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NEWS STORIES

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
Possible child abuse under investigationSubmitted: 12/22/2014

IRMA - Prosecutors will consider charges against two Lincoln County men accused of duct taping a child to a door.

A Lincoln County deputy investigated the child abuse complaint in Irma this past week.

Witnesses said the child's hands and feet were bound.

The child was then duct taped to the door.

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Santa gets extra help from volunteer fire department while delivering presentsSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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PINE LAKE - Santa normally gets help from elves to make Christmas presents for kids, but in Pine Lake he had help from a local volunteer fire department Sunday.

The Pine Lake Fire Department normally puts its sirens on in an emergency, but this time it was to help Santa bring joy to families who need it the most.

"It is really neat to see the kids when we come pulling into their driveway and they see Santa Claus getting off the fire truck with a big bag of presents. It is really neat to see their faces," said Operation Ho Ho Ho organizer Lynn Larson.

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People in Sugar Camp support local dog rescue organization Submitted: 12/21/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - The number of dogs euthanized a year dropped dramatically. The Humane Society of the United States estimates the number of dogs and cats euthanized decreased from 12-20 million to 3-4 million per year, but about 2.7 million healthy sheltered animals aren't adopted.

That's why people in Sugar Camp wanted to keep a rescue organization running.

"It Matters to One" saves dogs from high-kill shelters who are on the euthanasia list. One of the founders of the organization travels to California to rescue the dogs.

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Lincoln County Sheriff's Office finds body of missing Merrill man Submitted: 12/21/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office found the body of a missing Merrill man yesterday afternoon.

Jeffrey Maruska has been missing since early November.

The sheriff's office found his body with the help of cadaver dogs.

Maruska was found in a wooded area east of where he lived.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

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Man arrested for setting fires and fleeing policeSubmitted: 12/21/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - Marathon County Sheriff's deputies think A 39-year-old Antigo man set the building he worked at on fire early this morning.

They say he then led deputies on a car chase.

A lieutenant from the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says they got a call around 8p.m. Saturday.

The call was for a domestic disturbance in Antigo.

The man then drove to Bushman Trucking southeast of Wausau.

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Snowmobile safety class held this weekendSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Riding a snowmobile can be dangerous if you don't know the rules of the trails.

That's why some people went through a snowmobile safety course on Saturday and Sunday.

The course was held at the Sloan Community Center in Lake Tomahawk.

The New-Tom Snow Fleas and the Oneida County Sheriff's office held the course.

A recreational safety officer from the sheriff's office taught the class.

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Two suspects arrested in connection with a stolen credit card Submitted: 12/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - Thursday we told you the Oneida County Sheriff's Office needed your help finding two people. Deputies believe they used a stolen credit card. Now the two suspects are in custody.

Tips from the public helped the sheriff's office find Andrew Washburn and Brieanna Persike. Both of them are from Wausau.

The stolen card was used on Wednesday in Rhinelander.

The sheriff's office says they will go to court in the future for their involvement in the incident. Deputies say the media and public's help were crucial in finding the suspects.

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