Local

The No. 1 consumer complaint to DATCP in 2016 was telemarketing. Telemarketing complaints spiked in 2016, up 45 percent from the previous year with 3,685 total complaints. While 2017 may still be young, telemarketing inquiries are already off to a busy start due to a recent rash of potential scam phone calls known as "yes" scams.

Consumers are reporting to DATCP that they have received calls out of the blue where a friendly voice asks "can you hear me?" (or a similar question). The call recipient's first instinct could get the best of them, as their "yes" response may be recorded and used against them.

Con artists may be using these recordings of people saying "yes" to bill them for products or services they never actually agreed to.

More than 1 million Wisconsin residents live in rental housing – most with security deposits that often equal as much as a month's rent – which means there is a significant amount of money in flux at any given time.

Therefore, it is no wonder that issues pertaining to security deposits were the leading driver of landlord/tenant complaints to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) in 2016. DATCP received 1,121 complaints in the landlord/tenant category last year, second only to telemarketing.

After security deposits, consumer complaints focused on unauthorized entry, inadequate disclosures and evictions. Some basics to know about these subjects:

Unauthorized entry: Unless there is an emergency, a landlord must give 12-hours advance notice before entering a unit.

Prosecutors are charging a Black River Falls man, Timothy P King, with obstructing an officer and mistreating animals all stemming from a July 2016 event.

Deputy Michael Bartlett first arrived in the Town of Komensky to help the Black River Falls ambulance who responded to a pit-bull attack on King.

King said he was charged by a large, tan pit-bull while he was walking down the street which resulted in a large cut on his hand and scrapes to his knee.

King was walking his own dog when a pit-bull came running out to the road, both dogs barked and growled at each other.

King said he knew the dog belonged to his grandmother and when he went to ask her about kenneling the dog, it charged him biting his hand and dragging him around.

Grab a friend and a trowel as the fifth annual Garden Expo by Master Gardeners, Etc. and UW-Richland Continuing Education digs deeper and cultivates the possibilities of horticulture in your backyard and throughout southern Wisconsin. The expo will be held at the UW-Richland Wallace Student Center, Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Prior to the expo is a hands-on workshop on food preservation by Richland County Family Living Agent Chelsea Wunnicke. During this workshop, attendees will see different preservation equipment and view the difference between frozen, dehydrated and canned produce. Participants will also practice making a recipe for freezer storage and leave with a half-pint of jam. This workshop has an additional cost of $20, which includes supplies, with registration open until March 20 for the workshop.

The public is invited to the Partners of Black River Memorial Hospital’s Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 15. The event will be held from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Black River Falls Middle School. The Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 11:15 a.m. on the high school track and field.

There is an admission cost of $6.00 per person and no cost for children age two and under. The admission cost includes the brunch and many activities, including: treasure hunt, face painting, crafts, bean bag toss, ring toss and many other door prizes. Additional activities, with a minimal cost include: plinko, sucker pulls, raffles, picture with the Easter Bunny and the popular inflatable castle bounce.