KAUKAUNA - Team Industries to add 155 jobs in expansion
Team Industries is expanding its main fabrication building in Kaukauna to add equipment and expand its welding/fabrication capabilities.

The increase in fabrication space will result in the creation of about 155 new jobs over the next three years, Team Industries said in a news release.

The project, scheduled for completion by mid-November, will add 54,000 square feet to Team Industries' existing 100,000-square-foot facility.

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GREEN BAY – Walker says Kenosha casino could cost taxpayers $100 million
Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he is using "extreme caution" to avoid what he says could be contractual "landmines" costing taxpayers upwards of $100 million if he rushes to approve the Menominee tribe's proposed casino in Kenosha.

Walker offered his first public comments on the issue during a stop Wednesday in Green Bay.
The day before, Forest County Potawatomi confirmed it is withholding the tribe's annual casino revenue payment of at least $25 million to the state while talks continue about the additional gambling operation in southeastern Wisconsin.

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MADISON – Kenosha casino supporters urge Walker to approve
Labor and political leaders from southeastern Wisconsin called on Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday to immediately approve the Menominee tribe's proposed casino in Kenosha because it would put people to work.

Pressure has been building on Walker to make a decision about whether to approve the proposed $810 million casino and Hard Rock Cafe before the Nov. 4 election. The Bureau of Indian Affairs gave its approval for the casino a year ago, but Walker has until Feb. 19 to sign off on it.

Walker ordered an economic impact study and has been negotiating with the two tribes that oppose the project — the Ho-Chunk and Forest County Potawatomi.

Walker, in a letter Tuesday to Democratic lawmakers who were calling on him to act, did not indicate when he would make a decision, saying only that he would take the "appropriate time necessary" while taking into consideration how the state budget could be affected by approving the casino.

Walker revealed in the letter that the Potawatomi has refused to make its annual casino revenue payment to the state while talks continued, a decision that Walker said would have a "significant impact" on the state budget.

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MADISON – Mayor proposes $20 million affordable housing initiative
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is proposing an ambitious $20 million initiative to help deliver 750 to 1,000 units of affordable housing over the next five years.

Soglin, who shared part of his capital budget for 2015 on Wednesday, wants the city to commit $20 million over five years to a new Affordable Housing Fund that would both add to and attract federal affordable housing tax credits and support at least 250 units of permanent housing with services for the homeless and 500 or more units for people making up to 60 percent of the area’s median income.

People with very low incomes would be helped, but the initiative also would benefit singles making up to $33,900 or a family of four taking in up to $48,480.

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WAUSAU - Proposal would turn Sav-O building into apartments
A proposal by a Minneapolis-based developer to transform the historic Sav-O Supply warehouse on Wausau’s northeast side into loft-style apartments has been given the go-ahead by a citizens selection committee and will be formally presented to city officials next month.

The citizens panel — created to pick between the two development proposals the city received for the building at 1418 First St. — “really liked” the MetroPlains plan, said Wausau Economic Development Manager Megan Lawrence.

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EAU CLAIRE - Commission seeks more details on Confluence's mixed-use building
The city’s Waterways and Parks Commission got its first look Wednesday at plans for the mixed-use building proposed for the Confluence Project and decided it needed more information before making a decision on the project.

The commission unanimously voted to seek more information on the proposed walkway/bicycle path between the building and the Eau Claire River, a definition of the proposed historic characteristics of the building and the appearance of the facade facing the river.

Developer Haymarket Concepts has submitted a site plan for the six-story building that would be located at the northwest corner of South Barstow and Eau Claire streets as part of the proposed $77.2 million Confluence Project.

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MADISON - Potawatomi withholds state payment over Kenosha casino proposal
The Forest County Potawatomi has refused to make its annual casino revenue payment to the state as Gov. Scott Walker mulls whether to approve a competing facility in Kenosha, causing what the governor is calling a "significant" impact on the state budget.

A tribal spokesman issued a terse statement Tuesday evening saying the tribe made the move because the state may end up owing the Potawatomi money if Walker approves the Menominee Nation's plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The Potawatomi runs a lucrative casino in Milwaukee and opposes the proposed Kenosha facility, fearing it could suck customers away.

The Potawatomi's gambling compact with the state requires Wisconsin to reimburse the tribe for any losses it suffers due to a Kenosha casino. Walker's administration is trying to negotiate a deal with the tribe on how to offset losses.

It's unclear how much money the Potawatomi owes the state. The tribe's compact calls for it to pay the state 6.5 percent of its net win in Milwaukee, but those winnings are confidential and a Walker administration spokesman had no immediate response when pressed for details Tuesday.

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SUPERIOR - Northern Wisconsin communities finally get high-speed internet
Following four years of installation, several far northern Wisconsin communities now have high-speed Internet that’s as fast as metropolitan-area connections.

About $34 million in loans from the 2009 stimulus package gave Norvado Communication Company the ability to give villages like Cornucopia, Herbster, Iron River, Drummond, Grand View, Cable and Mason an upgrade in broadband.

Norvado manager Leo Carlson said the advancement from a copper to fiber optic structure increased Internet speed to one gigabit per second. Carlson said that’s nearly 100 times faster than the previous 10 megabits per second.

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ELKHORN - Foremost Farms promotes Doyle to president and CEO
The Foremost Farms USA board of directors has selected Michael Doyle as president and chief executive officer of the cooperative. Doyle will succeed David Fuhrmann, who will retire at the end of 2014.

Doyle is currently the cooperative’s CFO/vice president-finance. He joined Foremost Farms on March 19, 2007. Doyle is responsible for the cooperative’s accounting/tax, finance, strategic analysis/investments and information technology functions.

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EAU CLAIRE - Confluence Project funding proposal modeled on Packers ownership
Taking some inspiration from the Green Bay Packers’ model of community ownership, the proposed downtown Eau Claire community arts center would be owned by a new not-for-profit corporation, according to Eau Claire’s city manager.

Instead of the city applying for a $25 million nonstate agency grant on behalf of the Confluence Project’s arts center, City Manager Russel Van Gompel said a yet-to-be created 501(c)(3) corporation would have its name on the filing.

The city would be a partner in the proposed not-for-profit Confluence Inc., along with the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Eau Claire Regional Arts Center trust and key donors to the Confluence Project, under a proposed ownership structure that Van Gompel unveiled.

The City Council is expected to vote Sept. 9 on whether to create that corporation, but it would require longer to get Internal Revenue Service approval.

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ALTOONA - City leader: Proposed plaza would be 'a big deal'
A public plaza in the northwest quadrant of Altoona’s River Prairie development would complement Phoenix Park and the proposed Menomonie Street arena, creating synergy for the whole region, City Administrator Mike Golat said.

The city-owned 50-acre parcel on Altoona’s north side is bordered by the Eau Claire River to the north and west and River Prairie Drive and U.S. 53 to the south and east.

A low bid of $2.7 million for the first phase of development — backbone infrastructure to be installed this fall — came in Tuesday, which will go to the City Council.

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ROTHSCHILD - Cedar Creek Mall seeks boost
The new owner of the Cedar Creek Mall said he plans to make about $6 million worth of improvements to the shopping center, including updating the facade, replacing the roof and putting in a new parking lot.

Owner Ned Brickman said updating the mall's faded facade will cost about $2 million, but will be well worth it.

Brickman said he is hoping the creation of a new tax increment district in the village of Rothschild can help fund improvements.

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ARCADIA - Ashley Furniture says it has no plans to lay off employees
An Ashley Furniture official said that the company has no plans for lay offs -- even though the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board approved a $6 million tax credit for the company conditioned only on the company retaining half of its current employment levels.

The money would help relocate part of a creek, which flooded the Ashley property and the nearby village of Arcadia in 2010.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Sunday that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board in January approved the tax credits in a 9-2 vote. The award had not been made public because WEDC and the company have not reached a final agreement.

According to a WEDC staff memo the board reviewed, the company would have to invest $35 million to expand its Arcadia headquarters and retain 1,924 of its 3,848 jobs over the next five years to qualify for the credits. Typically, state business grants, loans and tax credits are based on companies retaining 100 percent of their jobs or creating new jobs.

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CASCADE - Business booming at Cascade Cheese Company
Cascade Cheese Company is nearing the end of a four-phase, $6 million expansion.

After taking over the Sheboygan area company in 1985, owner Keith Babler and his family found success focusing on organic provolone and mozzarella, which make up 45 percent to 50 percent of total production.

When Babler and his wife, Betty, first purchased the company, they had four employees and made cheese three days a week. Today, they’re up to 30 employees and produce 30,000 pounds of cheese five days a week.

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HUDSON - School board moves forward on $100 million referendum
The Hudson School Board took the first steps to bringing a near $100 million referendum to voters in the November general election.

The referendum will have two questions. The first will be for the construction of a three-year high school for 1,650 students, the conversion and remodel of the current high school to grades 8-9 and the current middle school to grades 6-7. The administrative offices, IT department and training area will be moved to the former high school.

The total price tag on question 1 is $104,965,828. That amount is being offset by $5 million from the district’s general fund reducing the cost of question 1 to $99,965,828.

Question 2 asks voters to approve an 850 seat auditorium at the new high school at an additional cost of $6,549,400.

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