FRI AM News: Conservation efforts bringing down nutrient pollution levels; WisBusiness: The Podcast with Barbara Hastie of PoWER

— Conservation efforts last year kept out of the environment at least 215,000 pounds of phosphorous and more than 95,000 pounds of nitrogen.

That’s according to an annual report from the DNR and DATCP. 

Phosphorus makes up 47 percent of all water pollution in the state, the report shows. And 46 percent of all water pollution in Wisconsin comes from many diffuse sources, as nonpoint source pollution. Rainfall or melting snow can carry pollutants over the surface of the ground into waterways. 

Report authors emphasize their findings only capture “a fraction” of the likely total reductions in pollution from last year’s conservation efforts, as not all impacts of those efforts are tracked by the data sources they used. 

The 2018 Wisconsin Land and Water Annual Report spotlights specific conservation efforts from last year in 15 counties, showing how farmers and others are working to mitigate their environmental impacts. 

See more: 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: The Podcast” is with returning guest Barbara Hastie, founder and CEO of a startup called PoWER, which stands for Protecting Women Every Ride. 

She explains how the recent OnRamp Healthcare Conference in Green Bay helped her realize new avenues for her early-stage business, which aims to provide rider- and driver-side security certification for rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. 

“We have been trying to team up and get some strategic partnerships with a few health care systems,” she said. “What will happen is that individuals may schedule a surgery… They do all the preparation, and then they show up by an Uber. And then the surgeon has to verify they have a safe and secure ride home.” 

But she says some care providers aren’t allowed to send certain patients home with rideshare services. Hastie says that can lead to important procedures being cancelled altogether when the patient doesn’t have a guaranteed safe ride home. She sees an opportunity there to certify rideshare drivers for those patients. 

“We’re the answer,” she said. “We can certify the drivers and have them PoWER-certified, so they’re safe and secure. We can guarantee, that for all intents and purposes.” 

Hastie says the PoWER team has been testing security protocols and developing the app as they work toward launching the platform. 

“Hopefully, some of these meetings and these strategic partnerships we’re building will really allow us to make a big splash,” she said. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See a full list of podcasts, sponsored by UW-Madison: 

— Small businesses in Wisconsin were awarded $780 million in prime federal contracts in 2018, a recent report from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows. 

A release highlights Advancia Aeronautics, a Milwaukee company that got a $8.3 million contract last year with the Defense Health Agency. 

“Many Badger State businesses grow and expand when they win federal contracts, which can generate a stable income stream even at smaller dollar levels,” said Eric Ness, SBA’s Wisconsin district director. 

On the national level, the report shows $120.8 billion in prime federal contracts went to small businesses last year, representing about 25 percent of the federal contracting dollars for that year. 

See the report:–small-business-procurement-scorecard-overview 

— A Foxconn newsletter produced by WEDC indicates the facility in Racine County would not be completed until 2021, raising concerns about a potential delay in the project. 

But a Foxconn spokesperson noted that in previous statements, the Taiwanese manufacturer had stated its goal was to have the plant operational by Q4 2020 and remains on course to meet that goal. 

The spokesperson said the timeframe for work on the buildings and infrastructure extends out through early 2021. 

See the email:…id-opportunities/

— The Evers administration has brought on a consulting firm to advise it on Foxconn and the kinds of products the Taiwanese tech manufacturer will be making, according to a media report. 

The report shows the state Department of Administration has contracted with Texas-based Display Supply Chain Consultants LLC, headed by co-founder Bob O’Brien. 

See more below in Foxconn Reports. 

— A drug-pricing transparency bill championed by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and now heads for a vote in the full Senate. 

According to a release from the Madison Dem’s office, the FAIR Drug Pricing Act was included as an amendment to the Lower Health Care Costs Act, which was introduced by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, and Patty Murray, a Washington Dem. 

“For too long, I’ve heard story after story from Wisconsinites who are struggling to afford the life-saving medications they need. Drug corporations are making prescription drugs more expensive with no systematic transparency to taxpayers,” Baldwin said in a release.  

She said the bipartisan legislation would demand answers from drug companies “who are jacking up the prices on the medications that Americans need.” If the bill becomes law, drug manufacturers would be required to disclose information about planned increases to drug prices, including research and development costs. 

Those drug makers would have to send the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a “transparency and justification report” 30 days before increasing the price of certain drugs that cost at least $100 by more than 10 percent in one year, or by 25 percent over three years. 

See the release: 

— Madison-based Epic consulting firm Bluetree has been acquired by a national health system called Providence St. Joseph Health. 

A release shows the Washington-based health system is one of the largest Epic customers in the world, with facilities in seven states. Providence St. Joseph Health also works with a number of independent hospitals and other care providers. 

Bluetree was founded in 2012 by former employees of Epic. The release shows the company has more than 140 clients around the country, and Bluetree expects to increase that number due to the acquisition. 

See more:

— Xcel Energy has launched a new program for electric customers that provides a small annual incentive for those willing to relinquish full control of their “smart” thermostats. 

Participants in AC Rewards program get $25 per year for allowing Xcel Energy to “make adjustments” to their thermostat during peak usage times, such as hot summer days. According to the Eau Claire company, those adjustments could help reduce strain on the electric grid by reducing the amount of time that air conditioning is being used. 

Customers will need a qualifying connected thermostat product to participate. 

See more on the program: 

See the release: 


# Enbridge wins Wisconsin Supreme Court battle over oil pipeline insurance

# Report: Milwaukee County’s infrastructure backlog could total more than $400 million by 2023

# Summerfest Tech concludes with Marcus Lemonis personally giving $10K to Milwaukee startup

# Habitat For Humanity looks to develop large-scale housing community in Sun Prairie



– State holstein farms recognized as ‘Herds of Excellence’ winners

– USDA-NRCS public conservation meetings announced


– On the level: Despite enduring biases, Osheim sees women advancing in construction


– Merged PAVE, Schools That Can organization unveils new name, executive leader


– Construction to start soon for Bay View sushi restaurant


– Evers’ Administration hires outside expert to advise it on Foxconn and the flat-panel display industry

– Foxconn contractor seeking vendors for design-related products

– Foxconn appears to push back opening of Mount Pleasant plant


– Proposed dog breeding facility for medical research draws ire of Spring Green residents


– Marcus Investments seeks limited partners for $80M retail real estate fund


– Quad, LSC seek quick hearing on DOJ lawsuit


– Discovery World names Bryan Wunar new president and CEO


– California LED products manufacturer bringing overseas work to new Brookfield HQ


– Next Door, United Community Center get $13.5 million in Head Start funding


– New office and restaurant building planned next to Good Harvest Market in Waukesha

– Exact Sciences unveils new lab facility on south side


– Los Angeles-based X-Golf simulator coming to Brookfield


– Harley-Davidson displaying LiveWire at Summerfest, sees EV as ride-share, transit alternative

– Discovery World names Bryan Wunar new president and CEO

– Jefferson Co. Farm Tech selling planters to raise funds


– Young leaders say city of Milwaukee needs diverse transit options


– Report: WI has nation’s most cost-effective energy efficiency

– Opposition mounts to We Energies’ proposed fee on solar customers


– Darrell Lancour and Dan Goodier: Joint Finance recommendations will support long-term care

– D.J. Eckberg: Policy races to catch up with Wisconsin’s drinking culture


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

North Shore Bank: Announces Kate Johnson as new Vice President of Marketing

SCEDC: Opportunity and informed decisions: My path to entrepreneurship

Manpower Group: Appoints Michelle Nettles Chief People and Culture Officer

WEDC: MARKETPLACE 2019 conference on business development set for October in Milwaukee