— Life expectancy in the state has declined for the second year in a row as drug and alcohol deaths continue to climb, though Wisconsin residents have a better outlook than the national average.
A recent report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum finds life expectancy for babies born in 2015-17 was 80 years, compared to 80.1 years for 2014-16 and 80.2 years for 2013-15.
Meanwhile, national life expectancy in 2017 was 78.6 years. The report shows Wisconsin’s recent decline matches changes in the national life expectancy, which has fallen for the first time in a century. Report authors note the last time this occurred was between 1915 and 1918, as the effects of World War 1 and a global influenza epidemic were felt across the world.
This time around, WPF is highlighting the role of drugs, alcohol and suicide in driving this trend. On both the state and national level, the rate of death due to these factors has consistently increased.
And in Wisconsin, total deaths from drug and alcohol more than tripled between 1999 and 2017.
While the state’s rate of alcohol-related deaths was similar to the national rate 20 years ago, it’s now risen higher as deaths from alcohol poisoning, liver disease and fatal accidents related to drinking have all increased.
Total drug and alcohol deaths increased from 593 in 1999 to 1,985 in 2017, the report shows. And the rate of increase has accelerated in recent years.
— Vertical construction has begun on Foxconn’s manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant, where 400 panels — each weighing more than 75,000 pounds — are currently being installed.
According to a release from Foxconn and construction manager Gilbane/Exyte, these panels are 14 inches thick and up to 48 feet tall. Work crews began laying foundation for the facility earlier this summer.
Foxconn has awarded $175 million in contracts so far for work at the Racine County site, with $15 million awarded to nine subcontractors in recent weeks, the release shows.
“Work is ongoing towards the planned operational date for the facility next year, with several invitations to bid currently proceeding and more to be announced for both the Gen6 Fab facility and other buildings being constructed within the Park,” the company said in a statement.
See more in Foxconn Reports below.
— A plastics manufacturer is planning a $12 million expansion project at its Manitowoc facilities, with state support authorized by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Redline Plastics is to build a new 117,500-square-foot manufacturing space with a warehouse and 11,000 square feet of office space. According to a WEDC release, it will include space for a connected company, Dowco Powersports, which handles leather and textile products for boats, motorcycles, jet skis and other vehicles.
The expansion project is expected to wrap up by November and create 44 direct jobs.
WEDC will provide up to $150,000 in state tax credits over the next three years if the company hits certain job creation and capital investment milestones.
Aside from the 44 expected direct jobs, WEDC cites an economic modeling study to show the project could create 120 additional indirect jobs in the region.
— Twelve Wisconsin companies and cooperatives are getting funding from the USDA for energy efficiency upgrades as part of the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP.
This program is aimed at rural businesses and institutions, including farmers and other ag producers. The Wisconsin awards are part of more than $9.3 million in national funding announced yesterday.
Prairie Rock Farms of Fond du Lac and Rush Creek Growers of Spring Valley are each getting $20,000 to build new solar array systems, while Milwaukee-based Arch Property of Wisconsin is getting just over $14,000 for the same reason.
Also for new solar systems, Stoughton-based Old Stone Pet Lodge is receiving about $16,000, and Conrath-based Clover Belt Lumber & Feed Company is set to get $20,000.
Barron Electric Cooperative, Clark Electric Cooperative and Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative are both getting just under $20,000 for lighting upgrades. For the same purpose, Jackson Electric Cooperative is getting about $13,000, and Kuzba Distributing Co. is getting just under $2,000.
Two fund recipients are getting upgrades to their grain dryers: Darrel L. Clark, with about $10,000, and Leverich Farms, with $8,700.
See the full list of recipients: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/REAP_NR_CHART_under200000k81919.pdf
— The University of Wisconsin announced recently that it received a $3.42 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an app to prevent opioid relapses.
According to a release, the goal of the project is to develop and deliver models to forecast the probability of opioid and other drug use among people trying to abstain from drugs while in recovery. School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Dhavan Shah and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology John Curtin are leading the project.
“Relapse can happen early in recovery for alcohol and substance use disorders, but it can also happen months, and even years, after someone quits,” Curtin said in a statement. “One of the biggest challenges that people with alcohol and substance use disorders have is to continually monitor their recovery and look out for risks for relapse, essentially for the rest of their lives.”
Shaj and Curtin will study approximately 500 participants who are abstaining from drug use while in recovery over the course of 12 months.
No timeline was provided for the completion of the app.
See more at Madison Startups: http://www.madisonstartups.com/uw-earns-grant-to-build-opioid-relapse-app/
# Startup company pilots AI-based food ordering in Milwaukee
# New initiative covers startup costs for child care providers in Wisconsin
# Teaching capitalism
– Two Rivers Farm hosting National Alpaca Days event
– Majority of Wisconsin farmers doing business online
– Johnsonville to build retail store near company HQ
– Schriefer is new academic chair for UW-Extension faculty
– Marquette computer science professor awarded $1.8 million NIH grant
– Marina to reopen at northern Wisconsin harbor destroyed by flood
– Dane County looks back on flooding, plans for future
– Dane County seeing record groundwater levels one year after historic flooding
# FINANCIAL SERVICES
– Professionals establish Milwaukee chapter for Women in Public Finance
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– USA Today: Ardy & Ed’s has best milkshake in Wisconsin
– Yum Yum Fest 2019 served specialty desserts that were fruity, frozen and fried
# FOXCONN REPORTS
– Vertical work starts on Foxconn factory
– Foxconn begins vertical construction on Gen 6 fab
# HEALTH CARE
– Life expectancy drops in Wisconsin due to alcohol, drugs
– Catholic Financial launches joint venture with Minnesota-based fraternal benefit insurer
– Wisconsin production workers logged fewest hours in July since 2009
– Central Standard Craft Distillery releases first hard water beverage
– New leadership emphasizes culture at Aries Industries
# REAL ESTATE
– WeWork leases leave landlords exposed to $40bn rent commitments
– Wisconsin home sales rise in July after June decline
– STAG Industrial buys 3 Walworth Co. industrial buildings for $13.9 million
– Pick ‘n Save parent Kroger expands Walgreens partnership
– Milwaukee Brewers expect attendance spike as team moves toward postseason
– DNC host committee to launch venue portal next week
– In tight labor market, school bus companies scramble to find drivers
– Wisconsin school bus companies scramble to find drivers
– ‘Work hardening’ can help return injured workers to job sites quickly
– Plain Talk: ‘Journey Toward Justice’ details Carmen Porco’s anti-poverty legacy
– Bill Berry: Like Sigurd Olson, we should find refuge in wilderness
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: