Rounding up the Diz Biz Roundup

This is the last post for this blog, which began as an interesting class project and quickly morphed into a collection of health care and small business news in Milwaukee.

Thanks for reading. To continue to follow business news in Milwaukee, it’s easier to keep up with The Business Journal of Milwaukee, JS Online, and other outlets.

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Heath care heroes

The Milwaukee BizTimes announced its 2010 Health Care Heroes winners on Friday, and they will be featured in a special section of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine in December.

Winners were chosen in different categories, including nurse, physician, advancements in health care, community service, corporate achievement, health care staff, volunteer and grand achievement award.

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Health care not the primary reason for Democrat losses

Corri Hess.

The Democrats suffered substantial losses in last Tuesday’s midterm election, but judging by The Business Journal health care reporter Corri Hess’s latest blog, heath care wasn’t the main reason for the results.

In a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 29 percent of respondents said the economy was the No. 1 factor in their voting decisions.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. More than half of the respondents, 56 percent, said either portions of the bill should be changed or the entire law repealed. Health care was the No. 4 factor in the poll.

Also in terms of the federal health care reform bill, 21 percent favored expansions and 19 percent said leave it as it is.

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George W. Bush comes to Milwaukee fundraiser

Photo via Patrick Xiong, Milwaukee Business Journal website.

Former President George W. Bush hit Milwaukee on Wednesday to discuss his time as an alcoholic and road to recovery at a Teen Challenge event. The 43rd President of the United States wasn’t at the Frontier Airlines Center solely to plug his new memoir “Decision Points” as he was to help raise funds and awareness about alcoholism.

I covered the event for The Business Journal, and noted the candor and avoiding of political discussion in the speech.

On JS Online, reporter Bill Glauber tells the story through Bush’s anecdotes, from his personal journey through dark days to how quickly his life changed from politics.

My colleague at The Marquette Tribune, Andrew Phillips, told the story through faith and talked to a couple members helped by Teen Challenge.

The local TV and radio stations covered the event in earnest as well. TMJ4, the NBC affiliate, had reporter George Mallet approach it from a religious angle, as Teen Challenge is a Christian-based recovery organization. Mallet’s story also appeared on TMJ’s sister outlet for radio, WTMJ 620 AM.

FOX 6 had a smaller report also focusing on that aspect.

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Aurora to cut 175 jobs

Corri Hess.

A late Thursday night report from The Business Journal by health care reporter Corri Hess indicated Aurora Health Care will lay off 175 workers by the end of the year. A letter sent to Aurora employees declined the specifics of which jobs would be eliminated, but 40 at Summit would either be redeployed or cut altogether.

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For Diamond’s Beloit plant, more chips = more jobs

Workers at the kettle chip plant in Portland. Photo via Milwaukee Business Journal website.

Diamond Foods Inc. is probably better known as the parent company of Diamond Walnuts, but now it’s getting heavier into the potato chip field.

On Tuesday, The Business Journal reported Diamond Foods is expanding its Kettle brand potato chip plant in Beloit, with a $38 million project expansion that could create more than 100 jobs.

The San Francisco-based company discussed expansion in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, and this sees the project come to fruition.

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Humana’s earnings make a leap

In the third quarter, Humana Inc. reported net earnings of $393.2 million. That’s an increase of nearly $100 million over where they were at this same time last year, according to a report by Milwaukee BizTimes.

BusinessWeek explained the 30 percent jump came in part because of a jump in Medicare Advantage enrollment. Medicare Advantage plans operate in the private sector, but are versions of the government’s Medicare program.

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