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News 10.12.17

12 October 2017 News


The Ripon Chamber of Commerce director says he hopes workers who lose their jobs when Spartech closes will be able to still find work in the Ripon area. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced last Friday that Spartech will be closing permanently. A total of 70 employees will be laid off in phases beginning in December though next March. Ripon chamber director Jason Mansmith says he was surprised by the announcement. Mansmith says the good news is there are other companies in Ripon looking for employees.

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northeast Region will host a public involvement meeting to discuss a study of WIS 23 from US 151 to County P in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties. The meeting will be held this evening from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the UW – Fond du Lac campus in the Large Group Instruction Room, 400 University Drive, Fond du Lac. The LGI Room can be accessed from the University Center building entrance. A brief presentation will take place at 5:30 p.m., with the remainder of the meeting following an open-house format. This public meeting will discuss recent efforts by WisDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to prepare a new Limited Scope Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for WIS 23 in the study limits. The new statement will address concerns a federal court raised in a previous WIS 23 study. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the study and provide input. WIS 23 study maps, exhibits and other information will be on display. WisDOT staff will be available to discuss the study on a one-on-one basis, answer questions or address concerns.

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University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is proposing merging the state’s two-year schools with its four-year campuses in effort to boost enrollment. System officials said in a news release Wednesday that Cross’ plan calls for keeping the two-year schools open but making them essentially regional branches of the four-year schools. Students would still earn associate degrees but they would come from the four-year schools. They say the merger will make more classes available to two-year students, make their degrees more attractive and ease transfers to the four-year schools. The move is designed to bolster two-year school enrollment, which has dropped 32 percent between 2010 and this fall. Cross will present the plan to the Board of Regents next month.

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A Foxconn Medical Group official says no decision will be made on whether the electronics giant will open a secondary facility in Wisconsin until next year. Charlie Alvarez is a senior adviser to the president of the Taiwan-based company. He says the Madison and Milwaukee areas are leading contenders for a medical-related facility, should Foxconn decide to open one. That location would be in addition to the massive display screen factory planned for Racine County in southeast Wisconsin. Alvarez says no decision will be made on the medical facility until all the papers are signed on the main factory, which is expected to employ thousands. Alvarez was in Madison on Tuesday to discuss Foxconn’s medical group work at the Wisconsin Biohealth Summit.

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A company that buys shuttered plants and sells their assets has plans to acquire the former Oscar Mayer headquarters in Madison. Reich Brothers Holdings expects to close on the deal at the end of October. CEO Adam Reich says the company hopes to bring manufacturing back to the plant which was home to Oscar Mayer since 1919 and once employed 4,000. Production ended in June. Reich says the industrial vacancy rate in Madison and Wisconsin is relatively low, so space is needed. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Reich says some facilities on the 72-acre site may have to be demolished and some areas will need an industrial cleanup.

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