FRI AM News: Madison, Milwaukee rank among top 17 ‘Rust Belt’ cities for economic recovery; WisBusiness: the Podcast with Sheila Long, founder of MalamaDoe

— Madison and Milwaukee have been ranked among the top 17 “Rust Belt” cities for their economic performance following the most recent financial crisis. 

The study ranks Madison second and Milwaukee 13th, based on metrics such as unemployment reduction, income growth, reduction in poverty and other measures. The rankings come from CommercialCafe, an online commercial real estate data aggregator operated by Yardi Systems, a large software company based in California. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the study shows Madison experienced 14 percent population growth in the past 10 years, while incomes have grown nearly 22 percent. 

Unemployment in Madison has gone down more than 41 percent in that time, and the number of bachelor’s degrees has grown nearly 16 percent. 

Meanwhile, the number of housing units increased more than 9 percent and the median home value rose nearly 6 percent. 

Still, the study identifies shortcomings in Madison’s recovery, including a nearly 6 percent increase in poverty, and a 6 percent decrease in labor force participation. 

Compared to the other 17 top Rust Belt comeback stories, Madison had the highest reduction in unemployment and the second-highest population growth. The study shows Madison’s current median wage is $65,072, the highest on the list. 

And Madison has the highest percentage of college-educated workers of the 17 cities that made the list, with about 31 percent having at least a bachelor’s degree. 

See more: 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” features Sheila Long, founder of MalamaDoe, a Milwaukee-area coworking community for women. 

“We’re an inclusive working community for every woman, so we’re all about building community one woman at a time,” she said. “And we really want to help women increase their reach in business and grow businesses, or grow their place at the table.” 

The companies represented in Malamadoe are diverse, including a battery technology company, an attorney focused on startups and nonprofits, a travel agency, an online clothing retailer and other women-led businesses. 

Long discusses the importance of leadership and role models in her coworking space, and gives her take on what leaders in the state can do to foster the growth of women-led companies. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

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

— GE Healthcare has announced FDA approval for its Critical Care Suite, which combines artificial intelligence software with a mobile X-ray machine. 

According to Ben Fox, the company’s director of global communications, Wisconsin-based manufacturing teams are building the systems, and the algorithms are being integrated into X-ray devices in Waukesha. 

A release from the company shows the AI software can help radiologists more quickly diagnose a type of collapsed lung called pneumothorax. 

Tom McGuinness, the company’s CEO and president of imaging, wrote in a blog post that “minutes matter” when dealing with a collapsed lung. He notes it’s a life-threatening condition, affecting about 74,000 people in the U.S. each year and many more around the world. 

GE Healthcare partnered with clinical research scientists at UC-San Francisco Medical Center to create the Critical Care Suite. 

“These next-gen AI algorithms automatically and almost instantaneously scan chest X-rays and flag pneumothorax with impressive accuracy,” McGuinness said. “The AI then triggers immediate alerts to the radiologists to escalate the review high-priority images which could help expedite treatment.” 

He says the new system could “drastically cut” the average review time for the condition, which is currently up to eight hours in some cases. 

Jie Xue, CEO and president of X-ray at GE Healthcare, says 62 percent of exams are marked “STAT” to indicate urgency, but not all of those are actually critical cases. 

“This creates a delay in turnaround for truly critical patients, which can be a serious issue,” Xue said. 

He says the system supports the prioritization of pneumothorax cases while making AI more accessible to care providers. 

“Our embedded AI algorithms offer hospitals an opportunity to try AI without making investments into additional IT infrastructure, security assessments or cybersecurity precautions for routing images offsite,” he said. 

See McGuinness’ blog post: 

See the release: 

— DTE Biomass Energy has opened its first combined dairy renewable natural gas processing and interstate injection facility in Manitowoc County.

According to a release, the Newton site is the first facility of its kind in the state. The site processes raw biogas sourced from nearby farms into renewable natural gas and gets natural gas sent in from other dairy-farm-based DTE facilities. 

DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company with more than three million customers in Michigan. 

Kevin Dobson, vice president of business development for DTE Biomass Energy, says the new facility marks an important milestone for the company. 

“DTE’s dairy RNG production has grown tremendously over the last several months, and now we have a central location and efficient means for continuing the operation and growth of these and other dairy projects,” Dobson said. 

The release shows DTE began processing RNG in Wisconsin in 2019 at Dairy Dreams, a dairy farm located in Casco, a village in Kewaunee County.  

DTE is currently building four more RNG facilities in Wisconsin, working with farms in Rosendale, New Chester and elsewhere. These projects are expected to come online by early next year, bringing the total number of RNG facilities owned by DTE to seven. 

See the release: 

— Three GOP lawmakers from southwestern Wisconsin are circulating a bill that would ban labeling a product as milk unless it’s from a cow or a camelid mammal, such as a goat. 

The trio also wants to ban labeling a product meat if it’s actually plant based or describing something as cream, yogurt or cheese unless it’s made from dairy. 

At the federal level, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, has pushed legislation that would prevent non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants and algae from being labeled milk, yogurt or cheese. 

Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, and Reps. Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, and Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, want to require DATCP to promulgate rules on limiting what is described as milk. But the ban would only apply if at least 10 of the 15 states listed in the bill approve a similar prohibition by June 30, 2031. 

The states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia 

The meat bill would only allow products from a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, mollusk or insect to carry that label. 

Read the milk bill:

Read the dairy bill:

Read the meat bill:

— Foxconn has changed its plans to build a cylindrical building at its Mount Pleasant manufacturing site, according to a report from Wisconsin Public Radio. 

An earlier report from BizTimes Milwaukee shows the globe-shaped facility would have been used as the company’s “network operations center.” The structure would have stood over 98 feet tall and be made largely of specialty glass panels. 

But according to a separate report from WPR, Mount Pleasant village officials say those plans have been put on hold while the company explores alternate designs. And the company has submitted plans for a different, larger facility that would house manufacturing operations. 

See more in Foxconn Reports below. 

— Quartz Health Solutions has hired a diversity, equity and inclusion manager: Diego Campoverde Cisneros, who previously worked as a marketing communications coordinator for the Sauk City-based insurance agency. 

This is the first position for Quartz dedicated to carrying out its inclusion and diversity initiatives, according to a release. The new hire comes after company President and CEO Terry Bolz signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge earlier this year, promising to support efforts to make their workplaces more diverse and welcoming. 

“During the last five years, I have witnessed the commitment growing in terms of [diversity, equity and inclusion] at Quartz,” Cisneros said in the release. “With this new role, I’ll make sure our DE&I initiatives go to the next level, internally and externally.” 

Quartz is is jointly owned by UW Health, Gundersen Health System and UnityPoint Health, and manages four provider-sponsored health insurance plans. 

See the release: 

— The state Department of Health Services is reporting this year’s first case of West Nile Virus in northeastern Wisconsin. 

The virus can only be spread to humans through infected mosquitoes, which become infected when they feed on birds with the virus, according to DHS.  

Human cases of the virus usually occur between August and September. Most people who become infected won’t fall ill, but in some rare cases, West Nile can lead to disorientation, tremors, paralysis and even coma. The agency says older people and those with compromised immune systems have a higher risk of the virus causing serious harm. 

See the release: 


# Sun Prairie engineering firm buys Monona company

# Harley-Davidson job cuts hit general merchandise business in Milwaukee

# Right turn to retail: Milwaukee to review two proposals to vacate streets

# Report from investigation into Dane County Jail construction to remain confidential for now



– WFU offering scholarships to attend ag conference

– Wisconsin potato growers had off year in 2018


– See construction photos of Life Time’s “resort-style” health club, opening soon in Brookfield


– Lots of staff changes in local agriculture classrooms

– UW-Madison awarded grant to map corn drought tolerance

– Wisconsin students’ math, English scores decline slightly in latest state report


– Flooding closes roads, causes evacuations in Green Bay

– Southern half of Wisconsin under flash flood watch


– In a day, Foxconn changes course, plans to build different Mount Pleasant building

– Foxconn plans to build spherical-shaped building at Mount Pleasant campus


– Milwaukee Surgery Center files for Chapter 7 liquidation

– County officials: Possible opioid settlement funds must be spent on epidemic’s fallout


– On the level: Construction, punk rock? For Kroes, it’s all prep for a legal career

– Appeals court reduces award in legal battle over bedbugs


– The LAK Group names new presidents/partners


– Talgo plans to add jobs, increase its space at Century City


– Fontana home on Geneva Lake sold for $4.6 million

– Chenequa home on Beaver Lake sold for $1.8 million


– S.C. Johnson buys Chicago men’s skincare startup Oars + Alps


– GE Healthcare’s Waukesha unit helps pioneer AI in X-ray technology


– Streetcar’s financing options limited locally, study finds


– Viewpoints: UW computing efforts take step forward


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

Quartz: Names new corporate diversity, equity and inclusion manager

UW System: UW Extended Campus to launch two online Master of Science programs

Wisconsin Safety Council: Named Honor Chapter for second year in a row