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BBB warns of dangers relating to online dating Submitted: 02/14/2020
Zack White
Zack White
Reporter
zwhite@wjfw.com

BBB warns of dangers relating to online dating
WOODRUFF - Online dating is rising in popularity and new technology has made it easy to meet new people and find dates.

In 2019, The Better Business Bureau (BBB) received more than 635 scam tracker reports relating to romance fraud.

The BBB warns the rising popularity makes the work for criminals easier.

"You'll get sexual predators, people posing as male and they're female and people using fake profiles," said Woodruff Police Officer Ryan Scholwalter.

BBB Media Specialist Lisa Schiller said it's imperative for people to keep their eyes open.


"Meeting people online might not always be safe," said Schiller. "We want to remind consumers to keep their guard up to avoid being swindled or even worse."

Romance scammers will do just about anything before selecting a target to start a relationship.

Officer Ryan Schowalter said there are many things that can go wrong with online dating, but staying aware of your surrounding will save you in the long run.

"If you are going to meet someone for the first time, let someone know or meet in a public place incase things don't work out and you want to get out," said Schowalter.

Schowalter said you can keep yourself safe by doing your own investigation.

"I would certainly look them up as much as you can, look them up on Facebook, look them up on CCAP to see if they have any criminal records."


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RHINELANDER - Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Oneida County. The individual is in their 20s with a known history of travel. According to Conlon, the patient has been compliant with instructions from health officials and is currently in isolation. 

We will have more details as they are made available by the county.

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WISCONSIN - Gov. Tony Evers issued his "Safer at Home" order on March 24, but according to a recent survey by Unacast.com, Wisconsinites received a mediocre grade when it comes to social distancing.

The interactive map breaks down the entire nation on a county-by-county basis and assigns a letter grade for how well people appear to be practicing social distancing. 

According to the data firm company, Wisconsin received the grade of "D" after studies show that residents of Wisconsin only cut down their travel by about 19%.

In a blog post by CEO and Co-founder Thomas Walle: "If we don't take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed."

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RHINELANDER - A local grocery chain is now getting some help to sanitize its carts and baskets. 

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ONEIDA CO. - Friday, Gov. Tony Evers called on the State Legislature to send an absentee ballot to every Wisconsin voter ahead of the April 7 Presidential Primary. However, Republican state leaders say the plan is simply not feasible.

About 1,400 absentee ballots were requested in Oneida County during the 2016 presidential primary. This year, that number has jumped to 4,000, as more people are looking to avoid voting in person.

Next Thursday, April 2, is the last day to request an absentee ballot from your municipal clerk. Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman encourages people to request it earlier than that. Under current laws, the ballot must return to the polling location by election day, on April 7.

"If you wait till April 2nd to request it," said Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman. "And if something happens with the mail and its delayed a day, your ballot may not get there. So we're encouraging everybody to get their requests in as quick as possible."

You can request an absentee ballot by going to MyVote.wi.gov. For now, there will still be in-person voting, despite the Safer at Home order.


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RHINELANDER - With flights well below capacity during the coronavirus outbreak, the waiting area at the Rhinelander-Oneida County airport is empty, at a time when airport director Matthew Leitner says twice-daily flights from Rhinelander to Minneapolis are usually pretty full.

"This time of year, we're usually seeing about 60 percent [full]" Leitner said. "Of course, we're pretty far below that now."

According to Leitner, Rhinelander's airport is far from alone.

"Whether it's Chicago or Boston or Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, everyone's down 75 to 90 percent and I don't think we're an exception," Leitner said.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus.

Johnson's office said that he was tested after showing mild symptoms.

Johnson is self-isolating at his London home, and he is still continuing to lead Great Britain's fight against coronavirus.

Earlier this week Britain's Prince Charles announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

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NORTHWOODS -
Blood centers across the country saw thousands of cancelled blood drives and donations due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Community Blood Center of Wisconsin initially lost more than 700 units of blood the last two weeks but donations are now on the rise. 

"There's always going to be a need for blood whether we are in a pandemic or not," said Community Blood Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Straus.

Blood donations immediately halted with the rise of Coronavirus cases. Turns out, donating is one of the best ways to help out.

"We were looking at a really big shortage. In response we had to put out a big plea to our donors in the community to try and get in blood donors and I am pleased to say the community response has been wonderful," Straus said.

The local Community Blood Center donation surge was so large the blood centers started scheduling blood donation appointments two weeks out so supply stays stable.

"People are good-hearted individuals, especially in our state. Everyone wants to help out. It's just usually we don't think about it at the time but once we put out the message everyone responded greatly," Straus said.

With the high number of donors during the COVID-19 Pandemic, safety standards rose too.

"We've spaced out our appointment slots, making sure we don't have groups of people at the front door," Straus said.

"Everyone is spaced out from a time standpoint and we've also spaced people out physically in our donor centers so we can make sure the six-feet rules are in place," Straus said.

What's also important right now is that donors who have scheduled an appointment, to keep it.

"We know the need is there but it's not just going to be there today. It's going to be there in two weeks as well," Straus said.

The CBC hopes people remember that need for blood is year-round and there is no alternative way of getting this life-saving treatment. 

"I think people are looking for something to do to help. It's really hard to figure out what you can do to help when you have to stay in your home and this is something we are allowed to do. We are an essential community resource that we need to have. Blood donors have to come out and donate blood, we have no substitute for blood donors," Straus said.

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