(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 23 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Wisconsin’s industrial economy is well-positioned to become a 21st century leader in manufacturing, according to John Brandt, founder of the MPI Group.

Brandt, based in Ohio, said the Badger State’s assets include proximity to a vast consumer population, excellent transportation infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce.

Drawbacks, however, include higher taxes than other states Wisconsin is up against, said Brandt, who spoke Tuesday to about 60 businesses at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center on the future of manufacturing.

See the full story:
http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=124223

— Stoughton Trucking has notified state and local officials it may furlough 62 workers in Stoughton and another six in Tennessee. Company officials said rising fuel costs are the culprit.

In a letter to the state Workforce Development Department, human resources director Jennifer Storm said the affected workers don’t belong to a union and have no bumping rights. She said the company hopes the layoffs will be temporary.

— Soaring jet fuel costs are buffetting airlines around the country and AirTran Airways, which tried to take over Midwest Airlines a year ago, is no exception.

The Orlando, Florida-based company says it is suspending its growth plan after suffering a $34.8 million loss, or 38 cents per share, in the first quarter.

The average price per gallon of fuel increased 49.3 percent to $3 in the first quarter compared to $2.01 in the first quarter of 2007. AirTran said the company’s fuel expense was $268 million, up $102 million from the same period of the prior year.

Going forward, the company said it has increased its fuel hedge positions to cover approximately 50 percent of its fuel needs for the remainder of the year.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=124204

— WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Monday, May 5, with special guest Marsha Lindsay, President and CEO of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs.

Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, a strategic brand communication firm whose clients have included the Green Bay Packers, Pepsi, Kraft, Chiquita, Honeywell and many others. Lindsay will discuss the state branding effort and its impact on the Madison region’s local economy.

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.

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Press Releases
AirTran Holdings, Inc., Reports First Quarter Results
Bringing Oil Recycling Down to Earth on Earth Day
Governor Doyle Announces Grants
Johnson Controls Turns Earth Day into Earth Quarter
Manpower Inc. Annual Talent Shortage Survey Reveals Skilled Manual Trades, Sales Representatives and Technicians Top Most Wanted List Globally
Manpower’s Annual 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill Survey: Engineers, Machinists and Skilled Trades Top List In U.S.
Mediasite Transforms Writing Whiz-Kid into World’s Youngest Professor
NCRA Urges Congressman Tom Petri to Approve in Conference the Higher Education Reauthorization Bill Providing Closed Captioning for 30 Million Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Americans
Nelson Smith, President of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Presents Keynote Address at Wisconsin Charter Schools Conference
New Human Rights Campaign Foundation Guide Helps Employers Create Fair Policies for Transgender Workers
Northwest Airlines Announces the Launch of a Carbon Offset Program with Donations to the Nature Conservancy
Sensient Technologies Corporation Reports Earnings for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2008
Sonic Foundry Names Finalists for Fourth Annual Rich Media Impact Awards

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


TOP STORIES
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Microsoft to launch new lab in Madison: Project to capitalize on database expertise… Aiming to tap into the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s database research talent, Microsoft Corp. will announce this morning it is opening an advanced development lab in downtown Madison. The Microsoft Jim Gray Systems Lab will be run by David DeWitt, a world leader in database research and former chairman and recently retired professor in the university’s computer science department. The lab will open in the next two months with six full-time Microsoft employees. Microsoft also has made a commitment to support five graduate research assistantships in the computer science department and will likely provide internships for UW-Madison students and consulting opportunities for faculty members, DeWitt said.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742524

Ports have deep needs, shallow pocketbooks: Green Bay port secured $1.46M for dredging… Dredging of critical portions of the shipping lane in the Port of Green Bay will begin in June with $1.46 million in funding secured last summer. Port and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say acquiring funds for dredging continues to be a hard-fought battle. “After this work is done, we will have taken care of a couple areas of critical need, but we will not have dented the quantity of backlogged dredging that exist,” Green Bay port Director Dean Haen said. “We’re trying to get another $2 million, and we really need that sustained over four of five years to return our channel to a fully operational state.” This summer’s work includes dredging in several areas where the shipping lane jogs on the approach on the lower section of the bay, he said.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/GPG03/804230621/1247

Menominee to expand casino: The Menominee Indian Tribe plans to invest $80 million to expand its gaming facility, which generates 80 percent of its annual revenue. The project includes a new casino, which Menominee chairwoman Lisa Waukau says is long overdue. The casino opened in an old warehouse in 1987 and is the oldest in Wisconsin. The tribe has made small additions to the building, but it’s never done a major remodeling. The casino generated $11 million for the Menominee Indian Tribe in 2007. Its economic projections show that if the tribe doesn’t expand or renovate the existing casino, revenue will begin to decline in 2011. Waukau says the tribe expects to break ground sometime next month.
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/OSH/80423012/1987

MATC weighs closing business incubators: High upkeep costs, stalled firms cited… Two money-losing incubators that have fallen far short of their goals to create jobs and help start-up businesses could be shut down by the Milwaukee Area Technical College board because they cost too much to maintain. The college would have to pay at least $16 million over seven years to repair and maintain the two buildings. The incubators – one on the north side and one on the south – were created in the late 1980s and mid-’90s to help fledgling businesses take flight and create jobs. But the Journal Sentinel has reported that most of the businesses never leave the incubators, don’t create many jobs and often don’t pay their below-market rents.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742497

Bradley Center won’t sell name: Letter from donor’s family prompts board to shelve plan… In a stunning turn of events, the Bradley Center board of directors on Tuesday abruptly decided to drop plans to sell the naming rights for the facility. The decision, coming only two months after Bradley Center officials disclosed its plans for the nearly 20-year-old facility, came shortly after Lynde Bradley Uihlein and David V. Uihlein Jr., the daughter and son of the late philanthropist Jane Bradley Pettit, sent a letter to the Journal Sentinel. In that letter, the two spoke out for the first time that the sale of naming rights would degrade their mother’s $90 million gift and would have little impact on the arena’s financial future.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742567

WPS OKs terms for Iowa wind farm: Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and enXco have agreed to terms for WPS to purchase a planned Iowa wind farm. Acquisition and construction-related activities are expected to cost $251 million. Closing of the deal is expected in the third quarter. The 99-megawatt wind farm will be near Riceville in northeastern Iowa. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved the deal. Rob Benninghoff, WPS director of renewable and special projects, said construction is expected to begin later this year or in early 2009, with the wind farm operational around December 2009. He said the deal will help WPS achieve its state-mandated requirement of generating 10 percent of its electricity with renewable power by 2015.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/GPG03/804230627/1247

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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)
– Robotics program featured at FVTC
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/APC03/804230533/1028

– Global sales drive Snap-on sales, earnings increase
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily15.html?surround=lfn

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Cellcom activates ‘green’ tower near Antigo
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/GPG03/804230625/1247

– Leopold Center named national ‘Top Ten Green’ project
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/282627

– UW-L signs environmental sustainability pledge
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/04/23/news/z02uwl23.txt

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Nestle pet-food plant expansion in Jefferson gets state aid
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/282698

– K-C benefits from price hike
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/APC03/804230535/1028

– Journal earnings drop in 1st quarter
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742520

– 8.1% export rise predicted
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742478

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Rockwell buys software firm
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742492

– Bucyrus considers joint agreement
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742518

– Magnetek to divest its Telecom Power unit
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily21.html?surround=lfn

– Twin Disc 3Q sales dip, earnings rise
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily14.html?surround=lfn

LABOR (back to top)
– Stoughton Trucking plans layoff
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily24.html?surround=lfn

– Manpower survey: engineering hardest field to staff
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily20.html?surround=lfn

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Shoe repair shop helps film cast step back in time
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/282695

– Local tavern stays open
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/04/23/local_news/doc480eb6ab6f52d441346142.txt

INVESTING (back to top)
– Economy might improve later in year, investor says
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/282708

– M&I shareholders defeat director election proposal
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily19.html?surround=lfn

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– 3 properties on Square granted landmark status
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/282750

– Cost could prohibit ‘green’ jail
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/04/23/news/z01jail23.txt

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Cool temperatures, rain slow spring planting
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/APC03/804230549/1028

– State board stymies pig farm project
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048431&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048431%26snippet%3Df

– New Genex Employees Complete Training Program
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=503&yr=2008

– Sexmex Launches New International Fertility Evaluation Rating
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=504&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– ‘Rough summer’ in the air
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/282696

– Proposal to cut busing meets approval
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742591

– More green at the pump on Earth Day
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/April_08/04232008_01.asp

– Board agrees to give DOT ownership over roads near I-94
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/04/23/local_news/doc480e9409e6196245496605.txt

RETAIL (back to top)
– New Madison-area Gander Mountain one of nation’s largest
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/282701

– Camping World caters to campers who take to the road
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/282700

– Menomonee Falls sees potential in blighted corridor
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/April_08/04222008_04.asp

REGULATION (back to top)
– State tops drunken driving survey
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/GPG0101/804230655/1978/GPGnews

– Vote on new CWD rules imminent
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/282623

TOURISM (back to top)
– DNR reduces bag limits for walleye on over 400 northern lakes
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742542

UTILITIES (back to top)
– WPL to purchase Minnesota wind farm site
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily26.html?surround=lfn

– Whitewater campus getting heat, hot water restored
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WI_CAMPUS_BOILER_BLAST_WIOL-?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

– Marshfield power plant wins sustainable committee approval
http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/MNH0101/804230516/1980

– UWO aims to end use of fossil fuels
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/OSH0101/804230501/1987

– Dairyland, conservancy collaborate on bluffland preservation
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/04/23/news/z03mvc23.txt

– Outage planned for Thursday in Sevastopol and Egg Harbor
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/GPG03/804230626/1247

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Quest for quality pays off
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742521

– UnitedHealth’s profits up
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily13.html?surround=lfn

– Centene reports earnings drop
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/04/21/daily18.html?surround=lfn

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Leaders at M&I defend expansion
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742522

– Another chance for troubled homeowners
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742476

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– D’Angelo gets year in prison for ‘breach’ of trust
http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/282644

– Grocer: Good people make for good business
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080423/APC03/804230550/1028

– Green design brings local architects national acclaim
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/April_08/04222008_08.asp

– What happened to Scott Fergus?
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/April_08/04222008_05.asp

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Cheers! Here’s to outrageous CEO pay
http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/ivey/282636

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Racine entrepreneur starts tapping into new dairy technology
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=742477

– Arlen Boardman: Something too hard to believe at least provides a laugh
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080422/APC0701/804220459/1436/APC03

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