Lakeshore News, News Around the World

11 Foot Alligator Sneaks Into Family Pool

Police in Sarasota, Florida, pulled an 11-foot alligator from a local family’s pool after the gator decided to go for a swim after midnight on Saturday.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that deputies quickly responded to the call they got about the alligator writing, “The 11-foot intruder didn’t gracefully make his way through an open door. He decided instead, to bust right through the screen.”

The Sheriff’s Office posted a video clip of a deputy pulling the large reptile out of the pool with the help of a trapper, which went viral. They got the gator off the property by dragging it through the door of the screened-in pool.

The Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook, “This is no #AprilFools! The 11-foot gator we were called to Saturday morning is the top trending news topic on Twitter right now! (In other words, we’re basically breaking the internet.)”

They tweeted, “Dear internet who seems to be freaking out over the 11-foot #gator: Understand it’s just a #FloridaThing! We wear bathing suits & flip flops year-round. We buy sunscreen in bulk and well, we ride gators growing up.”

It is remains unclear where the alligator came from, but there is reportedly a lagoon nearby the house.

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Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Distracted Driving Can Be Deadly

Despite multiple warnings and statistics sent out by traffic safety organizations every year, studies continue to show that distracted driving remains prevalent among drivers of all ages.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, AAA – The Auto Club Group and Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation are partnering with The Hertz Corporation on a campaign that encourages motorists to evaluate their driving habits and take a pledge to stay focused on the road, avoid cell phone use and minimize other distractions.
“Too many drivers use their phones while behind the wheel,” said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group and executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. “Our hope is that by taking the pledge to drive safely, people will be more committed to staying focused on the road, knowing how easy it is for distracted driving to become a dangerous habit.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving resulted in 3,450 deaths in 2016, with nearly one-tenth of fatal crashes reported involving distractions.

The AAA/Hertz campaign will include the online pledge at AAA.com, safety messages at participating Hertz rental car locations, social media campaigns and more. AAA is celebrating 40 years of partnering with Hertz – offering exclusive discounts and benefits to AAA members – and has been working to educate the public on the risks of distracted driving since the 1980s. AAA members who take the pledge will receive additional savings on their Hertz rental car.

“Through our partnership with Hertz, we can reach additional motorists with information to help save lives,” said Nick Jarmusz, Wisconsin director of public affairs for AAA. “Distractions come in many forms beyond the use of a cell phone, such as interacting with passengers, eating or drinking, reaching for things in the back seat and programming your GPS while driving.”

“We’re proud to partner with AAA on this important campaign,” said Bob Stuart, Hertz Executive Vice President of Global Sales. “Working together, we hope not only to educate people about the risks of distracted driving but to make our roads safer by getting motorists to avoid distractions.”

AAA recommends the following tips for avoiding distractions while driving:

1. Make a commitment to safe driving. By taking the pledge at AAA.com, drivers have the opportunity to commit to safe practices before getting on the road.

2. Minimize cell phone use. Use message-taking functions and return calls when you are stopped and off the road.

3. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s controls before you hit the road.

4. If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus on driving.

5. Prior to departure, secure mobile devices and any objects that may move and distract you while driving.

For more information and additional distracted driving resources, visit AAA.com.

Community Events, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

The 2018 Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown Has Begun!

Enter today for your chance at grilled cheese glory and over $40,000 in cash prizes in the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown. Whether you’re an expert chef or a novice home cook, everyone is welcome to enter! New categories offer new ways to enter, including a the Fan Flavorite video category which does not require a recipe to enter, but a creative video inspired by your love of grilled cheese. Craft your best grilled cheese recipe or Fan Flavorite video and enter online at GrilledCheeseAcademy.com.

Contest begins today and is open for entry through May 15. Follow Wisconsin Cheese on Facebook for plenty of sandwich inspiration, entry tips, and more ways to win.

Enter here!

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Major League Baseball fans expected to eat more than 19 million hot dogs this year

Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and…hot dogs!

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has predicted that Major League Baseball fans will eat more than 19 million hot dogs and 4.6 million sausages this year.

The combined total of meat could stretch across the entire continental United States.

“In a love affair that’s spanned decades, baseball and hot dogs remain inseparable,” NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal said. “Year after year, hot dogs continue to hit it out of the park at the concession stand, even as teams innovate to offer more food choices and inventive creations.  There’s simply no replacing the unshakable bond baseball and hot dogs share.”

Last year, Los Angeles Dodgers fans consumed the most hot dogs at 1.2 million. The Milwaukee Brewers are the only team predicted to sell more sausages than hot dogs.

 

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Boys & Girls Clubs, Delta Dental, Team Up to Bring Smiles for Steals

Delta Dental of Wisconsin is teaming up with the Boys & Girls Clubs to sponsor stolen bases on the Brewers Radio Network. For every Brewers stolen base, Delta Dental will “bag” another donation for over 143,000 club kids across Wisconsin. It also means the announcers — including Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker — will mention support to the Boys & Girls Clubs during every game. 

“We’re proud to team up with Delta Dental to support our club kids across 89 sites in Wisconsin,” said Andy Gussert, State Director of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club. “We’re also rooting for the team to be at the top of the league again in stolen bases.” The Milwaukee Brewers ranked first across all major league baseball in 2016, and second in 2017 for stolen bases.

 “The gift from Delta Dental provides program access for low-income youth,” said Dan Hebel, President of the Club’s Statewide Alliance, and Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac. “Delta Dental’s donation funds the partial scholarship of membership fees for 40 youth in each club every year, so kids across the state can participate in afterschool programs.  Delta Dental helps us achieve our mission for the kids who need us most.”

 According to Delta Dental of Wisconsin’s company spokesperson Amanda Lowery, “Supporting youth programs including those offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs is part of the Delta Dental culture. If we can give Wisconsin kids a reason to smile, then we’ve succeeded.”At the end of the season, Delta Dental will provide a donation of over $25,000 to be shared across 46 cities served by Boys & Girls Clubs.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Sheboygan Native Participates in Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron

shebnativeNaval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Blake T. Austreng, a native of Sheboygan, Wis., assigned to the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, rides in an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter during an amphibious squadron and Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) integration (PMINT) exercise. PMINT is a training evolution between Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 13th MEU, which allows Sailors and Marines to train as a cohesive unit in preparation for their upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jenna Dobson/Released)

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

No Foolin’: Spam Emails are an Everyday Threat

April Fools’ Day is a big deal for your garden-variety jokester, but it’s just another day at the office for a scammer. Con artists don’t care whether it is April 1st, September 19th or February 3rd – they will use any opportunity on any given day to pull tricks on trusting victims and rip them off for money or personal information. And as anyone who follows consumer news knows, bulk emails (better known as “spam emails”) are one of their favorite tools.

The good news for consumers is that email scams can be easy to spot…but only if you know what to look for. In recognition of April Fools’ Day, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) wishes to share some simple tips to help spot a malicious email:

  • Spam emails often include the name, logo, and color scheme of a well-known business, so the tipoff of a scam is often in the language used in the message. Watch for poor grammar, misspellings, awkward wording, and a general lack of professionalism. Legitimate corporate emails will be clear and grammatically accurate.
  • Check the sender’s email address for another easy tipoff. In many spam messages, the web address (URL) referenced in the sender’s email address does not match the true URL for the business in question. For example, an email that claims to come from the U.S. Postal Service may come from “JoeSchmo @somefakecompany.com” instead of “___ @usps.com.”
  • Be suspicious of any request to open an attached file or click a link (including to “view your account”). Either action could lead you to download malware onto your device.
  • On a desktop or laptop computer, if you hover your mouse over a link in an email (do NOT click your mouse!), the URL that the link directs you to will typically appear in the bottom of your browser window.
  • Refuse requests to reply to an email with confidential information such as user names, passwords, and personal details. If you question the validity of an email that claims to be from a major business, call the business directly to inquire about its legitimacy.
  • Most of these emails end up in your “junk mail” folder if your security settings are high and your email provider is routing spam correctly, but the occasional junk email inevitably finds its way through the filters and into your inbox.

Two major spam email ploys from recent years have claimed to come from well-known retailers and shipping companies. These emails draw in potential victims through false promises of gift cards as part of a “rewards program” or they claim to have information about a delay or other issue with a (nonexistent) package delivery. Other recent email schemes have involved fake invoices and threats about past-due taxes sent using the names of government agencies.

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128, or send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.