SAMPLE: WisBusiness News Summary

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MON News Summary

29 Aug. 2011

Exclusively for WisBusiness Subscribers

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— The company seeking to develop an iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties spent 685 hours and nearly $115,000 lobbying state lawmakers during the first six months of the year.

According to its filings with the Government Accountability Board, Gogebic Taconite spent three quarters of its effort — nearly 514 hours — specifically on mining issues, the most of any group to lobby on mining between January and June.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce also lobbied heavily on mining issues, according to the GAB’s lobbying database, with 450 hours on mining regulation in the first six months of the year. That represented 21 percent of WMC’s total lobbying effort during that span, the largest single topic lobbied by the business group. WMC spent a total of 2,144 hours and $193,244 on lobbying from January through June.

Environmental groups lobbied on mining issues as well, including 163 hours by Clean Wisconsin Inc. — 12 percent of its total effort — and nearly 113 hours, or 7 percent of its six-month total, by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. The Sierra Club’s state chapter reported three hours lobbied on the topic.

— Gogebic, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Cline Mining Corp., began touting the mine late last year, pledging it would generate millions in economic development and thousands of high-wage jobs for the economically struggling region.

But Gogebic announced in June that it was putting the project on hold pending legislative changes to state mining regulations. A bill that would have expedited state permitting for the iron mine was the subject of considerable debate during the contentious spring legislative floor session, but was never formally introduced.

Gov. Scott Walker, however, says such a measure is a top priority for the fall, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has said Dem Sen. Bob Jauch — who represents the area — vowed to work with GOP lawmakers on the legislation if it was moved to the fall floor session.


– On Sept. 8 Sens. Tim Cullen, a Democrat, and Dale Schultz, a Republican, talk about the state Senate post-recalls;

– And on Sept. 27, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, discusses the federal
budget, the debt and the 2012 U.S. Senate race.

The events are open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. The luncheons start at 11:45 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861 or email is

The sponsors for this year’s luncheon series are: American Family Insurance, Aurora Health Care, University Research Park, Wal-Mart, WHD Law, and Xcel Energy.


Ethanol uncertainties prevail as harvest nears: Wisconsin’s farm crops are flourishing, yet agribusinesses are worried about the outlook for ethanol, a corn-based biofuel, and the global economy. The corn harvest is projected to be 3.28 million acres this year, making Wisconsin eighth in the nation in corn production, according to commodity analysts. … The USDA recently projected a 9 percent increase in the use of corn for ethanol production in 2011, the report noted. But Congress is considering ending the tax credit, which could hurt ethanol sales and reduce farmers’ incomes.

Child care cost in Wisconsin high, study finds: Sending a child to day care in Wisconsin can cost thousands more than a year of tuition at one of the state’s colleges. A new national study by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies found Wisconsin is one of the least affordable states for child care services when compared with median income. The average cost of sending a 4-year-old child to a center-based care provider in 2010 was $9,050 a year — or 11.4 percent of the state’s median income for a two-parent family — fourth highest in the country. The average cost of infant care is about $10,500.

Mauston: Development could have big impact: A large sports complex proposed near Mauston could be a game-changer for Juneau County in addition to a place for youth to play games, people close to the project told area business leaders at a meeting this week. … Businessman Damon Zumwalt has already begun construction of the Woodside Sports Complex in the town of Lemonweir a few miles east of Mauston. The complex Zumwalt intends to complete will be the largest synthetic turf sports complex in the nation and hold 14 baseball and softball fields, eight soccer fields, indoor facilities for basketball and volleyball, dormitories and more.

Health insurer to drop state employees: Thousands of state employees and their family members across a large swath of west-central Wisconsin will have to find a new health insurance provider next year, the leader of a local insurance company said Friday. Beginning in January, Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire no longer will provide health insurance to state employees in several west-central Wisconsin counties — including Eau Claire — said Pete Farrow, the cooperative’s CEO and general manager. … WEA Trust, a Madison-based insurance provider, will begin providing coverage to state workers in the region next year, filling the void left by Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire

Report: Wisconsin is Top State for Forest Industry Jobs, Products: A recent study by the American Forest and Paper Association shows that Wisconsin is the nation’s top state in forestry jobs, employing 56,533 workers; and in economic value of wood and paper products shipped at a combined total of $16 billion.

After acquisition, Ruud Lighting rewards employees: Two days after an announcement that Ruud Lighting was being acquired for $525 million, all 750-plus employees received the largest bonuses the company had ever handed out. … Ruud Lighting President Chris Ruud on Friday confirmed his family gave the employees bonuses Aug. 19 but declined to provide any dollar figures. He said, however, “They were larger than any of the prior bonus checks.” Executives met with groups of employees all day, and employees received their bonuses at the end of the day, Ruud said.


See commentary from around the state and columns from WisBusiness contributors:


TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Consumer complaints continue to rise against Element Mobile

– New app from Physicians Plus helps tell when your symptoms are serious

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Fed’s future actions unclear

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Inventory tightens for Harley dealers

– Motorcycle Maker Keeps Tight Rein On Production

– Suzy’s project moves Menomonee Valley closer to jobs goal

– Lake Superior Laser moves to new location

– Whitewater company sends generators and crews head to aid with East Coast hurricane

– John Deere’s Horicon Plant Celebrates 100 Years of Business

– Weston residents seek fast finish to mining project to cut down on dust, noise

– Sand mine proposal gets a vote

LABOR (back to top)
– Metalworking jobs offer high pay, security

– GOP Politicians Banned From Labor Day Parade

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– New Waupun business offers stress relief

– Making eyeglasses fit for a princess

– “Sconnie Nation” keeps growing

– Custom car shop firing on all cylinders

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Winter Services to move HQ to West Allis

– Lakefront office tower gets skeptical reception

– Mortgage crisis changes are transforming home sales

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin farmland gets pricey to rent

– Schultz Re-Instated as Chair of Senate Agriculture Committee

– Wisconsin officials start work on timber-clearing plan

– Ernest and Joseph Haugen preserving a tradition on the farm

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– In effort to boost local economy, ATVs allowed on Tomahawk roads

– Weston puts brakes on bus service

– Riders fight to save Weston bus service

RETAIL (back to top)
– Renaissance Learning draws second offer

– Master Lock staying put after October spinoff

REGULATION (back to top)
– Quarterly registration deadline nears for Wisconsin’s No Call List

– Grand Rapids air quality to be studied

– Sign regulations may change

TOURISM (back to top)
– Ricks International Tattoo Convention in Green Bay attracts artists, customers

– Tourism grants help communities land conventions

– Green Bay Packers season opener a boon for hotels

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Green Bay utility contractor wins bids, but needs partner

– Neenah-Menasha sewage plant upgrade studied

– Solar light pipes on display in Green Bay on Tuesday

– Wisconsin Group Asks EPA To Make Changes At We Energies

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Madison: Pay to top area health care executives exceeds national average

– New spinal facility to open at VA medical center

– University of Wisconsin has yet to finish disciplining doctors who wrote sick notes for union bill protesters

– Bias charged in release of report on health care reform

– Age, wage to play big roles in health cost

– Hartland money manager considers community banks a good investment

– Beaver Dam: Summit Credit Union moves

– Two Wisconsin banks fined by FDIC

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Executive Q&A: Future looking bright for Anteco Pharma

– New leadership in place at Badger Corrugating

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– One poor jobs report won’t cause the world to end

PRESS RELEASES (back to top)

· Bakke Norman Law Firm: Attorney Siv Yurichuk joins Bakke Norman Law Firm
· City of Waukesha: Officials meet with Oak Creek and Racine to discuss possible purchase of Great Lakes water
· DATCP: Registration due Sept. 2 for humane officer training
· DATCP: Reminds farmworkers of best practices when seeking a job
· Dept. of Tourism: Secretary Klett profile featured in Wisconsin Trails
· Gold Badge Driver Training: First to offer innovative defensive training to students
· Gov. Walker, DNR: Wisconsin top state for forestry industry jobs and products
· Gov. Walker: Seeks applicants for student representative on the Wisconsin Technical College System Board
· K-Sun: St. Croix Industries makes good use of equipment donation
· Lawrence University: Awarded $552,000 NSF grant for advanced research instrumentation
· Madison College: Receives “green” grant from Thermo Fisher Scientific
· Madison Public Library Foundation: Challenge grant to spark Central Library fundraising
· MGS Mfg. Group: Opens molding facility in Ireland
· Michael Best: Milwaukee office welcomes intellectual property attorney
· Quarles & Brady: Moskol named a “2011 Up and Coming Lawyer” by Wisconsin Law Journal
· Stateline World Trade Association: September program set; new Milwaukee foreign-trade zone boosts economic development
· Tobin Solutions: Announces Bryan Scharpf joins iT solutions company
· U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Salazar announces $53 million in grants to support habitat acquisition and conservation planning for endangered species; Missouri, Wisconsin among grant recipients
· Wis. Dental Association Foundation: 245 elderly, disabled receive $762,000 in donated dental care
· Madison area food enthusiast gets national attention

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