(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 27 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications have reached agreements with the Big Ten Network.

Officials from Time Warner and the Big Ten Network said the two sides have agreed on terms for carrying the channel, its high-definition and video-on-demand programming on Time Warner Cable’s lineups.

In addition, Charter Communications said it has reached an agreement in principle with the network and said it may carry this Saturday’s UW football game.

— More than 200 Waste Management drivers represented by Local 200 of the Teamsters walked off their jobs Tuesday in Milwaukee and several of its suburbs after contract talks stalled. The two sides have been negotiating for the past eight months and were meeting when the strike began.

The walkout comes as Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 105th anniversary, but Waste Management officials said they will focus on picking up garbage locations where Harley enthusiasts are gathering.

— Wisconsin business leaders Craig and Curt Culver have donated $250,000 to fund an expansion of First Tee, a program for young golfers aimed at middle schoolers. Curt is president of Culver’s restaurants, while Curt is CEO of Milwaukee-based MGIC Investment Corp. Both are avid golfers. (But Curt is better.)

Joe Stadler, executive director of the Wisconsin PGA, said the gift is the biggest in the organization’s history. He said the state’s PGA Foundation will match the Culver’s gift with another $250,000.

Stadler said the First Tee program has been offered in Milwaukee schools, but will be expanded to other areas of the state. In addition to helping create the next generation of golfers, he said the program also teaches life skills such as courtesy and confidence.

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Press Releases
DeWitt Ross & Stevens and Durrant Conduct Free Building Green Seminar September 25
Fiskars: Revitalized San Francisco Neighborhood gets Garden Makeover
Introducing United Vacations New FuelSafe Program
Milwaukee Teamsters Call On Waste Management to Stop Threatening Workers
Munich Re America Hosts 2008 Casualty Claims Seminar at the University of Wisconsin to Address Projected Shortage of Experienced Claims Adjusters
New Battery Sizes From OPTIMA(R) Fit More Than 11 Million Additional Cars
New Chancellor to Welcome Students at Convocation
RedPrairie WMS brings better visibility, efficiency and control to Yard Management through RFID
SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Waukesha and Columbia Counties Closing August 29
SinuCleanse Nasal Washing System Now Available in Canada
Sway, Inc.: Shoutlet® Social Media Marketing Application Now Available on the Force.com
TomoTherapy Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for TomoDirect™ Radiotherapy Technology
U.S. Census Report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance to Be Released Next Week, Heartland Alliance to Follow With Analysis of Findings in Midwest
Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council Visits Standard Process Inc.® Farm

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


Teamsters strike Waste Management: Waste Management drivers represented by Local 200 of the Teamsters walked off the job this morning in a contract dispute, union officials said. Bill Plunkett, a Waste Management spokesman, said company and union negotiators were at a bargaining session at a suburban hotel when the Teamsters walked out and went on strike. Tom Millonzi, secretary-treasurer of Local 200, said 212 workers at Waste Management were union members. The drivers have been without a contract since April 30. The workers went on strike after what Millonzi said was “an unsuccessful bargaining session.” Plunkett said the drivers handle both commercial and residential accounts all over southeastern Wisconsin.

Aid headed for mill workers: Money will help retrain NewPage workers … State and federal assistance is on the way for displaced workers at the NewPage mill in Kimberly. The state announced Tuesday that job training assistance will be available for nearly 600 dislocated workers affected by the NewPage’s decision to close the mill. At least 125 workers were cut earlier this year and the remaining 475 will be out of work once production ends Sept. 8. Dick Jones, spokesman for the state Department of Workforce Development, could not specify how much money would be available to retrain the workers. “It will depend on how many people decide to seek the services,” Jones said Tuesday.

2nd quarter punishes banks: Profits dissipated in economic turmoil, FDIC finds … The stubborn housing slump, tighter credit and economic slowdown continued to put pressure on the banking industry in the second quarter, with 30 Wisconsin banks unable to make a profit, a report released Tuesday by regulators shows. Overall, Wisconsin’s commercial banks posted a nearly 88% drop in earnings in the first six months of the year to $86 million from $700 million a year earlier – a number skewed somewhat by a $388.1 million loss in the second quarter by the state’s biggest bank, Marshall & Ilsley Corp., and profit slides by some of the state’s other large banks.

Smithfield reports 1Q loss: Pork producer and processor Smithfield Foods Inc., the parent of Patrick Cudahy Inc. in Cudahy, reported a net loss for its fiscal first quarter because of charges related to commodity contracts and losses related to a divested business. The Smithfield, Va.-based company Tuesday reported a loss from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 of $28.5 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with net income from continuing operations last year of $56.6 million, or 43 cents per share. Sales were $3.1 billion versus $2.6 billion a year ago. The current quarter loss from continuing operations includes a negative mark-to-market adjustment of approximately $20.1 million after-tax, or 15 cents per diluted share, related to unrealized losses on changes in the fair value of the company’s open commodity derivative contracts.

Pleasant Prairie wants to boost TIF for Uline project: The village of Pleasant Prairie is seeking a $25.3 million increase in a tax incremental financing district to cover site-related improvements for the new Uline headquarters south of state Highway Q and just west of I-94. The village said Tuesday that it has initiated an amendment to the TIF District No. 2 that if approved, would raise the total value of the district to $79.2 million. In a TIF, municipalities to borrow money for public improvements and then repay the borrowings with property taxes collected on the increased value of the site. The amendment was considered at a Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission meeting on Monday.

Plant faces deadline for utility payment: Water shut down if energy center doesn’t pay $578K … The city will disconnect water service to Fox Valley Energy Center unless it pays a $578,000 utility bill by next Wednesday. The former Minergy Neenah plant, which burns coal to recycle industrial paper sludge into steam for nearby paper mills, fell behind on quarterly payments in early 2007. It subsequently negotiated a deferred payment schedule requiring monthly installments. “The terms of that agreement have been violated,” said Gerry Kaiser, Neenah’s deputy director of public works and utilities. “We are calling for everything due at this point.”


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)
– Economic development all about IT, UW prof says

– Tech Corps moving to former Aldi’s grocery store

BIOTECH (back to top)
– DNR approves ethanol permit

– Companies report 4 new deaths with diabetes drug

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Census: Green Bay poverty rate up

– City has nation’s 7th highest poverty rate

– Consumer outlook outpaces forecast

– Some say recession will be W-shaped

– Charter strikes deal with Big Ten Network

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Manufacturing survey hits Web

LABOR (back to top)
– Waste Management drivers go on strike

– UW custodians hope new chancellor helps in dispute

– Are city workers overpaid? List of top salaries might surprise you

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Lawsuit: Oil company cheated Madison-based gas station owner

– Incubator business starts at CATI

– Urban Hope to offer series

– Landscaping firm to expand in Milwaukee

INVESTING (back to top)
– Stock futures up after durable goods orders rise

– Law firm hired in investment dispute

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– A well-rounded University Square — almost

– City Council will discuss cost of homeless housing land swap

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– It’s judgment days at World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest

– First Annual Badger Production Sale Slated for October 11

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Electronic communication failure causes mass delay of U.S. flights

– Midwest’s tiered seating plan adds 11 more seats on Boeing 717s

– New Central Park might lead to street closures downtown

RETAIL (back to top)
– Outagamie County Board rejects retail use of county land

– La Crosse cheese factory has slice of McDonald’s business

REGULATION (back to top)
– Wisconsin Government Accountability Board urged to regulate issue ads

TOURISM (back to top)
– Gov. Doyle gives $500,000 to Civil War Museum

– Harley riders arriving by the boatload

UTILITIES (back to top)
– DNR eyes $3 million in fixes for Appleton water plant

– New Berlin OKs water deal

– Brown Co. officials: Drinking water free of pharmaceuticals

– More wells being found contaminated

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Number of uninsured in U.S. drops for 1st time since 2000

– ThedaCare plans $10.5M upgrade

– Concordia gets million dollar prescription

– Health care gains status as election issue

– UW prof awarded grant to advance Social Security reform

– Deadline looming for flood-damage relief

– FDIC: 117 troubled banks, highest level since 2003

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– TomoTherapy finance officer to retire in 2009

– Thieding Elected President of Badger NAMA Chapter

– Business leaders may join Bucks in China

– Former paper company executive relishes new role with diocese

– Packers officer to give speech

– Next Door names new executive director

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Don’t sweat fantasy figures, expert says

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Business group bypasses bureaucracy, stuffiness of other associations

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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