(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 9 April 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Landmark Services Cooperative, a farmer-owned cooperative, has been awarded a $4 million state grant to build a soybean crushing plant in Evansville with the capacity to process 20 million bushels of soybeans annually.

In announcing the grant, Gov. Jim Doyle said the facility will be the first in the state to create soybean oil destined to become biodiesel.

“The soybeans Wisconsin grows so well will stay here in the state, get processed in Evansville and may end up fueling the tractors along these roads,” Doyle said.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=123090

— A Mellman Group/Public Opinion Strategies poll indicates an increasing level of public support for a statewide smoking ban in Wisconsin since last year.

The poll shows 69 percent of those polled favored a statewide smoke-free law, while 28 percent opposed it. In a February 2007 statewide survey, 64 percent favored the law while 24 percent were opposed.

The poll also showed that 78 percent of respondents believe a ban is likely to become state law in the next two years and that 60 percent were inclined to support a candidate who favored the statewide ban.

“The public in Wisconsin is actually way out in front of the Legislature on this one,” said Nathan Henry of the Mellman Group.

The poll was paid for by groups that support a statewide smoking ban, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Smokefree Wisconsin.

*See the poll summary:
*See the press release:
*Listen to the press conference:

— General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee is reporting another record month for passenger volume.

The airport said it served 593,973 passengers during February, up 10.79 percent from the 536,142 passengers using Mitchell in February 2007. For the first two months of the year, passenger numbers are up 8.78 percent over the same period in 2007.

U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that Mitchell moved up to 49th from 50th largest U.S. airport in number of passengers served. Mitchell ranks among the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in the number of nonstop destinations.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/4/8/#milwaukee-airport-has-another-record-month



WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com have four events scheduled for April and May.

— April 14: University Research Park Director Mark Bugher

— April 22: Dale Van Atta, author of the new biography “With Honor; Melvin Laird in War, Peace, and Politics.” (See an excerpt from the book: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=122814)

— May 5: Branding expert Marsha Lindsay

— May 6: Wis. Elections expert Robert Booth Fowler

See details on all the events:





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Press Releases
‘Dan Rather Reports’ to Unlock the Secrets of Mind Science
Digital Project Puts Aldo Leopold Papers Online
Governor Doyle Announces $4 Million for First Soybean Crushing Facility in State
Honeywell HomMed Wins 2008 Medical Design Excellence Award for Genesis DM Remote Care Device
Johnson Controls and Versar, Inc. Joint Venture Awarded Air Force Infrastructure Contract
Manpower Inc. to Announce 1st Quarter 2008 Earnings Results
Midwest Air Group Reports March Performance
United Vacations Launches Its Largest Giveaway to Date
Wisconsin Receives $50,000 to Provide Innovative Resources to Teachers

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


Work force cut at paper mill: Nearly 70 positions will be eliminated at Appleton Coated LLC in a streamlining move announced Tuesday. “We’ve announced a reduction in work force of approximately 10 percent,” said Ann Whalen, senior vice president of marketing and customer services. A total of 69 positions will be eliminated, including 24 salaried posts, 40 in the bargaining unit and five contracted workers, Whalen said. The firm employs about 700 people in the Fox Cities. Whalen said the reductions at the paper mill, 540 Prospect St. in Combined Locks, will be accomplished mainly by eliminating open positions and through voluntary resignations.

Doyle awards Landmark $4 million soybean grant : Gov. Jim Doyle today awarded a $4 million state grant to Landmark Services Cooperative for the construction of Wisconsin’s first soybean crushing facility. Landmark, a farmer-owned co-op, will match the grant to build a plant with the capacity to process 20 million bushels of soybeans annually. The plant will be located next to where construction on North Prairie Production’s biodiesel plant is stalled on the city’s east side. Doyle presented the grant to Landmark board president John Blaska this afternoon at the co-op’s Evansville facility. Doyle commended the bipartisan work of Rep. Brett Davis, R-Oregon, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, to have the grant included in the state budget.

LDI Composites in Green Bay lays off 34 workers: Green Bay building supplier cites industry slowdown… LDI Composites in Green Bay laid off 34 employees Friday, citing a national downturn in the construction industry as the cause. “We are just really reacting to the overall slowness in the industry,” said Lanny Jass, general manager of LDI Composites. Jass said building industry suppliers are experiencing 30 percent to 35 percent drops in sales. “We are trying to achieve balance,” he said. The plant at 1518 S. Broadway retains 21 employees. A Rapid Response team from Bay Area Workforce Development Board will meet with laid-off workers next week, said Scott Anderson, director of grants, accommodations and support services at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Doyle signs bill requiring fire-safe cigarettes: All cigarettes sold in Wisconsin will have to be the type that automatically extinguish when they’re not being smoked under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle. Wisconsin now joins 22 other states in requiring that only fire-safe cigarettes be sold. The measure had the support of firefighters and emergency responders and was not opposed by tobacco companies. Doyle signed the bill at a Beloit fire station on Tuesday. He says the new law will ensure that smokers reduce the risk they pose to themselves and others.

Support rises for statewide smoking ban: Survey shows 69 percent want law… Support for a statewide smoking ban covering all bars, restaurants and workplaces is increasing, a new survey shows. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents said they support such a law. That was up from 64 percent who were surveyed in February 2007. The survey, sponsored by groups that support a ban but conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic polling firms, was released Tuesday. Gov. Jim Doyle along with anti-smoking groups pushed for a ban this year. But under opposition from a lobbying group representing bars, lawmakers failed to reach a deal before the session ended for the year last month.

Comment leads to evacuation of nuclear power plant in Wis.: There are at least two places not to joke about blowing something up — at an airport and at a convenience store down the road from a nuclear power plant. A 23-year-old man from Hull, Mass., apparently learned the lesson the hard way on Tuesday. He entered the convenience store about 7:15 a.m. and asked for directions to Nuclear Road, site of the Point Beach nuclear power plant. He and the clerk chatted for a bit, and as he was leaving the clerk heard him say he “came to blow up the place.” The clerk called police and reported the man, whose name was not released. Officers tracked down his rental car at the power plant and detained him for questioning.

Trek seeks to dump LeMond: It says famed cyclist’s comments about Armstrong disparaged brand… Trek Bicycle Corp. moved Tuesday to sever its relationship with three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond as a nasty dispute involving champion cyclists, suspicions of drug use and business intrigue bubbled to the surface in federal court. Enmeshed in the soap opera that professional cycling has become, the case appears to turn on the bad feeling between LeMond and seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong. Stuck in the middle is Trek, which until now has maintained ties to both men. Since 1995, Trek has made and sold LeMond brand bicycles. Since 1999, however, the Waterloo-based firm also has banked its marketing efforts largely on Armstrong, who came back from cancer to win tour after tour – on Trek bikes.


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)
– St. Norbert gets funds for Health Services Dept. upgrades

– City settles with IT employees

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Landmark Services Receives Grant for Soybean Crushing Facility

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Wisconsin’s rich, poor gap grows

– Report: Gas price will rise

– Menasha Packaging eyes taking over Sky Club East land

– Koss 3Q earnings slide

– Best Western teams with Harley-Davidson

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Johnson Controls venture wins Air Force contract

– Badger Meter buys meter reading technology

– Oshkosh Corp. will issue earnings May 1

– Slowing economy can’t stop steel prices

LABOR (back to top)
– Survey: Second quarter job trend looks bleak

– Grant will train Rock county workers

– Mediator enters Tosa teacher talks

– Board OKs Janesville teachers contract

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– The Blue Heron sweetens downtown Winneconne

– ‘Animal House’ actor sells eatery

INVESTING (back to top)
– Criticare shareholders accept tender offer

– Dow ends day down

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Local Multiple Listing Service search goes green

– Plan features new Downtown library

– Truax plan seeks to double housing

– Downtown McGrath apartment plan delayed

– Green Bay will buy problem properties along East Walnut Street

– Buyer has plans for St. Coletta property

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Workshops slated about storing carbon

– MN Bovine TB Status Lowered; New Rules Apply for Cattle

– UW-Madison Veterinary School Receives Large Inheritance

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Mitchell passenger totals up 10.8 percent

– Boardings at Austin Streubel still rising

– Council OKs electric vehicles

– Better streets, housing top mayor’s wish list

RETAIL (back to top)
– City targets Kelley’s for cheap beer

– Retailers feeling the pinch of gas prices, too

– Costume retailer finds a better fit

REGULATION (back to top)
– DNR proposes stricter new rules to regulate invasive species

– Landlords must have photo proof of tenant damage

– Smoking bans pick up steam in latest poll

– Developer, landowners slug it out in court

TOURISM (back to top)
– Recreational uses of Stewardship lands bring debate on access, preservation

– Park project wins popularity contest

– Council approves using city’s borrowing power for Sports Complex

UTILITIES (back to top)
– FBI among units probing threat against nuclear plant

– Sewer to La Crescent almost ready, but Barron Island line hits legal snag

– Pickwick Mill could soon generate power

– Blackout fallout

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Wisconsin’s top health official resigns after short tenure

– Market woes also hit hospitals

– Business Health Care Group says programs are working

– WPS’ drive for organ donors revs up

– Procter & Gamble will donate tetanus vaccines

– S&P lowers MGIC’s credit rating on fear of losses

– Succession process continues at West Bend Mutual

– Mutual arrangement

– Credit union’s auto sales business in limbo

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Trek, LeMond breaking up

– Kimberly-Clark grant boosts birth-to-5 initiative

– In defense of community bank

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: Shed no tears for state, Bear Stearns divorce

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Women at home with financial courses

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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