(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 25 March 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Gov. Jim Doyle’s office says he will join business leaders, researchers and community members to launch his hew energy plan for Wisconsin this morning at C5-6 Technologies in Middleton.

Doyle has said the plan will detail strategies to move Wisconsin forward to promote renewable energy, create new jobs, increase energy security and improve the environment.

C5-6 Technologies was spun off from Lucigen several years ago and specializes in commercializing enzymes to increase yields in the production of ethanol from corn.

— Maple Leaf Farms has notified state and local officials that it plans to permanently close its Franksville plant between May 17 and 31 and terminate about 175 workers. The company said the first layoffs are expected to being on April 28. It did not say the cause of the closure.

Maple Leaf Farms officials said some employees may be offered transfers to its facility in Indiana. Some workers also may have bumping rights. Many are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1743.

— The U.S. economy is in a recession, but it may be “hitting bottom,” according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. chief investment strategist Bruce Bittles.

Bittles told Small Business Times he believes the stock market is a leading indicator of the economy.

“I do think the market has bottomed, near-term,” he said. “The bottom is in place. I think the market hit a bottom last week … I think the economy is going to struggle in a slow-growth mode.”

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/3/24/#baird-economist-we-may-be-hitting-bottom


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Press Releases
California Student Wins National Sustainability Competition Sponsored by Johnson Controls
Dream Backyard Giveaway Encourages Homeowners to Dream Big
Johnson Controls Discovers Future Green Leaders by Igniting Creative Energy
March Madness – Milwaukee’s East Town Vs. Westown Associates to Meet in “Fish, Cheese and Brat Throwdown” Friday
Midwest Airlines Issues Passenger Advisory Due to Milwaukee Weather Conditions
Missouri Student Wins National Sustainability Competition Sponsored by Johnson Controls
The Regus Group Opens New Business Center in Bayshore Town Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to Share Webcasting Strategies for Fundraising, Student & Alumni Outreach

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


Farms clean up with new crop: New turbine projects harvest wind for cash… The state’s newest energy crop is rising above the rolling farm fields overlooking Lake Winnebago in northeastern Fond du Lac County. While farmers throughout Wisconsin have planted more corn in recent years to make ethanol, some area farmers will soon receive payments for giving land over to another renewable resource: wind turbines. More than 170 turbines sit atop towers in two new wind farm projects in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties. The new turbines will generate only a fraction of the state’s power needs, yet they are the most significant expansion yet of the state’s renewable energy efforts.

Niagara’s NewPage paper mill to stay open until fall: It was scheduled to close in April… The NewPage Corp. mill in Niagara, slated to close in April, will stay open until the fall thanks to “an unusually high demand” for some types of coated paper. Mark Suwyn, NewPage board chairman and chief executive, made the announcement Monday. The 319 plant workers — 179 from Michigan and 140 from Wisconsin — had been told the mill would close by the end of April. The company still plans to close a paper machine at its Kimberly plant in May, company spokeswoman Amber Garwood said. Suwyn said the demand for coated groundwood paper is “more than what has been historically experienced during the same time period in previous years.”

Milwaukee is still losing jobs: Study finds city is faring worse than most of its peers… The national economic slowdown is taking a toll locally, according to the latest comparison of Milwaukee’s employment with other large cities. In two of the last four months of available data, Milwaukee had fewer residents employed than the year before, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. And in the other two months, Milwaukee showed only narrow year-to-year gains. Milwaukee’s loss of 3,367 employed residents, or 1.4%, from January 2007 to January 2008 ranked it 40th in job growth among the nation’s 50 largest cities.

Maple Leaf Farms says soaring costs caused it to close: Maple Leaf Farms blames ethanol production and soaring feed costs for its decision to permanently close most of its local duck-raising operations. The Milford, Ind.-based company announced Friday that it will close the duck slaughtering and processing operations at 2319 Raymond Ave. (Highway U). The move will eliminate about 175 of its 210 jobs in this area, the world’s largest producer of duck meat reported. Maple Leaf Farms spokeswoman Nora Macon said the 175 jobs lost will include one at the company feed mill in Burlington and one or two jobs at the hatchery at 24830 Washington Ave. in Dover.

Johnson Controls venture wins piece of $10B contract: A joint venture between Versar Inc. and a unit of Johnson Controls Inc. of Glendale has won part of an Air Force contract worth as much as $10 billion. The Versar/Johnson Controls Federal Systems venture will provide facilities and infrastructure support to the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, which provides assistance with services such as emergency management, military-family housing and environmental restoration programs at Air Force facilities. Work under the contract will be given to about 12 businesses over a five-year period. The contracts also have five one-year options.

GM plant’s second shift returns Tuesday: fter a holiday today, a group of fresh faces will return to the General Motor’s plant on Tuesday. Second-shift workers will report at their normal time Tuesday. Last week, second-shift workers were laid off as a result of the United Auto Workers’ strike against American Axle, which supplies the local plant. First-shift workers handled production, and now it’s the second shift’s turn as first-shift employees are laid off this week. The week of March 31 to April 4 still is scheduled as a non-production week as the plant prepares for a previously announced slowdown on its assembly line.

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)
– New catalyst gives boost to fuel cells

– Google pushes to use spectrum between TV channels

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Clark County makes grab at wandering farm group

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Tax rebate on the way; here’s what you need to know

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Group offers tour at Mercury Marine

– Wis. gun company sells paint collection named for Bloomberg

LABOR (back to top)
– 50 workers to be trained with $65K state grant (2008/03/25)

– Missteps can kill a job interview

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Heid family changes with times to stay in tune with business

INVESTING (back to top)
– MGIC chief Culver to buy company stock

– JPMorgan ups offer for Bear Stearns

– Stocks jump as JPMorgan ups bid for Stearns

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Program focus on building green

– UW-L seeks another $4.8M for new academic building

– Is it ‘a gold mine’ or a fairgrounds?

– Troubled landlord snared in court battle over home

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Maple Leaf Farms to close Franksville plant

– FHCW Celebrating First Anniversary of Coop Health Plan

– Wisconsin Watershed Eligible for Conservation Security Program

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airport unravels tangled web of flights

– Airport belt in need, officials say

– Transportation is key in west side race

RETAIL (back to top)
– Villager proposal letdown for some

– Walker to approve Park East land sale for Brewery project

– Same-store sales, profits up at Walgreen Co.

REGULATION (back to top)
– Local leaders agree to close Renard Isle

– City to oversee Community Development Authority finances

– Long Wong’s named in ASCAP lawsuit

TOURISM (back to top)
– Harley party named The Weekend in Waukesha

– Oshkosh to take up resolution to allow Depp’s movie to film there

– DNR plans to renew Earn-a-Buck hunt in Brown County

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Lakeshore Update: Utilities can shut off service April 15

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Insurance commissioner warns of Medicare scams

– Report says Wisconsin has shortage of mental health beds

– More local patients take to acupuncture treatments

– Associated will hold its annual meeting April 23

– Anchor Investment Services holds seminar

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– ABC Supply again wins global workplace honor

– Skybus CEO Diffenderffer resigns

– Taste of Home launches new magazine

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Arlen Boardman: Building industry hoping conditions eventually improve

– David Bender: Doyle’s dirty air politics put public health at risk

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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