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State pulls home's child care license

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

VIRGINIA, Minn. -- Lisa Wright acknowledges her house can be cluttered. That can happen, she said, when you're caring for up to a dozen children.

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"You can either have your house spotless or have kids," the Virginia woman said this week.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services sees the matter differently, citing 17 violations as the agency revoked her family child care license Aug. 3. Violations included excessive amounts of dirt and rubbish, and a strong "urine-like" smell; toxic substances such as ice-melt chemicals and bleach accessible to children; and two guns and ammunition accessible in the home's basement.

Wright, 58, has the right to appeal, but said she won't.

At least a couple of parents who trusted their children to Wright said the state overreacted to faults that weren't central to giving their children quality care.

"My children genuinely loved her, and she genuinely loved them," said Niecie Strand of Virginia, who has two daughters, ages 5 and 8. "That was important when they were in child care. I wanted them to feel like they were at home."

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