(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 25 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Panelists at a Waukesha Co. Action Network (WCAN)event say the state’s pressing infrastructure needs demand putting all funding options on the table.

Among them: new electronic tolling so frequent users pay more and private funding of new roads and other transportation needs.

But getting politicians to take risks in the current environment won’t be easy, they acknowledge. Former Kenosha mayor and ex-Dem legislator John Antaramian said at yesterday’s event that it’s time for leadership on the issue.

“We don’t get along. We have fiefdoms all over the place,” he said, noting the failure so far to extend Chicago’s commuter rail system to Racine and Milwaukee.

Antaramian said instead of action, “We put Band-Aids on it.” He warned that without leadership on the issue, the region and state will become much less competitive.

Other panelists included: Phil Evenson, executive director of SEWRPC; Pat Goss, executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association; and Sam Staley of the Reason Foundation. WCAN, led by former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, is a group with a mission to evaluate and foster discussion of important public policy issues.

The event will be broadcast on WisconsinEye: http://www.wiseye.org/

— Milwaukee business leaders — plus local government, philanthropic and educational advocates — have launched the Wisconsin Coalition for a Public Boarding School.

The groups, which gathered at the Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee, want state legislators and Gov. Jim Doyle to fund new educational options for at-risk children in the next legislative session.

The proposed school would be built with $30 million to $40 million raised in a private capital campaign. It would open in 2011 with a minimal initial state contribution, coalition officials said, that would ramp up over six years and reach full funding in 2017.

The coalition is calling upon the state Legislature to eventually commit $10 million a year to support education and boarding costs for a 400-student school. The proposed school would house students on campus from Sunday night through Friday afternoon.

See the release:

— The Natural Resources Board is scheduled to vote today on proposed rules that would require power plants to reduce mercury emissions 90 percent by 2015.

The proposal would also give utilities the option of pursuing a “multi-pollutant” approach in which they would be required to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions along with a 70 percent reduction in mercury emissions by 2015. They would then have to hit an 80 percent reduction by 2018 and a 90 percent reduction by 2021.

A Dane County judge yesterday rejected a lawsuit seeking to put the rules on hold.

*Read the background memo on the rules:



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Press Releases
Coalition for a Public Boarding School Launched
Doyle Announces Nearly $1 Million in Telecommunications Grants
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation Awards $99,000 Grant to Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
ATF and Oconto County Crime Stoppers Announce $6,000 Reward for Information
Coalition for a Public Boarding School Launched
Governor Doyle Announces $400,000 Brownfield Grant to Village of Cedar Grove
Governor Doyle Joins Midwest Governors in Requesting Reduction in State Share of Flooding Assistance Costs
Hybridfest 2008 to Focus on Rising Fuel Prices
Interfaith Hospitality Network Changes Name
Komatsu Forest Ships 3000th Tree Feller/Harvester
Les Paul Lights Two 18-Story Guitars
Manpower Inc. Research Reveals Competing Agendas of Employers and Jobseekers
Nerites Technology Wins Scientific Accolades
New North Companies Rated Among Best Places to Work
New Wipe Dispenser Receives Innovation Award for Modern Style and Ease of Use
Potbelly Sandwich Works Raises $3,658 for Habitat for Humanity of Dane County as Part of Three Day Event
RF Technologies(R) Introduces Enhanced Clinical Support Service, Step-by-Step, a Comprehensive Program Designed to Ensure Infant Security
SavorWisconsin.com Adds Powerful New Search for Finding Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets
Studies of Cell Traits Nets Big Award for UW-Madison Researcher
Study Uncovers How Ritalin Works in Brain to Boost Cognition, Focus Attention
The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour Visits Milwaukee With Congressman Paul Ryan As Guest Panelist

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


Battle looms on PCB cleanup: Paper companies sue to get municipalities to share massive costs… Two major contributors of PCB contamination in the Fox River and Green Bay have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to get other companies and municipalities to help cover cleanup costs. Appleton (formerly Appleton Papers) and NCR Corp. want federal Judge William Griesbach to force those entities to help pay for the capping and dredging of PCB-laden sediment. That project will cost at least $400 million, according to officials from the state Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were deposited into the river through the production of carbonless paper.

Kohl opposes JBS acquisition: U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, is opposing the acquisition of National Beef Packing Co. and the beef division of Smithfield Foods by JBS Swift. Kohl, chairman of the Senate subcomittee on antirtust, competition policy and consumer rights, said in a letter to the Department of Justice that the combination would result in too much consolidation and would harm cattle ranchers as well as consumers. JBS, a Brazilian company, announced in March that it would buy Smithfield’s beef division for $565 million. Smithfield Beef Group has its headquarters in Green Bay.

NewPage scales back in Kimberly: Firm speeds up planned closure of Niagara mill… NewPage Corp. Tuesday announced plans to limit coated paper production by an additional 34,000 tons in July, including 18,000 tons at its mill in Kimberly. The Miamisburg, Ohio-based NewPage, which acquired the North American assets of Stora Enso last year, had employed about 575 workers at Kimberly until announcing plans to shut down the oldest of three paper machines there and eliminating 125 jobs. NewPage said the balance of the 34,000 tons taken out of production will come from accelerating the previously announced closure of the Niagara mill in northern Wisconsin this month.

Milwaukee slips in high-tech job rankings: Milwaukee was one of nine major metros that lost jobs in the high-technology fields, slipping to the nation’s 34th largest “cybercity” based on high-tech employment totals, according to a technology trade association report. The AeA’s “Cybercities 2008: An Overview of the High-Technology Industry in the Nation’s Top 60 Cities” report published Tuesday shows Milwaukee’s tech employment declined from 33,944 jobs in 2005 to 33,750 jobs in 2006, the most recent year of data available. Milwaukee was ranked 33rd in 2005, slipping just one spot in 2006 despite the 1 percent decline in high-tech jobs. Fifty-one markets added technology jobs over the same period.

Troha’s old truck firm files for bankruptcy: Plans call for lenders to take control… Kenosha-based trucking company JHT Holdings Inc. filed for financial reorganization in bankruptcy court Tuesday, with plans to turn over ownership control to its lenders. The firm, which has 1,360 drivers and dominates the business of transporting medium- and heavy-duty trucks in North America, said the bankruptcy filing was voluntary and that “a significant majority” of its lenders support the reorganization plan. “This is a financial strategy on the part of JHT Holdings,” said CEO James Welch. “We’re not being forced into Chapter 11.” Day-to-day trucking operations won’t be affected, the firm said.

MeVis finishes acquisition: Pewaukee company to ship 1st medical-imaging product… Seven months after moving into its Pewaukee offices, MeVis Medical Solutions has completed the acquisition of a California company and will soon begin shipping its first product. MeVis, a subsidiary of a publicly traded German company with the same name, aims to have more than 20 employees by the end of the year, up from 12 now, said Tom Tynes, its president and CEO. The company has many more opportunities to expand through internal development, future acquisitions and by developing the wealth of technology held by MeVis Research Center for Medical Image Computing, the company’s nonprofit institute, Tynes said.

Miller plans national rollout of MGD 64: Miller Brewing Co. of Milwaukee is planning a national rollout of MGD 64, a 64-calorie version of its Miller Genuine Draft Light brand, because of what Miller chief executive Tom Long described as “broad-based geographic growth” for the brand in test markets. In a message Monday to Miller’s distributors, Long said that MGD 64 will replace MGD Light by mid-September in all remaining markets where the changeover has not already occurred, as well as in markets that do not currently have MGD Light. MGD 64 was initially launched last summer in Madison and is now widely available throughout the Midwest and West regions. In May, Miller said it was expanding its test markets to include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland.


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)
– Nanotechnology health fears raised

– Charter drops plans for Web tracking after customer complaints

– Survey: IT execs wary of Web 2.0

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Cheese-making waste becomes fuel

– Lautenschlager, not Van Hollen, is most responsible for speedier DNA testing

– Stink near Jefferson ethanol plant lingers

– UW-Madison biochemist named Searle Scholar

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Neenah Paper closes mill sale

– Cedar Grove gets $400K redevelopment grant

– Building economy and protecting environment topics of town hall meeting at UW-L

– Dow to increase prices up to 25%

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– NewPage paper producer will cut output in Kimberly

– Brady ’09 profit to grow, but short of target

LABOR (back to top)
– At mill, women find same ‘hot, sweaty’ job as men

– Learning the hard way: TAs struggle with low pay and uncertain employment

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Monroe’s Cafe Claudeen shows revival is sweet

– Allouez Cafe going smoke free

INVESTING (back to top)
– Anchor BanCorp director buys 10,000 shares

– Dow falls on weak economic data

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Madison suburbs see a hotel building boom

– Hearing set on James Madison Park properties

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Better weather has helped some crops

– Organic farms face unique struggles after ruinous floods

– National Holstein Convention Kicks-Off in Wisconsin Dells

– Help Available to Restore Cropland Conservation Practices

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– More using Amtrak’s service between Milwaukee, Chicago

– Smart car dealer aims to open in Madison

– Experts to state: Put in tolls

RETAIL (back to top)
– Sour power

– Oregon gets new large restaurant

– Study: Miller Lite, Chill among brands most exposed to youth in TV ads

REGULATION (back to top)
– Weston next for smoking ban?

– Municipalities prepare defense against paper firms

– Ethanol producer, state reach settlement

– Mercury debate heats up

TOURISM (back to top)
– Devil’s Lake opening Thursday

UTILITIES (back to top)
– City, county officials push UW to ditch coal power entirely

– Consultant: Water plant filters not the best

– Alliant deploys workers to Iowa

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Rogers finishes expansion

– McCain wrong on health care, says industry union

– Bridge Clinic expands dental care

– Clinic opens in Fitchburg Walgreens

– Walk-in clinics the new norm for health care

– Bellin granted accreditation

– Doyle wants more fed aid for floods

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– New UW-Parkside chancellor resigns

– 4imprint, Badger Mining among best companies to work for

– Miller to donate $500,000 to Bradford Beach group

– Darrow buys more Georgia outlets

– Manpower: Global opportunities worry employers

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Should Madison ban the drive-through?

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Twitter blends online networking, instant messaging

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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