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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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If an unknown number calls and hangs up after one ring, don't call back. It could cost you.
If an unknown number calls and hangs up after one ring, don't call back. It could cost you. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Don't fall for the "One Ring" cell phone scam

Word to the wise: If your cell phone receives a one-ring phone call from a number you do not recognize, do NOT call the number back to inquire about who was calling you.

The Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin is warning cell phone users about a new scam that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on monthly wireless statements.

It's called the "One Ring" scam because the scammers program computers to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers, ring once and then disconnect. The scammers then hope you are curious enough about the phone call that you return the call right away.

When the cell phone owner returns the call, they are charged $19.95 for an international call fee. After that, there is a $9 per minute call charge. It’s reported that often the callers will first hear music followed by advertising. So, the charges quickly add up.

Consumers who have been duped by these calls report that they are coming from the Caribbean Islands including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

I received one of these calls on my cell phone Tuesday. The number that called my phone was (209) 208-6144. After the BBB put out its warning about the "One Ring" scam, I did a Google search for that number, and it turned up multiple reports that it indeed was one of these scams.

That reminded me of the time my wife and I were attending a conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I began receiving phone calls from friends back in Milwaukee, asking me if we were OK. Someone or thing had hacked my former MSN Hotmail account and had sent out messages to friends in my address book, telling them that my wife had been attacked while we were traveling out of the country, and that I needed some emergency funds get her out of the hospital and return to the United States. This was especially troublesome to friends and family who knew we really were out of the country at the time they received the bogus e-mail.

If you think you may have fallen for a p…

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Panelists at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast today predicted some positive news for the economy.
Panelists at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast today predicted some positive news for the economy.

Panelists provide predictions for the year ahead

Economist Michael Knetter is forecasting the national gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 3 percent in 2014.

Knetter, president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, issued his macroeconomic projections for the year ahead to an audience of more than 500 people at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast presented by BizTimes Media at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee today.

Knetter projects the national unemployment rate to dip to 6.3 percent in 2014.

A panel of four company presidents also gave their predictions for the year ahead in business.

Tim Ferry, president of InSinkErator in Racine, said his company expects national housing starts to rise 15 percent and existing home prices to rise 6.2 percent in 2014.

Ferry said his company is partnering with technical colleges to attempt to solve its skilled trades gap. He also cited a shortage of engineers.

Steve Laughlin, chief executive officer of Laughlin Constable, Milwaukee, predicted accelerated technology growth as mobile telecommunications and marketing skyrocket in 2014. He also cited the emerging trends of 3-D printing and the local field-to-table food chain.

Katherine Gehl, president of Gehl Foods Inc. in West Bend, said she is "not bullish, but optimistic" about the direction the nation is headed economically. She urged leaders to share their corporate growth with their workforce and invest in their human talent.

"It is important for as the company succeeds, employees succeed," said Gehl, who noted that Wisconsin has the fifth-largest food-and-beverage (FAB) employment in the nation.

Gehl predicted the growing importance of nutrigenomics, the study of the effects of foods on gene expressions.

Sue Marks, CEO of Pinstripe & Ochre House, said human talent is a competitive, sustainable advantage for enlightened companies.

Marks urged employers to "fail forward, hire higher and fire faster."

Full interviews with the panelists and a vast array of economic data, surveys and analysis …

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If no county solution - including new taxation - is found to build a new Downtown arena, we must understand and be prepared to live with the consequences.
If no county solution - including new taxation - is found to build a new Downtown arena, we must understand and be prepared to live with the consequences. (Photo: Molly Snyder )

County solution is only path forward for entertainment venues

Milwaukee County is standing at an historical crossroads that will determine its future as a vibrant major metropolitan area or a declining region void of culture and unable to attract and employ the best young talent.

So, let’s not sugarcoat this … if we choose vibrancy, we are going to have to pay for it.

At first glance, the membership of the Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force implies the presence of a diverse regional coalition. But make no mistake, the notion of the suburban counties agreeing to spend one cent in new taxes to support entertainment venues in Milwaukee County will not fly.

Already, the county boards in Racine and Ozaukee counties have gone on record with preemptive opposition to a regional tax, even though such a tax hasn’t even been proposed yet.

So, forget that. Suburbanites in Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, Ozaukee and Washington counties are not going to agree to pay any new taxes, even if they benefit from destinations such as the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Some more frank talk: The City of Milwaukee, home to some of the most impoverished people in the region, cannot afford to foot the bill alone for the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be needed to upgrade the entertainment venues.

To get it done, the suburban communities within Milwaukee County will have to be part of the solution. Those cities include Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, West Milwaukee and Whitefish Bay.

It remains to be seen whether that solution involves some combination of ticket taxes, hotel taxes, wheel taxes or sales taxes. But make no mistake, it will take taxes to make it happen.

Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl recently announced he will try to attract some new investors to infuse some cash…

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