NEENAH - Menasha Corp. to build new global HQ building
Menasha Corp. will build a new global headquarters in place of its existing headquarters at 1645 Bergstrom Road in Neenah, the company announced Tuesday night.

The new facility will encompass more than 100,000 square feet of space and will double as the national headquarters of Menasha Packaging Co., which is Menasha Corp.'s largest subsidiary.

Chris Haese, Neenah's director of community development and assessment, estimated that Menasha Corp.'s investment, including demolition, site work and construction, will be in the range of $28 million. Haese said Menasha Corp. indicated at least 25 jobs will be added at the headquarters.

Menasha Corp. said demolition of the existing 48-year-old headquarters will begin in April and that the new headquarters will be ready for occupancy by fall 2016.

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MADISON - Walker forms committee to explore 2016 presidential run
Gov. Scott Walker has formed a committee to explore a 2016 presidential run, marking the first formal step he has taken toward getting in the race.

Walker announced Tuesday that he created an organization named “Our American Revival,” which will allow him to raise unlimited contributions as he mulls joining the field of GOP presidential hopefuls. Walker also launched a website and Facebook page with the same name.

If he become an official candidate, Walker would not be able to move funds from the group to a presidential campaign.

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MADISON - Campus, legislative leaders concerned about Walker's proposed UW cuts but welcome flexibilities
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 13 percent, $300 million budget cut for the University of Wisconsin System would lead to layoffs across the UW-Madison campus, chancellor Rebecca Blank said Tuesday, even though she and others see a long-term benefit in another part of the plan to give the university greater autonomy.

The proposed spending cut is believed to be the most severe in the System’s nearly 45-year history. It would be accompanied by another two-year tuition freeze and come in exchange for System control over its finances, including major building projects.

Walker on Tuesday touted the plan as a cost-saver while campus leaders and legislators described the cuts as too severe, noting the cuts would take effect in July, long before any long-term savings could materialize from more autonomy in purchasing, building and setting employee salaries.

Blank said it would likely cost her campus $120 million in the next two years on top of another two-year tuition freeze for Wisconsin undergraduates, a drop so dramatic and immediate that people would lose jobs.

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MADISON - No deal on Enbridge pipeline insurance
With a key meeting scheduled for today, no deal is pending between Dane County and Enbridge Energy Inc. to provide insurance to cover any spill from an underground pipeline already carrying a half-million barrels of tar sands crude daily through Wisconsin.

Moreover, Enbridge maintains it has never agreed to provide additional insurance to local communities and says requiring it would violate federal law. The firm says it already carries a general $700 million insurance policy.

Enbridge, the top exporter of heavy crude oil from western Canada, is seeking a conditional use permit from Dane County to build a new pumping station near Marshall.

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BELOIT - Plans nearly complete for I-39/90 project
Plans are nearly finalized for the reconstruction of the interchange at Interstate 39/90 and Interstate 43.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials plan to reveal the final plans for the project at a public meeting set for Feb. 11 at the Beloit Public Library.

WisDOT plans to build high speed ramps to allow traffic traveling on both interstates to merge into each other at highway speeds. Right now I-43 flows into Milwaukee Road traffic creating a safety hazard near the current interchange. Under the new design, Milwaukee Road will be extended to meet up with Gateway Boulevard.

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EAU CLAIRE - City Council aids former Green Tree Inn project
Winning over a few members who have been skeptical of public investment in other recent downtown projects, the Eau Claire City Council unanimously supported including a city loan with an application for a $500,000 state grant to help refurbish a hotel.

In a 9-0 vote Tuesday, the council agreed to supply up to $250,000 through city economic development funds to help investors transform the former Green Tree Inn & Suites, 516 Galloway St., into a boutique hotel that showcases the area’s arts, recreation and culture.

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WAUSAU - Riverfront development to take shape this year
A new public wharf, landscaping, trail additions and a parking lot are scheduled to go in on Wausau’s East Riverfront Development in 2015.

City staff members and consultants from Stantec held an open house with updates and ongoing plans for the 16 acres east of the Wisconsin River.

Redevelopment began about four years ago when the city started buying up properties, mitigating contamination and preparing the land. The city drafted a River Edge Master Plan in 1995.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Car dealerships sold, merger planned
Changes are in the works for two long-time Wisconsin Rapids auto and truck dealers.

In the coming months, Ironside GMC and Dick Neuville Buick will merge and become Wheelers Buick GMC of Wisconsin Rapids.

Members of the Wheeler family, who own Wheelers Chevrolet of Medford as well as Wheelers Chevrolet-GMC and Wheelers Auto Repair and Tire Center in Marshfield recently purchased the two Wisconsin Rapids dealerships.

The new combined south Wood County dealership will operate out of the Ironside GMC location, 2250 W. Grand Ave.

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SHEBOYGAN - Goodside Grocery nears crowdfunding goal
With just days until its Friday fundraising deadline, Goodside Grocery is less than $2,000 short of its goal to raise $15,000 in online donations in order to move to a new location in downtown Sheboygan.

Members of the city’s only food co-op say they’re confident the community will come through. The volunteer-run grocery cooperative, which opened in May of 2011, offers local and responsibly sourced foods including meat, produce, dairy, grains and dry goods.

It’s currently housed behind Paradigm Coffee House, 1202 N. Eighth St., but in December Goodside members launched an online campaign using the crowdfunding site to raise money to move to another storefront on North Eighth Street.

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MADISON - Walker to propose 13% cut, more freedom for UW System
The University of Wisconsin System will be given more autonomy, while having its state funding slashed by 13 percent over the next two years, under the budget Gov. Scott Walker will submit to the Legislature next week.

UW had asked for an increase in funding of $95 million over the next two years — money that it argued was needed given that Walker was calling for another two-year tuition freeze. Walker is going forward with the tuition freeze, but is calling for the $300 million cut in exchange for something university leaders have wanted for years: more independence.

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GREEN BAY - Road Star Inn closing set for Feb. 9
The lobby of Road Star Inn is green and gold and adorned with Green Bay Packers photos.

It's not without irony that the hotel at 1941 True Lane will close Feb. 9 because the Packers bought the property for commercial development.

The 63-room hotel is the final property the Packers acquired to give them ownership of all the land bounded by Lombardi Avenue, South Ridge Road, Brookwood Drive and Marlee Lane. It is an area they've designated for income-producing commercial development.

The hotel's furniture and fixtures will be auctioned on Feb. 10.

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SAUK CITY - Capital Brewery delays expansion project
The construction of an $11 million brewing facility in Sauk City is, once again, on hold for Capital Brewery.

The Middleton company announced Monday that Brian Destree, director of operations for the brewery and the person in charge of the expansion project, will leave at the end of the week for a position with MillerCoors. Scott Weiner, Capital Brewery president and majority shareholder, said Destree’s departure means construction will be delayed for at least three to six months but that the company still planned to build in the Sauk County village.

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MADISON - City finance committee recommends amended Judge Doyle Square request for proposals
Amid concerns by developers, the city of Madison’s top finance committee on Monday removed language favoring office space from a tentative request for proposals for the massive Judge Doyle Square project.

The Board of Estimates unanimously recommended a new, amended request for proposals for the planned remake of the blocks that now hold the landmark Madison Municipal Building and aging Government East parking garage. The city is seeking a project including a hotel, commercial space, parking and other amenities.

But Monday’s biggest change came with the deletion of language that stated the city would give “high priority” to any project that would deliver 100,000 square feet of office space in the development.

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MADISON - Wilson out, Watt and Durant in as 'brand ambassadors' for American Family
Madison-based American Family Insurance is trading Russell Wilson for J.J. Watt and acquiring NBA standout Kevin Durant to boot.

American Family’s two-year endorsement contract with Wilson, quarterback of the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks, ended on Dec. 31. Wilson will be seeking a second straight Super Bowl win with the Seahawks on Sunday, two weeks after beating Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle.

American Family on Monday announced its signing of two new “brand ambassadors” in Watt, a three-time Pro Bowl football player with the Houston Texans, and Durant, the NBA’s current Most Valuable Player from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant is the first professional basketball player to sign on with American Family. Watt, like Wilson, is a former University of Wisconsin football player, though they never played together.

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STEVENS POINT - Dairy farmers brace for a financial bust
Following a year of record-setting milk sales in 2014, central Wisconsin dairy farmers are bracing as prices plummet.

A glut of milk products has brought prices from the record $24 per hundredweight of milk to the current $18 per hundredweight, which is roughly the size of a 10-gallon tank. The USDA forecasts that prices will plunge to $14 per hundredweight by April.

The falling prices will likely cause many farmers to scrap expansion plans or investing in their herds or equipment.

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