MADISON - Downtown Madison housing boom shows few signs of slowing
The downtown Madison apartment boom is in full swing, with hundreds of new units constructed each year. A question remains: When will the market hit saturation?

Downtown Madison, Inc.’s fourth annual State of the Downtown report paints a housing landscape with still-low vacancy rates, a large population of young renters and ongoing construction of new apartments, indicating that saturation isn't happening anytime soon.

Since 2011, single-family properties and duplexes have decreased, with the number of apartment and condo living units both increasing. About 1,000 new apartment units have been added over the past four years and, as of August, about 1,217 new residential units are under construction downtown.

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VERONA - Epic Systems makes strategic next moves for expansion
What do you do after you've won the gold rush? When you've claimed the richest veins of ore?

That's the big question for Epic Systems, the medical software giant that has become Dane County's signature company with 8,000 or so employees at its fairyland campus in Verona.

Local Epic watchers, a few on the record and more speaking not for attribution (they're reticent because Epic is feared as well as respected), see a new strategy taking hold.

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VERONA - Epic Systems vying for massive defense contract
Epic Systems, the state’s largest information technology company, is trying to land an $11 billion, 10-year contract with the Defense Department to update its electronic health records.

Whoever gets the contract will face a daunting task: retooling the Defense Department’s existing health IT system which covers more than 6 million veterans and 9 million active members so patient records are easily transferable between the military and outside health systems.

The contract with the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization — dubbed “Dim-Sum” by industry insiders — would be the largest for Epic, which is teaming with IBM on its proposal.

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WAUSAU - Restaurant, entertainment center plans move ahead
The city of Wausau is a step closer to having a restaurant and entertainment center along the riverfront.

That's after the Wausau City Council on Tuesday voted 9-1 in favor of a development agreement for Wausau on the Water, or WOW, a family entertainment center that will boast an arcade, video games, pool tables, shuffle board and other entertainment options.

The complex at 1212 N. First St. also will feature a full-service restaurant and bar, with seating for up to 200, including a riverfront patio.

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SAUK CITY - Fuchs Trucking sale 'bittersweet' end to 60 years as family-owned business
Calling it “bittersweet,” the Fuchs family ended an era in local business.

Fuchs Trucking, which has been located just outside Sauk City for 44 years, was sold Oct. 20 after a 60-year run as a family-owned business.

The family of the late LeRoy and Dorothy Fuchs struck a deal with Jay Doescher of Waunakee, his second cousin Eric Padrutt of Cross Plains and the Hartung Brothers, owners of H and N Logistics, who have partnered to operate the company as Fuchs Transport Holdings, LLC.

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MIDDLETON - Kauten becomes CEO of Lucigen
Ralph Kauten is the new CEO of Lucigen, a Middleton company that provides cells, cloning kits and other technology for scientific researchers. The appointment took effect Oct. 20, the company said Wednesday.

Kauten also will continue as CEO of Quintessence Biosciences, a Madison company developing drugs to treat cancer.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Heavy Metal Bus Tour explores manufacturing careers
Local businesses opened their doors to about 45 high school sophomores Wednesday to teach the students about careers in manufacturing.

Wednesday's event was the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce's fifth Heavy Metal Bus Tour, created to pique students' interests in manufacturing-related jobs by linking them with local employers.

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HORTONVILLE – Piping Systems to add 100 jobs in expansion
A $5.5 million expansion at Piping Systems Inc. in Hortonville is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the Fox Valley.

The pipe fitter and manufacturer has experienced significant growth and the 65,000-square-foot expansion — slated for completion by year's ends — will enable the company to bid on new and larger contracts, said company co-founder and president Jeff Bunker.

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APPLETON - Owners put Paper Valley Hotel up for sale
The owners of Radisson Paper Valley Hotel have put the property up for sale.

The starting bid for the 388-room, full-service hotel at 333 W. College Ave. is $7.5 million, according to the online listing at The auction starts Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 3.
Mayor Tim Hanna said the possible sale is in line with plans for a $27 million Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

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WAUNAKEE - Octopi Brewing to build brewery in Waunakee instead of Madison
A brewery that had been planned for Madison’s southeast side is instead being proposed for Waunakee.

Isaac Showaki, Octopi Brewing Co. founder, said flood plain issues on a site at 3801 Kipp St. forced him to look for other locations for his $5 million, 20,000-square-foot production facility. Showaki said he looked at sites in Madison, Cottage Grove, Fitchburg and Sun Prairie before selecting a three-acre parcel at Prairie View Court and Uniek Drive in the 160-acre Waunakee Business Park.

The site, owned by MLG Commercial, is across the street from The Ice Pond at Waunakee, an indoor ice arena, and just south of Highway 19 and west of Hogan Road. If approved, Showaki said he would like to break ground as soon as possible and open in the spring.

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STEVENS POINT - Breweries, distillery declare area a drinking hot spot
A group of local craft beverage makers have formed an alliance to promote their beer, wine and spirits as well as tourism in Portage County.

The Central Wisconsin Craft Collective comprises the Stevens Point Brewery, Central Waters Brewing Co. in Amherst; O'so Brewing Co. in Plover; Great Northern Distilling in Plover, and Kozy Yak Brewery/Fresar Winery in Rosholt.

The group is pairing with the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote itself across the state, beginning with a sweepstakes that offers a vacation featuring tours and tastings at each of the member sites.

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MADISON - Woodman's sues Clorox alleging price discrimination
The Woodman's grocery store chain is suing Clorox Corp., alleging price discrimination.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Madison, Woodman's says Clorox will only make large packs of products available to warehouse clubs, including Costco and Sam's Club.

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SHEBOYGAN - Brisco County building sold to Randall’s owner
The empty building that once housed Brisco County Wood Grill will soon be the site of a new “upscale” restaurant.

Business representative Wendy Vera, who also owns Randall’s on Superior Avenue, said during a meeting of the city Law and Licensing Committee that she and her business partners plan to operate a full-service restaurant and bar serving lunch and dinner on the property, with dishes ranging from steaks and seafood to paninis and homemade desserts. Pier 17 LLC will run the restaurant, though the location will be leased from Milwaukee-based investor Jason Luther, who is expected to close on the purchase of the building later this week.

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WAUSAU - City stalls Sav-O apartment plan
The future of a historic building along the Wisconsin River in Wausau is still in limbo.

That’s after the Wausau City Council on Tuesday voted to send the proposal for the former Sav-O Supply warehouse back to the Economic Development Committee for further review.

The move doesn’t mean the proposal by MetroPlains to turn the building into a 29-unit apartment building is off the table, but it does mean the panel will consider alternate options, which may include reissuing a request for proposals.

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MADISON - New restaurant with eyes space on Capitol Square
A new restaurant could be coming to the Capitol Square in March 2015, featuring small plates like crispy goat cheese and glazed veal breast along with a "heavy wine focus."

Called Graft Restaurant and owned by ELM Restaurant Group, the proposed business would offer contemporary American food with a heavy emphasis on wine, according to the liquor license application.

Graft is proposed for 18 N. Carroll St. and would include a bar and sidewalk seating.

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