(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 2 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman, strongly backed by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, is the first person to knock off a sitting justice in more than four decades.

Gableman on Tuesday defeated Justice Louis Butler, who was appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle. For more election coverage, go to the WisPolitics Election Blog:

— Researchers, investors and ethanol producers, plus representatives of paper and forest products companies should be well represented at a biofuels conference set for April 16-17 on the UW Stevens Point campus.

Tom Still, whose Wisconsin Technology Council is co-sponsoring the event, said it will focus on the state’s “fast-emerging potential “as a center for energy production from cellulose, waste and non-edible plants.

Still said the conference is being held in Stevens Point because it’s in the heart of forest products country and is home to the state’s top paper center. The title of the event is “Wisconsin’s Biofuels Destiny: Food, fiber and forest products for the 21st century.”

The keynote speak on April 16 is Dr. Timothy Donohue, principal investigator and scientific director for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The $125 million center is one of three federally funded centers announced in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy and will focus on ramping up production of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels. Donohue is also director of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative.

To register for the conference, go to http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com

See the release:

— The nation may be headed toward a recession, but for many rural and inner city Wisconsin communities, it’s already here – and then some.

That’s why Madison’s Edgewood College may soon launch a new degree program to focus on rural and urban economic development, Business School Dean Charles Taylor said at a recent luncheon sponsored by WisBusiness.com, Madison Magazine and the Madison Club.

See the video of his presentation: http://velocity.mediasite.com/velocity/Viewer?peid=695bfbc4-9ea6-4669-9ef7-45b5d2d522d6.

The next luncheon guest will be Mark Bugher, head of the University Research Park. He will speak on April 14.

— Dunkin’ Brands Inc. says it will open 50 new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Milwaukee area.

The Canton, Mass.-based firm has signed an agreement with InterOcean Coffee Company LLC to develop the restaurants in Milwaukee and 72 new restaurants in the Phoenix area.

InterOcean Coffee plans to open seven restaurants in the Milwaukee area by the end of 2009. The balance of the restaurants will be open over the next several years, the company said.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/1/#dunkin-donuts-plots-50-new-restaurants-in-milwaukee




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Press Releases
UW-Madison’s Center for Retailing Excellence flourishing again
30 Days in April, 8 Days to Save: Midwest Airlines Offers Sale Fares on Travel Through Nov. 19, 2008
A Favorite Midwestern Brew Takes the National Stage: Leinenkugel’s Adds Zest to Summer With the Roll Out of Its Best Selling Seasonal Beer
ASQ Quality Report Offers Solutions to Error-Proof Voting Machines
Aurora Health Care Championship in 3rd Year at Geneva National Golf Club LPGA developmental tour purse increases to $100,000 in May 30-June 1 event
Founder of Carbon-Offset Firm ‘Cooler’ to Speak April 9 at UW-Madison
Governor Doyle Announces $250,000 Award to Inviragen, Inc. in Dane County
Governor Doyle Announces Appointments to the Wisconsin Technical College System Board
Governor Doyle Announces Industrial Revenue Bond Allocation in Brillion
Governor Doyle Qualifies Two Technology Companies for Investor Tax Credits
Governor Doyle Signs Bill Into Law to Promote Tourism in Wisconsin
Governor Doyle Signs Bill Promoting Public Safety

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


Medical tech boosts state: Wisconsin is No. 3 nationwide in sector employment… It delivers instant images inside the body or shrinks tumors with laser-like radiation. And according to the nation’s largest and oldest technology trade group, medical technology plays a commanding role in keeping Wisconsin in the global technology race. Wisconsin hosts the nation’s third-largest cluster of medical-equipment manufacturers as measured by employment (5,800 jobs), behind No. 1 California (13,100) and No. 2 Minnesota (12,600), according to “Cyberstates 2008,” an annual state-by-state overview by the American Electronics Association. The organization, known as the AeA, focuses on electronics, telecommunications, software and information services.

Harley signs labor deals: Union members to vote Friday on tentative accords… Harley-Davidson Inc. has signed tentative four-year labor agreements with its largest Wisconsin labor unions, a move which industry analysts say is welcome because it lessens the risk of a strike and production disruptions. The agreements cover more than 2,100 Harley employees and is scheduled to be voted on Friday by the United Steelworkers and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Most of the employees are represented by Steelworkers Local 2-209 and work at Harley facilities in the Milwaukee area. The proposed agreements also would cover about 360 Steelworkers at Harley’s plant in Tomahawk and about 150 employees represented by the Machinists’ Lodge 78 in Milwaukee.

GM still plans to resume production at Janesville plant: General Motors still plans to resume production at its Janesville plant Monday with both assembly shifts, totaling more than 2,200 hourly workers, fully employed — at least for next week, plant spokeswoman Mary Fanning said Tuesday. The factory will be operating at a rate of 44 sport utility vehicles per hour. This week, most of the Janesville employees are off while the plant is being changed to slow the production rate from the current 52 vehicles per hour. GM-Janesville makes the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon. The strike against American Axle & Manufacturing, which began Feb. 26, has affected 30 GM plants.

UW center offers program on family business boards: Establishing a board is considered to be one of the best practices to help a family business survive to the third generation or beyond. An independent board, which includes a limited number of family members, is recommended, said Ann Kinkade, director/faculty associate of the UW-Madison Family Business Center. Yet many business owners don’t create one — often concerned about being told how to run their company and fearing a loss of control. “If you really understand how it works, you wouldn’t be worried,” said Kurt Welton, president/treasurer and chief executive officer of Welton Enterprises, a commercial real estate development and management company in Madison.

WPS requests increase in rates: Average user would see $8.29 monthly increase… Wisconsin Public Service Corp. says it is looking to increase electric and gas rates by $8.29 a month for the average residential customer, starting next year. The Green Bay-based company, which has about 420,000 customers in northern and central Wisconsin, has asked permission to raise electric rates by 7.75 percent in 2009. That’s about $6.11 a month for the typical residential customer. It wants to raise natural gas rates by 2.16 percent, or $2.18 a month. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin must approve the increases.

City smoking ban passes in Marshfield: “I am so excited,” said Sandra Christman of Marshfield as she and about 50 other Breathe Free Marshfield campaigners gathered at the Daily Grind coffee shop Tuesday night. The group had just learned the smoking ordinance referendum passed by a 2-to-1 margin. The vote was 4,177-2,532. The ordinance will become effective within 30 days of Tuesday’s vote. First the formalities of the Common Council’s approval of a resolution and official publication must occur, said Laura Lizakowski, a Breathe Free member and health care provider. While the supporters were hugging and congratulating each other, the president of the opposition campaign, Tom Cooper of Be Fair Marshfield, arrived to offer his congratulations.


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)
– Merge narrows losses, but warns of ‘challenges’

– Technology turns teachers into students

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Gassman announces $85,000 grant for workforce training

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Oil companies deflect blame for record fuel prices

– ITW adds another company to the fold

– Struggling dollar turns U.S. from buyer to seller

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Oshkosh adds office in Shanghai, China

– Area firms part of ‘Best Plants’ tours

LABOR (back to top)
– Janesville teachers vote on new contract

– Banks will continue cutting jobs, analysts say

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Green Bay meat market rises from ashes

– 3rd Ward Fratellos to open April 14

INVESTING (back to top)
– Mutual funds also a losing proposition in first quarter

– Dow ends day up nearly 400 points

– Bad, but not awful, news spurs stocks

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Madison wants your input on plan for Downtown

– Web site tracks foreclosures in Dane County

– Developer bets house on green community

– Developer files for bankruptcy

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Good news for farmers: Fields get good dose of snow melt

– Planting Intentions Report: WI Corn Acres to Drop

– Wisconsin Hay, Milk Prices Up During Past Month

– Saputo closes on Alto Dairy acquistion

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– State snowmobile fatalities reach 25

– Airline returns to CWA

– SkyWest names Midwest Connect director

RETAIL (back to top)
– Roundy’s to close Oshkosh Copps store

– Dunkin’ Donuts to open 50 more stores in Milwaukee

REGULATION (back to top)
– Smoking ban takes effect in Fitchburg

– Council to consider new Renard Isle plan

– Lead paint law looms for industry

TOURISM (back to top)
– ‘Public Enemies’ filming to cause three street closures starting April 10

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Marino’s Monona Bay sewer suit loses

– Residential water plan aimed at reducing use by 20%

– Outagamie County pegged for wind energy project

– Kewaunee plant, NRC focus on nuke safety

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Meriter to unveil future changes

– Aurora project rounds the corner

– HumanaDental adds cancer screening

– Guaranty Bank to lease at Bayshore

– National City may be for sale

– Free tax service available for certain filers

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Harley-Davidson’s CEO gets compensation worth about $4.1M in 2007

– Former Mequon insurance executive charged with securities fraud

– MGIC CFO Lauer buys 25,000 shares in company

– Twins owner Pohlad buys Avtex

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Chamber aims at collaboration

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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