

Dial Corp. files patent infringement lawsuit against SC Johnson: Dial Corp., which makes Renuzit air freshener products, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SC Johnson. Dial, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., claims in the suit filed last week in Phoenix that Johnson’s Glade PlugIns Scented Oil air freshener infringes on a patent held by Dial. Johnson sued Dial last December in U.S. District Court in Madison, claiming Dial infringed on a patent covering the way scents are emitted. That suit focused on a new Renuzit air freshener that emits three scents. Dial is owned by Henkel AG of Dusseldorf, Germany.

State moves up in ranking of technology: No. 22 rating 5 higher than spot in ’04 survey… With its investment in biosciences and bioenergy research, and leadership in stem cell research, Wisconsin has continued to expand its knowledge economy, a new report by the Milken Institute shows. The state ranked 22nd in the institute’s State Technology and Science Index, moving up from 27th in 2004, the last time the report was done. Wisconsin was strongest in the high-tech work force and entrepreneurial infrastructure categories, but lagged in the formation and growth of high-tech companies, the report said. “We’ve gotten better but we’re still not producing jobs and growth,” said Tom Hefty, former Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin chief executive and former co-chairman of the Governor’s Economic Growth Council.

Best places to work here: 2 firms with local offices lauded: Two firms with Madison offices are among seven Wisconsin companies recognized Monday as the Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work Institute. Cascade Asset Management, 6701 Manufacturers Drive, an electronics recycling company, ranked 25th among small employers. “People are really good to one another and they treat each other with respect,” said chief executive Neil Peters-Michaud. “People are driven by a sense of purpose and mission and their impact on the environment.” He said Cascade, which has 80 employees, is flexible about accommodating doctors’ appointments and children’s activities for employees who are parents.

Obey: Ag spending bill sets ‘positive vision’ for rural America: Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey is calling the 2008-09 annual USDA spending bill a step in the right direction. The Wausau Democrat announced that the House Appropriation Committee, which he chairs, is set to consider the measure this week. “This bill creates a positive vision for rural America,” Obey said. “It’s the first big step in what will be a long process to secure vitally important investments in rural infrastructure, child nutrition, food safety, conservation, research and regulation of commodity markets.” Obey noted that while the bill has a long way to go in the legislative process, it is a ‘bold statement of congressional priorities.’

State moves on mercury cuts: Manufacturers lose court fight on emissions… A judge has rejected a lawsuit attempting to stop the state from moving ahead with new rules restricting mercury emissions. Businesses that brought the lawsuit must decide whether to appeal the ruling or wait for the rules to become final and object to them new. The state’s Natural Resources Board is set to vote on the rules Wednesday. Dane County Circuit Judge Steven Ebert heard arguments in the case Monday. He agreed with the state’s position that it had followed the proper steps in implementing a rule that will require mercury emissions to be cut 90 percent by 2015. The businesses that sued claimed the state did not issue a required report detailing the effects of the new limits.


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)
– Fitchburg tech campus getting addition

– Big bucks for best battery?

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Energy Fair technology becomes mainstream

ECONOMY (back to top)
– UAW, Janesville fight to keep GM

– Ag products biz Bunge buying Corn Products for $4.4B

– Minister: Saudi Arabia can increase oil production

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– GM to raise prices on 2009 models, cut production

LABOR (back to top)
– GM cuts production time again

– Janesville GM plant to extend downtime

– Domtar layoffs force United Way to lower fundraising goal

– State firms win national ranking

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– New club hopes to fill niche

– Kahler Slater makes top 25

– Club Porticello owner’s liquor license could be yanked

INVESTING (back to top)
– Fed likely to hold interest rates steady

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Non-residential construction down 92 percent from a year ago

– Alderman wants alternate site for Porchlight project

– West side project seeks more funding

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wis. farmers: Erosion controls help in flooding

– Flood increases cost of raising livestock

– Strawberries late and few

– Crop Summary Looks at Flood Damage, Other Parts of State

– Weather ruins Door County cherry crop for the season

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– County offers grants for development

– More riding buses

– Turning the ignition on regional transit?

RETAIL (back to top)
– Miller to release MGD 64 nationwide by this fall

– Roundy’s to offer gas perks

REGULATION (back to top)
– Tax extensions available for flood victims

– Revised Wis. fireworks law allows for out-of-state sales

– Madison revamps TIF policy

TOURISM (back to top)
– Lake Delton to skip bidding process, start lake repairs

– Bringing down the ‘House of Sound’

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Deal OK’d to regulate water from Great Lakes

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Hospitals set resolution for accidents

– Assurant Health exec Bal joins WellPoint

– Most Wisconsin bankers see weakening economy

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Next UW-Parkside chancellor discloses probe

– Madison company named one of country’s best places to work

– Dutcher, Cullen to lead GM response

– Preston Kelly leaving Johnsonville account

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Larry Avila: Nation ready for economic slowdown to move out

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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