(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 12 Nov. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— TomoTherapy’s CEO says recent stockholder lawsuits against the company are, “most likely some lawyer trying to make some money.”

Thomas “Rock” Mackie, CEO of the successful medical tech start-up, said Tuesday that “shareholder suits arise when stock prices fall, common for all companies,” scoffing at the notion that it was a serious threat to his company,

“There have been 6,000 in last decade, only four have gone to court, and end up being a way for law firms to get money from insurance companies,” he said.

TomoTherapy, founded by Mackie in 1997 when Waukesha-based General Electric Medical decided to leave the radiotherapy business, has become a multi-million dollar enterprise with a three-building campus in Madison’s west-side University Research Park.

Mackie spoke as part of the Smith & Gesteland Executive Speaker Series sponsored by Edgewood College at its west side business school location near Middleton.

Mackie offered business executives a variety of stories detailing his five rounds of fund-raising to get TomoTherapy off the ground. He offered a range of rules to promote creativity among staff in a highly technological setting. “Some of the best ideas come from unstructured Tomo meetings,”Mackie said.

Go to www.wisbusiness.com soon for more from Mackie’s talk

— Two companies have filed notice with the state regarding as many as 119 potential layoffs.

JW Peters in Burlington filed notice of plans to place as many as 89 workers on temporary layoff in January. While the company described the layoffs as temporary, it could not rule out the possibility that they may become permanent.

ACCO Brands filed notice that it plans to close its Pleasant Prairie plant, resulting in the permanent layoff of approximately 30 employees starting in January.

— A spokesman for a state utility watchdog said Tuesday’s unanimous Public Service Commission vote to deny a plan for a new coal-fired power plant was an out-of-the-ordinary win for his group, and could signal a change in direction for the PSC.

“We lose so often that I don’t know how to deal with it when we win,” said Charlie Higley, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board. “This is the first time they’ve ever turned down a power plant of this magnitude.”

Alliant Energy subsidiary Wisconsin Power & Light had applied to build a $1.3 billion coal and biomass power plant, called the Nelson Dewey plant, in Cassville.

“We’re very disappointed for the people of Cassville and the agricultural community out there who supported our plan to develop a biomass opportunity that is now lost,” said Rob Crain, spokesman for Alliant Energy. “We feel bad for the folks in the labor community in Cassville and the region who were looking to this project as a source of jobs and economic development.”

One PSC commissioner said the decision involved more than just the plant’s impact on the local community.

“Having attended the hearing in Cassville, I know how important this proposal is to the people of that community,” PSC commissioner Lauren Azar said afterwards. “However, a community’s desire for this plant cannot overcome the fact that the Nelson Dewey proposal is not cost effective, is inconsistent with Wisconsin’s energy priorities and does not provide the flexibility we need to deal with our uncertain energy future.”

Read more about the PSC’s 3-0 vote against the new plant: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=141231

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“State Economic Development in Recessionary Times: A post-election look at where the state economy is heading.”

Sponsored by Quarles & Brady, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and We Energies.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=138124

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Press Releases
· Clean Wisconsin: Coal plant proposal rejected for first time in Wisconsin history
· Dept. of Workforce Development: Gov. Doyle urges employers to hire veterans, highlights new on-line job center with site for vets
· PSC: Rejects Wisconsin Power and Light’s proposed coal power plant
· RENEW Wisconsin: Reaction to decision on Cassville plant

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


TOP STORIES
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Bucyrus receives large equipment order: Bucyrus International Inc. of South Milwaukee said Tuesday that its has received an order to build a new walking dragline, one of the mining industry supplier’s largest pieces of manufactured equipment, for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), of Australia. Bucyrus (NASDAQ: BUCY) did not disclose the specific value of the contract, but said a dragline of this type and size will typically sell in the range of $150 million to $200 million.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily16.html

PSC rejects proposed Cassville power plant : Wisconsin Power and Light will not be allowed to build a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant along the Mississippi River near Cassville. The state Public Service Commission agreed WPL needs more sources of electricity to bolster its aging power plants and liked the idea that the Cassville generator could use biomass for up to 20 percent of its fuel. But, in a 3-0 vote Tuesday, the PSC rejected the Madison utility company’s proposal, saying it would cost too much and would spew too much pollution into the air.
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313860

Spectrum posts huge loss, will shutter unit it couldn’t sell: Struggling Spectrum Brands, which has its Rayovac and Remington units based in Madison, announced Tuesday a quarterly loss of nearly $10 per share due mostly to a variety of special charges, and announced that it would shutter its growing products business after failed efforts to sell it. The unit, which is part of the Home & Garden Business segment, makes growing products such as fertilizer and mulch. Spectrum cited a sluggish housing market, tight inventories at retailers, low levels of foot traffic and “unprecedented” commodity cost increases for the decision. It said efforts to sell the business failed because of the current credit market environment.
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/313941

Others join Oshkosh Corp. in protesting Humvee building selection: Boeing Co. and Textron Inc. are the latest partners to challenge the government’s selection of three other teams to build a lightweight tactical vehicle to replace the once mighty Humvee, company and Marines Corps officials said Tuesday.
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120521/1028

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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)
– Local firm Cascade joins ‘responsible’ e-waste recycling effort
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/313820

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Milwaukee County foreclosures jumped 41% in October
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34308659.html

– Economic downturn hits Packers, NFL
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily18.html

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Innovation key to diversification at papermaker Appleton
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120500/1028

– Wisconsin Manufacturer & Commerce seeks nominations
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081112/GPG03/811120678/1247

– NewPage to reduce paper production
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313942

– Joy Global sees its high-tech factories in China as key
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34277624.html

LABOR (back to top)
– ‘Camp Kimberly’ to shelter NewPage paper mill picketers
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC0101/811120517/1004&located=RSS

– Impact of DHL job cuts unclear in Wisconsin
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120513/1028

INVESTING (back to top)
– CB Richard Ellis plans stock offering
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily21.html

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Oshkosh to pay almost a quarter of a million to Midwest Real Estate Development
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20081112/OSH0101/811120490/1128&located=RSS

– Flats on the Fox Apartments hosting open house today
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081112/GPG03/811120680/1247

– Dane County housing starts still stalled
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/313873

– Mequon’s East Towne Square sold for $7.7 million
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34275399.html

– Williams building a new career on his own
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/story9.html?b=1226293200^1729854

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Seehafer Acres of the Marshfield-area was selected as host of the 2011 Farm Technology Days event
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20081112/WDH0101/811120685/1581&located=RSS

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Sheboygan County Memorial Airport gets state funds for project
http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20081112/SHE0101/81112011/1062&located=RSS

– Two companies sue Midwest Airlines over lease payments on jets
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34272404.html

RETAIL (back to top)
– Fox River Mall owner warns of bankruptcy
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120512/1028

– It’s All About Hair seems to be all about pressure
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/313887

– Mayfair Mall owner is deep in debt, may face bankruptcy
http://www.jsonline.com/business/34266994.html

REGULATION (back to top)
– Bavarian Inn group loses again in court
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/34272399.html

TOURISM (back to top)
– Great Wolf Lodge in Canada wins award
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily22.html

UTILITIES (back to top)
– High-voltage grant aims to stem worker shortage
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081111/GPG03/811110556/1247

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– UW Health officials tackle alcohol abuse
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081112/GPG0101/811120718/1207&located=RSS

– North Central Health Care has taken over management of Aspirus Wausau Hospital’s 11-bed inpatient psychiatric unit
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20081112/WDH0101/811120688/1581&located=RSS

– Brown County clinics sponsor holiday gift tree
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081112/GPG03/811120682/1247

– La Causa agency moves on new track
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/story15.html?b=1226293200^1729908

– Marquette adding north side dentistry clinic
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily15.html

– Columbia St. Mary’s to open Port Washington clinic
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily14.html

– Froedtert earns national academic medical center honor
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/11/10/daily13.html

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– AnchorBank parent has $23.3 million loss
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120504/1028

– Associated Banc offers military benefit
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081112/APC03/811120503/1028

– Bank branches proliferate in state
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/34312074.html

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