(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 20 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Chrysler has filed a lawsuit in a Michigan court charging that Glendale-based Johnson Controls inflated prices for its batteries, according to a report today by The Wall Street Journal. Chrysler is seeking $15 million in damages.

The suit was filed Aug. 14 in the Oakland County Circuit Court, the Journal reported, and is the latest sign of rising tensions between Chrysler and its parts suppliers since the automaker was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private investment firm, last year.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/

— The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that Wisconsin will yield 3.85 million barrels of cranberries during the 2008 fall harvest.

That is approximately a 4 percent increase over Wisconsin’s 2007 harvest of 3.71 million barrels. Based on the USDA 2008 projections and with cooperation from Mother Nature during the next four to six weeks, this crop will be Wisconsin’s second largest cranberry crop ever. Wisconsin will be the top cranberry-producing state for the 14th consecutive year.

The USDA projections come on the heels of a recently announced expansion effort by Wisconsin growers to add new cranberry acreage to help meet high demand for cranberries in the United States and worldwide.

See release:

— As a fallout from the MillerCoors LLC merger, the beer distribution industry in southeastern Wisconsin is consolidating, with Pewaukee-based Beer Capitol Distributing Inc. acquiring Miller Brands-Milwaukee LLC of Wauwatosa.

Beer Capitol, which sells Pabst and other brands in Milwaukee County, has agreed to buy Miller Brands, which has sold Miller Brewing Co. products throughout Milwaukee County for many years, for an undisclosed amount. The sale is set close by Oct. 31.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/8/19/#beer-capitol-acquires-miller-brands



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Press Releases
Broadwind Energy to Supply Integrated Tower Solution to Nordex USA
From Lunch Boxes to Low Fat Yogurt, Lands’ End and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association Offer Healthy School Lunch Tips
Governor Doyle Announces Industrial Revenue Bond Allocation in Elm Grove
Governor Doyle Announces Industrial Revenue Bond Allocation in Little Chute
Journal Communications Reports July Revenue for Its Publishing and Broadcast Groups
Lecture Series Honoring Denice Denton Planned for Sept. 12
National Lending Crisis? Not in Wisconsin
New North Companies Supply, Deliver Wind Energy
Sanimax Bio Diesel Less Expensive
Secretary Gassman Warns Unemployed Against Deceptive Web Sites Charging Fees to File Claims
The Horton Group to Host COBRA Workshop Featuring Compliance Expert Matt Isbell in Waukesha on September 17, 2008
TomoTherapy to Host Analyst and Investor Presentation at 2008 ASTRO Meeting in Boston
Wisconsin Projected as National Cranberry Crop Leader as Industry Seeks to Further Expand in State

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


Local 95, GM reach tentative deal: After nearly 14 months of negotiations, United Auto Workers Local 95 and General Motors have agreed on a tentative local contract. Last fall, the UAW ratified a four-year national contract with GM. Negotiations on a local contract, which cover operations in Janesville, started last summer but have been delayed by a series of negative announcement’s about the local plant’s future. John Dohner Jr., Local 95’s shop chairman at GM, said the tentative agreement was reached Tuesday morning. He would not discuss specifics of the local agreement. “The membership deserves to hear about it first and then vote on it,” he said.

Kimberly’s NewPage employees look for direction: Scores of soon-to-be-displaced NewPage Corp. workers sought answers Tuesday from organizations who help the unemployed. Workers, some toting notepads and some with spouses, streamed into the first of two Family Resource Night sessions sponsored by the company at Liberty Hall, 800 Eisenhower Drive. The news media was not allowed into the gathering. “It’s for employees only,” said Karol Fecteau, NewPage human resources manager at the Kimberly mill. The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, the state Unemployment Compensation division, Financial Information & Service Center and Fox Valley Technical College offered presentations.

Beer Capitol to buy wholesaler: Miller Brands facility in deal … Beer Capitol Distributing Inc., which sells Pabst Brewing Co. brands and other beers to supermarkets, taverns and other retailers in the Milwaukee area, is buying another beer wholesaler that sells MillerCoors brands in Milwaukee County. Beer Capitol, of Pewaukee, has agreed to buy Miller Brands-Milwaukee LLC of Wauwatosa for an undisclosed amount, Beer Capitol announced Tuesday. The sale, to close by Oct. 31, will create one of the largest beer wholesale distributors in Wisconsin, with 250 employees and 2,000 sales accounts, said Aldo Madrigrano, Beer Capitol chairman. The combined company will operate more efficiently and be able to offer a wider variety of brands to its customers, Madrigrano said.

EPA: 3 largest Wis. cities miss air standards: The Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay areas do not meet tough new air quality standards designed to protect public health and may need additional regulations, federal regulators said Tuesday. The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement drew criticism from a top state air official, who warned it could hurt economic development and do little to improve air quality. The EPA said its review found Brown, Columbia, Dane, Racine, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties have unacceptable levels of fine particulate matter in the air or contribute to problems in neighboring areas. The pollution is largely caused by coal-fired power plants and diesel engines and creates health problems such as asthma, lung disease and heart problems.

Near-record berry year expected: As Wisconsin’s cranberry growers progress with state officials to expedite a 5,000-acre expansion, new projections show the state could see the second-largest crop on record. Growers could rake in 3.85 million barrels of the fruit statewide during this year’s harvest — a 4 percent increase from the state’s 2007 harvest and more than double Massachusetts’ expected 1.9 million barrels, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Tuesday. “Locally, a good harvest is good news for the community,” said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin Rapids-based Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. “A lot of that fruit will move through the processing facilities in central Wisconsin.”

UWM wants $10 million for research: Regents to consider UW System budget this week … The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee plans to ask the state this week to devote $10 million more in taxpayer funding and fees to fuel Chancellor Carlos Santiago’s $300 million effort to transform the university into a top research institution and economic development catalyst. Santiago’s plan calls for $10 million in state money in three consecutive two-year state budget cycles. In the first phase in 2007-’09, UWM won $8.4 million in state tax funds and $1.2 million in fees to focus on research in biomedical and health technologies, advanced manufacturing and other science and engineering fields to strengthen research in southeastern Wisconsin.


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)
– Tushaus acquires Madison IT firm

– Sen. Kohl announces funding for Gundersen Lutheran tech upgrade

– Intel unveils new chip design to challenge AMD

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Price Study Shows Sanimax Bio Diesel Less Expensive

– Backlash against pharmaceutical marketing

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Fed’s efforts to fix the economy have hurt savers, driving some to fight back

– Wholesale prices surge at fastest pace since ’81

– Kivela Inc. happy to be back in Washington County

– Journal Communications revenue drops in July

– Potawatomi make $10.2 million payment to city, county

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Neenah Paper going greener

LABOR (back to top)
– State teachers union is poised to pay millions to get Dems elected to Assembly

– State warns of unemployment claim Web sites

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– UWGB Small Business Development Center offering marketing series

– Middleton-based Sustainable Times thrives while other newspapers falter

– La Vina offers bilingual religious items

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks fall on inflation data, financial worries

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Mortgage rates increasing

– Potential investors size up riverfront

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Dry fields mean crops might not mature

– Conservation Reserve Program turns poor cropland into wildlife habitat

– Farm Researcher Receives Grant for Follow-Up Hearing Study

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Air Wisconsin reports passenger traffic up

– Milwaukee interchange rebuilding done early

– Committee delays busing cuts

RETAIL (back to top)
– Costco enters Madison area’s big-box shopping scene

– Retail spending still slow; Target reports a 7.6 percent drop in profit

– Cigar event to take on anti-smoking bills

– Miller Lite revives ’Great Taste, Less Filling’ ad

– Foes seek to prohibit latest Sparks

– Leather seller closes stores in Mayfair, Bayshore

REGULATION (back to top)
– Beloit Town Board won’t buy flooded vacation homes

– State agency staying out of cable TV dispute

– County to pay business $200,000 in sign fight

TOURISM (back to top)
– Waukesha council OKs Frame Park baseball plan

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Dane County eyes fourfold increase in water improvement budget

– UW class offers energy-saving tips for Monroe Street library and others

– Denmark gets funds for well work

– Farm proposal blows in wind

– Elm Grove’s lake water quest dries up

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Families of uninsured kids can sign up Thursday for BadgerCare Plus health insurance

– County seeks new bids for Badger Prairie health center

– Study honors Aurora BayCare

– Aspirus completes first nurse residency class

– Commonwealth Medical splits up physicians group

– Local venture capital pool gets a boost

– CUNA Mutual takes in displaced child care nonprofit

– West Bend Saving Bank phishing scammers even target Sheriff’s Department

– Board move could help businesses

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– UW-Madison chancellor leaves campus a better place

– Jagdfeld named CEO of Generac Power Systems

– Schneider Logistics receives distinction from chemistry council

– Schmoozing from the bike saddle

– Beer Capitol to buy MillerCoors distributor for Milwaukee County

– Hoffman title sponsor for Living Green expo

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: As Milwaukee goes, so goes Wisconsin

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Business coaches can give entrepreneurs advice, motivation

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–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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