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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
Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on whether past sexual relationships can be considered in rape casesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today on whether a prior sexual relationship can be considered in rape cases.

A Milwaukee man found guilty of rape challenged his conviction.

That's because the trial court refused to allow evidence that the man previously had consenual sex with the woman.

The Supreme Court decided it was proper to exclude that information at his trial under Wisconsin's rape shield law.

The court on Tuesday reversed an appeals court ruling that found in favor of the Milwaukee man.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court to rule on other issues raised in the case.

The man is serving a 10 year sentence for second degree sexual assault.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Lawsuit challenging Obamacare thrown out by federal judge in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/22/2014

GREEN BAY - A federal judge in Green Bay throws out a lawsuit challenging Obamacare.

U. S. Senator Ron Johnson filed the lawsuit in January.

The Wisconsin republican argued members of congress received special treatment under the affordable care act -- in the form of subsidies.

Johnson claimed those regulations forced him to participate in something he believed was illegal.

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Man who spends summers in Northwoods invents first-of-its-kind CPR deviceSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - One in four Americans will need to perform CPR on someone. But 70% of those people feel helpless because they don't know what to do, according to the American Heart Association. Joe Hanson, a man who spends his summers in Eagle River, spent more than 45 years in the cardiovascular medical device industry. Over time he saw devices improve. But one thing that didn't was the survival rate of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.

"2005, 2010 area, the American Heart Association and others started to look at the reason for that low survivability. And what they found was that people really hesitated to do CPR," Hanson explained.

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Hwy 51 lane closures by Minocqua bridgeSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MINOCQUA - Important news for folks heading to work, or summer camp. You'll need to plan for construction work on parts of Highway 51 if you're heading to Minocqua.

You can expect single, lane closures on northbound and southbound US 51. The Wisconsin DOT hopes all the work will be done by the end of the day on Thursday.

Those lane closures start at Country Club Road and go to West Park Avenue at Minocqua Lake.

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50-year-old airlifted after getting hit by car on HWY 51Submitted: 07/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - One person is in the hospital after getting hit by a car on Highway 51 in Minocqua Tuesday.

The person was eventually airlifted to St Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

It happened around 3 p.m. just north of the north loop in Minocqua.

50-year-old Pennae Biersach from Forest, Wisconsin was originally sent to Howard Young Medical Center after the crash.

There is no word on Biersach's condition.

Police are still investigating the crash.

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ACLU objects to full court hearing gay marriageSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MADISON - Gay couples challenging Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriages are objecting to the state's request that the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hear arguments in the case.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing eight same-sex couples challenging the ban filed an objection Monday to the state's request that the entire appeals court hear the arguments.

The ACLU says that would delay the appeal and put a burden on the court without any benefit.

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"Our people are hurting": Challenges on Menominee Reservation explain tribe's push for Kenosha casinoSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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KESHENA - Most things on the Menominee Indian Reservation seem to have a waiting list.

The tribal daycare center?

Waiting list.

"We could help more parents if we had the staffing ability," says Department of Early Childhood Services Director Penny Escalante. "Right now, we don't have that staffing ability, so we have 90 people on the waiting list."

The tribal clinic?

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