State Business Briefs: Executives plan to buy own paper company in NekoosaWisconsin Business
-- Executives in central Wisconsin are about to buy the specialty paper plant where they work.
NEKOOSA - Executives in central Wisconsin are about to buy the specialty paper plant where they work.
Officials of Nekoosa Coated Products are joining Wingate Partners of Dallas in purchasing the Nekoosa plant from its current owner, Dunsirn Partners of Appleton. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Nekoosa CEO Paul Charapata says it will allow the company to diversify its product lines, and find new manufacturing capabilities. The firm has around 90 employees, and the new owners expect to add more people in the next 12-to-16 months.
The expansion of lightning-fast Internet service is slowing to a crawl in some of Wisconsin’s rural areas. That’s because of new concerns over the future of federal funding which helps pay for those projects. The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association says about half its member firms are delaying or scrapping rural broadband projects, because recent changes have put their federal funding in jeopardy. The Federal Communications Commission has limited the use of the Universal Service Fund, which rural Internet providers rely upon for subsidies. FCC officials said the eight-billion-dollar fund had a lot of wasteful and inefficient spending – and therefore, a crackdown on allocations was necessary. But Internet service providers say they need the subsidies, because rural areas don’t provide enough revenue for companies to install broadband service on their own. In some cases, half of a rural broadband expansion is funded by the government. The Obama White House says universal high-speed Internet is critical for creating jobs and growing things like medical research. The FCC has a goal of making broadband service available in all rural areas by 2020.
He turned a small restaurant into one of Wisconsin’s best-known frozen pizza giants. Jack Fallucca, the founder of Palermo’s Pizza in Milwaukee, died yesterday from natural causes. He was 82. Close friend Henry Piano said Fallucca was quote, “one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known in my life – an immigrant who lived the American dream.” He was an immigrant from Sicily, where his wife Zina was born near Palermo. Fallucca moved to Milwaukee in the 1950’s, starting as a hotel dishwasher and working in construction before his family opened an Italian bakery in Milwaukee in 1964. The Palermo Villa restaurant opened five years later, and it served celebrities like Frankie Avalon and James Darren. Fallucca sold the restaurant in 1979, and his family started the frozen pizza business from a former Milwaukee bakery where they made the sauce and the sausage from scratch. They introduced 12-inch pizzas a few years later – and the operation grew over the years. It’s now in a 250-thousand-square foot plant in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, where 500 people work. Recently, Palmero’s became engaged in a labor dispute dealing with immigration issues, and efforts to start a union. A recent Nielsen survey showed that Palermo’s is now the fifth-largest frozen pizza company in the U.S. Funeral services for Jack Fallucca will be held tomorrow in Fox Point.