(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 13 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The Governor’s Global Warming Task Force finished its work last month, producing a raft of recommendations to cut carbon dioxide emissions in Wisconsin 22 percent by 2022 and 75 percent by 2050.

Soon, the heavy lifting will begin when the suggestions go to the state Legislature.

Speaking Tuesday at a luncheon sponsored by WisBusiness.com, Madison Magazine, the Madison Club and Xcel Energy, task force co-chair Tia Nelson said she wants the recommendations passed as a whole, not chopped up in pieces.

State Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, who attended the luncheon, said he would fight efforts to “undermine” the package.

“I believe the task force did a balanced job,” Miller said. “It produced a comprehensive proposal and the Legislature needs to be diligent to get it passed.”

To do that, the package will need the backing of the state’s business leadership, said Roy Thilly, president of Wisconsin Public Power Inc. and Nelson’s co-chair on the task force.

“Major corporations around the country are trying to get ahead of this,” said Thilly, who said he hopes companies will support efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions here.

See the WisBusiness story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=133396

— The state has settled a lawsuit against Aurora Health Care Inc. of Milwaukee for violating state air pollution control laws at facilities it constructed and operates in Brown, Manitowoc, Winnebago, Washington and Kenosha counties. The deal will cost Aurora $250,000.

See the release:



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Press Releases
Appleton Reports Second Quarter 2008 Results
Aurora Health Care, Inc. to pay $250,000 for violating state air pollution control laws
Dealerships Sponsor 4-Day 105th Party with Antique Bike Parade
Family Resource Center of Fond du Lac County receives $5,000 flood recovery grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation
Frequently Fatal Horse Virus Shows Up Again; Vaccinate Horses, Control Mosquito Populations
Governor Doyle Awards Bayfield with Wisconsin Waterfront Initiative Grant
Jason A. Smith Named Director of Communications
Johnson Controls to Harness Renewable Energy, Improve Energy Conservation Measures for Oak Ridge National Laboratories
Johnson Controls-Saft Awarded $8.2 Million Development Contract
Miron Construction Co., Inc. Completes Grainger Hall Addition on U. W. Campus
Neenah Enterprises, Inc. and Neenah Foundry Company Schedule Conference Call to Discuss Quarterly Results
Plexus Announces Closure of Ayer, MA Facility
PSC Staff Slam Alliant Energy’s Proposed Cassville Coal Plant
RedPrairie WMS integrates Build-To-Order features in new release
Sajan Sponsors Gilbane Group Study, Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative
Tuesday Truth #10: E-10 is Safe for all Small Engines
Unsavory Businesses Can Arrive with EAB; Protect Your Wallet and Your Trees

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


Aurora Health Care settles pollution lawsuit: Aurora Health Care, Inc., has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle an air pollution lawsuit. The Wisconsin Justice Department accused Milwaukee-based Aurora of violating state air pollution laws at facilities the company built and runs in Brown, Manitowoc, Winnebago, Washington and Kenosha counties. According to the suit, Aurora failed to obtain pollutant source construction and operation permits and violated emission limits and other air pollution control requirements. Aurora Vice President of Corporate Communications Jeff Squire issued a statement saying the violations didn’t harm the environment, and the company has established procedures to ensure compliance with air quality regulations.

NewPage records $21 million loss in quarter: NewPage Corp., the paper maker intending to close its historic Kimberly mill this month, reported a $21 million second quarter loss in a report released today. The company, a maker of fine coated paper, announced July 30 plans to shut down the Kimberly mill, eliminating about 600 local jobs. Net sales more than doubled, to $1 billion, compared to the year ago quarter reflecting the firm’s acquisition of the North American assets of Finland-based Stora Enso last December. “The U.S. economy caught up with the coated paper market during the second quarter and we saw a dramatic slowdown in demand and rapid increases in input costs,” Mark Suwyn, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Shipping focus shifts from highways to waterways: Legislation’s tax break could lure more port business… Port and harbor officials want federal lawmakers to help make water transport more attractive to companies by exempting some vessels from a harbor maintenance tax. The American Great Lakes Ports Association, meeting Tuesday in Green Bay, added its support to federal legislation that would maintain the tax for bulk haulers but eliminate it for shorter hauls throughout the Great Lakes. “There are no traffic jams out on the water,” said Steve Fisher, association executive director. “We’re trying to create new shipping and make it more attractive. The waterways become an asset and can be a tremendous way to move more commerce around the region.”

Tourism touch and go for resorts: Navigating an empty Lake Delton and high gas prices … In a summertime when the livin’ ain’t easy for many Wisconsin tourism destinations, the Milwaukee Brewers’ promising season and Harley-Davidson Inc.’s new museum are attracting vacationers to local hotels despite the difficult economy. Occupancy rates were up at hotels in Milwaukee and Brookfield during the first six months of the year, offsetting gloomier results so far in the Wisconsin Dells – the state’s largest vacation spot – and other areas hit by massive flooding in June. Meanwhile, high gas prices have led to a mixed picture in Door County, the North Woods and other places where people go to escape when the temperature rises.

Falls water-sensor maker sold: AquaSensor’s buyer hints at expansion… A Menomonee Falls company that makes novel sensors for water quality and industrial processes has been acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for an undisclosed price. AquaSensors LLC’s team will lead an initiative into the water and waste process markets for Thermo Fisher’s environmental instruments division. “This is a great deal for the community and ultimately could lead to more jobs in Milwaukee,” said Herb Zien, chief executive officer of Centron Energy Corp., Grafton, and an AquaSensors investor. Zien and other members of Silicon Pastures angel network put $360,000 into AquaSensors in late 2005, the only outside money the company raised. Thermo Fisher, a Waltham, Mass., provider of equipment and services to hospitals, diagnostic labs, researchers and others, has annual revenue of $10 billion and more than 30,000 employees.

Johnson Controls-Saft lands hybrid technology contract: Johnson Controls-Saft has been awarded an $8.2 million contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, for work on the development of lithium-ion battery systems for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. “We are working on the development of the complete PHEV system, which includes high-energy capacity cells, battery management electronics, control software and an efficient thermal management system, all optimally packaged for safety and efficient integration into the vehicle,” said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls hybrid battery business. “Specifically, key goals for this PHEV contract are to optimize cell and battery system design for 10-mile and 40-mile electric range vehicles.”


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)
– Joint venture to study hybrids

– AT&T adds Net phone service

– Spaceport stalled while waiting for liftoff

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Montgomery snares a biotech

ECONOMY (back to top)
– NewPage reports loss, will cut output

– Miles Kimball parent acquires women’s products company

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– 300 evacuated from Bemis plant during fire

– Plexus Corp. to close Massachusetts plant

– Merge’s bad days are behind it, CEO says

– Automakers focus on factory adjustments

LABOR (back to top)
– NewPage defends shutdown

– Labor law spurs unrest

– Tyson reopens, cuts half of jobs

– Harris Bank to lay off 27 in Cedarburg

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Mount Horeb kennel The Dogwoods installs waterfall, pond for dog customers

– Gabriel Furniture turns 80

– Slinger resident takes a gamble on emerging fitness trend

INVESTING (back to top)
– Dow falls on weak banking sector reports

– Oil prices hold steady on stronger dollar

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Stoughton Road site primed for major development

– Inclusionary zoning panel agrees to disagree

– Area home sales see smaller drop in July

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Corn yield estimates high; lower prices expected for three key grains

– Fatal virus kills horse in Dodge County

– Tree-killer isn’t going away

– Family Dairies USA Launches New Website, Moves Office

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Delta drops Green Bay service

RETAIL (back to top)
– Business owners prepare for Harley weekend

– Bayshore Town Center adds Fossil store

– Proven Power eyes town of Vernon location

– Captain’s Walk Winery wins best of class

– Coffee shops’ poor pours short their customers

REGULATION (back to top)
– Looming budget cuts draw concern from some city residents

– Sales tax to be on fall ballot in Vernon County

– Smoking ban may go to referendum

– Business owner might be deported after tax evasion conviction

– Emission, energy reduction at heart of proposed building code

– Green Bay riverfront plan gets vote of confidence

– County eyes cash to rebuild in townships

TOURISM (back to top)
– Wisconsin Historical Museum welcomes 2 millionth visitor

– Iron Horse Hotel to open after Harley anniversary

– Plans revived for Ice Age Trail complex at Cross Plains

– Pig mud wrestling proving popular at rural Wisconsin fairs

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Weston seeks 9 percent water-rate increase

– Insurance agency: City not negligent with sewers

– Consumers warned of high winter bills

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Affiliates planned for Waukesha Memorial Hospital

– Froedtert, MCW opening new health center

– More calls for health care reform legislation

– Kagen names health care advisory group

– Aspirus takes ‘green’ steps

– Outagamie health, human services spending up in ’09

– Medical translators certified in Dane County

– PrivateBank-Wisconsin makes changes

– Credit union victim of robbery

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– R.R. Donnelley to hold recycling event

– Ariens elected to Packers Executive Committee

– Carroll, UW-Platteville engineer partnership

– Changes at Blue Horse ad/PR agency

– La Quinta makeover irks Brookfield, Delafield

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Critic wants Allied project to be eco-friendly, accessible

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Trio make good on resolve to rebuild failing factory

Media Partners
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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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