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GREEN BAY - Federal judge dismisses Johnson's Obamacare lawsuit
A federal judge in Green Bay has thrown out U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's lawsuit challenging Obamacare, saying the dispute should be resolved politically rather than through the courts.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that the Republican senator from Wisconsin lacks any standing to challenge the federal health-care reform law in court.

If Johnson and other critics of Obamacare believe the administration has acted improperly, the judge wrote, they should take legislative action or try making their case to the voters.

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ALTOONA – School board approves $23 million referendum in fall
Altoona residents will vote on a $23 million referendum in November to build a new elementary school and refurbish existing education buildings.

The school board unanimously voted to put the referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot at its Monday night meeting.

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MADISON - Developer shows $4 million gap for 2nd piece of Judge Doyle Square project
A developer has revealed details for a proposed $65.9 million piece of the massive Judge Doyle Square project south of Capitol Square.

A new tax incremental financing application submitted by JDS Development shows a roughly $4 million financing gap on the part of the project that would bring housing, retail, a bike center and new parking to replace the aging Government East parking garage bounded by South Pinckney, East Doty and East Wilson streets.

JDS already submitted an application showing a $44.6 million financing gap on the centerpiece $111.2 million part of the project with a 318-room hotel to serve Monona Terrace, retail space and a 283-space underground parking garage across the street behind the Madison Municipal Building.

The applications show a total $177.1 million cost with $48.6 million in public assistance.

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APPLETON - Mielke Family Foundation gives $2.5 million to Lawrence
To celebrate 50 years of philanthropy in the Fox Cities, the Mielke Family Foundation has given $2.5 million to Lawrence University so students can earn elementary education certification, officials announced Monday.

Dr. John and Sally Mielke said the foundation has focused in recent years on birth-to-five and early childhood education. The gift to Lawrence expands on that vision, while honoring the foundation's work since its establishment in 1963.

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JANESVILLE - Former Rock County Appliance building could become banquet hall
If a developer's plan moves forward, a vacant building downtown that once housed a church, a Masonic lodge—and most recently, an appliance store—could become an event and banquet center.

Janesville-based Certified Parts Corporation, says it plans to renovate the second and third floors of the former Rock County Appliance building at 38 S. Main St. and put a three-story addition onto the building's west side.

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SUPERIOR - Friends bring chic boutique to Tower Ave.
In less than a month, three women have turned an empty storefront into a cool blue oasis of style.

The Blue Arrow Boutique will open its doors today, giving customers a glimpse behind the sign that’s decorated the front window of 1404 Tower Ave. for weeks: “Really, really good things coming soon.”

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DEFOREST - Company gives a little help with lawns
During nice weather, the Circle B Landscape Supply team can be found delivering mulch, topsoil, patio pavers and other products used to create a beautiful lawn.

Brothers Alan and Lyle Buchner started Circle B in the late 1970s on the family farm located on Vinburn Road in DeForest. They hauled firewood and lumber mill byproducts.

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MADISON - Walker campaign criticizes Burke and Trek’s outsourcing
Trek Bicycle Corp., which makes bikes for everyone from children on training wheels to competitors in the Tour de France, has found itself in the middle of an entirely different kind of race — the one for Wisconsin governor.

Democratic challenger Mary Burke has proudly touted her ties to the company founded by her father and where she was once an executive. When she launched her campaign in October, she talked about the family's business starting "in a red barn in Waterloo," the 1,000 people it now employs in Wisconsin, the $100 million it generates for the state economy every year and the millions more it has given to charities over the years.

But Republican Gov. Scott Walker has focused on the company's decision to send jobs to China after receiving grants funded with Wisconsin taxpayers' money. He emphasizes that the company that made Burke a millionaire is building bikes in China, a country where Walker says women and children are paid as little as $2 an hour.

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MADISON - State CEOs more apt to hire, more optimistic about growth in 2nd half of year
Wisconsin business leaders were a bit more willing to hire in the second half of this year, as fewer reported trouble finding skilled employees and more predicted moderate growth in Wisconsin’s economy over the next six months, according to new survey results from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

At the same time, the semi-annual poll by the state’s largest business lobby showed CEOs continued to worry about rising health care costs while blaming government regulation, taxes and federal government policies for holding back the economy and job growth, the survey of WMC-member business leaders found.

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MONONA - WPS secures $484 million government contract
WPS Health Insurance has received a major government contract renewal valued at $484 million over six years that will help preserve several hundred jobs, the Monona company announced Friday.

WPS was awarded the contract to continue to administer TRICARE for Life, a Medicare supplement program that serves about 2 million military retirees over the age of 65.
The program accounts for about 11 percent of WPS’ overall revenue, according to a company official.

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LA CROSSE – Intimate apparel maker grows her business
After making her mark in Minneapolis, Sarah Patros is growing her Jagress Intimates custom-made intimate apparel business at the store she opened in 2012 in downtown La Crosse.

Patros is the owner, CEO and head couturier (a term for designer and maker of fashionable apparel for women) at the store. It opened in August 2012 at 413 Jay St.

Patros custom designs and makes intimate apparel such as brassieres, panties and knickers, hosiery suspenders, garters, bridal underpinnings, robes, camisoles, slips and sleepwear. She said she specializes in high-quality essential daily wear, bridal and seasonal sets.

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TOMAH - Amish store to close in fall
Fourteen years after they opened it, David and Shelley Moake have started a retirement sale at their Amish Country Corner store at 1101 Superior Ave. in downtown Tomah.

The Moakes also operated the Berry Amish store in Warrens, which also sold country crafts and locally made Amish furniture, from 2005 until January 2013.

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MADISON - Father-son chefs team up to prepare meals for seniors in their homes
Like many of the best business ideas, the one behind Chefs for Seniors came from the personal experience of Barrett and Nathan Allman, the company’s father-son founders from Sun Prairie.

Chefs for Seniors, a first-of-its-kind grocery shopping and in-home meal preparation service exclusively for senior citizens in the Madison area, will finish its first year of serving clients in August.

Aimed at helping older people live longer on their own, the business started as a winning entry put together by Nathan Allman, now 21, in last year’s Burrill Business Plan Competition at UW-Madison, the venerable annual contest recognizing outstanding student entrepreneurship across campus.

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VERONA – Hotel complex development approved
Verona’s City Council unanimously approved a plan from developers David Reinke and KSW Construction for a four-story, 193,000-square-foot hotel complex to be built along Highway 151 in southeast Verona.

The complex will be franchised by Hyatt Hotels Corp. and will include both a Hyatt Place and Hyatt House to provide options for guests on either short or long stays.

Its 231 rooms will make it one of the area’s largest hotels.

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MADISON - Wisconsin unemployment rate holds at 5.7%
Wisconsin's unemployment rate is holding steady.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday that the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in June, unchanged from May.

The state lost 1,200 private sector jobs overall between May and June, however.

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