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GREEN BAY - Titletown group to buy, redevelop Larsen Green
Green Bay officials have accepted an offer from DDL Holdings Inc. to buy the Larsen Green development site on North Broadway.

Mayor Jim Schmitt announced the agreement, which could include around $30 million in new development, during his 60-minute State of the City address Tuesday at the Meyer Theatre.

Schmitt also teased several major development projects in key corridors, proposed a multimillion dollar program giving low-interest mortgages to recent college grads and called for funding to design a new police department headquarters.

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LA CROSSE - Plans take shape for La Crosse Center additions, renovation
The La Crosse Center would add a second ballroom on its northwest corner, with a bridge over Front Street and steps into Riverside Park, in the latest version of potential renovation plans for the city’s main convention and events facility downtown.

Draft plans presented Tuesday to the La Crosse Center Board were very preliminary, mostly showing what might be possible than locking into any layout, said David Greusel of Convergence Design.

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WAUSAU - Sav-o Supply building to become loft apartments
The old Sav-o Supply building on North First Street will get a new life as a 29-unit apartment complex called the Badger Lofts.

City Council members voted 8-2 Tuesday to accept MetroPlains' plan to convert the old paper-bag factory into housing. They did not debate.

The development company MetroPlains and a team including the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce both proposed projects for the space, which the city acquired in 2012. But the chamber pulled its roughly $3.5 million proposal earlier this month citing high renovation costs, leaving only the MetroPlains $5.2 million proposal competing for the property.

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MADISON - Biodegradable computer chips created by UW, Forest Lab researchers
Wood chips normally don't make people think of electronic devices, but a type of wood chip being developed in Madison could give some relief from toxins in landfills.

A biodegradable semi-conductor computer chip made almost entirely from wood has been developed by UW-Madison researchers, in collaboration with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison.

The new device was written about in a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications .

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MADISON - Charter purchase of Time Warner Cable will cost state jobs, UW expert says
As TV watchers increasingly look online for their fix, cable companies are bulking up. In the latest round, Charter Communications is buying Time Warner Cable for $55.33 billion.

Executives say they’re confident regulators will allow the creation of another U.S. TV and Internet giant.

But at least one UW-Madison expert predicts the result in Wisconsin will be a loss of jobs. Charter already serves much of Wisconsin, including Madison, while Time Warner serves the Milwaukee area, Oshkosh and Green Bay, said UW telecommunications professor Barry Orton. Charter has a big customer service center in Fond du Lac and a smaller one in Madison; Time Warner has a big call center in Appleton and a smaller one in Milwaukee, he said.

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STURGEON BAY - Door County tourism industry preps for a big, long year
Tourist season for 2015 is going to be good and long. This is a special year, because Memorial Day is as early as it can possibly be and Labor Day is as late as it can be.

There are a few new things going on in Door County this summer, both for the onslaught of tourists and pleasure of the locals. For the first time, the Door County Trolley Station has its own home. Last weekend the company hosted its grand opening at the new location just north of Egg Harbor on Wisconsin 42. The iconic apple-red trolleys were formerly stationed at Orchard Country Winery and Market.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - South Wood County YMCA looking for new expansion site
Plans for a new South Wood County YMCA will continue — but the when, where and what the facility will look like remain to be determined.

Riverview Medical Center and the south Wood County Y announced a $20 million, 100,000-square-foot facility directly adjacent to the east of the existing medical clinic in August. In March, Wausau-based Aspirus announced the completion of its merger with Riverview Hospital Association.

"Due to the future capital-expansion needs by Aspirus on the Riverview hospital campus, the YMCA project will need to work on identifying a new site location," said Bret Salscheider, CEO at the YMCA since 2012.

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MADISON - Health tech leaders tout Madison
The Madison area has nearly everything it takes to become a national health technology hub, but there are still some missing pieces, speakers told a meeting in Madison last week.

And, they said, the cost of health care is way too high and that will have to change.
Leaders of three Wisconsin health tech businesses said finding investors — a major stumbling block for Madison area startups for years — is no longer a problem for health IT companies.

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MADISON - Periphery businesses spring up in wake of craft beer boom
On the day Stephen Latham’s daughter was born, he got an extra surprise. Sales for his small business spiked. In a big way.

Latham and his business partner, Jesse Darley, had just launched Beercapmaps and weren’t expecting too much. But they got a whole lot.

The boost in sales of their product, wooden cutouts of state maps with holes for inserting beer caps, came from a confluence of factors, most likely. They had climbed to the top of Reddit’s beer discussion space, Beerit, for example, and beer featured in a slew of craft beer blogs.

Beercapmaps, which is based in Madison, is one of several local businesses that have sprung up around the craft beer movement.

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STURGEON BAY - Cadence begins Sturgeon Bay expansion
Cadence Inc. broke ground last week on a 62,000-square-foot expansion in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park that will create three times more space than the company has right now.

Cadence supplies advanced products and services to the medical, life science and automotive industries. The expansion will provide space for Cadence to add new technology and production capacity to its operation.

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LA CROSSE - Local officials optimistic about summer tourism season
Local officials say they’re optimistic about the summer tourism season, which unofficially begins this weekend, thanks to relatively low gasoline prices, an improving economy, some new attractions and events, and the return of popular festivals.

Three big paddlewheelers — the brand new American Eagle, as well as the American Queen and the Queen of the Mississippi — are tentatively scheduled to make a total of 21 shore stops at Riverside Park from July through October.

Ttwo new downtown La Crosse hotels are scheduled to open in September — the Charmant Hotel and the Hampton Inn & Suites.

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MADISON - Publishers bullish on outlook for print magazines in Madison market
When Madison Magazine publisher Mike Kornemann speaks to classes at places like the Madison Media Institute, he always asks how many of the students read magazines.

Invariably, all the hands go up. And when he asks how many of them read the print version of those magazines, a majority of those hands remain aloft.

That kind of anecdotal evidence, supported by strong readership and financial numbers, gives Kornemann a sanguine outlook toward the future of the magazine.

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GREEN BAY - USBC impressed by area after Queens Tournament
The United States Bowling Congress Queens Tournament which concluded Tuesday at the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley exceeded expectations, according to USBC officials.

The scratch tournament drew the top women bowlers from around the world and marked the return of the Professional Women's Bowling Association pro tour after a nearly 11-year hiatus.
Bowlers from 33 states, Puerto Rico and 11 foreign countries competed in the event.

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GREEN BAY - North Shore and NorthCoast expand
Brookfield-based North Shore Bank's newest branch, at 1620 W. Mason St. in Green Bay, is still brick-and-mortar, but with a lot more emphasis on innovation and technology.

It is scheduled to open June 1 and is near the corner of West Mason Street and Military Avenue, in front of the Michaels and Burlington retail stores.

NorthCoast Productions, Green Bay, and Studio 44, De Pere, have combined operations. They will share expertise and resources, but operate from separate offices.

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SUPERIOR - Answers to housing woes in the works
For Superior, the 900-pound gorilla in the room is housing.

And finding solutions to the state’s oldest housing stock has been a slow and arduous process with more questions than answers.

Now, a diverse committee of people with interests in housing is making recommendations to get a better handle on the issue.

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