(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 2 July 2009

THU WisBusiness News Summary
2 July 2009
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— The national unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent in June, the highest rate in 26 years. The rate increase was more than expected, and came from employers cutting 467,000 jobs.

See more below in TOP STORIES

— The state’s agriculture interests are generally satisified with the $62 billion state budget signed into law this week, especially considering some of the proposals that were included in the bill and then removed.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau spokesman Casey Langan said farmers dodged a bullet on a proposed “11th-hour” change that would have greatly increased property taxes for farmers with land near towns and cities.

Sue Beitlich, president of the more left-leaning Wisconsin Farmers Union, said the budget was “about as good as could be expected considering the huge shortfalls that are anticipated.

“Clearly, there is nothing that is helping the dairy farmer who is in a world of hurt right now because of low milk prices,” she said. “But most of that needs to be dealt with at the federal level.”

See more in a new WisBusiness story:

— The Farm Bureau says Wisconsin food prices fell by 4 percent over the past three months.

That’s good news for consumers but could be trouble for farmers who are getting paid less for their products.

Some of the biggest decreases: A gallon of whole milk was down nearly 11 percent; a dozen eggs went for $1.14, down nearly 13 percent; and a pound of sirloin tip roast went for $3.36, a drop of more than 16 percent

It was the third straight quarter to see a dip in the Farm Bureau’s survey of state grocery prices.

See details:

— In his new book “Blue Collar & Proud of It,” author Joe Lamacchia explains how to take advantage of the rosy future for blue-collar jobs.

WisBusiness book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer says the book offers support for the undecided, sound reasoning for parents, and a huge list of schools and programs for anyone who’s considering a blue-collar job or employment in the new “green collar” sector.

See the review:

— Coinciding with the opening week of “Public Enemies,” a movie partly filmed in Wisconsin chronicling the life of bank robber John Dillinger, the Wisconsin Bankers Association is joining with state and federal law enforcement agencies to unveil the “No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses, No Guns” campaign, a voluntary program designed as a deterrent for bank robbers.

“The movie, by all reports, is very good but it does portray John Dillinger as a folk hero rather than the dangerous criminal he really was,” said Kurt Bauer, WBA president/CEO. “We want to remind the public that bank robbers are dangerous individuals who put the public and bank employees at risk.”

See details on the program:

Meanwhile, residents of Columbus, where a portion of the movie was filmed, were treated to a special screening at Madison’s Eastgate Cinemas.

See the story: http://www.channel3000.com/news/19924747/detail.html


Madison firm expands alliance with Roche: Cellular Dynamics International Inc., a firm co-founded by stem cell pioneer and University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher James Thomson, is expanding a research and development agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche.http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2009/06/29/daily45.html

CUNA Mutual to sell IRA Services division : CUNA Mutual Group in Madison said Wednesday it signed a letter of intent to sell its IRA Services division to Ascensus, a retirement services firm based in Dresher, Pa. The sale is part of CUNA Mutual’s overall corporate strategy to simplify its business and focus on its core insurance business and products, President and CEO Jeff Post said.

Briggs & Stratton to close Jefferson plant: Briggs & Stratton will eliminate 430 jobs and close its Jefferson facility that makes pressure washers and portable generators by mid next year.

Oshkosh Corp. buoyed by $1 billion military contract: A $1.05 billion military order will translate into several months of work for Fox Cities operations of Oshkosh Corp.

Some fireworks retailers feeling pinch of economy : Some fireworks retailers in central Wisconsin say the sour economy is affecting their sales heading into the Fourth of July weekend.


See commentary from around the state and columns from WisBusiness contributors Jennifer Sereno, Kevin McKinley, Tom Burzinski, Gregg Hoffmann, Tom Still and Steve Jagler:


BIOTECH (back to top)
– Gentel is marketing biological testing kit

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Gannett to lay off 1,400 employees

– Markets see slight rise, eye jobs data

– Milwaukee area losing jobs faster than most metro areas in region

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Local suppliers, contractors hope to benefit from Oshkosh armored-vehicle contract

– Measure of local manufacturing improves, but few convinced

– Grede seeks bankruptcy protection

LABOR (back to top)
– ICE launches workplace immigration crackdown

– Displaced workers look ahead to new careers

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Travel Guard brings growth to Point

– High prices force successful marriage of baker, diner

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Opus East, West to file for bankruptcy

– Wisconsin gets $35.6M for affordable housing

– Pending home sales slip in Midwest

– Lender sues to foreclose on Mitchell Square project

– Alderman wants city to help finance New Land high-rise

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Big year expected after ’08 wipeout

– Doyle Calls New State Budget ‘Agriculturally-Friendly’

– Co-op forming in Iowa County aims at rural economic development

RETAIL (back to top)
– Franklin Sendik’s succumbs to economy

– StoneFire Pizza owners face foreclosure suit

– Roundy’s recalls beef

REGULATION (back to top)
– Oconomowoc restaurateur pays tax bill, retains liquor license

TOURISM (back to top)
– EAA AirVenture hosts crew of US Airways flight

– State budget accelerates Bradley Center funding

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Doyle vetoes increased funding for citizen utility advocates

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Community health centers get $3.5 million in stimulus funds

– Milwaukee minority firm counsels $1.5B Wisconsin bond sale

– Sunset Bank approved for $5.6 million in TARP funds

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Darin Kath, Integrity Mutual Insurance Co. CEO, resigns

PRESS RELEASES (back to top)
· ActionCOACH of Elm Grove: Announces Chris Carman Achieves Gold Master Coach Status
· AG Van Hollen: Joins in crackdown on scammers trying to take advantage of the economic downturn
· Cornerstone Business Services: Bascom invests in Z-Basics to help facilitate growth
· Engineered Construction, Inc.: USDA joins the Old Sauk Trails Park family
· Gov. Doyle: Announces $2.3 million grant to assist General Motors, other auto-related workers in south central Wisconsin
· Gov. Doyle: Announces $280,000 Brownfield Grant to Silverstone Partners, Inc.
· Gov. Doyle: Announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at Appleton Papers
· Gov. Doyle: Announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at Berry Floor USA, Inc., in Racine
· Gov. Doyle: Announces additional assistance for dislocated workers at Bourns Automotive Division in Janesville
· GWC Technologies: Awarded NSF grant to develop novel protein microarray products
· Lt. Gov. Lawton: New tools to expand loan access for Wisconsin small businesses
· MGE: Celebrates 10-year anniversary of Wisconsin’s first commercial wind farm
· MMAC: May Economic Trends Report
· Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.: Jennifer R. D’Amato elected to Reinhart’s board of directors
· Summit Credit Union: Diane Halvorson celebrates 35 years at Summit Credit Union
· Sun Prairie: Family Circle names Sun Prairie a top ten city for families
· U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development: Donovan awards $35.6 million to jump-start affordable housing construction in Wisconsin
· Wis. Farm Bureau: Retail food prices decrease in second quarter of 2009
· Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance: Ethanol blender pumps provide fuel choices for consumers in Wisconsin
· Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation: Appoints Ken Pientka as director of Midwest energy programs

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

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