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Job scam bilks Port resident out of $4,000 PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 17:42

Bogus offer of employment with Swiss firm leads man to withdraw money from bank

A 22-year-old Port Washington man was duped out of almost $4,000 last week in an elaborate employment scam referred to as spoofing, Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said.

The man had placed his resume on Monster.com and was contacted by someone claiming to be from a legitimate Swiss business, Hingiss said. 

The co-called company representative interviewed the man twice via FaceTime, Hingiss said, and the man later received a letter telling him he had been hired to sell computer-based equipment and software.

The man received a $3,988 check from the company on Oct. 23 with instructions to deposit it in his personal account and then withdraw the money in cash, Hingiss said. He was then told to meet with “Jason” in Mequon to turn over the money. 

The man was told that after that, he would receive a computer in the mail so he could begin work, Hingiss said.

When the man went to the Mequon office building, “Jason” met him in the lobby “because he was walking out to lunch,” Hingiss said, and the man turned over the funds.

The man later received another check from the company for almost $8,800. He notified police of the incident on Thursday, Oct. 27, Hingiss said.

The man had become suspicious because it took so long for the check to clear, Hingiss said, so he called his own bank and discovered it was a bad check.

Both the company that the man believed had hired him and the bank on which the check was drawn were legitimate businesses, Hingiss said, and the man and his family had checked on that.

“They did their due diligence in terms of researching the company,” he said. “This was a legitimate company and a legitimate bank. Everything else was fraudulent.”

Hingiss said people need to be wary of incidents when a firm issues a check but then wants the money back in cash.

“No company’s going to be asking you to make a large deposit into your account if you’re not hired yet, then withdraw the money,” he said.

Nor, he said, will a company send a check in excess of what is owed and ask for the difference in cash — another popular scam.

To check out employment offers, Hingiss suggested, people should call the company directly and ask for their employment status.

Monster.com has posted ways to avoid being taken in by fraud on its website, Hingiss added. “Anytime you’re doing stuff over the Internet, you have to take every and any precaution you can,” he said.Daily Press

 
Incumbent, student vie for Assembly seat PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 17:39

Brooks cites experience in 60th District race against teen who calls for change

The race for the state’s 60th District Assembly seat has a one-term incumbent facing a high school senior.

Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) is opposed by David Pelikan (I-Cedarburg) in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election.

Brooks, 51, a real estate broker and small business owner, said he deserves a second term after doing a “good job representing the district and responding to constituents.”

Brooks said the bill he co-authored that allows columbaria to be built on church properties as one highlight of his term. It was signed into law last November.

Pelikan, 17, a Cedarburg High School senior, said the election isn’t about age but about ideas for the state’s future.

“Experience is not what drives Wisconsin forward, but common-sense legislation is, and that’s exactly what I bring to the table,” he said.

Brooks cited transportation as the state’s biggest issue, namely finding funds to fix Wisconsin’s roads.

Brooks said he is against increasing the gas tax, calling it a “declining revenue,” since more and more cars aren’t using as much gas as before.

Brooks said one way to keep down the cost of local highway projects is to avoid using federal funding, which automatically requires different standards and project elements that may not be necessary. He suggests swapping state money for federal funds.

“There’s a number of things we can address in the transportation budget without raising revenue,” he said.

Education, namely school accountability, is next on Brooks’ list. He would like to revisit the state’s school funding formula and ways to address failing schools.

Rules passed in the last legislative session allowed the Milwaukee County administrator to address failing schools, “and he failed to act on it,” Brooks said.

Brooks said he wants to empower the right people to address education. “We have great schools in my district, but the entire state pays for failing schools and failing students,” he said.

Brooks said he is proud of amendments restoring some items in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal last year. One example is helping the University of Wisconsin System get some funding back and eliminating some obstacles in university building projects.

Brooks cited his experience as Ozaukee County Board chairman in helping to pass a bill that allowed the Ozaukee and Washington county health departments to merge.

Pelikan said the state’s biggest issue is “hyper-partisanship.” In the last six years, the state has gone from one of the most bipartisan to one of the most politically divided, and the Legislature has been gerrymandered, giving one party complete control, he said.

Pelikan said through his platform bipartisanship can return.

Pelikan said he wants to make cuts in the Department of Corrections budget by sentencing those committing nonviolent drug crimes to community service, which he said will lower costs and reduce recidivism. 

“We want to keep people safe. But it’s not necessary to throw people in jail who aren’t a danger to other people,” he said.

Pelikan compared Wisconsin spending $1.2 billion per year to house 22,000 inmates to Minnesota spending $500,000 to house 10,000 inmates. Money saved through reforms, he said, could be invested in education.

Pelikan also wants to develop easy ways for people to connect with legislators. A petition with a designated number of signatures should require a response from the elected official, he said.

Pelikan said he supports campaign finance reform and wants to limit political action committee donations to candidates, wants to set feed-in tariffs for renewable energy and supports tax breaks for renewable energy producers.

In addition, Pelikan said he wants to provide tax incentives to companies that employ a certain number of state residents at certain wage levels.

Pelikan said he plans to major in political science and economics in college but hasn’t decided where he will attend.

The 60th District covers most of Ozaukee County and part of eastern Washington County. The winner of the election will serve a two-year term.Daily Press

 
Daylight Saving Time Ends PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 17:34

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Festive family fun to highlight Halloween in Port Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 19:10

Halloween will be celebrated in Port Washington Saturday with the city’s annual autumn festival, Harvest at the Market, and trick or treating throughout the community.

Harvest at the Market will also help commemorate the city’s final outdoor farmers market of the year, held on East Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., youngsters are invited to trick or treat at downtown businesses that display a sign with three carved pumpkins and the Port Main Street Inc. logo.

Children are encouraged to wear their costumes for the event, said Cathy Wilger, co-executive director of Port Main Street, which sponsors the event.

This year, more than 30 businesses will participate in the trick-or-treat hours, she said.

In addition, there will be free pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and pumpkin bowling in the alley adjacent to Vines to Cellar on Main Street, Wilger said. Members of Port High’s United for Youth group will help with the activities.

A full slate of vendors and music will help make the farmers market a festive place, Wilger added.

Halloween will continue Saturday afternoon and evening, when the city holds trick or treating from 4 to 8 p.m. 

Residents offering treats to youngsters are encouraged to turn on their front porch lights.Daily Press

 
County fine-tunes 2017 budget plan PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 19:07

Selecting health insurance provider among final decisions in spending package that will be presented to public Oct. 31

Ozaukee County hasn’t selected a health insurance provider yet, but built in a zero cost increase as the 2017 budget goes through the approval process.

The public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in the Administration Center, 121 W. Main St., Port Washington.

The county is negotiating with two health insurance providers, including its current provider, Group Health Trust, Human Resources and Technology Resources Director Jason Dzwinel said.

Among the budget adjustments the Executive Committee recommended is spending $300,000 on the first of two phases to upgrade the county jail’s door security software system, something Sheriff Jim Johnson said was a need. The system operating the dispatch, jail, court security, holding areas and panic alarms is out of date as it uses the Windows XP operating system.

Of the $300,000, $200,000 would come from the tax levy and $100,000 from the county’s jail assessment fund, a statutory account funded through portions of fines and forfeitures, Dzwinel said.

An apartment remodeling project at Lasata Heights, the senior care facility’s apartments in Cedarburg, is slated to be put on hold. The four-phase project started in 2014 remodels 15 apartments every two years through 2020. Now half complete, the Executive Committee is recommending stopping work for two years to build up cash reserves.

Occupancy was down due to the construction project, with six less apartments filled than normal, leading to a loss of $112,000 in revenue. The committee wants to fill the apartments again before deciding how to proceed with the project, Dzwinel said.

 The total tax levy is slated to increase by $315,000 from $20.275 million in 2016 to $20.591 million next year. 

The county’s tax rate is expected to decrease by 4 cents to $1.80 per $1,000 of equalized value for communities with libraries. Non-library communities are expected to pay a tax rate of $2.10 per $1,000.

That would mean the owner of a  $250,000 home in a library community would pay $450 in county taxes and the same homeowner in a non-library community would pay $520.

“We want to keep the taxes at no increase or a decrease,” County Board Chairman Lee Schlenvogt said.

Also included in the budget is $100,000 for bringing back the Ozaukee Clean Sweep program, which assumes receiving a $15,000 state grant.

The county, which discontinued the program more than a decade ago because of cost, is among only 18 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that don’t have a Clean Sweep program.

Dzwinel said the committee thought it was important to again provide residents with a way to dispose of hazardous household and agricultural waste.

The budget also calls for spending $75,000 on a two-year project to construct a storage building across from Pioneer Village in the Town of Saukville for the Planning and Parks Department. The project’s total cost is $125,000. The other $50,000 is expected to be part of the 2018 budget, Dzwinel said.

The proposed budget calls for putting $112,000 in the capital reserve fund that could be used in case of a shortfall in capital projects in 2017.

The County Board is likely to act on the budget at its Nov. 2 meeting.Daily Press

 
Lakefront development projects to get another look PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 19:04

Study showing math doesn’t work for TIF district prompts prospective buyers of city-owned parking lot to tweak plans

Port Washington officials are expected to revisit development proposals for a city-owned car-trailer parking lot near the lakefront in the next month or so, City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday.

Representatives of Ansay Development are refining their proposal after an analysis of the project revealed the plan doesn’t make financial sense for the city with the incentives being sought by the developer, Grams said.

Ansay Development, as well as businessmen Charlie Puckett and John Weinrich, have proposed developing not only the city-owned lot but also properties on several other lakefront parcels, creating 20 rowhouses on the city lot, a 44-unit apartment building on the block north of that and the creation of an entertainment complex at the current NewPort Shores restaurant building.

In addition, they would like to acquire the north marina slip parking lot currently slated for the Blues Factory entertainment venue and create a privately owned park with a small retail building there.

The businessmen have said they would seek $4.7 million in incentives from the city for their project, Grams said, but the city’s analysis shows that there would be a $1.8 million deficit when the TIF district closes in 2038.

The project only pays for itself if the businessmen seek $1 million less in incentives, Grams said.

In contrast, architect Stephen Smith’s proposal to create 11 townhouses on the car-trailer lot alone results in only about a $240,000 shortfall when the TIF district closes, Grams said.

Smith is not seeking any city incentives for his project.

However, Grams said, the analysis took into account city infrastructure work needed to be done for both projects. This includes moving a sewer main on the boat-trailer lot at an expected cost of $450,0000, making changes to the marina parking lot at a cost of $650,000 and rebuilding Harborview Lane for $60,000.

Grams said the analysis of Smith’s proposal also includes the proposed Blues Factory, which would be built on a city-owned lot across the street.Daily Press

 
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