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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
Community rallies to help one of its ownSubmitted: 10/30/2014

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CRANDON - Kim Teschner looks like a healthy 28-year-old, but the mother of two from Crandon had the scare of her life this past July.

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Teschner became numb. She couldn't walk by the time she got to the emergency room.

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Northwoods Highway Departments prep for first snowfall Submitted: 10/30/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Northern Wisconsin likely faces the first significant snowfall of the year Thursday night. That means highway departments are prepping for the start of snow-removal season.

Last year's winter was tough on Wisconsin highway departments. Vilas County is making sure they're ready to go this year.

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Substitute teachers will get paid more.Submitted: 10/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Substitute teachers working for the Rhinelander School District will get paid more.

The district superintendent thinks the pay increase will make it easier for them to find substitutes. The district has had a difficult time finding subs since they started paying substitute teachers less than other districts.

Last year, they changed long term sub pay from 190 dollars to 135 dollars per day.

Some local subs started working for other districts.

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Walker leads Burke in latest poll; both hit the campaign trailSubmitted: 10/30/2014

MADISON - Democrat Mary Burke is back on the campaign trail on the heels of a poll showing her trailing Republican Gov. Scott Walker by 7 points.

Burke was scheduled to campaign Thursday in Port Washington. Walker is starting his day in the Wausau area, then going east to Green Bay, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Sen. Ron Johnson was campaigning with Walker.

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Halloween can be more than just trick-or-treatingSubmitted: 10/30/2014

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MINOCQUA - Retailers could set records this year for the highest Halloween sales. Most of that money is going towards candy and children's costumes.

But Halloween isn't just for kids anymore. Many adults are throwing Halloween parties to celebrate.

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DNR reminds hunters to check boundaries Submitted: 10/30/2014

WISCONSIN - Wisconsin wildlife leaders want to remind deer hunters to learn the boundaries of new management units by reviewing county lines.

The DNR reduced the number of traditional management units this year from 134 to 72 units based on county boundaries in an effort to simplify the hunt.

The agency says hunters need to have a good idea where county lines are so they know where units begin and end.

The new units don't follow roads or rivers like they did in the past.

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Wisconsin Rapids man gets life in 2008 homicideSubmitted: 10/30/2014

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A 55-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury convicted him of killing his daughter's ex-boyfriend.

Jurors deliberated for less than two hours Thursday before finding Joseph Reinwand guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.

Wood County Judge Greg Potter sentenced Reinwand to life in prison with no eligibility for extended supervision.

Reinwand was charged in the 2008 shooting death of 35-year-old Dale Meister.

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