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MIDDLETON - Spectrum Brands signs deal to acquire Tell Manufacturing
Middleton-based Spectrum Brands Holdings said Thursday it made a deal to buy Tell Manufacturing, a maker and distributor of commercial doors, locks and hardware based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The transaction, involving an undisclosed cash sum, was expected to close by the end of October.

Founded in 1986, Tell Manufacturing has 120 employees, with annual revenue of nearly $40 million.

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VERONA - Epic Systems has truly epic impact on Madison area
Of the new jobs created in the Madison area between 2001 and 2012, 27 percent were due to Epic Systems, according to figures presented during an economic development conference at Monona Terrace last week.

The company now counts 8,100 employees, up from 4,100 in the past three years alone. Those jobs have helped drive an apartment building boom both in downtown Madison and beyond.

The city of Verona itself has seen two new hotels developed based largely on visitors to Epic.
The campus itself includes 12 completed office buildings with another five under construction as part of Campus 4, which will bring another 1,580 offices to the site north of U.S. 18-151.

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GREEN BAY - Packers buy Ridge Road shopping center
One new land purchase by the Green Bay Packers is in the books.

According to Brown County real estate records, Green Bay Development, a business entity created by the Packers, purchased a strip shopping center at 1924-1932 S. Ridge Road on Aug. 1 for $725,000. The land is assessed at $532,000.

The team has said it plans to develop land west of Lambeau Field to provide it with non-football sources of income, similar to what the New England Patriots did with their Patriot Place adjacent of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

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GREEN BAY - Schreiber Foods celebrates new downtown Green Bay home
Schreiber Foods held a ribbon cutting ceremony this week to celebrate the completion of its new corporate headquarters and research center in downtown Green Bay.

The 260,000-square foot building, on the site occupied for many years by Port Plaza Mall, is home to nearly 600 of Schreiber’s 5,000 workers worldwide. It cost $85 million to build.

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JANESVILLE – City considers $2.4 million TIF for proposed industrial development
In an effort to boost the city's supply of available industrial space, Janesville council members Monday will consider partnering with a local developer on a project on the city's south side.

Developer Jeff Helgesen wants to construct two buildings on city-owned land on West Venture Drive.

He said Thursday he's certain he'll be able to find tenants for the buildings.

The first building would be a 120,000-square-foot facility at 202 W. Venture Drive. Helgesen said it could be expanded up to 180,000 square feet. The second would be a 225,000-square-foot building across the street at 401 W. Venture Drive.

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SUPERIOR - Shipyard plans cleanup of Howard’s Pocket
Fraser Shipyard is in the planning stages for an environmental cleanup of Howard’s Bay.

The cleanup goes hand-in-hand with ongoing projects to update and improve the shipyard facility through a three-phase dock project.

With the help of federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, Fraser Shipyards is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop a plan clean up a legacy of contamination.

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SHEBOYGAN – Reports say Sheboygan has rental housing shortage
If you're looking for a nice, high-end apartment with all the frills in the Sheboygan area, chances are you're out of luck.

That's according to a report commissioned by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, which showed multi-family rental vacancy sits at 0.4 percent, or about 300 units. Dane Checolinski, Director of SCEDC, said that new construction is usually needed when the vacancy rate sits at 5 percent.

The report said the area could stand to add about 300 units – 146 units to handle the increased demand in senior housing, 49 units to account for new employment growth and 103 to bring the market back to that 5 percent vacancy rate.

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GREEN BAY - Innogistics laying off 40 people at Green Bay warehouse
Innogistics LLC of Cleveland, Ohio, is closing its Green Bay operation at 3388 E. Mason St. on Oct. 31, terminating the jobs of 40 people.

In a Mass Layoff Notice to the state Department of Workforce Development, Innogistics said it lost its contract with Excel Logistics to Ryder Transportation.

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NEW AUBURN - Texas firm strikes it rich in New Auburn
The coarse silica sand found in the hills near New Auburn has made for a rags-to-riches story for one Texas-based private equity firm that went from dealing Texas sand to golf courses to selling Wisconsin sand for the booming fracking industry.

A Wall Street Journal story, “Small firm strikes it rich with fracking sand” lays out the financial nuts and bolts that have catapulted Insight Equity Holdings LLC, based in Southlake, Texas, onto Wall Street’s radar.

The story posted Monday after Emerge Energy Solutions closed at $122.78 a share. That’s up from $17 a share on its first day on the market in May of 2013, according to the article. Insight owns about 30 percent of Emerge.

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APPLETON - Public ownership sought for $27 million Appleton exhibition center
Consultants laid out a shift in strategy Wednesday for a $27 million exhibition center in the city's downtown so that the public owns the building, but is insulated from financial liability.

Consultants provided detail on the public ownership through a wing of Appleton for the first time publicly Wednesday.

It's a departure from previous plans that called for a private corporation to own the building. The public route means the facility is not taxed, but leaders could negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes.

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APPLETON - Lawrence University gets anonymous $25 million gift
An anonymous benefactor has given Lawrence University $25 million — its largest gift ever — to support student scholarships.

The dollar-for-dollar matching gift will result in $50 million in additional endowment to help offset the costs of a Lawrence education for students, a statement released by the university stated.

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MADISON - City Council upholds OK of large Willy Street apartment project
The Madison City Council has upheld the approval of a six-story apartment building at the corner of Williamson and Blount streets that’s been strongly opposed by the Marquette Neighborhood Association.

District 6 Ald. Marsha Rummel had filed an appeal of the city Plan Commission approval of the project from the Rifken Group, saying the panel failed to obtain enough details before granting the OK in July. She also criticized the 55-unit apartment with first floor retail as not complying with the adopted land use plan for the near east side.

Overturning the action of the Plan Commission would have required a 2/3 majority of the council but only 7 of 15 members voting Tuesday night supported Rummel’s appeal of the project at 702-706 Williamson St.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Following Council decision, Aspirus considers options
Even though the Aspirus Doctors Clinic's expansion plans are back on track in Wisconsin Rapids, the health care provider's future within city limits is not certain.

At Tuesday's meeting, the City Council reversed an Aug. 19 decision that denied Aspirus's annexation of 16.85 acres from the town of Grand Rapids to complete a roughly $30 million expansion.

But even though the City Council's most recent action was in Aspirus's favor, it doesn't mean the medical clinic will end up expanding in the city.

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LAKE HALLIE – Mid-State Truck completes move
Mid-State Truck Services, Inc. will celebrate 50 years in business in 2015. But the owners of the company and its employees have a different reason to celebrate this year.

Tuesday marked the start of a new era for the company that moved its operations to 1189 118th St. in Lake Hallie. Previously, the company managed two locations in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls.

The company will no longer lease those two buildings and has moved all employees to the current location.

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MADISON - East Wash development will have restaurant, wine bar and coffeehouse
A new development that includes a Southern restaurant, a wine and tapas bar and a diner-style coffee shop will involve booze in every aspect.

That is, pending approval from the Alcohol License Review Committee. The entire building at 829 E. Washington Ave. (the former Lussier Teen Center), owned by the umbrella company Robinia LLC, hopes to be open for business by mid-November.

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