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NEWS STORIES

Utility bills scam hitting customers who might be behind on paymentsSubmitted: 04/16/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


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
Merrill businesses find counterfeit billsSubmitted: 09/01/2014

MERRILL - Someone might be making counterfeit bills in the Merrill area.

Several businesses told Merrill Police they were paid with counterfeit money in the last few weeks.

There are many simple ways to tell if a bill is real or fake.

We have a guide, and you can access it by clicking below.

Within the past year, businesses in Antigo and bars in Rhinelander have had problems with counterfeit money.

Contact the Merrill Police Department if you have any information.

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State seeks feedback on unemployment insurance systemSubmitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - More than 50,000 people in Wisconsin apply for unemployment benefits every week.

Now, the state Department of Workforce Development wants to know how it can improve the unemployment insurance system.

"Our Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council really likes to get out there and hear firsthand from those who deal with that system directly. We're looking for their suggestions and their ideas on what we might do to make the system even better," said Dave Anderson, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the state Department of Workforce Development.

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Two photographic exhibits to open next week at ArtStartSubmitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - The artists paired together in ArtStart's next exhibition couldn't have much different backgrounds.

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Sausage Fest brings in large crowdsSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - People in Eagle River had the chance to experience a unique event Sunday.

The Eagle River Lions Club held its first inaugural Sausage Fest. The family friendly event started off with a 5k run, music from the Bill Hassey Orchestra and of course sausages as far as the eye can see.

Leaders for the event say they wanted to do something similar to Oktoberfest.

"We put together a group about two years ago to think of some kind of activity to do locally in the community that would be a lot of fun to get people to come out and just enjoy a good day at the park," said Eagle River Lions Club Treasurer Jake Weinand. "There's a lot of other local clubs in the small towns in Northern Wisconsin that do similar things like this. We've been kind of envious of them. We've been around since 1949, we just didn't have anything like this."

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Farmers see younger generations more involved in farmers' marketsSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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Shoppers at the Hodag Farmers' Market can ask farmers different question about how they grow their vegetables. Some farmers think people like knowing exactly what's going into their food. They think a lot more younger people have become interested in farmers' markets because they can get all their questions answered.

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Wisconsin apple growers say crop is looking goodSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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Police find Methamphetamine in drug bust, arrest manSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A 27-year-old man sits in jail after Tomahawk Police found multiple packages of Methamphetamine, U.S. currency, and many paraphernalia items in a Tomahawk home on Thursday.

Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins says his department executed a state search warrant. The Police Chief says they got the search warrant because of a three and a half month long investigation into the sale and distribution of Methamphetamine.

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