LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People may think casinos bring in more than enough money for Native American tribes but that's not always the case.
The Lac du Flambeau tribe realizes it needs more business diversity.
So the tribe founded the Lac du Flambeau Economic Development Summit in 2012.
More than 100 people from 9 tribes and 5 states are attending the 3-day summit this week.
The chairman of the Oneida Tribe traveled to the summit to learn how his tribe can improve business.
"Oneida has 17,000 Oneida tribal members. We have 55% of our youth still live in poverty in spite of a successful casino. We do need to diversify, we do need to provide more jobs to our tribal members," said Oneida Tribe Chairman Edward Delgado.
They hope to come away with new partnerships and promising opportunities.
"The biggest challenges that tribes face is very high unemployment, generally north of 50% unemployment, fairly high dropout rates. It's a cultural challenge. Tribes tend to be closed communities. And as a result, having economic development come to tribes is a challenge. So our approach has been, let's reach out and bring it here," explained Brent McFarland, Chief Operating Officer of the LDF Business Development Corporation.
The theme of this year's summit is "Developing Green Energy Solutions and Technology-based Business."
People could choose from 15 workshops ranging in topics from broadband internet development to opening a grocery store.
Organizers believe the summit benefits more than just the tribal members.
"This isn't just going to benefit tribal communities, we're trying to develop economic engines that can reach out and help all these other communities on the outside. You know, stimulate job growth," explained Economic Development Summit coordinator Damon Fleming.
The summit wraps up Thursday.
All the presentations will be uploaded to the tribe's YouTube channel below.
MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.
The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain
Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuit
MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.
The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.
Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.
WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods rail
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses don’t get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.
Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.
Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.
In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.
RHINELANDER - An Oneida County prosecutor can’t believe how stupid a move one Wausau man is accused of making in court.
“This case is unbelievable, it's hard for me to even fathom we had someone that I hate to say stupid, but I guess that's basically what it was,” says Jodie Bednar-Clemens, prosecuting attorney. “I mean someone who came into court, into our courthouse, into the courtroom carrying illicit drugs in their pocket and much less methamphetamine.”
30 - year - old Kurtis Cline was originally facing three theft charges. While in court for those on April 10th, prosecutors say he took a bag of meth from his jeans pocket. He tried to stash the drugs under his seat cushion, but an officer caught him.
“Pulled something out of his pocket and put it under the seat cushion it was so obvious to me that he was doing something I had to keep myself from laughing out loud in court,” says Kurt Kopacz, Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy.
Cline pleaded not guilty in court. He's being held on a $5,000 bond. He will be back in court next month.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.
That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.
Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.
"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.
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