New Lac du Flambeau Casino Could Be Two Years AwaySubmitted: 04/23/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

SHULLSBURG - Little Shullsburg in southwestern Wisconsin doesn't have much of a skyline.

But a Northwoods tribe wants to change that with a new 10-story casino.

Lac du Flambeau tribal members have pushed for a large casino near Shullsburg, near Platteville, for more than a decade.

Monday night, hundreds of local people, elected officials, and Lac du Flambeau representatives packed into Shullsburg to talk about the casino plans.

Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reporter Andy Piper was at the meeting and spoke with us Tuesday.

"As far as the people down here go, I don't really see a whole lot of push-back as far as 'who do these people think they are, coming down here and building a big facility in our town'. People are really welcoming to that," Piper says.

The casino would include restaurants, a spa, and even a sportsman's club.

Lac du Flambeau tribal chairman Tom Maulson guessed it would create 600 jobs in the depressed Lafayette County area.

About 85 percent of the casino's jobs would be filled by locals.

"All in all, they figured at the very best, if things went exactly right, which probably won't happen, they thought they could be breaking ground in a couple of years. People in Shullsburg are patient for this one," Piper says.

The plan still needs to go through an environmental study and get approval from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the governor's office.

If it's approved, it could break ground in 2015.

Off-reservation gaming is not uncommon for Northwoods tribes.

The Forest County Potawatomi runs Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee.

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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TOMAH - The Tomah VA Medical Center will end a lease agreement for a shelter for homeless veterans.

The Veterans Assistance Foundation has operated the shelter for nearly 20 years.

Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan says there have been more than 30 incidents involving shelter residents recently.

They include a suicide attempt, a drug overdose and criminal violations.

The center has given the foundation notice that it will end the lease in January.

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MADISON - A University of Wisconsin student charged with sexually assaulting and choking a woman is expected to face additional charges after investigators say they were contacted by dozens of other women.

Police say officers searching Alec Cook's Madison apartment found a black book with names of women he had met and what he wanted to do with them, including his sexual desires.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods didn't get a lot of bitter cold or snow early last winter.  That forced Vilas County to keep its snowmobile trails closed much later than it hoped.

But the county set its target opening date for this year, with hopes we see a very different winter.

The county set a projected date to open trails of December 12.  That allows deer hunters to get through their season without worrying about snowmobiles in the woods.

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MERRILL - A former Merrill High School choir teacher will go to jail after a judge found him guilty of sexual assault last month. 

26-year-old Chase Tonar will spend three years on probation and 15 years on a sex offender registry. As a part of that probation, Tonar will serve four months in jail.

Tonar had sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

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THREE LAKES - Baseball fans in Three Lakes watched the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night.

A few of those fans might live on Cy Williams Road, or down the street from Cy Williams Park. As they watched, they may have drawn the connection between that Northwoods man, Cy Williams, and the game they were watching on the field.

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EAGLE RIVER - A driver lost control of her car and crashed into the woods southwest of Eagle River late Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on County Highway D near its intersection with County Highway H. The driver was the only person in the car. She wasn't injured.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy on scene couldn't yet say why she lost control of the car.

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