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NEWS STORIES

Scammers target confused consumers ahead of Affordable Care implementationSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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RHINELANDER - People looking for more information on the Affordable Care Act need to watch out for scammers.

In Wisconsin, people will be able to search for a healthcare plan on the state exchange website October first. But a lot of people still don't know what they need to do, or how the new law affects them.

Scammers are taking advantage of that confusion. They're posing as "navigators". That's someone who helps you negotiate, and buy your new insurance plan. Consumer protection groups have seen this before.

"Any time there's a large government program that is rolling out you tend to see scam artists who want to take advantage of consumer confusion over these large programs and what they mean for them. So we saw similar scams, for example, when Medicare Part D went into effect. After that when the Affordable Care Act was first passed, we saw these types of scams popping up, and again when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act," says John Breyault, from the National Consumers League.

The scammers will ask for information like a credit card or bank account number so you can pay for the insurance they find for you.

But protection groups want you to remember one thing:

"Navigators are not going to call them out of the blue and ask them for this kind of personal information. So if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with Obamacare, or being a navigator and they start asking for that sort of information, or worse yet, asking you to send them money so you can buy this insurance, be suspicious. Hang up and report the scam," says Breyault.

You can report the scam with the National Consumers League at fraud.org. If you want more information on the Affordable Care Act you can visit healthcare.gov.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods caregiver talks importance of Silver AlertSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - More than 16,000 people in northcentral Wisconsin live with some form of dementia. They're some of the 110,000 people living with a cognitive impairment in the state. About 60% of them will wander at some point.

A new tool could help their families find them.

The Silver Alert program became available in Wisconsin Friday.

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Convicted sex offender to be released in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - A man convicted of breaking into a 15-year old girl's basement and sexually assaulting her will move to Rhinelander when he's released from prison.

26-year-old Jason L. Mullen will be released from prison August 5th. He'll move into a transitional living home in Rhinelander.

Mullen broke into a basement window of an Oneida County home. A 15-year-old girl he knew lived there. He told her he had a knife and sexually assaulted her. It turns out he didn't have a knife.

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Girl, 12, not competent for trial in stabbingSubmitted: 08/01/2014

WAUKESHA - One of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls charged as an adult with stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online horror character has been found mentally unable to stand trial.

A judge declared the girl incompetent Friday and ordered her committed for treatment. Two doctors who examined the girl had submitted reports saying they didn't think she was competent.

Court documents say the two 12-year-olds plotted for months to kill their former friend to win favor with Slender Man, a character in online horror stories. Documents say they lured the victim into a wooded park following a sleepover and stabbed her 19 times.

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UW Trout Lake Station holds open houseSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - UW Trout Lake leaders want people to get interested in science. They invited people to come out and see what it's like to be a researcher at the Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

More than 230 people showed up to the open house. People got the chance to go on a boat ride, learn about sampling and learn more about invasive species.

"The open house is a wonderful forum for us to be able to invite the community in and let them know what we're doing," says UW Trout Lake Station Director Tim Kratz. "Have a discussion about the kinds of research that we're doing on lakes, to hear the concerns or questions that people might have and just to enjoy a beautiful day on Trout Lake."

They also had activities for the kids.

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Clean Sweep event give people opportunity to get rid of hazardous chemicalsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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ANTIGO - It can get tricky to get rid of some chemicals safely. That's why Langlade County conservationists want people to bring their chemical products to the Highway Department Shop on Saturday.

People can get rid of all pesticides, insecticides, and chemical products at the Hazardous Waste Clean Sweep. It's free for all households and farmers.

Conservationists think the event will help people who don't normally know what to do with the products.

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Rhinelander's Flory sees Washington wildfires firsthandSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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WASHINGTON - Hot, dry conditions still worry firefighters in Washington state fighting the Carlton Complex wildfire.

In July, the Northwoods sent a team of firefighters to the area to help fight it.

Now, Rhinelander's Suzanne Flory is in Washington near the fire site.

She's working with the U.S. Forest Service.

This is one of the pictures Flory sent us of her area.

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Barbeque lovers come to the northwoods this weekend for Submitted: 08/01/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - In the south, you can find barbeque on every corner. Up here it's not that easy... But if you're craving it, you can head to Pig in the Pines this weekend.

It's the 10th annual year of the event in St. Germain. There are award winning ribs, live music and family friendly attractions to enjoy.

Barbeque lovers from across the midwest are drawn to Pig in the Pines...and of course everything is finger licking good.

"It does help the community," says St. Germain Chamber Director Penny Wiesmann. "It draws people from all over the Midwest. We have people talking about; this is their fourth or fifth annual year. The smells are incredible. You don't know where to go. You don't know if you should get ribs or pork or brisket or the corn. Try everything. Eat all day long."

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