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MADISON - Inn on the Park proposing major exterior, interior remake
Capitol Square’s only hotel is set for a $10 million-plus remake to transform the nine-story, 1960s-era building into a more gracious structure.
 
The proposal for the Best Western Plus Inn on the Park marks another big investment on the Square and potential boost for Monona Terrace.

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MADISON - AnchorBank selling Richland Center branch to The Peoples Community Bank of Mazomanie
AnchorBank plans to sell one of its branches by the end of the year.
 
The Madison bank will sell its Richland Center branch to The Peoples Community Bank of Mazomanie, if regulators approve, Anchor announced late Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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LA CROSSE - YMCA announces major expansion in La Crosse, Onalaska
The La Crosse Area Family YMCA revealed Thursday afternoon plans for a $9 million renovation that will expand and upgrade facilities at both its La Crosse and Onalaska locations.
 
A “quiet phase” of a capital fundraising campaign launched in January has already raised $8 million; the YMCA is looking to the local community with hopes of raising the final $1 million within the next “handful of weeks,” YMCA CEO Bill Soper said.

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WISCONSIN - Marine manufacturing remains vital in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is far from any ocean, but it remains a significant player in marine manufacturing.
 
From Marinette Marine and Bay Shipbuilding in the north to Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, marine manufacturing is a $6 billion industry in Wisconsin.

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RACINE - Two city community centers could all but close
Open recreation activities at Humble Park and Tyler-Domer community centers would cease to exist next year under budget cuts proposed in the city’s 2015 spending plan.
 
The proposed cuts, presented to aldermen Thursday evening during budget presentations before the City Council Committee of the Whole, would result in the centers being closed during non-summer months, unless some kind of contracted or specialized activity was occurring, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department Director Tom Molbeck said.

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LINCOLN - Kinnard Farms expansion upheld with added monitoring
In a decision two years in the making, an administrative law judge ruled Wednesday that with additional water monitoring, Kinnard Farms may continue with a proposed expansion.
 
Jeffrey Boldt ordered revisions to the farm's Water Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which accommodated expansion of Kinnard's concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).

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LA CROSSE - City of La Crosse won’t fight BNSF line
La Crosse has agreed to cooperate with BNSF Railway on adding a controversial second line on the city’s east side, in exchange for the company paying for a number of changes needed to make way for the track.
 
The city council voted Thursday to accept BNSF’s offer to fund relocating utilities at 11 sites, upgrading rail crossings on Cass, Main and Farnam streets and reconfiguring the municipal Forest Hills Golf Course, including moving two holes east of the line and adding a rail bridge with an underpass beneath the tracks. In addition, BNSF will pay the city $50,000 to close two at-grade crossings on the course.

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WAUSAU - Former school now Wausau's newest fitness center
One of the newest fitness facilities in Wausau isn't your typical gym. And that's just the way the owner wants it.
 
After a seven-year stint as a personal trainer at the Woodson YMCA, 45-year-old Dan Anderson of Wausau has opened his own business, Evolve Fitness, above Downtown Grocery in a space that used to be a school.

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TWO RIVERS - Two Rivers business propelled by diverse product line
Kahlenberg Industries may not be a household name, but its products are hard to miss along the waterways of the world.
 
Kahlenberg Industries Inc. is a primary manufacturer of sound signaling equipment for the marine industry. Their horns can be found on everything from 40-foot yachts to aircraft carriers. Even the horn heard daily as the S.S. Badger car ferry pulls into its Manitowoc port is manufactured by the Two Rivers business.

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APPLETON - Appvion blasts paper dumping by foreign competitors
Wisconsin's paper industry stands to take a hard hit if foreign competitors from Germany and China are allowed to compete unfettered in the U.S. market, according to testimony before the U.S. International Trade Commission Thursday.
 
Executives from Appvion of Appleton said German and Chinese companies subsidized by their governments have repeatedly undercut prices, dumping below-cost paper into the American market — giving them an unfair advantage.

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MARSHFIELD - Roehl Transport honored with excellence award
Roehl Transport has been honored with a 2014 SmartWay Excellence Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The EPA recognized Roehl as an industry leader in supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency.

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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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