RHINELANDER - We learned Wednesday about a Crandon man accused of sexually assaulting children at a home day care.
William "B.J." Anderson is in jail on $50,000 bond. He faces up to 134 years in prison if convicted of the six felonies he faces.
His mother, Nancy Anderson, ran a daycare out of her home in Crandon. But Nancy's day care wasn't licensed or regulated. She left the kids with BJ while she ran errands. His bedroom doubled as a playroom, and kids slept there.
Licensed day care directors say those kinds of things wouldn't be allowed at a regulated day care, whether it's at home or at a center.
"You can't just trust everybody," says Tricia Pugh. Pugh started working with kids twelve years ago. Now, she runs a licensed, regulated group daycare center. That means employees go through training and get regular background checks.
"I was appalled that this lady was leaving kids with someone, and no one knew," Pugh says. "That can't happen in a regulated childcare facility."
But what if you just can't afford professional day care? What if your only affordable option is a more casual arrangement with friends or neighbors? Pugh had to make alternative arrangements for her own daughter Ė but she knew she could trust her mother.
"I think it's a wonderful thing, and it's nice if it can be with family and friends," she says. "If you don't have that option, and you're just looking at picking somebody out of the phonebook, I think you should go regulated so you know what's happening."
That might cost a little more. But there's help available from the state.
"I think people are afraid to accept the help there is, and if it's for your children, you should always take any extra help you can get so they can have the best chance," Pugh says.
Whether you choose a regulated center or not, Pugh wants parents to do their own digging.
"I think every parent should always, always, always stop in unannounced, wherever their children are, whether it's a licensed daycare facility or if it's at-home or a babysitter," she says. "You do not know what's happening if you're not actively involved with what's going on with your children."
Pugh believes it's important to listen for clues from your children.
"If they're under five, it's very rare for a child to lie. If they're telling you something, you need to take the time to understand what they're saying, and then it's a red flag."
You don't have to wait for your kids to put up the red flag.
"People forget to go with their gut," Pugh says. "If you walk into a place and it makes you feel icky, don't stay there. Get out."
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. ¬†He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. ¬†People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
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