News

With peak demand for vehicle sales occurring in spring and fall, dealers’ advertising and enticing discounts may tempt buyers. Before customers sign on the dotted line, Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds customers to do their homework. DMV offers a number of brochures and online resources to buy wisely. The consumer guides include:

  • Odometer Tampering: Tips to spot fraud;
  • Sell It Right: Tips for selling your car;
  • Smart Buying: Tips for buying a car.

“Wisconsin DMV’s comprehensive online information and knowledgeable agents are valuable tools when buying a new or used vehicle,” said Michael Domke, Dealer and Agent Section supervisor. “DMV ensures transparency and provides resources to consumers and dealers to help understand and follow Wisconsin’s laws on vehicle sales.

Freedom Honor Flight, the La Crosse hub of the national Honor Flight program for veterans, announced on March 7 its 2017 flight schedule. The spring flight is scheduled for May 6. The fall flight is set for Sept. 16. The organization has flown more than 1,800 to date. The 2017 flights will be the 19th and 20th held.

Veterans for the spring flight were notified by phone Wednesday night, March 8, as part of the organization’s Veterans Calling Night. “It is such a fun experience, calling veterans and letting them know it’s their turn to fly,” said board member Kathy Van Kirk-Przywojski. “Most of them have been on the waiting list for some time, so they’re really excited and ready to go.

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.

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