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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
Candidates spar over Ebola, mining, minimum wage and other national topics during debateSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WAUSAU - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District debated over topics like mining, jobs, Ebola, healthcare, and other issues in Wausau Wednesday night.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) are running for the 7th Congressional District seat. The district covers part of 20 counties across northern Wisconsin.

The area lags behind the rest of the state economically. That was one of the reasons mining was a topic of focus. The Gogebic Taconite project would involve a four mile open pit mine in Iron and Ashland County. The project could mean more than 600 jobs with other secondary jobs connected to the mine.

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Sex offender charged for allegedly making booklet filled with photos of young girlsSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MINOCQUA - A Rhinelander sex offender could go back to prison.

Albert Chagnon allegedly made a booklet filled with photos of young Northwoods girls while he was still in prison in Oshkosh.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a community meeting Wednesday. Parents at the meeting were given details about the booklet.

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Boy Scouts receive a big donationSubmitted: 10/29/2014

WESTON - A big donation will help scouts in central and northern Wisconsin.

A man who went to a scouting camp in Rhinelander wants to help send more kids to camp.

The Samoset Boy Scout Council announced the $3 million donation Tuesday. It was made by Chicago real estate executive and former scout Albert Hanna.

The money will help send under-served kids to summer camp.

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Police search for man who shot at off-duty officerSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MILWAUKEE - Police are looking for the gunman who fire shots at an off-duty officer in Milwaukee.

Authorities say the 52-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officer witnessed a traffic accident Tuesday about 5:30 p.m. and following the striking vehicle which had left the scene. At one point the male suspect got out of his car and showed a handgun.

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Raptor Education Group hosts Halloween eventSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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ANTIGO - The Raptor Education Group will give a special presentation on owls on Halloween (Friday).

The meeting will be geared for children and adults. Live owls will be at the event and three of them will be released in the wild at the end of the meeting.

"We get all the species you can find in Wisconsin, they come in for rehab," said Director of Education Abbey Krumrie. "We get a lot of baby owls in during the spring and we have foster parents that help take care of them.
So that's what we have to release on Halloween."

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Wisconsin study to probe farm kids' allergiesSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MARSHFIELD, WI - Marshfield Clinic researchers are enrolling pregnant Wisconsin farmers in a study of children's allergies and asthma.

News-Herald Media reports (http://mnhne.ws/1FSghvR ) the clinic's National Farm Medicine Center plans to enroll about 100 expectant mothers who live on farms and 100 non-farm women. The center will work with the University of Wisconsin's asthma and allergy research center to track kids' development of allergies and respiratory infections for two years, starting before the babies are born.

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Professional cartoonist paints Hodag mural Submitted: 10/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's beloved Hodag will come to life thanks to a local cartoonist this week.

Thomas Barnett is painting the mural inside the Northwoods Community Elementary School.

"Mr. Losch, the principal, showed me this penciled Hodag that they had on the wall for years that no one ever did anything with. He had heard that I was an artist and asked if I'd be interested in coming in one of these days and doing something on the wall," said cartoonist Thomas Barnett.

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