One step at a time. Foxconn announced plans this week to start the next phase of construction on its “Gen6” liquid-crystal display screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant.
In early April, the Taiwan-based company will announce two bid packages for site utilities and roadways and associated stormwater drainage. That will be followed in May with initial bid packages for construction of the Gen6 fabrication facility itself, which will make LCD displays for healthcare, education and smart cities. Construction will begin this summer and the facility, which is expected to employ 1,500 workers, is projected to be up and running in 2020.
The aggressive timetable should dull some of the recent negative reports suggesting there is a glut of LCD manufacturing capability worldwide and questioning whether Foxconn will meet its projected long-term goal of producing 13,000 jobs here in southeast Wisconsin. Piece-by-piece, Foxconn is making headway and we look forward to this summer’s construction start.
After 14 months of planning and development of a new pay scale, the Racine Unified School Board deadlocked 4-4 — with one board member absent — and failed to adopt the plan. The action — or inaction — came as about 100 teachers packed the meeting to protest the simplified scale, which had been pushed by the school administration as needed to make the district more financially sustainable.
The deadlock means the dispute will drag on, even as the district faces a looming question of how to deal with a possible $10 million budget deficit next year.
This week was a happy one for Racine County’s Health Care Network as it held “groundbreaking” ceremonies for its new home in the former Chase Bank building, 500 Wisconsin Ave. The organization, which provides free or low-cost health and dental care to the uninsured and people with low income, started 32 years ago in the basement of a Downtown church before moving to its current location on State Street. During that time, the Network has provided 211,000 appointments valued at $42 million.
The move will provide upgraded equipment and facilities for better patient care. The capital campaign for the project is well on its way in just six months, but those who want to donate via PayPal can go to healthcarenetwork.org; and tap the donate button.
Wisconsin, like other states, seems enraptured with the cannabis craze — whether it’s legalizing medicinal marijuana, CBD oil, decriminalizing small amounts for personal use or advocates for allowing and taxing recreational use. Still, we routinely see anecdotal evidence of the potential dangers the rush could bring to our state roadways — like the news report this week of the driver who was stopped on Highway KR after a deputy observed his Toyota Corolla driving along with a 5-foot-long tree branch hanging out of his front grille.
A passenger in the car, who had a couple of other marijuana possession convictions, was found to be in possession of 11.2 grams of marijuana and was arrested, according to deputies.
The driver, who reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.133 and failed two field sobriety tests, told the arresting deputy he didn’t know how the tree limb got affixed to his grille. We suspect his ability to drive safely may have been impaired, so be careful on our roads and avoid Corollas and other vehicles that have foliage.