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NEWS STORIES

Utility bills scam hitting customers who might be behind on paymentsSubmitted: 04/16/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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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.

Related Weblinks:
Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program

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 IN OTHER NEWS
DNR to ask for first revisions to invasives listSubmitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources' board is set to consider next month whether to make the first revisions to the state's invasive species list since it was created in 2009.

The DNR has proposed classifying 49 more species as prohibited, which means people can't sell, possess or transport them and must destroy them if they find them on their property.

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Local stores compete with retail chains for holiday shoppersSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - Hundreds of people will shop for bargains on Black Friday. The sales at chain retail stores can take business away from local shops.

That's why one Northwoods toy store wants to promote shopping local for the holidays. Imaginuity is holding their own sale to compete with Black Friday.

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Some Northwoods school districts give students longer Thanksgiving break for deer huntSubmitted: 11/21/2014

CRANDON - Students in some Northwoods school districts won't go to school at all next week.

The districts decided not to stand in the way of family hunting traditions.

The School District of Crandon gave students Friday and all of next week off.

They've been giving students the week of Thanksgiving off for as long as anyone can remember.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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ANTIGO - Saturday kicks off the start to the nine day gun deer hunting season here in Wisconsin.

Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Early snowfall, windy conditions give best condition for early kite skiingSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods man believes our early winter has laid the foundation for early kite skiing. The combination of snow and wind gives Mark Collar the chance to use his skis and his kite.

Collar calls wind a friend, but that sometimes seems like the only friend at first.

"There is certainly a learning curve," Collar said. "When you're beginning you're falling."

But the falling didn't stop Collar from falling in love with the sport.

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Going above and beyond in the classroom; Meet the special ed teacher who's "made of magic" Submitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - Teachers can be influential and important people in children's lives.

For the ones that go above and beyond in the classroomâ€"it's the students who benefit.

A Crescent Elementary School special education teacher is really making a difference in her student's lives.

Amy Scholz works with four students.


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Downtown Rhinelander debuts Holiday Open House SaturdaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - The opening of the gun deer season often leaves wives and girlfriends at home on their own.

Downtown Rhinelander hopes it can attract many of those women, and maybe even some men, to get started on holiday shopping.

The first-ever Holiday Open House on Saturday will feature sales, special events, and demonstrations at several businesses.

Its timing falls perfectly with the hunting season.

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