LA CROSSE - Sediment quagmire stalls 186,700 tons of cargo on Mississippi River
A freakish amount of sediment left when the Mississippi River braked from flood stage to low water put a cork in barge traffic near Winona and Wabasha, Minn.

Three dredges are working feverishly to restore the 9-foot channel to allow 17 trapped towboats and 152 halted barges to start moving again.

Some of the towboats may not be pushing barges, but 120 of the barges are loaded and 32 are empty, for a tally of 186,700 tons of cargo stalled on the water.

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GREEN BAY - Fewer Packers practices might mean more spending
A reduced public schedule for the Green Bay Packers training camp might lead fans to spend more money in the community. It's only the first week of training camp, so that's just a theory, but one with potential.

The Packers scheduled 17 public practices, including Family Night, this year. In 2009, fans could watch 23 practices, including seven two-a-days and nine night practices. And in 2005, fans had access to 39 practices over six weeks.

Elimination of two-a-days by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and desire by coaches to hold more closed practices reduced fan access, but increased the opportunity for fans that come to training camp to do more things in the area, such as ride the Zippin Pippin roller coaster or new Sea Dragon ride at Bay Beach Amusement Park, go zip-lining at the Brown County Adventure Park at the Reforestation Camp in Suamico, or shop.

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MADISON – Minority shareholders sue Capital Brewery majority owners over alleged misconduct
Minority shareholders led by Capital Brewery's former brewmaster, Kirby Nelson, are alleging the company's majority owners trampled on their rights and froze them out of important decisions, including a credible offer to purchase the 30-year-old Middleton company in 2011 by Nelson's current brewing partner, Carl Nolen.

The 12-page suit, filed Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court, names Capital Brewery president Scott Weiner, company director Richard King and the brewery itself as defendants. It alleges misconduct by Weiner and King -- the majority shareholders who until recently made up the entirety of the company's board -- including allegedly ignoring minority owners' input, violating company bylaws and wasting company assets.

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MADISON - East Wash concert venue getting mixed reviews after neighborhood meeting
Plans for a new 2,000- to 2,500-seat concert venue, office space and rental housing on the 1000 block of East Washington Avenue are coming into focus, but some residents remain worried about how such changes will affect the neighborhood.

Developers presented project details at a public meeting last week hosted by the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association. It was attended by over 100 people.

TLNA president Joe Lusson described the crowd as split roughly 50-50 between enthusiastic boosters of the project and those with questions.

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MADISON - Committee says East Washington Avenue site best for public market
Madison’s pursuit of a public market will look to the city’s East Side, following a recommendation by a key city committee on Tuesday.

The Local Food Committee recommended the city pursue a public market and food district in the area around East Washington Avenue and First Street that would provide an indoor, year-round center for retail, wholesale and perhaps distribution of produce and other foods.

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JANESVILLE - Downtown business owners hear details on Main Street project
City officials and downtown business owners say they will work together to create communications plans to help residents navigate construction on Main Street next summer.

Parking was a concern, however, at a meeting Tuesday night. City staff and their consultants from MSA Professional Services described the scope of the rehabilitation project and took questions from property and business owners.

The project will replace aging utilities, the roadway surface, sidewalks, some curb and gutter and will add amenities such as benches, trees and lighting along Main Street between St. Lawrence Avenue and Centerway.

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NEENAH - Alta Resources to add about 600 jobs in Neenah
Alta Resources, an outsourcer of business processing services for Fortune 500 companies in the packaged goods, health care, entertainment and manufacturing industries, plans to add more than 600 jobs in Neenah.

In total, the company will add 2,500 jobs across its locations in Wisconsin, California, Florida and the Philippines. Alta Resources will hold a job fair Aug. 12 at the Holiday Inn, 123 E. Wisconsin Ave., in downtown Neenah, to interview applicants.

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MADISON – Walker campaign criticizes Burke for Abbott Labs land deal
Gov. Scott Walker claims in his latest television ad released Monday that taxpayers could be out $25 million thanks to his Democratic gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke. But getting to that figure requires some creative math.

The ad focuses on a $12.3 million federal grant awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, under Burke's leadership, to lure Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories to the Kenosha area. Abbott has yet to move, and now the federal Housing and Urban Development office is demanding the money be repaid.

Walker's campaign spokesman, Tom Evenson, said paying HUD back that $12.3 million would be in addition to the $12.3 million already paid to unsuccessfully lure the company, amounting to the $25 million in wasted money cited in the ad, titled "Boondoggle."

However, the ad essentially counts the money as an expense to taxpayers twice.

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MADISON - Walker: No state money for firms that outsource jobs
Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he would support efforts to ensure that tax credits and other economic development incentives do not go to companies that outsource jobs.

Walker has made outsourcing an issue in the governor's race by criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke for profiting from outsourcing done by her family's company, Trek Bicycle Corp. But the Republican governor has received campaign donations from multiple companies that outsourced jobs, according to campaign finance reports.

Before a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board meeting in Wauwatosa, Walker said he supported Rep. Peter Barca's call for measures to keep economic development incentives from going to companies that outsource jobs.

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MADISON – Some business leaders say Walker and Burke should stop attacks on outsourcing
The issue of outsourcing has been a sensitive spot for supporters of Mary Burke since before the former Trek Bicycle executive declared her candidacy for governor in September.

The general public didn’t find out she was interested in the job until it was revealed that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin had conducted a poll to test her potential vulnerabilities, including the fact that her family company had, like many manufacturers, moved many of its operations overseas.

The issue of international trade has been a source of tension in the Democratic Party since President Bill Clinton, much to the chagrin of the party’s traditional union allies, signed a number of trade agreements that many on the left blame for allowing corporations to easily transfer jobs to countries with lower wages.

But Gov. Scott Walker's criticism of Burke for outsourcing is earning him some push-back from the business community.

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GREEN BAY - Want Packers season tickets? Play the lottery
Imagine Green Bay Packers season tickets that don't require years on a waiting list, don't cost hundreds of dollars and don't require the owners to pay for food or parking.

The Packers and the Wisconsin Lottery have partnered again this year to make that dream a reality for one lucky winner.

Team and lottery officials on Monday unveiled details of three scratch-off games in which fans can win 2015 Packers tickets in addition to cash prizes.

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GENOA - Rail backlog could force power plant closure
An ongoing rail backlog that has stranded grain shipments across the Great Plains is now threatening to shut down a La Crosse-area power plant.

Dairyland Power Cooperative says it could run out of coal at its Genoa generating plant by January if the BNSF railroad doesn’t rapidly accelerate deliveries.

Halfway through the summer shipping season, the coal supply has dwindled to “perilous levels” and is falling further behind each week, according to a memo sent last week to lawmakers.

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EDGERTON - Owners of Cowley's Piggly Wiggly in Milton buy Edgerton Piggly Wiggly
They did it to stay competitive and return to the store where they spent nearly 10 years as managers.

Jason and Angie Cowley, owners of Cowley's Piggly Wiggly at 727 S. Janesville St., Milton, are buying the Edgerton Piggly Wiggly at 1211 N. Main St., Edgerton.

The two have owned the Cowley's Piggly Wiggly in Milton since 2001. The Cowleys signed an agreement to purchase the Edgerton store from Dave and Sandy Kotwitz, who plan to retire.

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SUPERIOR - Commission creates TIF for hotel project
A proposed hotel project moved forward Monday with the creation of a tax increment district on Superior’s waterfront.

But residents affected by and opposed to the project scored a small victory.

While the project area included a number of area residential properties, those homes were removed from the project area.

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APPLETON - City seeks to join 'arms race' for convention space
Proponents of a $27 million exhibition center in downtown Appleton are confident it will bring a strong return on investment, but naysayers contend the project is a mistake fueled by inflated financial expectations.

Those who are pushing for the Fox Cities Exhibition Center say it is financially viable. They say the center can become a reality with modest investments to attract visitor spending that will reverberate across several communities. If Appleton doesn't invest now, it's giving up on the convention game, they argue.

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