RHINELANDER - A seemingly endless winter made for a tough year on utility bills. Some people are behind on payments and that could mean your provider shuts off services starting this week.
The latest scam is taking advantage of customers who find themselves stuck in that position.
Wisconsin Public Service customers say someone will call claiming to be from the company. They'll request money for unpaid accounts, claiming services will be shut down if you don't pay.
The scammer will suggest you buy a prepaid debit card or arrange for a cash pickup. WPS Community Relations Leader Leah Van Zile says those should be warning signs.
"They would not be offended at all if somebody says, 'You know, I'm not sure about this, I'm going to call back in,'" Van Zile said. "It's just a part of safety nowadays in the world that we operate."
What about if you actually are behind on your bill? Van Zile says there are still options to keep your lights and heat going.
All it takes is a phone call or a click.
"There may still be some dollars available for energy assistance, so if some of those folks haven't taken advantage of that program and they are income eligible, we really encourage them to contact the social services office for their county and see if there's some crisis dollars available," Van Zile said.
If you do think a scammer has called you, make sure to write down as much information about the caller as possible.
That includes the date and time, phone number and any description of the caller you can gather.
We have a link to the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program below.
RHINELANDER - For the last seven months, salesmen at Rhinelander's Slumberland Furniture worked in a dark, cramped warehouse. After crews tore down the old building on Stevens Street, crews were busy building a new building on the old one's footprint. That work took longer than expected, but the new Slumberland will open Saturday.
Newswatch 12 got a walk-through with the owner and store manager Friday. The new building is 19,000 square feet, offering about 2,000 sq.-ft. more than the old showroom. The new building features a more open layout with raised ceilings.
ANTIGO - Messages of support have been pouring in throughout the state since the prom shooting tragedy in Antigo.
Two Antigo women are continuing to support the community by collecting donations not only for the family of the shooting victim, but for the family of the shooter as well.
You can find a box at the Thirsty Soul in Antigo where people are placing words of encouragement, cash, and gift cards for the Wagner and Cooper families.
Lisa Sennholz is a mother of two Antigo High School students. Her son was at prom the night of the shooting. After that night, Lisa knew that something had to be done.
"My first instinct was to do something, to actually reach out and help in some way," said Sennholz. "And I said, I just feel like we need to ask the community to rally around these families and give support."
Lisa and Diane Kondrath, the owner of the Thirsty Soul, originally just hoped to collect cards of encouragement for both the Cooper family and the Wagner family. Soon, they began to collect gift cards and other monetary donations.
"I am overwhelmed with how many people have come in, and cared for both families equally," said Kondrath.
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