Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
Funding lags for historical society
Thumbs Down: Preserving and celebrating a community's history is important. It should be a priority, but over the years it hasn't been one for the Douglas County Board. For 2018, the board budgeted just $9,000 for the Douglas County Historical Society. That ranks dead last when compared to the neighboring counties of Grant, which receives $30,000 from its county board; Pope with $40,000; and Stevens with $64,200. Fortunately, the Douglas County Historical Society has a strong staff, generous supporters and tireless volunteers that have led to it being named as one of the two top historical societies in the state — even with minimal county funding. It is worth noting that the county been slowly increasing its allocation, from $4,500 in 2016 to $7,000 in 2017 before adding another $2,000 for next year but the fact that nearby counties are getting more than triple that amount is disheartening. Let's hope that Douglas County will show its steadfast support in preserving the past by steadily increasing the allocation to the historical society. History is a precious resource — a link to our heritage that can teach us lessons for the future.
Work from home scam
Thumbs Down: Here's another scam to steer clear of: An employment offer that claims to be from Skyline Insurance, offering a job re-labeling and forwarding packages to other addresses. It's a tempting proposal, promising as much as $3,500 per month. Trouble is, there is no insurance business licensed in Minnesota by that name, according to the Minnesota Commerce Department. There is no insurance company located at the physical address listed in the email, nor does anyone answer at the phone number. The company's purported federal employer identification number actually belongs to eBay. The company's website is fake, too, and only has a minimal amount of content to make it look like a legitimate insurance agency. The scam is known as "reshipping" and often shows up as a "work from home" opportunity posted on job boards, dating websites or chat rooms. In reality, it is an attempt to lure unsuspecting individuals to participate in a large-scale fraud scheme, according to commerce officials. Criminals use stolen credit cards to buy high-priced goods online and have them sent to the U.S. addresses of "reshipping mules," who repackage the stolen goods and mail it to overseas addresses. Not only do the reshippers get pulled into a crime, they also typically never get paid and, in fact, lose the money they spent on their own for the reshipping.
Stopping online predators
Thumbs Up: Here's good news in the fight to protect children from online predators. The Protect Our Children Act has been signed into law. It reauthorizes the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces, representing 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies that combat child exploitation across the country. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by a group of U.S. senators, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The program helps local and state law enforcement by creating effective response strategies to those who prey upon children online.
Thumbs Up/Down: Another Minnesota deer hunting season began Saturday. Hunters contribute significantly to the economy and revenue from deer hunting supports wildlife/outdoor programs. There are more than a half-million deer hunters in the state — about 1 out of every 10 people. Last year, the state issued more than 450,000 firearm licenses. Hunters also help manage the state's deer population. It appears opening weekend was a safe one in Douglas County; there were no shooting injuries reported, but there were only a couple of trespassing complaints. One person crossed property lines while tracking a deer, and a group of hunters parked on Kensington Rune Stone Park land and proceeded to illegally hunt on public park land. Motorists should be wary that the extra activity in the woods has deer on the run. There were 10 reported car-deer crashes in Douglas County over the weekend, including one deer that struck a sheriff's deputy's vehicle while he was enroute to a serious medical call in Miltona. Remember to watch for deer and don't veer off the road to avoid a collision.