Amish in the News

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Amish Hair-cutters Adjust to Life After Prison

July 28, 2014

Bergholz, Ohio - Amish farmer Raymond Miller developed a taste for Mountain Dew soda, got his GED and wonders if he should get a pool table after learning to play in prison. His wife, Kathryn, who had never ridden a public bus before boarding one last year to go to prison for forcibly cutting the hair of her relatives, was introduced to yoga and step classes while behind bars. The Millers, members of an Amish breakaway sect from eastern Ohio at the center of 2011 hair-cutting attacks on other Amish followers, are trying to settle back into life at home after being exposed in prison to a world their religion is focused on locking out.

Lovina's Amish Kitchen: Wedding Prep, Broken Washer All in a Week's Work

July 28, 2014

All is quiet here at the Eicher household. Everyone has retired for the evening. I will be glad to join them, but I can’t neglect the duty of this column. I will leave early to go help bake pies at brother Albert’s house. Albert and Sarah Irene’s daughter, Irene, is getting married to Levi Raber on Wednesday. I will be a cook at the wedding, so some of us go to help prepare whatever needs to be done and bake pies. I still need to sew my cape and apron for the wedding. I finished my dress.

Two People Hospitalized after Car Collides with Amish Buggy in Wayne County

July 28, 2014

Frankling Township, Ohio - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a motor vehicle crash that sent two to the hospital Monday morning in Wayne County. The OSHP said the crash happened on County Road 49 in Franklin Township around 9:30 a.m. Martha Allen, 77, was driving northbound in her 2005 Buick Century when she failed to maintain an assured clear distance and rear-ended an Amish buggy.

Why are Amish More at Risk of Having High Cholesterol?

July 27, 2014

In addition to their neat farms and tidy gardens, their penchant for quilts and chicken potpie, and their work ethic and thriftiness, the Pennsylvania Dutch may share another quality. A dangerously high cholesterol level. A unique new screening effort is trying to find people with andisorder that leads to the high level, and an aggressive cardiovascular disease that results from it.

Amish Girl Killed by Pickup Truck

July 25, 2014

​Mahoning Township, Indiana - An 18-month-old Amish girl was killed yesterday afternoon when she was run over by a pickup truck at a home along Route 954 in West Mahoning Township. Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman Jr. says the girl’s father was unloading tools and equipment from the truck at about 5 o’clock, and when he finished, the driver of the truck started to back up. He heard a thump and thought it was a rock, but when he got out of the truck, he discovered Martha Byler unresponsive near the right rear wheel.

Man Allegedly Robs Amish Business at Gunpoint

July 25, 2014

Conewango, New York – Cattaraugus County Sheriffs deputies arrested a Cherry Creek man for robbing an Amish business in the Town of Conewango. The shop owner said that 22-year-old Michael Dybka robbed him at gunpoint at his shop on Chapman Road. Dybka is then accused of tying up the shop owner. When deputies arrived, the owner gave them a description of the vehicle and that led them to Dybka at his Cherry Creek home.

New York's Amish Population Growing Rapidly

July 20, 2014

Whitehall, New York - While it may seem surprising Whitehall has become a microcosm of the growing Amish population in New York and America, it’s really just a matter of geography. Whitehall, which Supervisor George Armstrong estimates is home to more than 100 Amish, is the latest town in the state to host an influx of Amish and is seeing that rise as a result of growing populations to the west, both in New York and the more traditional Amish states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Amish Population by State (2014)

July 18, 2014

Settlement and district statistics were updated as of May 1, 2014. Population figures (which include adults and children) are estimates calculated by using state-sensitive averages of the estimated number of people per church district. The number of adults and children per district varies by region, community, affiliation, and age of the district; therefore, the actual number of people in a specific district or state may be higher or lower than the estimates in these tables. The national composite average per district is 136.9. The figures include all Amish groups that use horse-and-buggy transportation, but exclude car-driving groups such as the Beachy Amish and Amish Mennonites.

Facebook Tip Leads to Arrest in Hit-and-Run Crash that Injured 3 Amish in Horse-Drawn Buggy

July 15, 2014

Ischua, New York - Authorities say a tip called in by a Facebook follower led to the arrest of the motorist who was involved in a hit-and-run accident with an Amish horse-drawn buggy on a western New York road. State police say they posted information on the July 7 crash in Cattaraugus County on Facebook and Twitter. Troopers say a Facebook user called them with information on the vehicle and driver. That led to the arrest of a 31-year-old woman from Cuba, New York.

Man Admits to Targeting Amish and Old Order Mennonite Homes in Burglary Spree

July 14, 2014

East Earl, Pennsylvania - An East Earl man admitted to burglarizing more than a dozen local homes, most of the targets being Plain-sect properties. Lewis B. Knight, 29, pleaded guilty to 14 burglaries in at least four eastern Lancaster County jurisdictions while supporting a drug habit earlier this year. Most of the victims were Amish or Old Order Mennonite, according to police. Knight pleaded to numerous felonies and misdemeanors regarding the spree that ended when his car got stuck in a victim’s driveway.

Police: Woodhull Woman Stole from Amish Residents, Church

July 13, 2014

Woodhull, New York - Police say a Woodhull woman used her position as a bank employee to defraud money from Amish individuals, businesses and the Old Order Amish Church. Stacy L. Zeh, 42, has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, an E felony, and one count of second-degree scheme to defraud, a misdemeanor. Painted Post-based New York State Police say Zeh was an employee at Woodhull branch of Community Bank. An investigation began when Amish community members noticed discrepancies in their accounts. The bank’s branch manager had begun an internal investigation into discrepancies in their own records.

Remembering my Amish Baptism

July 11, 2014

Stuarts Draft, Virginia - I was baptized at the above Stuarts Draft, Va., Amish meetinghouse on a warm Sunday morning in June, 1954 — 60 years ago. At just under 15, I was the youngest member of a baptismal class of about a half-dozen teens who gave a public witness to their faith and joined the church that day. It was a memorable experience for a 14-year-old who had always experienced church as a central part of his life and who was now received as a full-fledged fellow member of it. I’ll never forget kneeling at the front of the congregation and having our good Bishop Simon Yoder cup water in his hands from a bowl and gently pour this sacramental sign of cleansing and commissioning on my head — “im Namen des Vaters and des Sohnes und des heiligen Geistes” — and then taking me by the hand and having me stand as a new born and newly welcomed adult member of God’s family.

Nebraskan Pleads Guilty in Buggy Crash Death Case

July 8, 2014

Pawnee City, Nebraska - A 57-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to a fatal collision with a horse-drawn buggy in southeast Nebraska. Online court records say Vivian Cockrell, of Pawnee City, made her pleas Monday in Pawnee County District Court. She was convicted of motor vehicle homicide and misdemeanor misuse of a learner's permit.

Geauga County Amish Attacks Underscore Community's Relationship with Sheriff's Office

July 3, 2014

Middlefield, Ohio - Sheriff's deputies in Geauga County spent decades trying to form a better relationship with a segment of its community not known for its openness with law enforcement — a group who didn't readily pass information along about criminal activity and crimes committed against its members. Fostering a mutual relationship with the Amish community in this region about 45 miles east of Cleveland took time, persuasion and anti-drug program called D.A.R.E. "It gave us a reason to sit down with them and talk," Geauga County Sheriff's Office Lt. John Hiscox said. "Other than if you have any concerns give us a call."

Authorities Investigate Armed Robberies of Amish Buggies

July 2, 2014

Gladwin and Clare Counties, Michigan - Michigan State Police troopers from the West Branch Post, along with Gladwin and Clare county sheriff’s deputies, are investigating several armed robberies of Amish buggies. The armed robberies and attempted armed robberies occurred in Gladwin and Clare counties between May 22 and June 4, a media release from troopers states. Troopers first began investigating the case after the June 4 attempted robbery, which occurred about 10 p.m. along Bard Road in Gladwin County. The victim of the robbery attempt turned his buggy around and drove away when the suspect approached him. No property was stolen and no one was hurt.

Deputies Break Up Large Amish Kegger

July 1, 2014

Lisbon, Ohio - The Columbiana County sheriff's office broke up an Amish keg party in a wooded area off Myers Road Saturday night. According to sheriff's reports, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office had contacted the department in this county at 10:17 p.m. about the party, which was reportedly in West Township. Deputies arrived and saw two Amish wagons parked over a hill and two people attempting to hide horses in the woods. Deputies could also hear music coming from the woods and began walking toward the source. They met several people walking out toward the road and learned there were at least 80 people in the woods.

Four Arrested in Attacks Against Amish

June 30, 2014

Chardon, Ohio - The Geauga County Sheriff’s Office has arrested four people in connection with a string of attacks against the Amish. Deputies said the masked men tried to rob two buggies along Bundysburg Road in Middlefield Township in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 22, attacking the buggies with baseball bats. The passengers in one of the buggies suffered some minor injuries.

Shielding the Amish from Exploitation

June 27, 2014

Years ago, state police reported that a tourist visiting Lancaster County had complained because Amish farmers working a field wouldn’t pose for photos. Apparently the tourist thought the Amish were akin to the costumed interpreters of Colonial Williamsburg. So are you surprised that millions of TV viewers apparently think “Amish Mafia” is real? Or “Breaking Amish?” Or, more recently, “Return to Amish?” Amish culture is having a moment in the national consciousness. A bad moment, measured by standards of truth and authenticity. And local filmmaker Mary Haverstick has had enough. She’s organizing opposition among the Amish community’s English neighbors to what she calls “Amish-sploitation.”

Man Admits to Smoking Meth before Transporting Amish Passengers

June 23, 2014

Buffalo, Wisconsin - One man is in Buffalo County Jail after admitting to a Sheriff's Deputy that he smoked meth before driving a group of Amish passengers to Iowa. The Buffalo County Sheriff's Department says 36-year-old Trenton Alan Anderson was driving a passenger van carrying 16 people from an Amish community to Cresco, Iowa when the van was pulled over for not having a functioning headlight. Once the van was pulled over, the Deputy determined that Anderson may be impaired and contacted the K9 unit for assistance. The K9 detected the presence of a controlled substance in the van, and after a search, a baggy of methamphetamine and three meth pipes were found in Anderson's backpack.

Mondovi Man Found Guilty of Sexual Assault of a Child

June 17, 2014

Pepin County, Wisconsin - A Mondovi man pleaded no contest and was found guilty of two counts of 1st degree sexual assault of a child. 52-year-old Herman Nissley made the plea Monday in Pepin County court. Investigators say in January, Nissley stood up in church and told the congregation he inappropriately touched a girl and exposed himself.

Lumber Industry has Deep Roots in Holmes County, and Ohio

June 12, 2014

Berlin, Ohio - When people drive through the rural communities of Holmes County, Ohio, they typically notice the farms, the Amish, the tourist shops, and the restaurants. But, there’s another cluster of activity that’s growing and maturing, and it’s taking place out in the woods — inside nearly one-third of the county that is forested, and inside hundreds of sawmills and wood shops, retail and manufacturing centers. That cluster, in its broadest form, is the lumber and timber industry. And in it’s narrowest form, it’s the three main products made from timber: lumber, furniture and wood pulp.

Mumps Outbreak Prompts Governor's Executive Order

June 10, 2014

Columbus, Ohio - A statewide measles and mumps outbreak leads the governor to issue an executive order. Local pharmacists can now give the MMR vaccine to anyone 18 years or older without a prescription. An Amish community in central Ohio is thought to have started the outbreak of measles after two members of the community came back from a mission trip to the Philippines and got sick. Health officials believe they spread the disease throughout Knox County. That, on top of an ongoing mumps outbreak at the Ohio State University, lead to the governor's decision. The current measles outbreak is the largest outbreak of the disease in the U.S. since 1994.

When Good People Disagree: The Case of the Amish and State Building Codes

June 9, 2014

Eau Claire County, Wisconsin - “We want to protect our religious convictions against modern technology and preserve the Heritage our Forefathers handed down on us and our children,” the man from Springfield Township recently wrote me. “We live a humble life, therefore we also want humble houses to live in,” he wrote. He explained he didn’t hire contractors, install electrical wiring, bathrooms, septic mounds, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. He asked me to exempt his Amish community members from the state building codes. “Our Desire is to be good neighbors and live in Peace with our non-Amish neighbors.”

Simple, Sophisticated

June 9, 2014

In the summer of 1963, David Wagler and Joseph Stoll, two Amish farmers, were threshing oats in a field close to Aylmer, Ont. They reflected on the need for more literature that spoke to the interests and concerns of their Old Order community. So in January 1964, the two men joined with Jacob Eicher to establish Pathway Publishers. Now, 50 years later, Pathway has become one of the most successful publishing houses in the Anabaptist-Mennonite world. In its early years, Pathway focused on developing readers for use in Amish grade schools. Pathway continues to sell thousands of copies of its readers — along with a host of other titles — not only to the Amish, but to a growing number of homeschool associations and others interested in a plain lifestyle.

8th-grade Ceremony is End of Schooling for Amish

June 5, 2014

Emma, Indiana - Westview Junior/Senior High School held its eighth grade completion ceremony Tuesday. Two hundred thirteen students received their completion certificate in the gymnasium during a recognition program in front of friends, fellow junior high students and family. According to junior high Principal Randy Miller, approximately half of the students who completed eighth grade will not attend high school. "Around 100 kids will leave this building," he told The Goshen News. Many of those students are of the Amish faith, who do not usually continue schooling past eighth grade.

Optimists, Community Rally to Support Amish Families

June 3, 2014

Norwich Township, Ontario - Two recent tragedies left the Amish community in Norwich Township mourning the loss of two of their own. The deaths of 3-year-old Alvin Miller to cancer just a few weeks ago and 15-year-old John Miller to a horse accident last Thursday have left their families in need of support, and thanks to the Norwich Optimists and the people of the township, that’s exactly what they’re getting. The Optimist Club held its annual plant and bake sale Saturday morning, but this year they made the decision to donate the proceeds from the event to the family of the Alvin Miller to help offset the cost of the boy’s treatments.

Young Amish Sample Drugs Along with the Rest of 'English' Life

June 2, 2014

Dundee, Ohio - In the spring, this small village of 300 more than quadruples in size when nearly 1,500 young adults and teenagers — many of them Amish — arrive to participate in a series of parties at which children as young as 14 abuse drugs, according to local law enforcement. Many of the youth are taking part in Rumspringa, a period in which young Amish experience “the English way” before deciding whether or not they will join the church, said Tuscarawas County Chief Deputy Sheriff Orvis Campbell. About a dozen sheriff’s deputies joined Campbell recently in a targeted-enforcement effort, which resulted in three arrests, including charges of possession of and trafficking in cocaine.

Sheriff: Man Drowned while Fishing

May 31, 2014

​Dundee, Ohio - A 22-year-old Dalton-area man apparently drowned while fishing Saturday in the backwaters of Beach City Dam, about three miles north of Dundee. Tuscarawas County Sheriff Walt Wilson identified the victim as Benny Zook, who would have turned 23 today. “There were no signs of foul play,” Wilson said. “He had a history of seizures and was on medication for them.” Zook and his three brothers were among a large group of Amish men who arrived by horse-drawn buggies at about 8 a.m. Saturday at the site off Kaylor Road NW, Beach City, Wilson said.

Man Who Promised Cures For Amish Heads To Prison

May 31, 2014

Urbana, Illinois - A man who told Illinois Amish families he could cure ailments by applying what he called a “wellness vibrator” to their necks is headed to prison. The Decatur Herald & Review reports that Lonnie Lynch Jr. of Florida will serve a one-year sentence for tax evasion and operating a medical device not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Attorney Ronda Coleman says patients told her the electric-powered device felt like a jack hammer hitting their backs and necks.

Amish Man Arrested for Allegedly Molesting 8 Children

May 30, 2014

WasWashington Township, Pennsylvania - An Amish man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after State Police said he allegedly molested eight children. Troopers arrested John Beiler, 47, from Allenwood in Union County. Authorities said Beiler molested five girls and three boys in Washington over a 15-year period ending in 2012. The victims ranged in age from an infant to children in their teens.hington Township, PennsylvaniaMore
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"Dear Joe and Esther: Once again, thanks so much for coming and sharing your heart and MAP's ministry with us last Sunday. Our hearts are burdened along with yours for teh Amish, and we are grateful to be privileged to partner with you in ministry. -- In Christ, Portage Community Church"

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