Business & Industry

New report agrees
11:15 am
Mon April 28, 2014

State Economist Sees Continued Growth in 2014

Credit Pixabay

A state economist thinks the  Northwoods economy will continue to improve. Ken Krall spoke with Department of Workforce Development economist Scott Hodek about the  forecast for the next few months.

A report last Friday by BMO Economics held much the same forecast as Hodek. According to the report published by BizTimes.com,  real gross domestic product  in Wisconsin will increase 2.3 percent in 2014 and rise 2.6 percent in 2015. This is up more than a full percentage point from the 1.2 percent growth rate in 2013, bolstered by firming factory activity and modest export growth.

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Business & Industry
9:48 am
Mon April 28, 2014

DNR, Timber Industry React Against Bat Protections

Biologists fear the loss of the northern long-eared bat due to the spread of the white nose syndrome.
Credit Steven Thomas / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Forest products industry leaders are voicing concern about a federal plan that could designate a bat species as endangered.  The listing could restrict summer logging. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering an endangered species listing for the northern long-eared bat, due to dramatic population declines and the spread of a deadly disease called white nose syndrome.  But protecting the species could cost the forest products industry.  

Federal guidelines to protect the bat discourage some types of summer logging. 

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Manufacturing Innovation
12:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Forum: Fab Lab Will Come to Three Lakes

Fab Lab in Amsterdam.
Credit en.wikipedia. org

An effort that will train high schoolers and entrepreneurs is coming to Three Lakes schools this year. 

The Fab Lab concept has been growing across the nation as a way to train people to manufacture goods in their own home, or to work for employers in a new type of manufacturing environment.

WXPR News Director Ken Krall discussed the Fab Lab, the new school curriculum at Three Lakes, and how this idea, brought about by upgraded high speed internet, could make the Northwoods into an new era enterprise zone.

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Speaking Friday in Rhinelander
1:40 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Sec. Chandler: Tax Reform Will Spur Manufacturing, Agriculture

Revenue Sec. Richard Chandler
Credit Wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin's Revenue Secretary thinks the newly-signed tax changes will spur the state's economy.

Richard Chandler was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation at Holiday Acres.(April 25)

Chandler says from the Walker Administration perspective, economic growth is tied to the tax climate...

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March WRA report
3:01 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Northwoods Home Sales Off, Prices Up

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The intense winter weather hurt Northwoods home sales in March, but prices continue to rise. An economist thinks it shows the housing market is recovering.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association monthly sales and price report shows a price rise of 14 percent in the Northwoods from a year ago, but sales were off about 100 units in the 18-county area from a year ago.

Economist David Clark noted the above average price rise here, but said statewide, it was just about 2 percent....

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Additional business possible
4:53 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Broadband Brings Fab Lab, Second Home Business

Credit Geralt-Pixabay

The Executive Director of Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation says the advent of faster Internet service will make a potentially-game changing effort possible.

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Fab Lab moving toward reality
5:43 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Three Lakes Schools Working With A 'Revolutionary' Concept

Fab Lab in Amsterdam
Credit en.wikipedia. org

Three Lakes increased broadband capacity and a willing community and school will likely put them on the cutting edge of a revolutionary education and economic development effort called a Fab Lab.

The technology exists to build a box,tooth brush or any manufactured item without a large manufacturing facility.

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Trend Toward Cleaner Fuel
5:41 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Older Unit at Weston Power Plant Soon to Stop Running

Wisconsin Public Service is retiring a coal fired power plant near Wausau, and switching a second one over to natural gas. 

Weston Unit 1 was built in 1954.  WPS spokesperson Kerry Spees says the older plant is much less efficient in generating power, and also needs expensive emissions upgrades. 

“We would definitely have to do upgrades.  We’re in a time it seems when those environmental standards continue to get tighter and tighter.  And at a certain point you just have to cut the cord and say there’s no real sense in trying to keep this plant operating.”

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Ethanol price spike
3:11 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Northwoods Gas Prices Among Highest in Midwest

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Corn is likely one  reason why gas prices have inched up lately, but there is another reason.

A petroleum analyst for the website gas buddy dot com says gas refiners are still in the process of shifting over to summer blend gasoline  so states can meet federal air quality rules.

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Off-Reservation Casino Sparks Debate
2:39 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Potawatomi Say New Report Shows Gaming Market is Saturated; Menominee Disagree

Editor's Note: This report was updated at 4:01 p.m.

A report on Indian gaming is drawing mixed interpretations about how casinos are doing in Wisconsin. 

The report from gaming information publisher Casino City shows a slight increase in Wisconsin’s gaming revenue from 2011 and 2012.  But it also shows more than 3-percent drop over six years, from 2007 through 2012. 

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