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NEWS STORIES

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

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

Story By: Lane Kimble

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 IN OTHER NEWS
College board looking for new-member for Board of Trustees Submitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Nicolet College Board of Trustees hopes to fill an open seat.

State guidelines mean only a certain candidate can apply for fairness and equal representation.

Criteria for the open seat are that candidates must be female, considered a minority, reside in Oneida County or the portion of Langlade County in the Nicolet District, and meet the definition of an employee.

The new trustee will serve a term that expires June 30, 2015.

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Sexual assault victim advocate responds to Tuesday's state Supreme Court rulingSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The state Supreme Court made a ruling Tuesday that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases.

It reversed the decision of a state appeals court in a 2011 case.

A defendant argued evidence of a previous consensual relationship with the victim should be allowed in court.

But the Supreme Court said evidence of a previous relationship falls under the state's rape shield law.

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Trek Bicycles defends ad - GOP files complaintSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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MADISON -
A spokeswoman for Trek Bicycles says its full page newspaper advertisement complies with Wisconsin law and is constitutionally protected free speech.

The Wisconsin Republican Party on Tuesday filed a complaint with the state elections board saying the ad that ran Sunday in Madison and Milwaukee newspapers was an illegal campaign contribution to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

Her father started Trek and she formerly worked for the company.

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Downed power line starts small fire near RhinelanderSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Gusty winds forced a domino effect that caused a small fire south of Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Winds blew over a tree, which sent a power line to the ground.

The electrical current started the fire.

It happened just before 11:00 on Hat Rapids Road near Highway 17.

Firefighters were glad the land nearby wasn't too dry with drought.

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Wisconsin & Northwoods see home sales grow in June Submitted: 07/22/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Home sales across Wisconsin are up for the first time in 2014 compared to previous year statistics recorded by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

A strong June for home sales could hint at good news for the rest of the year. Home sales statewide were up more than four percent compared to June 2013.

More than 600 homes were sold in Northern Wisconsin last month. Realtors like Bonnie Byrnes, Headwaters Real Estate, deal with water-front property in the Manitowish Waters area. She credits the second home market for some of the boost in northern numbers

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Kids compete in annual Worm RaceSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Kids found one of the biggest races of the year in the Northwoods Tuesday.

The Rhinelander District Library hosted their annual worm race.

Teams of two faced off with worms in hand.

Each believing their worm would win the trophy this year.

"ShadowWind is the fastest racer. Because he is never beaten," said 10-year-old Louis Malias.

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Art competition winners announced Tuesday nightSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Artists found out who won the Northern National Art Competition Tuesday night.

Artists from across the country submitted artwork to the art competition held at Nicolet College in Rhinelander this year.

Organizers expect about 200 people at the reception.

Some of the artists that submitted work will be at Nicolet.

The artists competed for $8,500 in prize money.

The entries come from all over the country, but there is art from the Northwoods on display.

Artists from Rhinelander, Antigo and Lake Tomahawk have work in the show.

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