Wisconsin Development News (click to read online)
Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Ken  [at] KenHarwood.com
608.334.2174





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$5M proposed for Milwaukee streetcar plaza near convention center

Plans to extend the Milwaukee streetcar to West Wisconsin Avenue include $5 million of city spending for a public plaza that would include a station just south of the downtown convention center.

Milwaukee aldermen over the next month will consider that $5 million along with spending for streetcar extensions Mayor Tom Barrett announced last week. The plaza budget is in addition to $46.8 million Barrett announced for a nearly quarter-mile extension to Wisconsin Avenue, plus planning to extend the Hop system further into the Bronzeville and Walker’s Point neighborhoods.

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Ken Notes: I still believe Madison should do this on the old Tech School site downtown. Use BRT to get people from the airport to downtown, a Terrace to Terrace Trolley Bus to serve State Street, the Capitol, City Hall, and Convention Center, and BRT from the burbs... Congrats MKE!

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. gave taxpayer funds to businesses that created jobs in other states, audit finds

MADISON - The state`s economic development agency gave nearly half a million dollars to a company that cut more jobs than it created and handed out taxpayer funds to others for jobs in other states, according to a bruising audit released Friday. 

In addition, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. didn`t recover more than $400,000 in tax credits and more than $4 million in loans it could have when employers didn`t meet the terms of their taxpayer-funded deals, auditors concluded.

The report by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau comes as the economic development corporation is tasked with overseeing up to $3 billion in state subsidies for Foxconn Technology Group. The Taiwanese electronics maker is eligible for about $1 billion in local incentives as well.

Skeptics for years have criticized the economic development corporation for not staying on top of its duties....

An old Article on the subject....

A new role for the WEDC

by Ken Harwood  -  November 14, 2012, 12:00 AM   ...more

Ken Notes: Do I ever get to mention that I wrote about the potential for problems and offered solutions the week WEDC was created and have continued to advocate for Wisconsin ever since. Paul Jadin, a friend, also discovered concerns early on and was asked to leave rather than solve them. We need an economic development corporation but we we need it to track it`s investments, create opportunities for ALL new and growing businesses, work with communities and local ED professionals, and create a nonpartisan pro jobs environment in the State. This is not a difficult task, the difficult part will be taking the politics out of the mix...

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Evers: `Economic development will grind to a halt` if Wisconsin doesn`t embrace diversity

Cultivating a diverse workforce is key to taking Wisconsin to a new level of economic prosperity, Gov. Tony Evers told a group of community leaders, education professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and others on Friday.

“I can tell you that if this state doesn’t actively and proactively and with great vigor embrace diversity and inclusivity, economic development will grind to a halt,” the Democrat said at the sixth annual Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit at Monona Terrace, a gathering sponsored by the Madison Region Economic Partnership and the Urban League of Greater Madison...

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Ken Notes: We need to embrace not only diversity but a new focus on transition to the workplace. Technology and automation demands a well educated workforce. We need to explore apprenticeships, a better partnership between the tech system and our secondary system, and other school to work programs and opportunities.

Healthcare is a huge issue and the state should start the process by offering health care to EVERY public employee and remove it from the bargaining table. We can demonstrate the benefits of quality health care by modeling it within our own government system and then asking businesses to do the same.

I also like expanding in state tuition and have proposed that we offer student loans for tuition that are interest free (using a State income tax credit) as long as the person remains in the state.

It seems we often swing for the fences when we really need to look for base hits and control of the game.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court restores appointments made by Scott Walker in legal battle over lame-duck action

MADISON - Fifteen people appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker are back in their state positions following a decision Tuesday by the state Supreme Court in a lawsuit challenging action taken by Republican lawmakers to limit the power of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. 

The order to restore the appointments comes as the state`s highest court considers lawsuits filed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and others over action taken in December by the GOP lawmakers to shift away powers from Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul before they took office. 

Evers` spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Evers is "confident that the court will ultimately rule against the Legislature`s unconstitutional attempt to override the will of the people" despite Tuesday`s decision....

Lame-duck scorecard: Where the cases stand in the fight over GOP laws limiting Wisconsin governor


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Ken Notes: I feel bad for the image we as a state are presenting to the rest of the World...

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Northwestern Mutual chief Schlifske named Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year by Harvard group

John E. Schlifske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., has been named Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year by the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin.

The annual award honors a business executive who exemplifies several core qualities: leadership and character, sustained business success and positive civic involvement.

Schlifske joined Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual in 1987 and became chairman and CEO in 2010. Since then, he has led city-enhancing initiatives both obvious and less-visible, ranging from construction of the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building in downtown Milwaukee to funding that encourages local technology startup companies.

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Ken Notes: Congrats!!!!

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Exact Sciences ID’d as company in audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Madison-based medical diagnostics firm Exact Sciences Corp. is the unnamed company highlighted in an audit that revealed it received $61,000 in tax credits for jobs created outside of Wisconsin, an open records request by The Associated Press revealed.

The Legislative Audit Bureau did not name Exact Sciences and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Mark Hogan refused to name it during an interview the day the audit came out last week. But after consulting with its legal counsel after the AP request, WEDC said on Wednesday that Exact Sciences was the company...

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Ken Notes: Exact Science is a great company and great for Wisconsin. They are NOT the issue the issue is that WEDC uses a system for distribution of funds that is difficult to track and make claw-backs, a term they coined, almost impossible. The solution is simple, make all incentives income and property tax credit based with new jobs and value behind them. If the jobs go away so do the tax credits and the value needs to be guaranteed. If they need up front incentives companies can use the future tax credits as collateral against private or bank funding. If banks do not see that as a worthy investment that may be a clue that we should not invest either. Business plays the systems with far more expertise than we bring to the table.

Back to Exact Science they have done much for the State and hopefully will continue to grow, and we should be happy to support this growth. We should place them at the top of the list for support from a new program from the State closely followed by every other company bringing new jobs to the State...

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Foxconn Struggles to Put Wisconsin First

Since the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn announced a plan in 2017 to develop a factory hub south of Milwaukee, it’s promised to take a “Wisconsin First” approach to hiring local suppliers. While that phrase didn’t make it into the final contract, that’s how state officials and Foxconn have touted the deal, which involves about $4 billion in potential subsidies.

The effort is getting off to a slow start, according to a review by Bloomberg Businessweek of Foxconn supply chain and budget documents covering much of 2018. The internal documents, along with financial reports the manufacturer recently filed with the state agency overseeing the partnership, contain discrepancies with previous public statements by Foxconn executives. They provide a look at the early challenges Foxconn has faced in trying to deliver on its promises to the state...

SEE ALSO:

Foxconn Tore Up a Small Town to Build a Big Factory—Then Retreated

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Notes: Once again we need a spokesperson for the State to address these issues with the media. Foxconn, a business, has identified a problem in their original business model (specifically the profit margin and income potential from tv`s and large screen lcd devices has evaporated). Foxconn, a business, has changed direction and is seeking new products and markets to develop in Wisconsin. This is a process and will take some time. Also the products are not in place yet so the numbers are not on the table.

We need to now work with Foxconn to insure they make good on the initial investments made by the communities, build a facility IN Wisconsin that serves them well as a business, and continues their commitment to the State. Or we can play politics with the project at great cost to the citizens and State.

And one more thing, we should consider an offer to help that is in line with what we would do for any other business locating or expanding in Wisconsin...

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Developer Ditches $11M Madison Housing Project for Homeless

A developer is abandoning an $11 million project to provide permanent housing for Madison`s homeless.

A developer is abandoning an $11 million project to provide permanent housing for Madison`s homeless.

Wisconsin State Journal reports that nonprofit Heartland Housing of Chicago announced Saturday that it`s dropping the 58 new units proposed for homeless adults and families on the city`s south side.

Heartland was facing a looming deadline to use federal tax credits for the development.

The city says it`s holding off on pursuing Housing First projects to re-examine how to best provide the units. The projects focus on housing the chronically homeless and offering mental health, substance abuse and other services...

Original Article From WSJ:

Developer drops housing project for the homeless on South Side

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Ken Notes: One more time, we really need to rethink how we address this issue across the board. Smaller affordable units, co-housing options, using tax dollars to acquire land for affordable homes in ALL neighborhoods, work with schools to create better school to work programs, create housing for restaurant and retail workers - hardworking people with good jobs who can not afford to live here, create real transit options for the region, visit models that work elsewhere, make this a nonpartisan nonpolitical issue. I liked this article Affordable Housing: Lessons from Canada.

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Keynote Speaker Paulita David to Highlight 6th Annual Economic Development and Diversity Summit
“It’s the biggest regional economic development and diversity conference in the state right now. And I don’t know another state that’s doing it this way,” says Dr. Ruben Anthony, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison. “I know that there has been some folks trying to imitate it, but this is the biggest and best that’s available right now that is focused on equity and economic development and how they work together.”

Organizers of the 2019 Madison Region Economic Development and Diversity Summit – Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison – hope that the annual event will build on previous joint events in a collective commitment to advancing talent, opportunity and growth for all the region’s citizens. The Summit will be held on Friday, May 17, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center...
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Madison shows first draft for new Bus Rapid Transit line
If the bus is your normal way to get around, a new bus rapid transit system could get you there 25 to 40 percent faster.

At least, that`s the plan.

Achieving the goal depends “on what kind of investment we make in the corridor to speed up the buses,” said David Trowbridge, the principal transportation planner for the city of Madison. “And that`s a big part of bus rapid transit, is ‘rapid.’”

To do that, the buses would make fewer stops and get special signals at lights...

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Ken Notes: Congrats! I only wish this were on the radar screen when we rebuilt East Washington and university Ave...

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Tom Still: Cooperation can fuel regional economy in Wisconsin
With the city of Madison and its metropolitan area popping up consistently in national rankings on economic vitality, many people would assume all is well in the seven other counties that make up the Madison Region Economic Partnership.

Don’t assume too much.

Data revealed last week at MadREP’s “State of the Madison Region Economy” event highlighted significant challenges facing the seven counties outside Dane while also breaking down research reports on the region’s target economic sectors: agriculture, food and beverage; advanced manufacturing; health care; information communications technology; and bioscience...

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Ken Notes: READ THIS! Again Tom (and Paul Jadin in the article) get economic development and see the challenges. We are not great at working as a State to develop things like broadband, workforce development, local government cooperation, and a level playing field for economic development. I would add transit and bringing local ED professionals under one tent to further stimulate the conversation.

Right now politics may send us backwards if we are not careful. It appears that there is no intention of working together on anything...

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Dave Cieslewicz OPINION: End the WEDC

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is an absolute disaster. If it were a ship it would be the Titanic. If it were a college football team it would be the Wisconsin Badgers under Don Morton. If it were music it would be Barry Manilow.

Okay, that’s unfair to Barry Manilow. I apologize to all his fans out there.

The brainchild of former Gov. Scott Walker, who created it in 2011 to replace the old Commerce Department, the WEDC is supposed to be some sort of private-public partnership and therefore somehow lighter on its feet than a regular state agency. In practice, the WEDC is making a pretty strong case for regular state agencies.

The latest report from the respected Legislative Audit Bureau shows an organization that is being incompetently managed, if you can say it is being managed at all...



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Ken Notes: Barry Manilow???

Dave proves his premise is wrong in his own analogy. I.e. "If it (WEDC) were a college football team it would be the Wisconsin Badgers under Don Morton". We didn`t suggest the UW abandon football we got a new coach, new administrative leadership, better player and went on to kick some Ohio ass!!! That is what we need to do with WEDC!

Dave is a very smart guy, but ending WEDC is not the answer -- recreating WEDC is, in fact I wrote about this awhile back -- Don`t kill WEDC — make it better So tweet or re-post this with the heading Dave Cieslewicz suggested UW eliminate it`s football program...

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Gov. Evers: State should protect Mount Pleasant taxpayers if Foxconn falls short

On the day when Foxconn Technology Group chairman Terry Gou reportedly was visiting the White House, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the state should protect local Racine County taxpayers if the company’s Mount Pleasant campus falls short of original plans.

Local governments have agreed to invest $912 million in the project for land acquisition, utility infrastructure, financing, public safety and roads. Evers was asked Tuesday at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon whether the state should financially assist local communities if the development is not as robust as the $10 billion investment Foxconn announced in July 2017...

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Ken Notes: I agree - Sort of! We need a set of incentives to attract new business to the State and to Mount Pleasant. If we create a great State in which to do business, new business will solve our problems so we do not have to. I did say this BEFORE we made the deal with Foxconn.

I remain frustrated that getting help with your business is more about who you know rather than what we have to offer. We need to create a set of incentives available to ALL new or growing businesses. These incentives should be protected by agreement, tax credits based on jobs, or pay as you go. I was on the Verona council when EPIC came to town and I promise we invested millions yet never had one dime at risk!

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New museum, private development will appear as different buildings

The Wisconsin Historical Society and private developers are only beginning to put a look and shape to a new history museum and private mixed-use project that could cost as much as $255 million where State Street meets Capitol Square.

Under the current scenario, the Historical Society, Hovde Properties and landowner Fred Mohs would demolish the existing museum and all other buildings on the block bounded by North Carroll, West Mifflin and North Fairchild streets and West Washington Avenue, except for Grace Episcopal Church and the historic Hovde building...

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Nimble Therapeutics spins out of Roche, saving Madison jobs

A new drug discovery and development company is taking root in Madison, and it will prevent more than a dozen skilled scientists here from losing their jobs.

Nimble Therapeutics formed in April, spun out of Roche Sequencing Solutions, originally NimbleGen Systems, which is slated to close by June 2020.

“I’ve been working with my team on this technology for quite some time. We knew it was a very powerful technology for the marketplace,” said Jigar Patel, founder and CEO of the new company....

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SmartCode version 9-2 - Linked fixed...
The Current version is at the link...

The original SmartCode was released by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in 2003, after two decades of research and implementation. It has been continually updated with input from scores of practitioners from numerous disciplines. Since 2004, the model code has been completely open source and free of charge....

SmartCode is a unified land development ordinance template for planning and urban design. Originally developed by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, this open source program is a model form-based unified land development ordinance designed to create walkable neighborhoods across the full spectrum of human settlement, from the most rural to the most urban, incorporating a transect of character and intensity within each.

It folds zoning, subdivision regulations, urban design, and basic architectural standards into one compact document. Because the SmartCode enables community vision by coding specific outcomes that are desired in particular places, it is meant to be locally calibrated by professional planners, architects, and attorneys....



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Ken Notes: I included a link to this last week but it was broken -- this one works and I will keep it at the bottom of WDNews for a while as a resource.

If there is enough interest I can put together a seminar on this and bring in some experts to explain it. Fitchburg is using SmartCode for an new subdivision in the community.

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Dairyland Power Cooperative
We will power our communities and empower cooperative members
to improve the quality of their lives.
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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TIF rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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Change in plans to Essen Haus development project

MADISON (WKOW) — Developers still plan to knock down the Essen Haus restaurant and renovate Come Back Inn, but now four houses in the 100-block of S Blair St. are going to stay as is.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports, Essen Haus and a small adjacent building that’s not in good shape are going to be turned into a five-story residential and commercial building.  There will also be parking added.

A decision was made not to include nearby houses, in response to reaction from community members.  That will downsize the amount of apartments and square footage of commercial space for the overall project....

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White House says Foxconn will invest further in Wisconsin, where its $10 billion plans are already in question
  • Foxconn`s plans in Wisconsin have been in question following little visible progress and reports of fluctuating plans for a $10 billion plant.

  • President Donald Trump met with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou on Wednesday, the White House says.

  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Gou will soon announce more investment in Wisconsin, following the meeting.

Foxconn will soon announce more investments in Wisconsin after President Donald Trump met with company Chairman Terry Gou on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement...

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Ken Notes: This is fascinating because Foxconn is still not sure what it will be building in Wisconsin. They are building a technology hub on several sites and in several communities and I remain optimistic -- as are they. BUT anyone suggesting they know what Foxconn will build or how big they will become is using a crystal ball and an ouija board, and I have found that both tools are not well suited to economic development. You can quote me....

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Foxconn’s ‘Innovation Centers’ in Wisconsin Are Just Empty Buildings

Would it surprise you to know the company isn’t following through on its previous commitments?

Last summer, Foxconn announced it was purchasing buildings across Wisconsin to turn them into “innovation centers.” In March, The Verge visited each of these buildings and found them essentially empty. The company hasn’t acquired all of the buildings it set out to purchase. Pieces of the buildings it has purchased are being rented to other, unrelated companies. After this unflattering coverage, Foxconn’s Alan Yeung promised the company would purchase and transform another building, this time in Madison. As The Verge writes:

One month after Yeung’s comments and promise of a correction, every innovation center in Wisconsin is still empty, according to public documents and sources involved with the innovation center process. Foxconn has yet to purchase the Madison building Yeung announced, according to Madison property records. No renovation or occupancy permits have been taken out for Foxconn’s Racine innovation center, though a permit has been taken out for work on the roof of another property Foxconn bought for “smart city” initiatives. There has been no activity in Foxconn’s Green Bay building, either....

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Ken Notes: WOW, we are continuing to allow The Verge (Vox Media), and those who quote the Verge to tell the Wisconsin Story. This is wrong and they are wrong. Foxconn has clearly shifted gears and is seeking an entirely new direction for what it will build in Wisconsin. To suggest that this should be immediately accomplished is uninformed at best. The good news is they need to create jobs to get many of the credits, also they are willing to sit down and talk. The bad news is that they will have a number of outs if we do not work with them as they change direction. Wouldn`t it be great if there were an accounting of what we have spent, what we have committed to, and what is backing up our investments...

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Milwaukee Regional Innovation Center forms angel fund

Plans to invest $200,000 fund in Wisconsin startups

The Milwaukee Regional Innovation Center has formed an angel fund to invest in Wisconsin startups.

MRIC, which manages the Milwaukee County Research Park and its Technology Innovation Center business incubator, has contributed $100,000 to the fund, and has applied for a matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s Capital Catalyst Program for another $100,000.

The MRIC created the fund to help spur additional entrepreneurial activity in the state, said Guy Mascari, chief executive officer of MRIC and executive director of the TIC. MRIC is forming an investment committee, and plans to coinvest with other angel individuals or groups to fund early-stage startups, contributing $10,000 to $20,000 per investment.

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How to Improve the Foxconn Contract

Should Wisconsin seek to renegotiate the deal it made with Foxconn?  If so, how should the contract be changed?

The answer to the first question is pretty clearly yes; Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) should sit down with Foxconn and talk about options for making the contract better for all involved.

A new deal is worth pursuing because it could potentially reduce the risk that Foxconn will drop its plans for a manufacturing facility in Racine County. At this point, that outcome would be a costly blow for state and local taxpayers since hundreds of millions of tax dollars have already been spent for infrastructure improvements for the planned facility...

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Ken Notes: Governor Evers should first sit down with WEDC and create a new set of incentives available to ALL new and expanding businesses in Wisconsin. No politics, no favoritism, no regionalism -- If you hire new employees and pay a good wage and provide good benefits (to them and the rest of your employees) you get a tax credit. If you need to downsize the credits go away. Also develop a cleaner TIF program for the communities so they can fund new projects they want provided they have a development agreement in place to guarantee value and thus a return on their investment.

THEN sit down with Foxconn and suggest you are willing to help them get back on track, in fact you have a new program...

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Exact Sciences Advances Pipeline Capabilities with Mayo Clinic
Early data on pancreatic cancer detection presented at Digestive Disease Week® 2019

SAN DIEGO, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Early research using blood-based methylated DNA markers, identified through the longstanding collaboration between Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic, demonstrates a potential to achieve 92% sensitivity and 92% specificity for detecting the most common type of pancreatic cancer. Researchers presented the findings at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2019, the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

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Ken Notes: Exact Science is putting Madison on the map!!!

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$189 million ND Paper project receives WEDC support
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced an agreement Wednesday to provide ND Paper with $1.7 million in tax credits over three years to support the company’s expansion at its Biron division.

The project is expected to create 27 new jobs.

“ND Paper’s choice to invest here in Wisconsin shows the company’s continued commitment to our state and their workforce,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “These initiatives will require a significant capital investment on the part of the company and WEDC is proud to provide support to make this a viable project for ND Paper.”...

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Ken Notes: 62K per new job. Is it me or is this a very moving target. I was also surprised by the failure to mention that ND is a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper Limited a Chinese / Asian company that is buying pulp operations in the US because of new rules restricting their ability to buy waste paper from our recycling facilities in the US.

Do not get me wrong I am happy they are investing in the US and hope they quickly expand their pulping operations in Wisconsin. The bottom line is that China needs lots of cardboard boxes to ship product to the World. I do get nervous that when the tide changes and they again can import raw materials (our recycled waste) and resume pulping again in China that they will abandon their US facilities. China seems far better at playing the international game than we are.

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Miron Construction


Miron’s comprehensive range of construction services are designed to meet the unique and diversified needs of our clients. Contact Us.
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One in four Wisconsin jobs at high risk in a new age of robotic workers and hyper-automation

When it comes to replacing humans with robots, few companies are as enthusiastic as Foxconn Technology Group. 

In its drive to manufacture iPhones, TVs and game consoles at the lowest cost, Foxconn systematically has replaced tens of thousands of inexpensive Chinese workers with even cheaper and more productive robots.  A separate subsidiary, Foxconn Industrial Internet Co., one of China`s biggest tech companies, supplies industrial robots to other businesses that want to cut labor costs.

But the topic of automation barely came up in Wisconsin after the 2017 announcement that Foxconn had agreed to build a multibillion-dollar manufacturing campus in the state. Instead, the project`s backers insisted Foxconn would create 13,000 high-paying human manufacturing jobs....

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Ken Notes: This is not a Foxconn issue it is a manufacturing issue. What we need to do is create an educational system to train engineers and technicians to design and work with this new technology. We need to encourage new automated plants to come to Wisconsin. We, like Foxconn, need to identify new markets and bring them to the state. I see distribution, manufacturing, construction, renewable energy, new automotive, and much more helping to grow this State.

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Milwaukee plans to extend The Hop streetcar route before 2020 Democratic National Convention

Milwaukee plans to extend the streetcar route to the Wisconsin Center District convention hall just in time for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Mayor Tom Barrett on Wednesday unveiled plans to extend The Hop to Wisconsin Avenue by next summer. He also announced engineering plans for two additional legs that would stretch the streetcar route north past Fiserv Forum into Bronzeville and south into Walker`s Point.

"When we first started talking about the streetcar, I talked about how my vision was to start in the heart of the city and then move into the neighborhoods," Barrett said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "And so today, we`re announcing our initial efforts to start the process to extend it into the neighborhoods."...

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Ken Notes: Madison are we paying attention here??? Read this one, it contains a nice overview of the existing project with maps...

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Wisconsin tourism is flourishing; its economic impact reached $21.6 billion in 2018
From experimental aviation to sporting events and a national political convention on the horizon, Wisconsin tourism is booming.

The state`s tourism industry created $21.6 billion in economic impact last year, up $1 billion from 2017, Deputy Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers said Monday morning during a visit to the Experimental Aircraft Association Aviation Museum, kicking off National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11.

Tourism directly supports more than 199,000 jobs in the state, Sayers said. Around 112 million people visited Wisconsin in 2018, an increase of 2 million people from 2017.

"We also want to mention that the national average growth rate for tourism across the country was 1.9%, and that exactly matches where we are in Wisconsin. Growth is good, but I feel like we can do better than average," Sayers said....

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Notes: It is! and we could do so much more. Ag tourism, craft brewing, environmental tourism, better trails, more campgrounds, lower cost options for Chicagoans, more sports venues, more music venues, a better working relation with the tribes and gaming, better promotion, and this idea...

Wisconsin should develop Eco TIF`s where land could be developed as vacation / summer retirement sites with resulting property tax revenues used to preserve sensitive lands in parks and preserves.

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WI Watchlist: Montage, LÜM, WEDC, Titan Spine, Polco, Swallow & More
A medical device for patients with swallowing disorders gets new life. A music streaming app gets an influx of cash. The state’s economic development agency faces more criticism for its practices. Startups in recruiting tech, medtech, and civic tech strike merger and acquisition deals. Read on for more details about these stories and other recent Wisconsin innovation news...   ...more

Ken Notes: Nice review and a couple I missed...

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Streetcar expansion: Common Council gears up for discussion this month

Expect a lively debate this month as members of the Common Council consider the merits of extending The Hop streetcar north and south of downtown.

For proponents, expansion represents a promise of economic development in neighborhoods. For those on the other side, it is a misdirection of efforts the city should be putting toward fixing roads and other pressing needs. And still others want more information...

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Plaza pitched near Wisconsin Center convention hall could include cafe — and help draw a big downtown hotel

A new public plaza proposed just south of the Wisconsin Center convention center could include a cafe, and help attract a large hotel to the downtown Milwaukee site. 

The plaza, to be named for civil rights pioneer Vel Phillips, would be built along West Wisconsin Avenue, between North Phillips Avenue and North Fifth Street, on part of what is now a city-owned parking lot. The convention hall is on the other side of the avenue.

The one-acre plaza could feature a small cafe or beer garden, according to the city`s plans. 

It also could be blended into Wisconsin Avenue for events that would involve closing a section of the street. 

That would likely occur with the July 2020 Democratic National Convention, which will include events at the Wisconsin Center. The plaza is to open by then if it receives Common Council approval...

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Ken Notes: Milwaukee is on a roll developmentally. They are doing a great job leveraging public projects with private development.

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The Gialamas Company






 “Founded in 1976 by George and Candy Gialamas, The Gialamas Company specializes in Class A Commercial Real Estate. Old Sauk Trails Park, is one of the most prestigious business parks in Wisconsin; containing numerous office buildings supplemented by restaurants, hotels, financial institutions, a childcare facility and a walking/jogging trail system....
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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TID rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TID rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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The Buzz: REI submits site plan in Grand Chute

REI Co-op submitted plans to the town of Grand Chute for review of a proposed 20,500-square-foot building at 3850 W. Wisconsin Ave. 

The outdoor company’s new store would rise at the northern end of the WG&R-led development at the intersection of West Wisconsin Avenue and Interstate 41.

REI’s site plan will be considered at the town’s May 21 Plan Commission meeting. 

REI, which stands for Recreational Equipment, Inc., is the country’s largest consumer co-op with more than 18 million members.

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Ken Notes: The REI stores can be amazing with a very loyal following. They also offer classes and give back to the environment. I am a Rutabaga loyalist personally but if they do not have it REI is next on my list...

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Hunt Capital Partners Arranges LIHTC Financing for $34.4M Seniors Housing Development in Wisconsin
FITCHBURG, WIS. — Hunt Capital Partners, in collaboration with Plesko Properties LLC, has arranged federal and state low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity financing for the construction of Fitchburg Senior Apartments. Located in the Madison suburb of Fitchburg, the community will feature 160 affordable housing units for seniors who are age 55 and older. Units will be restricted to households who earn up to 80 percent of the area median income. The development team broke ground on Fitchburg Senior Apartments in March. The four-story community will provide 80 one-bedroom units and 80 two-bedroom units upon completion, which is slated for July 2020.   ...more

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Unemployment rates continue to drop in Northeast Wisconsin
The State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has released April`s data on local unemployment rates.

Preliminary results show that unemployment rates have declined in all 12 metro areas over the year. 

In Wisconsin`s 31 of the 33 largest cities, rates have declined or stayed the same....

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Carvana expands Wisconsin presence

After making its Wisconsin debut in Milwaukee last year, used car buying and selling e-commerce platform Carvana said on Tuesday it has launched in Green Bay and Appleton, Wisc.

“We’re eager to expand in the state, and we’re confident Green Bay and Appleton will enjoy our new way to buy a car,” Carvana founder and chief executive officer Ernie Garcia said in a news release.

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Ken Notes: Madison???

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Wisconsin budget gets $753 million boost in tax collections
The Wisconsin state budget will have $753 million more than originally expected, thanks largely to a one-time spike in tax collections due to federal tax law changes.

The money now becomes available for the Legislature as it`s working on the two-year spending plan. But Republican leaders don`t appear to be on the same page Wednesday about what to do.

Gov. Tony Evers says he used $56 million of the money to pay down debt and wants lawmakers to spend $33 million on technical colleges and workforce development...

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Ken Notes: I have to agree with the tech school investment here. In fact I would go further and see if we could improve school to work secondary programs for students not entering post secondary programs. Regarding roads, I wonder if we could leverage some funds to get local projects moving forward...

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Aging in the Heart of Rural Wisconsin

Rural communities are aging more rapidly than are other areas, in Wisconsin and across the country.

Nearly everyone wants to stay in their community as they age. Increasingly, rural leaders are asking how they can help older residents to thrive. Some are pioneering age-friendly approaches that other communities can learn from.

In Wisconsin, three coalitions—in Iowa County, Langlade County, and the city of Waupun—are working with the Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing to support rural aging-in-place...

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Ken Notes: This is a potentially huge market for the state. Also we should look at attracting 60+ (don`t call me senior) people to our city centers like Madison and Milwaukee.

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Engineered Construction Inc. / General Contractors

   
GENERAL CONTRACTING
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               DESIGN / BUILD & REMODELING


“Located in the Madison region for over 30 years, Engineered Construction is an industry leader in commercial construction and the restoration of commercial and residential fire and water damage.” See comments from our clients here.   ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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Clean Energy Groups Throw Weight Behind Wisconsin Transmission Line

On Friday, direct testimony was filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) in the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line case (Case # 5-CE-146).

A number of clean energy organizations (CEOs) that support the line are a party to the case and are sponsoring several witnesses, including Michael Goggin of Grid Strategies LLC and renewables developer Chad Craven of Savion LLC. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy represents the CEOs, which include Clean Grid Alliance (CGA) and Fresh Energy.

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Ken Notes: A little misleading, these groups are producing renewable power out West where it is cheap and easy to do and want to sell it in the East where it is in demand. Wisconsin just happens to be in the middle. If we build the line Wisconsin needs to be at the table advocating for our own interests. Tourism, conservancy lands, reduced use of coal, and other environmental offsets and reduced rates for Wisconsin energy customers comes immediately to mind. Also I would like to see the project use an existing corridor rather than cut a new one...

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OPINION: Mining can bring Wisconsin`s economy, environment together

In December 2017, the state’s duly elected Legislature passed Act 134 and took a stand for responsible development across the state, and particularly northern Wisconsin. Many local governments across northern Wisconsin have similarly taken a stand, reviewing the law and seeing that they have the option to pursue hundreds of jobs with responsible partners — on their own terms in ways that protect their communities and environment.

There have been a lot of misconceptions about this bill, but most important to recognize is that it maintains stringent environmental standards that Wisconsinites hold dear...

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Ken Notes: This article scares me a great deal. Mining today is done on a massive scale where large amount of earth are processed for smaller amounts of ore. The process is heavily regulated because it is very dangerous. The reclamation of these sites is at best a crap shoot. In Wisconsin there are some old mine sites that are now quarrys and lakes but the new mines use chemical extraction that leave hazardous waste on the site for generations and as I mentioned they are huge. They site the Eagle mine in the UP as a good example - Two words - Google it!!

I am strongly pro jobs and I do understand that rural Northern Wisconsin has few options, but this one is not good for our grandchildren....

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Field House renovations are intended to create an entryway
In mid-March Madison learned that a much-maligned spire will disappear from Camp Randall. But lost in the excitement is news that it’s part of a plan to renovate the nearby Field House and create a large, new, outdoor gathering place.

“It will help activate the space and provide another venue for football Saturdays and events throughout the year at the Field House,” says Gary Brown, UW-Madison director of campus planning and landscape architecture.

One of the goals is to create a sense of arrival, an entryway to the UW campus. Right now, it’s a cluster of semi-adjacent intersections, combining Breese Terrace, Monroe Street, Regent Street, the Southwest Commuter Bike Path and — officially — Little Street. (Yet another cross-street, Crazylegs Lane, was officially closed by the city a year ago.)...

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Ken Notes: NICE!! and I for one will not miss the statue, we could donate it to Minnesota or Ohio State as a gesture of friendship and goodwill...

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Milwaukee Committee Tables Streetcar Extension Decision

City Officials Say Delay Threatens Tracks Being Finished For DNC Convention

A Milwaukee committee decided to table their vote Tuesday on expanding the city’s streetcar route to the Wisconsin Center convention hall — a move that could jeopardize the project being completed in time for the Democratic National Convention next summer...

...After an hours-long discussion Tuesday, the city’s zoning committee said they are looking for a better proposal that includes more central city neighborhood programs to prevent gentrification and money from the business community, including the Milwaukee Bucks...


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Ken Notes: I get very nervous when economic development approval is used to drive a social agenda. Both have a place at the table but we can stifle growth and opportunity if we use one against the other in the bargaining process. I have fought this battle with well meaning historical societies for decades. In this case I would extend the tracks, then ask for neighborhood improvements from the resulting development revenues around them.

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Wisconsin homeowner worried about looming solar development
A tattered American flag waved in Roger Millard`s front lawn amid sprawling Walworth County farmland.

For 28 years, Millard, 67, has lived in the quaint, two-story home off North Road about 3 miles northwest of the village of Darien.

"I wanted to live in the country," Millard said. "I`m a farm boy."

Farmland surrounds Millard`s 2-acre property, and the fields have been planted in commodity crops for decades.

But he fears a planned solar farm could surround his home, turning it into an oasis in a "solar desert."

As markets for commodities soften, more local landowners are considering a different source of income: leasing their fields for solar development....

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Ken Notes: We need to sit down today with the power companies, renewable providers, and other interested parties and develop new policy for this emerging business. How will private concerns be able to sell energy on a grid maintained by larger utilities? How can we get solar on roof tops instead of fields? How can we bring AG into the mix? How do we profit from the use of our grid moving power from West to East?

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Chippewa County Study Links Sand Mining, Agriculture To Stream Declines

Multi-Year Project Uses Computer Modeling To Predict Groundwater Impacts From Soil Compaction, High-Capacity Wells

A multi-year study of groundwater use in Chippewa County shows that stream levels can be negatively impacted by frac sand mining and irrigated agriculture. Authors and stakeholders say the results can inform future regulations on high-capacity wells and industrial sand mining operations.

Researchers from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) partnered with Chippewa County, sand mining companies, farmers and other stakeholders to measure potential impacts to groundwater in the county. The study was based on data gathered between 2011 and 2014, as well as predictive computer modeling....


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Ken Notes: 2011 and 2014 data, my guess is that it is worse today. New AG with mega farms and large surface mines are new and we need new laws to regulate them.

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IPR (Integrated Public Resources) / McMahon Associates


As an affiliate of McMahon Associates, Inc., IPR provides Public/Private Partnership (P3) opportunities for a vast array of projects in small to medium-sized communities, as well as offering Municipal Administrator Services to local governments on an as-needed basis... and... A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News   ...more

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Former Milwaukee Alderman Charged With Taking Bribes For Downtown Strip Club

Willie Wade Now Heads Milwaukee County Employment Board

A former Milwaukee alderman who heads Milwaukee County’s workforce development board has been charged with three counts of wire fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to a federal grand jury indictment, Willie Wade, 56, who served on the Milwaukee Common Council from 2003 until early 2016, received $30,000 in cash from a Milwaukee strip club operator in exchange for promising a current alderman’s vote in favor of approving a license for a downtown club.

That alderman, Khalif Rainey, was reportedly not aware Wade was using his name and never offered to accept any bribe...

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Ken Notes: Uh oh....

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Southwest Wisconsin expansion on tap at Driftless Brewing
Driftless Brewing Company of Soldiers Grove recently was honored for their business development efforts during the Crawford County Leadership Awards on April 25 at Crossing Rivers Health of Prairie du Chien.

Driftless Brewing completed its $1.2 million renovation and expansion project in February and the company has more exciting news on the horizon.

“We’ve completed our renovation and we’re now focusing on production,” said Driftless Brewing Business Operations Director Cynthia Olmstead. “We’ve signed on with distributor General Beverage. It’s a big step for us.”

Olmstead said Driftless Brewing will be distributing in southwest Wisconsin from La Crosse County to the south. They will also continue self distribution in Soldiers Grove. The distribution in southwest Wisconsin will be followed by a gradual expansion east toward Madison and Milwaukee in coming months and years...
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Ken Notes: This could be a huge market for Wisconsin. Even small communities are able to sustain a small brew pub. I would love to see us develop a marketing arm like the Milk Marketing Board Now the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin for craft beer...

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Why is Wisconsin dropping in national health rankings?

We are thrilled when our favorite Wisconsin sports teams rise in the national rankings. But we might not be paying attention to other really important national rankings in which Wisconsin is moving in the wrong direction.

Wisconsin’s health ranking has dropped dramatically over the past quarter century, sliding from the top 10 states in the nation down to the 20s. And as recently reported in the Wisconsin State Journal, our state’s per-student spending on higher education had one of the largest declines in the country between 2013 and 2018 (only Oklahoma, West Virginia and Mississippi had worse decreases), according to a report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association...

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Dollar General creates waves as it wades deeply into Wisconsin`s small towns
At the Pembine Food Depot, a northwoods grocery store tucked alongside a crook in Highway 141 about 15 miles south of the Michigan state line, owner Tim Potterville has some good things going...

...The reason, Potterville said: About two years ago, Dollar General, the discount retailer that now has more than 15,000 stores nationwide, opened about a quarter-mile up 141.

Potterville estimates his sales have fallen 4% since Dollar General’s arrival — seemingly not much, but, according to him, enough to wipe out his profits and force him to extend his mortgage for 15 years...

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Ken Notes: I live in a community where DG is the only option for food so meat, produce and other staples are a drive and more expensive. It is too bad that these stores could not work local food into their mix. Like Walmart did before and now Dollar General -- they take the most profitable segment of the market while we fail to see the value of our smaller retailers until it is too late and they are gone.

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Fall River School District receives $25,000 fab lab grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Fall River School District celebrated Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin with a large gift from the state.

Fall River was one of 20 schools Monday to receive a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to help improve its fabrication laboratory, which has been renovated and expanded since last summer. In April 2018, the district passed a $7.8 million referendum that provided funding to the fab lab operation, along with several other school improvements.

In all, WEDC awarded more than $500,000 to assist schools in fab lab improvements. According to the corporation, through the past four years, WEDC has provided more than $2.1 million to 58 school districts for technology and fab lab expansion.   ...more

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MadREP News
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.


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Innovation can grow in Upper Midwest
Aaron Kennedy is an entrepreneur with national credentials.

He was founder and chief executive officer for Noodles & Company, led Colorado’s successful branding and marketing campaign, managed product rollouts for major firms and continues to advise emerging companies through some of the nation’s leading accelerators.

Now, perhaps somewhat to his surprise, UW-Madison graduate Kennedy is the “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” at UW-Green Bay...


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Ken Notes: I have met Aaron and UWGB hit a home run with this position. I hope they can put together a few seminars of ED professionals in Wisconsin!!!!

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Local Wisconsin Main Street organizations recognized at 28th annual awards ceremony
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2018 at the 28th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held today at the Heyde Center in Chippewa Falls.

Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, and other WEDC leaders were on hand to recognize the efforts by Main Street volunteers and staff for the historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts in Wisconsin communities...

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Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn sues Flats on the Fox over unpaid fees for parking spaces
Tenants in a downtown apartment building could lose access to parking spaces under a lawsuit Foxconn filed earlier this year. 

The Taiwanese technology company has not started renovations on its Foxconn Place Green Bay innovation center at Pine Street and the Fox River, but it did file a civil suit against Flats on the Fox, 335 N. Washington St., over parking-garage spaces earlier this month.

Foxconn acquired the parking garage in November as part of its $9 million purchase of the Watermark building, formerly Younkers. The parking garage is between Foxconn`s building and Flats on the Fox...

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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





Got Moo-La?








???

Madison Area Chambers -- New!

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County seeks proposals for developing last block of land in Park East Corridor

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and the Economic Development Division announced the next phase in developing the Park East Corridor at Block 22 on April 23.

The Milwaukee County land, which comprises a block between North Water and East Ogden to North Broadway and North Milwaukee, will be available to developers through a request for proposal (RFP).

Block 22 is the last publicly-controlled land in the Park East Corridor, which has attracted more than $1 billion in investment and $2 billion in economic impact in recent years. Since County Executive Chris Abele came to office in 2011, he has made it a priority to develop the Park East corridor, which sat almost entirely vacant since the freeway removal was completed....

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Three companies win 2019 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards
Three Wisconsin companies—Gamber-Johnson, PIC Wire & Cable and Whitehall Specialties Inc.—have been named the recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards in recognition of their success in global business development.

“With their innovative and proactive exporting efforts, Gamber-Johnson, PIC Wire & Cable and Whitehall Specialties are setting an example for more Wisconsin companies to follow in their footsteps,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for WEDC, which administers the awards. “Exporting provides Wisconsin businesses of all industries and all sizes with tremendous opportunities outside U.S. borders, and the Governor’s Export Achievement Awards promote exporting by celebrating the positive results Wisconsin companies have achieved in international markets.”...

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Haribo construction plans approved
The Plan Commission approved the first phase of construction for a German candy maker’s first Wisconsin manufacturing facility with a corporate campus in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park.

Following a public hearing on Monday, the commission voted unanimously favoring approval of a zoning text amendment, along with preliminary site and operation plans for Haribo of America Manufacturing. The candy maker expects to begin the initial phase of construction this fall, as part of a four-phase development, on the 137-acre property at 12488 Goldbear Dr. in the corporate park...

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Wis. DOT needs revenue, where it comes from is up for debate
Wednesday, republicans in Wisconsin`s legislature introduced a package of bills in response to the Department of Transportation`s budget request for the 2019-2020 biennium. The "Road to Sustainability Package," authors say, will improve the department`s efficiency and provide needed funding without raising taxes.

"We think that can be part of the solution for a good long term fix, to make sure we have good roads here in Wisconsin," co-author Sen. Tom Tiffany said about the package of 15 bills.

The package includes moving transportation related revenue from the general fund to the transportation fund, creating monetary incentives for DOT employees to innovate, require more flexibility in bidding, and more oversight from the audit bureau and legislature so funding is being spent equitably.

None of the proposals raise taxes...

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Ken Notes: The problem is that we do not debate, discuss, or even consider working together on these issues we just play partisan politics and accomplish nothing.

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Findorff - Character Community Craftsmanship
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Findorff, builders of Wisconsin`s finest projects...and ...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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OPINION: In-state tuition for Dreamers would benefit all of Wisconsin

Ever since I arrived to Wisconsin from Mexico at age seven, I’ve been fascinated by how technology makes our lives easier. I’ve eagerly followed every release of the iPhone, built my own computer and dreamed of working in the field. But after graduating from Milwaukee’s Pulaski High School in 2013, I realized I’d have to put those plans on hold. College was always financially out of reach because Wisconsin state schools don’t offer in-state tuition to undocumented students like me....

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Ken Notes: I believe that we have many undocumented people among us who deserve the chance to go to college. Their parents worked our farms, built our machines and houses, and took care of our homes and children. Now the next generation wants to accomplish even more. If we are worried about rapists, criminals, and drug lords, lets prosecute and deport them while we embrace those who work hard, obey our laws, and contribute to our society...

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It`s a new era for hemp in Wisconsin, and Oneida Nation is seizing the opportunity

ONEIDA - Come autumn, you`ll see fields of green on the Oneida reservation.

Amid changing tides for hemp in Wisconsin, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin will grow the crop this summer as part of a state pilot program geared toward exploring its myriad uses.

And for the tribe, the possibilities seem endless. 

"It’s kind of crazy how many things you can make with hemp," said Ernie Stevens III, a member of the General Tribal Council.

Hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant that contains very little THC, the active ingredient in pot. Wisconsin was once the second-largest producer of hemp in the United States...   ...more

Ken Notes: I will not be surprised to see them quick to take the lead in hemp oil and, if we allow it, medical product. Like casinos the profit margins are huge and there is far less bureaucracy in the way for the tribes...

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Delta Dental of Wisconsin considers building headquarters in Portage County Business Park

STEVENS POINT - A dental insurance company in Stevens Point is growing and could build its new multimillion-dollar headquarters in the city.

Delta Dental of Wisconsin is considering plans to build a $25 million corporate headquarters in the Portage County Business Park, off of Portage County HH, according to city documents. The plans came forward Wednesday in a proposed development deal between the insurer and the city that the Stevens Point Finance Committee will consider May 13...

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Joaquin Altoro To Lead WHEDA

Governor Tony Evers has appointed Milwaukee resident Joaquin Altoro to serve as the head of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

The agency is responsible for much of the affordable housing created in the state through its administration of the federal and state low-income housing tax credit programs. The authority also provides loans, grants and loan guarantees to first-time homebuyers, farmers and entrepreneurs.

Altoro currently serves as vice president of commercial banking for Town Bank. He’s also served on the City Plan Commission in Milwaukee since 2012, voting in favor of zoning changes and land sales for a number of projects he will now be involved in financing...

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Lac du Flambeau hosts second annual job fair
People could walk into the Lake of the Torches Casino and Conference Center in Lac du Flambeau on Wednesday and potentially walk out with a job.

The LDF Business Development Corporation held its second community job fair from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Simpson Electric, Peter Christensen Dental Clinic, and the Country Market made up some of the booths.

At 23 openings, there were about half the job possibilities through the LDFBDC this year compared to last, but Business Development HR director Turquoise Santiesteban thinks that`s a positive sign...
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Delta Dental of Wisconsin Expansion Potentially Coming to Stevens Point
A $25 million dollar dental insurance company expansion may be coming to Stevens Point.

Delta Dental of Wisconsin is planning a corporate headquarters expansion and one site option for the expansion is in Stevens Point. The expansion would be a 100,000 feet building in the Portage County Business Park that would accommodate over 400 employees.

Delta Dental is also considering potential locations for the expansion in Plover as well. Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza says he`d like to see Delta Dental of Wisconsin stay in Point where they began...

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Ascension Wisconsin, Alverno College exploring nursing school merger

Columbia College of Nursing could come under Alverno umbrella

Alverno College’s nursing school and the Ascension Wisconsin-affiliated Columbia College of Nursing could merge under a new partnership between the college and Glendale-based health system.

The two institutions announced Tuesday they have signed a letter of intent to form a new partnership that will expand Alverno’s health care programs and provide continuing education opportunities for Ascension employees....

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Research, innovation Key to Wisconsin dairy’s future

From the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0’s early meetings, members highlighted the need for research and innovation to maintain Wisconsin’s world leadership in all things dairy. Across the 51 recommendations that members have developed and approved in the past seven months, there is a consistent emphasis on the need to look to the future...

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Ken Notes: We will regret not preserving the small farm, alas it may be too late...

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$40 Million Development Proposed For Downtown Racine
City officials partnered with a developer to announce plans for a $40 million development project in Downtown Racine.

Standing inside City Hall on Tuesday, Racine Mayor Cory Mason and Eric Hovde, CEO of Hovde Properties, announced plans to revitalize the former We Energies property at 233 Lake Ave.

This 3.55-acre site located at the southeast corner of Lake Ave. and Gaslight Drive just southeast of the Main Street bridge, was previously envisioned as the site for a $46 million arena. Those plans were scrapped in 2017.

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JSD Professional Services
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JSD provides complete services in Planning & Development, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Construction Services, Surveying & Mapping, and Environmental Services. Offices in Madison - Milwaukee - Kenosha - Fox Valley & Wausau.

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Fond du Lac area residents earn awards from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Area residents were recognized for achievements in community revitalization and redevelopment efforts recently by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

WEDC`s 28th Wisconsin Awards Ceremony, held April 26 in Chippewa Falls, recognized the state`s best downtown projects of 2018, as well as staff and volunteers for their efforts in historic preservation and downtown economic development in Wisconsin communities...

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Graduate programs train students for high-need professions in Wisconsin

Master’s degree programs at UW–Madison are addressing training needs and certification requirements in high-growth job fields across the U.S. and at home in Wisconsin.

In the next five years, the demand for trained school psychologists is expected to grow by 20%, creating about 30,500 jobs across the U.S. Increased awareness of mental and behavioral needs among school-aged children, combined with a large group of practicing school psychologists who are at or close to retirement age, contribute toward job vacancies...

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Ken Notes: Great read and nice programs, I would add what we really need is school to work programs for or secondary students not going on to post secondary systems....

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Bill Is Revived To Fund Arts Programming In Wisconsin

Using the theme of community development, the state arts community is keeping an eye on the Wisconsin budget process going on now in Madison.

Anne Katz is the Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin, one of the leading arts organizations in the state.

Last term, a bill hit the floor to fund arts projects with an eye toward job creation. It didn`t get approved, but Katz says has re-emerged within the budget cycle...

"..This is not a big program, right now the ask is for $500,000 to start it off. But we know that that is not enough by any means. Once we get this program established, we`ll be able to advocate for increased funding...."

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Ken Notes: Interesting -- the pitch is about jobs... One more time if we offered a tax credit or in this case a payment in lieu of since they are, I believe, a non profit they could make their own decisions...

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Georgia developer planning 186 luxury apartments in downtown Waukesha

Atlanta-based Campbell Capital Group LLC is proposing a mixed-use development along the Fox River in downtown Waukesha, including 186 luxury apartments and 2,100 square feet of commercial space.

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Former Wisconsin hockey player getting into the CBD game
A former Badger hockey player is getting into the business of CBD.

Adam Burish, the former Wisconsin and NHL hockey player (and current hockey television analyst), has a new side project. The Madison native is also the vice president of development for Nasadol, a first-on-the-market nasal spray containing CBD, or cannabidiol. The product claims to treat anxiety and manage pain...

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Ken Notes: CBD lacks the backing of a major drug company so it is the wild wild west as to whats out there and its value. We need to look at the research from Canada and Israel where CBD and cannabis have been well vetted and much research attests to their values.

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Wausau Chamber hires firm to create plans for possible coworking space in historic electric building
Plans are progressing on a potential coworking space that business leaders hope will attract young professionals to Wausau.

The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday hired McMAHON Group, an engineering and architectural firm based in Neenah, to create a design plan to transform a historic electric building on the river for the possible coworking space. The firm will begin work next week to craft digital design and floor plans, said Chamber President David Eckmann...

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Editorial: Mr. Pritzker, Ms. Lightfoot, let Bob Dunn tell you about One Central
It’s hard to find land in and near downtown Chicago that’s available for megadevelopments. The Loop’s canyons of high-rises — and bumper-to-bumper bottlenecks of resulting traffic — vividly display the existing density. Leave it to developers, however, to conjure up new spaces on which to build.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, you’re about to enter a new zone of imagination. A proposal for a massive project is headed your way — a mixed-use neighborhood that would cost some $20 billion — triple that of the big Lincoln Yards project planned for the city’s North Side. We don’t yet know enough to vote yea or nay. But the aspirations of the developer, and his extensive track record, should earn him your time and attention. If what he calls One Central ever comes to fruition, it would be a huge investment in Chicago and Illinois. It also would enliven a big and now-moribund expanse near Chicago’s lakefront...

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Ken Notes: Bob is visionary with a capital V...

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Candise Street Lofts move forward in Jefferson

JEFFERSON — It’s been a long time coming, but the $10.5 million Candise Street Lofts project in Jefferson appears about ready to commence and could be an invaluable link between the heart of downtown and what the city is planning for development up the Rock River near Puerner Street.

“This has been a long process and we greatly appreciate Gorman & Company’s investment in the city,” Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann said Tuesday after the Jefferson Common Council approved a development agreement for the lofts...

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Ken Notes: Jefferson has a lot going on, and Gorman does old better than anyone I know...

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Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...

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LifeCare Hospitals closing Pewaukee facility, laying off 171 (Updated)

New LifeCare Management Services LLC has informed state of Wisconsin officials that it intends to close in June a long-term, acute-care hospital in Pewaukee in space it leases from Froedtert Health.

The closure of the New LifeCare Hospitals of Milwaukee LLC facility, which does business as LifeCare Hospitals of Wisconsin, will occur on or around June 23 and result in the layoff of 171 employees, the company said in a mass layoff notice LifeCare sent to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development last week. Employees are not represented by a union...

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Wisconsin`s New North names executive director

Barb LaMue, a 23-year economic development professional in Wisconsin, has been named executive director of New North Inc., the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based economic development corporation serving Northeast Wisconsin.

LaMue’s appointment is effective June 10.

The organization’s founding leader, Jerry Murphy, will move into a strategic role, leading the expanded entrepreneurial efforts as part of his transition towards retirement from New North Inc.

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Mulva family to make another major announcement regarding new De Pere development
Jim and Miriam Mulva will be making a major announcement this week regarding a development in the heart of downtown De Pere.

The press conference will be held in the Father Dolski Parish Center at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Father Richard Getchel, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier, De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh, and other city leaders are expected at the meeting. The Mulvas` announcement comes within weeks of announcing the construction of a $50 million cultural center on the corner of Broadway and Lewis streets.   ...more

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Land and Space / Tom Daykin
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.

I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!

Milwaukee - 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels, offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings...

Land & Space Development Database


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Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...

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The Wisconsin Development Network
Our Current Publications:
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WisconsinApprentice
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Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at] WisconsinDevelopment.com
608.334.2174
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WDN Notes...
Online at WisconsinDevelopment.com (4 weeks of articles) - Searchable at Search WDN - WDN Tool Box, Links you can use everyday to help you and Wisconsin grow! Edited and published by Ken Harwood @ LinkedIn. 

Click Here To Subscribe or add Friends and Colleagues... WDN si Available free thanks to our SPONSORS...  Why I publish WDN...  WDGreen Environmental News From a Business Perspective!
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Ken Notes: "Ken Notes" may be reprinted in context without permission. Attribution should be Ken Harwood, Editor Wisconsin Development News or Ken Harwood Advocate for Wisconsin.

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Start Week: 17 - Query String:SELECT * FROM wdn WHERE `issue` > 17 and volume = 7 OR `issue` > 90 ORDER BY sortorder