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.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
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