(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 17 Sept. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it is consolidating business recovery centers and disaster loan outreach centers in Wisconsin based on the level of activities. The Centers located in Sauk and Jefferson counties will close on Sept. 19 at the close of business. The centers located in Fond du Lac and Milwaukee counties will remain open until Sept. 26 to provide services to victims of the June 5 – July 25, 2008 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

See details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=136205

— Using adult stem cells from bone marrow as “Trojan horses”to deliver a nurturing growth factor to atrophied muscles, Wisconsin scientists have successfully slowed the progression of ALS in rats.

The work, published this week in the journal Molecular Therapy, provides a hint that the approach may provide a new therapy for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

See details: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=136212

— Gov. Jim Doyle announced $7.3 million in grants and loans for “clean energy” companies, including nearly $2.5 million for eight Madison-area businesses.

The funds come from the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund, and Doyle said investments in new technologies will help to wean the country off the foreign oil usage that threatens national security and the environment.

“We are at a point I hope in this country … where we realize our energy situation can’t be ignored,” he said at a press conference at the office of GreenStone Technologies, a company that is working to develop solar windows.

See more from Doyle: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=136213

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WISPOLITICS.COM/WISBUSINESS.COM: “DIAGNOSING A POLICY FIX TO U.S. HEALTH CARE”

WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com is convening a half-day conference Friday, Sept. 19 at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall in Madison to bring together national, state and Canadian experts to discuss how health care providers, insurance companies and policy makers are addressing proposed health care changes this election year.

The event is open to the public. Individual tickets cost $60 each. Tables are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $450. Student discounts also are available. The ticket price includes two meals.

For ticket information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 and [email protected]

Initial sponsors for this event include the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), Marshfield Clinic/Security Health Plan, Dean/St. Mary’s and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. The government of Canada is an event partner.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=135065

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Press Releases
· Freedom Personal Development: Madison-based company one of America’s 5000 fastest-growing private companies according to Inc. Magazine
· Gov. Doyle: Announces $7.3 million in clean energy funding
· Madison’s Dating Coach: Matchmaking with a twist
· Minhas Craft Brewery is throwing a party
· Promega now offers broadest and fastest offerings for cell-free expression of proteins
· SBA: Wisconsin disaster assistance still available; centers closing soon
· St. Croix EDC: Seeks legislative issues – Issues can be submitted online or at an open house event
· UW-Madison: Engineered stem cells carry promising ALS therapy
· Wigwam: A proud sponsor of Project Athena
· Wisconsin Better Business Bureau: BBB to hold “ShredFest”, a free community shredding event
· Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition: Tuesday Truth #15: Ethanol co-products help grow Wisconsin’s economy

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


TOP STORIES
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Government steps in again, bails out AIG with $85B: The U.S. government stepped in Tuesday to rescue American International Group Inc., one of the world’s largest insurers, with an $85 billion injection of taxpayer money. Under the deal, the government will get a 79.9 percent stake in AIG and the right to remove senior management.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AIG?SITE=WIFON&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Officials say state, local pension funds safe from trouble: The state’s pension fund owns more than $420 million in troubled financial companies — including over $100 million in Lehman Brothers stocks and bonds — but pension officials note that is a small fraction of the fund’s $79.4 billion in holdings. Vicki Hearing, a spokeswoman for the state Investment Board, said investors’ primary concern is the state of the overall market rather than individual holdings. This year, the fund has shed $8.4 billion in value, dropping from $87.8 billion to $79.4 billion.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=795647

Wisconsin Department of Revenue eyes Internet sales to boost tax revenue: State officials want a major rewrite of sales tax rules to bring in $46.5 million more over the next two years, make it easier to collect taxes on Internet sales and reverse the effects of a recent high-profile court decision that opened a massive hole in the state budget. This is at least the fourth attempt to enact the so-called “streamlined sales tax” proposal, which could finally become law next year if Democrats achieve their goal of taking back the state Assembly from GOP lawmakers opposed to the measure.
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/305223

Playing to fans in China: Bucks, business tap fascination with basketball: Several Milwaukee-area business leaders will accompany the Milwaukee Bucks on a trip to China in October with the hope of strengthening business and cultural ties there, as the Asian country remains in the midst of an economic boom and basks in the afterglow of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Bucks will play two games in China during the trip, including one at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena that will be the venue’s first sporting event since the Olympics in August.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/focus1.html?b=1221451200^1699601

AIG building project on track: City officials say the new $20 million AIG Travel Guard headquarters here will be built regardless of the financial woes of parent company American International Group. The U.S. government agreed late Tuesday to provide an $85 billion emergency loan to rescue the huge insurance company.
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/MNH0101/809170761/1732&located=RSS

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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)
– Fiserv gains high InformationWeek rank by tapping Facebook
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily14.html

– Verona’s annual meeting of Epic proportions
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/305129

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Deloitte: Holiday spending to see modest gains
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily16.html

– Consumer prices decline for first time in two years
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily13.html

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Kettle Foods Beloit plant goes green
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily15.html

LABOR (back to top)
– Manitowoc County OKs changes to employee pay plan
http://www.htrnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/MAN0101/809170593/1358&located=RSS

– Waste Management sets deadline for contract offer
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=795653

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Mustard Girl founder to visit Woodman’s in Howard
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/GPG03/809170679/1247

– Lighting up: Germantown design firm grows with major projects
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/story8.html?b=1221451200^1699439

– Network pairs Hispanic entrepreneurs with resources
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=795678

INVESTING (back to top)
– Experts: Trading woes no cause for worry
http://www.stevenspointjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/SPJ0101/809170757/1657&located=RSS

– Sonic Foundry switches Nasdaq stock markets
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/305111

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Green Bay council votes to keep riverfront projects with Vetter
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/GPG0101/809170701/1207&located=RSS

– UW School of Music gets $20 million to build new performance venues
http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/305076

– Milwaukee: Another downtown project delayed
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=795652

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin Celebrates Ethanol Fueling Stations
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1126&yr=2008

– Wisconsin Operations Among WDE’s Virtual Farm Tours
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1125&yr=2008

– Wollersheim Winery: This Year Could Be Best Grape Harvest Yet
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1128&yr=2008

RETAIL (back to top)
– Car incentives lure Fox Cities buyers
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/APC03/809170529/1028

– Fantastic Sams opens new salon in Suamico
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/GPG03/809170725/1247

– Onalaska: Buffalo Wild Wings to open Monday
http://www.rivervalleynewspapers.com/articles/2008/09/17/business/00cahalan.txt

– Madison: Steve’s Liquor bucks warehouse trend
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/305239

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Wis. utility workers help hurricane relief
http://www.stevenspointjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/SPJ0101/809170614/1657&located=RSS

– Application for Kewaunee power station renewal online
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/GPG03/809170678/1247

– Wisconsin firms win funds for renewable energy projects
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily17.html

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Cancer care advocates suggest changes
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/WDH0101/809170750/1581&located=RSS

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Credit union changes hands; Community First purchases Miller, keeps staff and office
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080917/APC03/809170541/1028

– Wells Fargo takes a hit from Lehman bankruptcy
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/daily18.html

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Sheehy: ‘Tremendous’ opportunities in China
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/15/focus2.html?b=1221451200^1699608

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