(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 4 March 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— As economic growth weakens, Wisconsin personal income growth will slow to 3.8 percent this year and 4 percent next year, down from gains of near 5.3 percent in 2006 and about the same amount in 2007, according to the Wisconsin Quarterly Economic Outlook.

The report, issued by the state Department of Revenue, predicted Wisconsin’s economy will continue to outperform many of its Midwestern neighbors and pick up after 2009. At that point, personal income growth should expand by 4.8 percent in 2010 and 5.3 percent in 2011.

Also during the next two years, employment is expected to remain relatively flat, increasing by 0.5 percent this year and 0.6 percent in 2009 for a net gain of 15,000 jobs, the report said. As the economy recovers nearing 2010, Badger State employment growth should rise above 1 percent.

Though the job gains are modest, Dennis Winters, director of the Office of Economic Advisors at the state’s Department of Workforce Development, said he is pleased they will be in positive territory.

“Given the economic conditions, I’d say that’s pretty good,” he said. “I think we are going to being doing better than some other places in the country.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=119779

— Wisconsin Cheeseman in Sun Prairie has notified state and local officials that it will consolidate operations, close its facility at 301 Broadway in Sun Prairie and lay off 25 employees soon.

The company said some, but not all, of the positions will be transferred to the company’s other plant. Officials said all workers will continue to receive pay and benefits through April 28, even if they are terminated before that date.

— The softened home construction market resulted in a drop in net income for West Bend-based Gehl Co.

Continuation of market share gains in Gehl’s two primary product categories, skid loaders and telehandlers, strong agricultural markets and the growth of the company’s international distribution footprint partially offset the impact of weaker North American residential construction activity and lower capital investments by equipment rental companies, the firm said.

Retail demand in North America for skid loaders and telehandlers was down 8 percent and 28 percent, respectively, for the full year 2007, compared with 2006.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/3/3/#soft-housing-market-takes-toll-on-gehl

— Wisconsin town governments spent $424 per capita in 2005, less than what cities and villages spent per resident, largely due to fewer public services that they offer, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Towns increased their per-capita spending 12.3 percent between 2000 and 2005. By comparison, cities spent $1,312 per capita, up 15.5 percent over the same period, while villages spent $1,152, up 16.8 percent.

Wisconsin is one of 14 states outside New England with town governments, according to the report.

Read the release: http://www.wistax.org/news_releases/2008/0712.html


Explore “The Issues and Science behind the Pending Great Lakes Water Compact” March 5 at a special Blueprint Briefing at Discovery World on Milwaukee?s lake front.

The briefing, open to the public, will feature “Great Lakes Water Wars” author Peter Annin; Kevin Wilson, assistant deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Todd Ambs, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s water division chief and member of the board of the Great Lakes Commission; Matt Moroney, executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee; and Ann Beier, director, Office of Environmental Sustainability,
City of Milwaukee.

UW-Milwaukee officials also plan a briefing on the science and research behind the policy immediately following the panel discussion.

The special briefing is being presented by WisPolitics.com-WisBusiness.com, UW-Milwaukee, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the Government of Canada, and Discovery World.

See more and register:





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Press Releases
Acumium Web Content Management System Recognized as Best-in-Class by Gilbane User Survey
ASTD 2008 TechKnowledge(R) Conference and EXPO On-Demand Webcast by Sonic Foundry Event Services Now Available
Central Wisconsin Author Publishes “Stuck in the Middle,” Shared Stories and Practical Support Guide for Caregivers of Elderly Parents
Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt Wisconsin Express Lane Eligibility and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Programs
Johnson Controls Receives ‘SAM Gold Class’ Recognition for Sustainability
Justice Department Settles Race Discrimination Case Against Milwaukee RE/MAX Office, Real Estate Agent and Homeowner
Legendary Jazz Musician Hanah John Taylor Joins Madison Media Institute As New Instructor
Madison Media Institute Instructor Kent Steine is Honored
Manitowoc Awarded Additional Coast Guard Response Boat-Medium Vessels
MGD 64 … As Light As It Gets
NovaShield Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Breakthrough Malware Detection Technology
Transit Directions Provider PublicRoutes.com Launches in Wisconsin
Trappers Turn Golf Club Stays at the Top of the Leader Board in 2008 with New Amenities
WBA-Backed Bill Proposes Regulation That Could Prove Costly to Wisconsin Taxpayers

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


Madison’s NovaShield wins $500,000 grant: NovaShield Inc., a Madison developer of computer applications that combat malicious software programs, said Monday that it has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. NovaShield said the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will support commercialization of research targeted at detecting and preventing sophisticated “zero day” security threats, including botnets, Trojans, keyloggers and rootkits. Zero day is a term used for new software threats, or “malware,” for which security patches are not yet available. The award complements an earlier $150,000 Phase I SBIR grant awarded to NovaShield in January 2007 in support of its anti-malware technology research.

$91.5 million federal transit aid blocked: After years of wrangling over how to spend $91.5 million in long-idle federal aid, a bureaucratic mix-up has blocked further study of using the money for public transit improvements, officials said Monday. And until that problem is solved, the federal money – the last remaining piece of a $289 million appropriation from 1991 – can’t be spent on express buses, streetcars, light rail or anything else that has been proposed, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said. City administrators will be summoned before the Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Works Committee on Wednesday to explain what happened, said Ald. Bob Bauman, the committee chairman.

Credit unions balk at proposed law: Bill on servicing low-income areas gets public hearing… Large Wisconsin credit unions would be required to reach out to low-income areas in their markets under a bill awaiting a public hearing Thursday at the state Capitol. But credit unions say they’re already doing that, and the proposed new law is a case of unnecessary regulation pushed by credit unions’ main competitors – bankers. The bill, introduced last week by Rep. Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington), would make credit unions comply with rules that banks currently must follow under the federal Community Reinvestment Act. Those rules require banks to make loans and have a presence in economically stressed areas of communities where they do business.

Gehl 4Q profits down; sees decline in 2008: Gehl Co. of West Bend reported lower net income for the fourth quarter largely because of weakness in North American residential construction sales. Gehl, a manufacturer of compact construction and agricultural equipment, reported net income from continuing operations of $4.7 million, or 38 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, down 5 percent from $4.9 million, or 40 cents per share, for the same period the year before. Net sales for the quarter slipped 1 percent to $102.2 million from $103.6 million. The company said sales remained relatively strong in the face of a weak North American residential construction market.


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)
– Joining technology leaders

– Jones Media’s billboards to aid Amber Alert

– UW gets the message out

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Packers Foundation to sponsor ag show

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Buffett: We’re already in recession

– Tech schools in line for $10 million

– Baird Private Equity opens office in China

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– More Valley firms going lean

– Oshkosh Corp. unveils new vehicle

– Actuant buys Louisiana services company

LABOR (back to top)
– State’s jobless rate on rise

– Union employees at four Woodman’s stores ask to decertify union

– Workplace program offered to teachers

– Oshkosh hiring 110 college students

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Last call at Adair’s blues and jazz club

– Cheesy Grill gives simple sandwich a starring turn

INVESTING (back to top)
– MGIC may sell more stock

– Revenue, earnings up, assets down for CUNA Mutual Group

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Construction spending plummets

– Market not conducive to housing plan for Brown County farm property, dozens say

– Renovation of Wisconsin Club to begin

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin’s bee season raises an optimistic buzz

– Wisconsin Honey Yield and Production Slips in 2007

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Officials: I-90 Bridge over Mississippi, built in 1967, needs more than patch job

– Marquette Interchange still on schedule

– State 96 project delayed again, now set for 2012

RETAIL (back to top)
– Tribeca plan moves forward

– Shopko to build prototype store in Iowa

REGULATION (back to top)
– Lawmakers want laxer VHS rules

– River cleanup won’t float without federal deal

– Wisconsin Quiznos franchisees take case to state court

TOURISM (back to top)
– Trek Bicyle Corp. subsidiary buys historic Mansion Hill Inn

– Bowling Congress delays decision

– BluesFest cuts admission prices

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Menasha steam plant makes fiscal gains

– Water runoff rules may be costly for Town of Menasha

– Water rates could triple

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– New clinic aims to offer comprehensive women’s health care

– Student loans are safe here

– Banker Survey: Midwest Farmland Values Rising at Record Pace

– Faculty fundraising for low-income students OK’d

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Chief financial officer at Joy Global resigns

– Bon-Ton vice chairman Zant resigns

– Women’s professional group appoints Block as new chair

– Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual top Fortune list

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– James Prudent: Biotech is more than just a good investment

– Todd M. Kreuser: Long-term care is no longer a hard sell

– Larry Avila: Paying down debt better than accumulating more

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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