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 ľ 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."
WASHINGTON - UPDATE: 3-24-17, 4:00pm: Ryan bemoans collapse of health care bill:
Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future.
The Wisconsin Republican addressed reporters minutes after GOP leaders abruptly shelved the legislation, averted likely defeat for the bill. But it still dealt a damaging setback to President Donald Trump, Ryan and an entire party that has long said it wants to annul Obama's statute.
MARATHON COUNTY - The suspect in a Wisconsin shooting spree that left four people dead has been identified, and court records show one of the victims was his wife's divorce lawyer.
A person close to the investigation identified the suspect Friday as 45-year old Nengmy Vang. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak ahead of authorities officially identifying Vang.
ST. GERMAIN - A school bus doesn't feature a lot of amenities. Seats, windows, and that's about it. But a company out of St. Germain thinks buses, and other big vehicles, make the perfect kitchens.
Caged Crow Fabrication is owned by Josh Romaker. He┬ámoved to the Northwoods about three years ago. Around the same time a woman in Madison approached him to help refurbish an old camper. He decided to make it into a food truck instead.
"We took on the challenge and that first build was featured on US Today and some magazines and our phone just started ringing. We've got them in Denver, Salt Lake City, New Jersey," said Romaker.
That was just the beginning for Romaker's company, Caged Crow Fabrication in St. Germain. They now specialize in food trucks of all kinds.
"If a customer wants a food truck that looks like a barn or a steam train or a school bus conversion, we really stick to the unique food truck builds," said Romaker.
The 1982 bus that Caged Crow Fabrication is working on now will be complete in a little over a month. The team made up of just a few workers has one rule- they never build the same thing twice. And they take their time.
"We have a sign on the wall here that says 'quality over quantity'. I think our reputation right now is really based on the attention to detail and I think we want to keep that up," said Romaker.
If you're interested in checking out more work from Caged Crow Fabrication, follow the link below.
WAUSAU AREA - Organizations in the greater Wausau area set up funds remembering and honoring the victims of Wednesday's shootings.
A Marathon Savings Bank fund will support the families of the two bank employees shot. Dianne Look had worked at Marathon Savings Bank for almost 19 years, and Karen Barclay had been there for more than six years.
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