A visit from the Orono police last weekend hasn't deterred Jay Nygard from his plan to operate a home-sized wind turbine in his backyard.
In December, Whistleblower told how the city of Orono ordered Nygard to stop work on his wind generator because it conflicts with city zoning for his property, which borders Lake Minnetonka. Nygard was threatened with prosecution, but the entrepreneur and his lawyer say they are merely trying to bring green technology to the city.
Nygard already had a half-sized model, but the full-sized pole and turbine -- which stands about 22 feet tall -- arrived from Taiwan earlier this month. A city inspector found out that Nygard put up the pole and asked the Orono police to intervene.
Police Chief Correy Farniok said Friday that two officers went to Nygard's home on Sunday and took pictures of construction debris. Nygard said he wasn't working on it that day. Farniok said he has no active investigation into Nygard; the police got involved because zoning officials don't make house calls on weekends.
Nygard hopes to get the blades spinning as early as March, once his electrical hookup passes a state inspection and he has approval from Xcel Energy to hook up to the grid. Is he worried about flouting the city's order?
"I'd have to say I'm not really very concerned at all," he said.Safety and Wi-Fi
It's something Whistleblower has often wondered about when logged onto a public Wi-Fi network: What's to keep the guy at the next table from downloading my passwords?
The Federal Trade Commission has several tips for staying safe when logging on at coffee shops, libraries, airports and other places. Because these are typically unsecured networks, other users can easily see what you're doing online.
So public Wi-Fi users should only enter personal information on encrypted websites, identified by an "https" at the beginning of the Web address, and a "lock" icon at the top or bottom of the browser window. The FTC says users should make sure each page on the site has those features, not just the sign-in page.Worthless warranties
Did you get scammed by a telemarketer selling worthless car warranties? The FTC mailed out claim forms to 11,780 people who may get a piece of the $3 million that Voice Touch Inc. and others were ordered to set aside for victims.
The agency reached a settlement with Transcontinental Warranty Inc. and Voice Touch, which was hired to "bombard U.S. consumers with millions of deceptive prerecorded calls in 2009," the FTC said.
The refunds are for consumers who bought the service contracts, which were deceptively peddled as extensions of the manufacturer's warranty.
COMPILED BY THE WHISTLEBLOWER TEAM