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NEWS STORIES

Tribal Leaders Hope to Avoid Backlash at Musky TournamentSubmitted: 03/08/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Stories about spear fishing and tribal rights generate a lot of feedback. Some of it is so negative and inflammatory we have to delete it from our Facebook page.

Lac du Flambeau leaders hope to avoid that reaction at an upcoming Musky Tournament.

Fishing tournaments are a way of life for many in the Northwoods. Sports anglers take millions of fish from the lakes each year. In comparison native spearers take a much smaller harvest, but they face extensive criticism for it.

It's likely native people have enjoyed a friendly competition since the invention of the spear thousands of years ago. They hold small tournaments often, and often their pictures end up on websites condemning them, like www.musky.com/2012Single/FisheryRape .

This weekend musky spearers will hold a tournament in Lac du Flambeau. Tribal Chairman Tom Maulson wants Native Spearers to feel the same pride as anglers who show off their catch.

"This is a time that our people can be proud of what they do. And they shouldn't have to be scrutinized by a newspaper or a musky group or any type of fishing group out there… We don't go out there and protest their tournaments," said Tom Maulson, President of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

In the 6 to 7 hours of the tournament, Maulson thinks some spearers won't catch any fish. Some others he says might catch one or two.

There will be Tribal and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission officials monitoring the tournament.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A representative of Wisconsin's Native American tribes told state lawmakers about the challenges facing tribal communities.

Chris McGeshick, chairman of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community delivered the annual State of the Tribes address Thursday.

He said state leadership needs to be aware of the difficulties tribal members endure.

Said McGeshick, "You should know that the constituents reside in the poorest counties in Wisconsin. We have the highest rate of unemployment, and fewer job opportunities than the overall population of the state of Wisconsin. They suffer from a lower life expectancy than the overall population of the state of Wisconsin, due to barriers with healthcare."

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EAGLE RIVER - The former Lac du Flambeau man who owned and ran an ATM business that appeared in some U.S. and Canadian casinos will serve three years in prison.

Kevin Maulson was sentenced Thursday in Vilas County Court for three felony counts of making false statement on a securities sale and theft in a business setting. This was for misleading investors about his personal finances in the early 2000s and not paying them back.

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WAUSAU - When you hear the word "gang," you may think of big cities like Chicago or Milwaukee. Unlike what many believe, they may be in your own backyard.

"The prominent one, the OTB, that this male juvenile claimed to be, that one was a known gang group here in the Wausau area," said Wausau Police Officer Houa Lee. "This other gang involving white, Hispanic, or black males, that was probably a hybrid gang that just formed."

Some gangs in Wausau have been around for the past fifteen years. Last week, a middle school boy died when a 15 year old stabbed him twice in the back. Police think the stabbing is gang related.

Recently, kids as young as ten years old are getting involved in gangs. Police say their biggest problem is keeping track of them.

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MINOCQUA - Leaders at Minocqua Winter Park often hear from locals that they don't get the chance to visit the park. Staff members want to change that.

"We get people popping in to the chalet daily that say they've lived in the area for many, many years but haven't had a chance to come explore. We want to get rid of any excuse they have to come and explore Minocqua Winter Park," said Minocqua Winter Park Executive Director Tim Collins.

They'll host Lakeland Community Appreciation Day this Sunday.

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VILAS COUNTY - Visitors to one Northwoods courthouse may notice some changes in security.

The Vilas County Courthouse will put in place new security measures starting March 16th.

The biggest change the public will notice is only one entrance will be open to the public.

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MERRILL - More private schools in Northcentral Wisconsin could take part in the statewide voucher program.

Three schools in Lincoln and Marathon counties that aren't already a part of the program are applying this year.

Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill is one of those schools.

The school applied last year as well.

"Having gone through it last year I know what we're up against," says Trinity Lutheran School principal Kathy Yahr.

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NORTHWOODS - Some people will need to get their shanties off the lakes this weekend. DNR wardens say the ice conditions are much better than last year. That will make it easier to get the shanties off the ice and Wardens say they'll be strict about the deadline this year.

"We've had these cold temperatures, extremely cold temperatures at night, and that's helped to freeze up some of the slush that was on top of the ice," says Conservation Warden Supervisor David Walz. "We saw some extreme conditions last year where people were struggling to get their shacks off even come April."

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