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NEWS STORIES

WPS Alerts Customers to a Utility Phone Call ScamSubmitted: 03/01/2013

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com

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ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Your phone rings with a call. On the other end the caller says your power will be shut down if you don't pay within the hour. The callers ask for either cash or a prepaid credit card number.

It's a growing trend that one utility company wants you to be aware. Wisconsin Public Service says people have been calling customers pretending to be the utility company.

"First of all, we're not disconnecting any residential or small commercial accounts during this time because of the winter martourium. And then secondly, we never ask for a prepaid debit card for payment," says Leah Van Zile, Community Relations Director.

For customers that are late on payments, the call can be decieving. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure the call isn't a scam.

"Any time you get a call like that, and it seems suspicious, you can take down the callers information. A lot of times, at that time, they will hang up because they don't want to give out any information," says Van Zile.

If information is given, ask to call back after double checking with the power company to verify. And if you do catch a scam, notify your utility company.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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Downtown Rhinelander debuts Holiday Open House SaturdaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The opening of the gun deer season often leaves wives and girlfriends at home on their own.

Downtown Rhinelander hopes it can attract many of those women, and maybe even some men, to get started on holiday shopping.

The first-ever Holiday Open House on Saturday will feature sales, special events, and demonstrations at several businesses.

Its timing falls perfectly with the hunting season.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

ANTIGO - Saturday kicks off the start to the nine day gun deer hunting season here in Wisconsin.

Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Wisconsin Chippewa band joins effort to return reservation land to tribal ownershipSubmitted: 11/21/2014

ODANAH - An American Indian band in northern Wisconsin will join an effort to get land on reservations returned to tribal ownership.

The U.S. Interior Department says the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe will join the program. It's among 21 Indian communities in 12 states that will become part of the land buyback program by 2017. That brings the number of locations in the program to 42.

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Drs. Foster and Smith founder thinks company will stay in Rhinelander after being sold to PetcoSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - The national pet supply company Petco will buy one of the Northwoods' largest employers.

About 530 people work at Drs. Foster and Smith in Rhinelander.

Drs. Foster and Smith sells pet supplies online.

One of the company's founders doesn't think the company will move.

"I have no reason to believe they're [going to] leave Rhinelander," says Drs. Foster and Smith founder Race Foster. "Marty Smith and I actually talked to many prospective buyers. The one condition we put was it cannot leave Rhinelander at least in the foreseeable future."

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DNR expect fewer donated deer this yearSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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NORTHWOODS - The Wisconsin Deer Donation program needs help from hunters this fall. The program lets hunters donate their deer to help feed those in need. Experts are concerned that the winter weather could cut into the number of deer kills this season. DNR managers think it will be difficult to find and hunt them.

"This year it's looking a little lean, especially in the north," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "With this deep snow, it's changed the deer behavior and it's going to change hunter behavior too. So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that our donations were down this year under the circumstances."

Donating takes three simple steps: you register your kill, field dress the deer, and then you take it to a DNR approved processing center. The venison is then ground-up, frozen, and shipped to local pantries, as well as people in need. One meat market owner and program volunteer feels the impact of fewer deer.

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Hundreds of Christmas presents donated through Operation Christmas ChildSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Hundreds of kids in third world countries will get to open a Christmas gift this year. It's all thanks to people who donate a shoebox filled with supplies for kids.

The boxes are part of a world-wide organization called Operation Christmas Child.

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