WisBusiness.com

Sinking economy could mean rise in employee theft

Statistics compiled by the National White Collar Crime Center and the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance show that embezzlement by employees may be on the rise during the current economic downturn — at a time when businesses can least afford the losses associated with employee theft.

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Milwaukee City Hall earns recognition for energy efficiency

Century-old historical landmarks and ‘green’ buildings might seem worlds apart, but hidden within the ornate, steeplelike Milwaukee City Hall, constructed in 1895 and recently renovated to the tune of $70 million, is a 21st-century success story: The City Hall complex, which includes two attached office buildings, has earned silver LEED certification for energy efficiency.

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Manufacturers wary of new e-waste recycling bill

As sweeping new legislation regarding disposal of electronic waste moves through the Legislature, some technology groups and recycling businesses are lauding the measure even as electronics manufacturers say it places an impossible task on them to control what happens to their products once in the hands of consumers.

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Theater owners face real-life drama as 3-D roll-out coincides with economic crisis

Perhaps someone will one day make a movie about it: How theater owners, from mom-and-pop operations to big cinema chains, were caught up in an exciting, yet hair-raising adventure when groundbreaking technology swept their industry during the worst recession in decades. In Wisconsin, theater owners say digital film and the 3-D phenomenon has them scrambling to install new equipment — investing hundreds of thousands of dollars – in hopes of a happy ending.

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Consultant urges manufacturers to look for savings in shipping

As companies struggle through tough economic times, most could save considerable money in shipping costs for both the products they sell and the purchases they make, a transportation consultant told Wisconsin manufacturers this week. “Most companies overspend by 20 percent due to poor transportation decisions,” said Geoff Comrie, founder and CEO of Raleigh, N.C.-based Transite Technology. “It’s probably the biggest area people bleed dollars in a manufacturing environment. “

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Climbing gyms, indoor rec facilities retaining foothold despite plunging economy

With so many businesses closing or hanging on by a thread during the recession, Adventure Rock, an indoor rock climbing gym in suburban Milwaukee that opened in 1991, just had its best year ever. It and other indoor sports facilities in Wisconsin are doing things like hiring and planning new construction — activities that for other luxury businesses are well out of reach these days.

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Talgo high-speed trains to sport Badger colors, traditional locomotives

Wisconsin transportation officials have chosen a bright, white-and-red color scheme for the exterior of its new high-speed train sets, but the modern, cutting-edge passenger cars will be pulled, for the time being, by existing Amtrak locomotives. The new Series 8 passenger train sets being manufactured for Wisconsin’s Hiawatha Service by Talgo will feature airtight doors, ice-free windows, handicap accessibility and Wi-Fi capability. There will also be a bistro car, which will serve hot and cold sandwiches and beverages.

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Storm water collection touted to reduce drain on businesses from municipal fees

Changing the longtime engineering mind-set of deliberately channeling rainwater off of property in the Milwaukee area could save tens of thousands of dollars, attendees of a clean water conference were told Wednesday in Wauwatosa. Milwaukee landscaping contractor Bryan Simon was pelted with questions as he showed slides of his own small-business property, which has been transformed into a prototype of storm water conservation disguised as attractive brick, cobblestones and flowers, at the Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference sponsored by the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust Inc., or Sweet Water.

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