(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 30 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The state’s oldest automobile dealership is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Madison’s Smart Motors was started in 1908 by O.D. Smith, who first ran it out of his father’s livery. The company now has a new 15,000-square foot showroom and is run by JR Smart, O.C.’s grandson.

“It was difficult for the manufacturers to get autos to the people and that’s how dealerships evolved,” said Smart. “The manufacturers could build the cars but couldn’t get them to the people that needed them.”

As automobiles began to appear, livery and bicycle businesses were natural fits to become car dealers, he said.

The first car sold by Smart Motors? A hand-built Apperson Jack Rabbit, which cost $5,000. That’s the equivalent of $122,000 today.

See story: http://www.channel3000.com/news/17032808/detail.html

— A storage tank explosion at a Tomahawk mill Tuesday killed three workers and injured a fourth.

Packaging Corp. of America said that the three workers were fatally injured when a tank used to store recycled fiber exploded while they were performing maintenance on top of it.

The injured worker was standing on a platform at a lower level of the tank when it exploded, the company said. The cause of the explosion was not known.

— Gov. Jim Doyle says the two most important things government can do to combat global warming are to set renewable energy use standards and establish a carbon cap-and-trade market.

While Doyle said a cap-and-trade market needs to be implemented on a national and global scale, he said it is important for the Midwest and other regions to act on it because the national government has failed to move forward.

Doyle, however, said the national situation could change after the November elections and that the Midwest needs to be ready.

Speaking in Milwaukee, Doyle said that while renewable energy efforts are important to the entire nation , that with its raw materials for energy production and its research capacity, Wisconsin “has particularly great benefits to realize from a real commitment to renewable energy” because of its abundance of raw materials for energy production and its research capacity.

— Doyle said he hasn’t spoken with any legislators regarding a special session to repeal the minimum markup law.

“I’ve been the one calling to get rid of this for a long time; we’ve never gotten past the legislative leadership on this,” Doyle said. “If they tell me they have the votes and they want to do it, I’ll call them in in a second.”

Doyle however, said that although he can call them in, they don’t have to show up and they don’t have to vote on anything.

“Unless the leaders really say they can deliver on this and they want to deliver on this, I’m not just going to go through the charade,” Doyle said.

— Regal Beloit is reporting second-quarter net income of $38.1 million, up nearly $2 million from $36.3 million during the same period a year ago.

The Beloit-based company said its quarterly net sales increased 31.9 percent to $606.3 million from $459.8 million a year earlier. Officials attributed the increase to a strong market demand for generators, industrial motors and high efficiency motors.

They said the company grew in spite of continued weakness in the residential HVAC market and unprecedented inflation in raw material costs.

See the release:


— The state is seeking $3.8 million from the federal government to help employees dislocated by the elimination of the second shift at the General Motors plant in Janesville.

Department of Workforce Development Secretary said in addition to GM workers, the money would help employees laid off at the Lear Corp., United Industries and Logistics Services because of the elimination of GM’s second shift. The application proposes serving 785 workers over the next two years with assessment, counseling, job training and placement services.

See the release:


— Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Co., which is in the midst of a restructuring plan, posted fiscal first quarter net earnings of $7.8 million, or 24 cents per share, which was down from $11.0 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s quarterly net sales grew to $499.7 million from $444.2 million.

During the quarter, Modine completed its previously announced sale of its Electronics Cooling business.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/7/29/#modine-restructuring-plan-moves-forward


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy.

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

*Energizer Holdings, Inc. Files Patent Infringement Complaint in Federal Court Against Spectrum Brands

*EPA Reaches Agreement With Journal Holdings on Clean-Air Violations

*Governor Doyle Recognizes Federal Tool & Engineering for Commitment to Worker Training

*Ladish Reports Sales of $119.0 Million and Net Income of $6.2 Million for 2nd Quarter 2008

*Landmark Book On Wisconsin Fishes Is Only A Cast Away Online

*Manpower Inc. Celebrates First Anniversary in Second Life

*Mary A. Winston Joins Board of Directors

*Nation’s First Littoral Combat Ship Under Way

*Regal Beloit Reports Record Sales and Earnings for the Second Quarter of 2008

*Rep. Kind Introduces Fair Disaster Tax Relief Act to Establish Nationwide Permanent Disaster Relief Program

*Shopko Announces New Apparel Brands

*Soil Scientist’s Fascination With Mineral Yields Plan For Battling It

*Sonic Foundry to Release 2008 Third Quarter Results on Thursday, July 31, 2008

*State’s Future Business Leaders “Race” For Success

*The Manitowoc Company Delivers Another Quarter of Solid Performance

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


Doyle advocates regional emissions plan: Gov. Jim Doyle on Tuesday defended plans to set up a Midwest regional system that would cap and reduce emissions linked to global warming beginning as soon as 2012. Doyle said he’s often asked why Wisconsin or the Midwest would get involved in an initiative that is also a matter being debated by the U.S. Congress. “Given that the federal government simply has not been moving strongly in this direction, it is important that the various regions of the country get to work,” he said.


Tomahawk mill explosion kills 3, injures fourth: A tank explosion Tuesday that killed three men and injured a fourth has left Tomahawk-area residents in states of shock, curiosity and concern. he explosion occurred at about 1:30 p.m. at Packaging Corp. of America in the town of Bradley, killing three employees who were performing maintenance on top of the tank, said Ron Zimmerman, human resources manager for Lake Forest, Ill.-based PCA. Video: Workers killed in tank explosion. A fourth person working nearby was injured and transported to a nearby hospital, Zimmerman said. The extent of the man’s injuries was unknown.



– Burns leave mill worker critical


– Explosion at mill shocks Tomahawk residents


Grede Foundries lays off 90: Grede Foundries announced Tuesday that 90 employees on one of its five molding lines will be laid off this week. However, a company official said he hopes to hire workers back soon. Grede also laid off about 80 employees in April, according to the company. “We haven’t seen our general business levels fall to this level in 18 years,” Vice President of Operations Todd Sternaman said. “The majority of our customers have experienced deteriorating sales this year, which has forced them to significantly reduce their orders for our products over the last few months.”


Mercury Marine To Lay Off 60, Halt Production: Boat engine maker Mercury Marine said it will cut 60 jobs and temporarily shut down production in Fond du Lac. The company has already announced layoffs at other facilities in the U.S. Spokesman Steve Fleming said slow boat sales and the poor economy have forced the company to cut costs. He said more layoffs could be coming, but he didn’t know how many.


Bush lends support to Great Lakes Compact: Supporters of the Great Lakes Compact will go into a Senate hearing today able to say that President Bush supports the agreement among eight states and two Canadian provinces. The president issued a statement Monday night urging “rapid approval” of the compact by Congress.



– Great Lakes states protect their water


State has little help to offer EAA as it looks to expand: Wisconsin’s tourism secretary said there’s little the state agency can do to help the Experimental Aircraft Association in its search for financial assistance to expand and reorganize its festival grounds. Secretary Kelli Trumble said state financial support for a project like EAA’s proposed $17.2 million upgrade and expansion does not exist, though the organization supports the proposed expansion. Trumble said the Tourism Department’s support would come in promoting and marketing an event with an economic impact that stretches across much of the state.


See more EAA news below in TRANSPORTATION


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)

– Madison: Opposition Arises Over Charter’s Plan To Move Public Access Channels


MANUFACTURING (back to top)

– Manitowoc tests new warship


– New recycling facility cost rises by $2 million


– Manufacturer finds certification pays off


– Bemis profits hurt by high materials costs


– Modine 1Q earnings down, but beats consensus


– Twin Disc 4Q sales slip


LABOR (back to top)

– Minimum wage increase sought


– Wisconsin Seeks Federal Aid For GM Workers; Money Would Help 785 People Over Next 2 Years


SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)

– Oldest Auto Dealer In State Celebrates 100 Years


REAL ESTATE (back to top)

– Madison: Nonresidential construction contracts up here, residential down in June


– ‘Car-Light’ Neighborhood Could Be In Madison’s Future


– Madison: Council President Wants To Revitalize Burr Oaks Neighborhood


– Help is on the way as mortgage plan nears enactment


AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)

– Corn growth behind schedule


– Farmers in Wisconsin, nation to produce more wheat


– Ethanol plant info coming


– Sassy Cow: direct from creamery to customer


TRANSPORTATION (back to top)

– AirTran to cut capacity


– Bad weather, rising costs could hurt Wisconsin roads


– New jet packs take off at Oshkosh event


– EAA visitors get first glimpse of rocket-powered race planes


– A glimpse of space tourism will come to Oshkosh next year


RETAIL (back to top)

– Smith makes Mayfair national destination


– Good Harvest Market to open new location in Third Ward


– Milwaukee Public Market lands organic grocer


– Wisconsin craft beer sales still rising, despite economy


– Three area Elder-Beerman, Younkers stores to become Boston Stores


– Russ Darrow III buys two more dealerships


REGULATION (back to top)

– Feds find unsafe, unsound lending practices at Beaver Dam bank


– Inspectors ensure Fair food safety


– Feds indict 3 for attack on U.S. Forest Service


TOURISM (back to top)

– Sheboygan gets back to bratwurst


– Madison: Frautschi buttresses Overture trust fund with another $3 million


UTILITIES (back to top)

– New Berlin would pay regional water fee



– Merger costs cut into Fiserv earnings


MANAGEMENT (back to top)

– Harley-Davidson adds Cummins exec to board


BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)

– Imagine: Milwaukee the tax haven?


– U.S Bank Championship is an asset worth saving


Media Partners
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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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