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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
One person dead after being pulled from lakeSubmitted: 07/29/2014

WOODRUFF - Woodruff police want to know what happened to a person who died after ending up in the water.

The Woodruff Police Department was called to Indian Mounds boat landing about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Two DNR rangers there had pulled an unconscious male from the lake.

Medical personnel at the scene told officers the victim had died, and the coroner was called.

An autopsy will be performed.

No name will be released until the victim is positively identified.


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Act 10, voter ID, domestic registry decisions nearSubmitted: 07/29/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court plans to rule Thursday in three major cases.

The court is planning to issue its ruling on the collective bargaining changes Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature approved in 2011, despite massive protests that led to a series of recall elections.

Elements of the law have been upheld by the state Supreme Court and two federal courts already.

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Upper Penninsula mayor pleads guilty to embezzlementSubmitted: 07/29/2014

ESCANABA, MI - The former mayor of a small Michigan town has admitted to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a local service club.

The Daily Press reports (http://bit.ly/1qh77zh ) Leo Evans of Escanaba pleaded guilty Monday to a felony embezzlement charge. He also agreed to pay restitution.

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Green Bay to consider cell phone ban for driversSubmitted: 07/29/2014

GREEN BAY - Rhinelander and Wausau tried to make streets safer by banning cell phones while driving.

Now Green Bay is the latest city in Wisconsin to consider banning cell phones behind the wheel.

A Green Bay Alderman says he's almost been hit several times by someone talking on their cell phone while driving.

That included his trip to City Hall Monday night.

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Child runover by van on driveway, dies at hospitalSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RACINE - A 5-year-old girl has died after being struck by a van in the driveway of a Racine home.

Police say the child had just arrived for a party in the neighborhood Saturday afternoon and was facing the street when a 16-year-old boy backed a van over the girl.

Authorities say a rear wheel ran over the girl. The teen heard people yelling and shouting, but didn't know he had hit someone. So, he pulled the van forward, running over the girl a second time.

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Wisconsin man gets 9.5 years for drunk drivingSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for leading police on a drunken driving chase that ended in a near-fatal crash.

The Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1nSZKzi ) 41-year-old Kevin Hutchins Jr. of Milwaukee reached speeds of 100 mph during a seven-mile police chase. Deputy Scott Griffin was critically injured when Hutchins' vehicle bounced off of a barricade and smashed into his squad car.

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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

But Broeking is painting with six other juniors, not only outside of the high school, but completely outdoors.

"They've run out of room in the high school for these murals. They have many of them now in the school. They decided to move their talents outside," says Art Lersch, a Community Resource Development Educator with the Lincoln County UW-Extension.

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