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Crandon day care case highlights importance of vetting child care providersSubmitted: 09/19/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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 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."

Anderson is due in court October 9th.

Related Weblinks:
Department of Children

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/25/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the Oneida County Courthouse for day 2 of the trial of Mark Spietz who is accused of breaking into and stealing items from a home where a double murder occurred in March of 2015.

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - Soon snow will be falling. In fact, preparation for snowmobile season starts as soon as next month.
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His crew spends a lot of volunteered time making sure 93 miles of trails near Arbor Vitae are ready and safe to use in the winter.

"We have at least five guys going out, sometimes twice a day. We do trails in the morning and then trails late at night," said Assmann.

Many people who live here use the Northwoods trails, but so do a lot of tourists during the winter months.
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With so many miles of trails in Vilas County, one of the best parts is that there is equipment made to maintain those trails, right in St. Germain.

Arrowhead Groomers has been in Vilas County since 1976. The company builds equipment that levels out the trails.

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Another local snowmobile club, Bo-Boen, uses the Arrowhead Groomers on their trails as well.

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