(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 1 Oct. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— In a WisBusiness comparison of stock prices for companies with substantial Wisconsin operations, three large-equipment manufacturers were among the biggest percentage losers in the quarter that ended Tuesday.

The stock prices of mining equipment companies Joy Global and Bucyrus International both declined by more than 35 percent, while Manitowoc Co., which makes large cranes and is involved in the foodservice and marine sectors, saw its stock drop by 52.2 percent. Joy Global’s stock dropped from $75.83 to $45.14, Bucyrus’ stock dropped from $73.02 to $44.68 and Manitowoc’s stock price dropped from $32.53 to $15.55.

The top percentage gainer for the quarter was Gehl Co., which manufactures construction and agricultural equipment. Gehl’s stock rose from $14.79 to $29.43, a 99 percent gain. A pair of banks also saw their stock prices rise significantly — Wells Fargo’s stock rose 58 percent, from $23.75 to $37.53 and M&I’s stock was up 31.4 percent, from $15.33 to $20.15.

See a complete chart of Wisconsin’s quarterly winners and losers later today at http://www.wisbusiness.com

— The BizStarts Milwaukee board of directors on Tuesday announced the beginning of a new organization called BizStarts Milwaukee, to foster and promote entrepreneurship in southeastern Wisconsin.

BizStarts Milwaukee’s goal is to launch or accelerate 50 new businesses by the end of 2010.

BizStarts Milwaukee, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that will carry out four major initiatives, starting with a Web site (http://www.bizstartsmilwaukee.com) to link entrepreneurs to people and organizations that can help them find investors and finish their business plans.

Read more about the organization: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=137622

— It’s grape harvest time all over the country, including western Wisconsin.

For Bob Starks and his business partner Loren Cade, who also serves as winemaker for Vernon Vineyards, that means walking the rows in their vineyards with friends and neighbors, hand-cutting clusters of grapes for crushing and making wine.

Starks, who switched from tobacco to grapes about seven years ago, says he never planned to get into the wine-making business. He grows about 10 acres of grapes, while Cade has another two-and-one half acres.

Read more about their Vernon County wine-making operation in a new WisBusiness feature: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=137636

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NEXT WISBUSINESS.COM LUNCHEON SET FOR OCT. 6

Dave Stark of Stark Company Realtors on the State of Housing Industry

The next WisBusiness.com Luncheon at the Madison Club, organized by the Madison Club, Madison Magazine, and WisBusiness.com, is slated for Monday Oct. 6 at 11:45 a.m.. The guest is Dave Stark of Stark Company Realtors in Madison. http://www.starkhomes.com/aboutstark.html

The event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.

See more: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=137157

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NEXT CHECKPOINT SURVEY QUESTIONS DUE OCT. 2

Take advantage of an exclusive discount program for WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com Subscribers.

If you are a WisPolitics or WisBusiness subscriber, you’ll receive a 10 percent discount if you purchase two or more questions in the next monthly Checkpoint survey, a production of Wood Communications Group of Madison. That means the first question costs $900, and subsequent questions are $810 each.

The monthly “Checkpoint” survey of public opinion is a 500-person statewide random digit dial poll. The next survey is set to go into the field on Oct. 7.

Individual questions are due by Oct. 2. Contact Kennan Wood at Wood Communications Group. Call 608-259-0757 or e-mail [email protected]

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Press Releases
· BizStarts Milwaukee: Initiative launched to promote, produce entrepreneurs
· Clean Wisconsin: Ashland’s Bay Front Power Plant to become largest biomass plant in Midwest
· Clean Wisconsin: Feasibility of Alliant Energy’s biomass plans questioned
· Dept. of Workforce Development: Gov. Doyle announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at Briggs & Stratton, Port Washington
· Five Wisconsin school districts seek $200 million from brokerage firms
· Focus on Energy: Presents online casebook of cow-powered biogas energy in Wisconsin
· Madison Fashion Week Outfits Local Fashionistas with Fall Trends at Fashion Fridays
· Trig’s: Awarded by Certifed Angus Beef LLC
· UW-Madison: University launches ‘payback calculator’
· Veolia Environmental Services: Mayor Barrett and Veolia Environmental Services North America open shared services center
· Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek: Expands real estate practice in Madison
· Wisconsin Bankers Association: Statement regarding defeat of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act
· Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation: Testifies in support of biomass energy proposal
· Wisconsin Forward Award: Gleason and Harris named to Wisconsin Forward Award board

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


TOP STORIES
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Xcel Energy to set up biomass power plant in Wisconsin: Utility holding company Xcel Energy Inc (XEL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it plans to set up a biomass plant in Ashland, Wisconsin, the largest biomass-fueled power plant in the Midwest. The project, which is expected to cost about $55 million to $70 million, is expected to begin in 2010 and the unit could be operational in late 2012, Xcel said in a statement.
http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSBNG34541020080930

Rockwell to cut 3 percent of work force: Rockwell Automation Inc. of Milwaukee said Tuesday that it will cut about 3 percent of its global work force to shave up to $85 million in annual expenses. The Milwaukee-based manufacturer of industrial automation systems, controls and software now employs about 20,000 workers, which would put the number of layoffs worldwide at about 600, primarily in selling, general and administrative functions, the company said.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/daily22.html

Wisconsin receives millions to ease foreclosure crisis: The state of Wisconsin will receive about $39 million from the federal government to stabilize neighborhoods and stave off the housing crisis pains and abandoned houses, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Tuesday. The funds are separate from about $9.2 million the government is awarding to the city of Milwaukee, where the foreclosure rate is 9.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/daily23.html

Cross Country: Dairy Expo truly a worldwide event: It’s called the biggest dairy event in the world. And it no doubt is. The name World Dairy Expo describes it well because it is truly a worldwide event. And for five days, Tuesday through Saturday, nearly 70,000 people from dozens of countries, 2,500 dairy cattle from North America and 1,600 commercial exhibits will be centered at the Alliant Energy Center.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/307138

Consumer confidence improves in September: A private research group says Americans’ confidence in the economy unexpectedly improved in September. The reading still hovers near an historic 16-year low and does not fully reflect the financial meltdown that has rocked both Wall Street and Main Street in recent days, however.
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080930/APC03/80930043/1028

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

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
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Enable IPC buys SolRayo
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/daily19.html

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Skin substitute clinical trial a success, Stratatech reports
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/307228

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Financial crisis hits home
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/OSH0101/810010543/1128&located=RSS

– Local municipalities should weather bailout fallout
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/GPG0101/810010660/1207&located=RSS

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Hands-on lesson in lean manufacturing
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/APC03/810010553/1028

– MillerCoors to reduce ad agency roster
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/daily20.html

LABOR (back to top)
– Fox Valley: Wage, benefit study results released
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/GPG03/810010544/1247

– Waukesha Engine discrimination alleged
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801255

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– 50 new firms in two years is target for BizStarts Milwaukee
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801253

INVESTING (back to top)
– M&I plans to release third quarter earnings
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/APC03/810010561/1028

– Marquette students learn real-life lessons through investment group
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/focus1.html?b=1222660800^1707218

– Don’t panic: Keep long-term goals in mind, advisers say
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/29/focus2.html?b=1222660800^1707237

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Weston: Trailer park’s fate unclear
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/WDH0101/810010701/1581&located=RSS

– Condo developer sued over leaks
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801259

– Milwaukee: Panel OKs condo tower
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801256

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farm bill offers cash to smooth shift to organic farms
http://www.htrnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/MAN0101/810010606/1358&located=RSS

– State’s Hog Inventory Running Below Year-Ago Levels
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1187&yr=2008

– Prices Received by Farmers Looks to be Lower in Wisconsin
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1188&yr=2008

– Focus on Energy Presents Info on Cow-Powered Biogas Energy
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1189&yr=2008

RETAIL (back to top)
– Root River Power Sports moving to La Crescent
http://www.rivervalleynewspapers.com/articles/2008/10/01/business/00cahalan.txt

REGULATION (back to top)
– Madison: Business Beat: Temporary parking lot approved for Labor Temple
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/307208

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Water plant operators tops in state
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/APC0101/810010550/1004&located=RSS

– Wisconsin Solar Tour is this week
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/307141

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Cardinal Health spin-off includes local unit
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/307231

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Fox Cities: Banks, credit unions at ease
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/APC0101/810010554/1004&located=RSS

– 5 school districts sue companies for investment deal
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801240

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Facebook offers entrepreneurs a web of networking options
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=801257

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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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