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In the first half of the 20th century, there were only a few thousand Amish in North America, and scholars were predicting their demise, Professor Donald Kraybill told his audience Monday evening.
Fast forward to 2015. There are about 300,000 Amish, and the population is doubling every 18 to 20 years.
"This rapid growth is what motivated me to explore this question ... how do the Amish flourish in the midst of modernity?" Kraybill said.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – A young Amish girl was flown to the hospital after she was shot with a shotgun this afternoon.
It happened at a farm in Lackawannock Township in Mercer County.
Police say the girl’s father was out shooting groundhogs and other rodents, when he put the shotgun down to go fishing.
Holmes County, Ohio - An I-Team analysis of Ohio school vaccination data found that the schools with the highest rates of unvaccinated children tend to be in the Amish community, especially in Holmes County.
But some schools in southwest Ohio are not far behind, and one area school district has a higher exemption rate than Holmes schools.
Auburn, Kentucky - Two Amish men are heading to trial on May 6 over horse manure.
Amos Mast and his son Dan appeared in a Logan County District Court today for a pre-trial conference, and both men said they wanted a jury trial together.
The two Amish, who live in the Auburn community, have been cited for violation of the city of Auburn’s animal ordinance, which requires all large animals to have collection devises on them to prevent manure from gathering on the streets and parking areas. The violation carries with it a $50 fine and $143 in court costs.
Albert Lee, 23, who was born Amish and has since left the community, spoke with KMZU’s Shaylee Miller about the charges of child abuse coming from the Bogard Amish community.
Albert Lee left the Amish community at the age of 15, after being mistreated his entire youth by an abusive father and an enabling mother. His father has since been convicted and incarcerated for his years of neglect to his children. Lee’s father, Andrew Lee, was arrested while living in Lamar, Missouri and currently remains incarcerated.
Bluff Siding, Wisconsin - A Minnesota man accused of getting high while driving a van full of Amish passengers to Iowa has pleaded guilty to fifth-offense felony operating with restricted controlled substance.
Trenton A. Anderson, 37, of LeRoy, Minn., was sentenced in Buffalo County District Court to serve three years of probation and 12 months in jail, with credit for 78 days already served. Four months of jail time will be stayed if Anderson complies with conditions of probation. A 30-day jail credit was given for inpatient treatment. Anderson’s driver’s license was revoked for two years and vehicle ignition interlock devices are required for two years.
A suspect in the kidnapping of two Amish girls in St. Lawrence County planned on killing the girls, but his partner talked him out of it, according to a report.
WWNY-TV in Watertown says Stephen Howells’ girlfriend, Nicole Vaisey, convinced him to refrain from killing the children they allegedly abducted from a vegetable stand outside their family’s home in the town of Oswegatchie.
Carroll County, Missouri - A Carroll County resident has been taken into custody on 3 felony charges.
According to court records, Leander Gingerich, 26, of Bogard, was arrested Wednesday after a warrant was served for his arrest. Gingerich has been charged with 1 count of 1st degree statutory sodomy- deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 14, and 2 counts of 1st degree child molestation.
Fonda, New York - The trial of a St. Johnsville man accused of sexually abusing six Amish boys from two western Montgomery County families over several years opened Tuesday in Montgomery County Court.
Montgomery County District Attorney Jed Conboy told a jury that allegations against Robert A. Madsen, 48, date back to 2006 and involve boys as young as 12 at the time of the abuse.
Fairchild, Wisconsin - Amos Borntreger has no plans to leave the house he built for his wife and five children in rural Fairchild despite a court order to vacate the property.
“I guess we’ll take it one day at a time and see what happens,” Borntreger, 29, said Tuesday. “I don’t plan on moving.”
Borntreger lives on property adjacent to that of his father, Clemens Borntreger.
Nappanee, Indiana - Chester Weaver believes in fundamentals of Christianity such as the virgin birth, Christ’s bodily resurrection and the creation story. Fundamentalism, however, is another matter — and one at odds with Anabaptism, according to him.
Participants at the Anabaptist Identity Conference peruse tables of books and CDs March 12-14 near Nappanee, Ind. — Rich Preheim
“Fundamentalism has taught conservative Mennonites to be spiritual abusers and to feel good about it,” Weaver, a Beachy Amish minister, told an assembly of theologically and culturally conservative Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites meeting near Nappanee March 12-14.
Fairchild, Wisconsin - A ruling Monday that an Amish couple and their four young children have to vacate their rural Fairchild home “immediately” for failing to obtain the proper sanitary and building permits may have a much greater impact, according to the family’s attorney.
Matthew Krische, attorney for renters Amos and Vera Borntreger and homeowner Clemens Borntreger, said the ruling by Eau Claire County Judge Kristina Bourget that the Borntregers were in contempt of a court order may influence whether a large segment of Old Order Amish remain in the county.
Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles could soon issue photo-less state identification cards under a proposal that an Indiana Senate committee passed Tuesday.
The Homeland Security and Transportation Committee voted 8-0 to approve the measure, which would allow a religious exemption to Indiana's photo requirement on state IDs. The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration. The House already passed the measure on an 82-14 vote.
Butler Township, Michigan - A 3-year-old Amish girl was killed in a house fire west of Litchfield Wednesday.
The fire broke out before 11 a.m. at a home in the 1100 block of Crandell Road east of Clarendon Road in Butler Township, according to the Branch County Sheriff’s Office.
Gettysburg, Ohio - They aren’t Amish, but even many of their neighbors in rural Darke County, Ohio misidentify the little-known Old Order German Baptist Brethren, or Petitioners — a nickname bestowed on the group when they broke away from their larger church over a century ago.
The lack of attention suits the Petitioners just fine.
Flemingsburg, Kentucky - An Amish teenager who ran away from her Fleming County family in February is returning home.
Sheriff Gary Kinder said he received a phone call from the father of 16-year-old Clara Shetler on Sunday. The father said Shetler had been living in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and was on her way home.
Ritzville, Washngton – On a foggy morning, a woman in traditional black colonial dress darted from her home to the community mess hall, like a messenger with critically important news. Down the street, John Stahl Sr. sat at a wooden desk handmade by Hutterite colony members, typing on an iPhone 6.
“For us to survive, we got to be connected to the latest technology to be efficient,” said Stahl, a Hutterite and president of Stahl Farms.
Cleveland, Ohio - Eight members of an Amish sect received reduced prison sentences yesterday in the wake of a federal-court ruling in Ohio that they did not commit a hate crime when they cut off the beards and hair of fellow members of their faith.
Sect leader Samuel Mullet, 69, who had received the longest sentence of all 16 people charged in the case, was resentenced yesterday to 10 years and 9 months in prison, a reduction from 15 years. He has served three years in prison.
Clarion County, Pennsylvania - An Amish boy in central Pennsylvania was seriously hurt after he was hit by a car and thrown 30 feet when he ran a stop sign on his pony.
The boy's steed was killed shortly after impact on State Route 208 in rural Clarion County - about 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
FLEMINGSBURG, KY | The father of an Amish teenager missing from Fleming County is asking for help locating his daughter. Sheriff Gary Kinder said 16-year-old Clara Shetler disappeared from her home in the Tilton area of Fleming County on the evening of Feb. 20.
Cleveland, Ohio - A federal judge has indicated that he will likely allow eight of the 16 defendants in the Amish beard-cutting case already released from prison to remain free when he re-sentences the group on Monday following an appeals court's decision to overturn their hate-crime convictions.
U.S. District Judge Dan Polster wrote to attorneys that he intends to sentence those defendants to time served, according to an email sent Monday and obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group on Tuesday.
Old Washington, Ohio - The State Highway Patrol is investigating an accident involving three Amish Buggies that took place on Sunday night alongside I-70.
Troopers say a 17-year-old man was seriously injured as a result of the crash that took place on Bridgewater Road, near the intersection with Carlisle Road, just west of Middlebourne. According to Sergeant Eric Knowlton of the Cambridge Post, the victim attempted to pass another buggy traveling the same direction at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday and was clipped by a third, on-coming buggy, which ejected the victim from his buggy. The buggy the victim had just passed swerved to miss the man lying in the middle of the road and hit a phone pole.
Cleveland, Ohio - The leader of a breakaway Amish group in Ohio whose hate crime convictions for beard- and hair-cutting attacks were overturned wants a federal judge to release him from prison when he's resentenced next month.
All 16 members found guilty in the attacks that targeted Amish who had criticized them are to be resentenced March 2 in Cleveland since the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the most serious convictions against them.
Cleveland, Ohio - The resentencings of Amish people convicted in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their faith in Ohio should not result in significant decreases in their prison terms, assistant U.S. attorneys are arguing.
That’s especially the case for Samuel Mullet Sr., leader of the Bergholz community, who initially was sent to prison for 15 years, assistant U.S. attorneys wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed in advance of the 1:30 p.m. March 2 resentencing hearing.
Driving the pony cart along a Reno County road, Galen Yoder was headed to school with two rosy-cheeked, white-capped young girls by his side.
Galen, 14, and his two sisters Megan, 12, and Deanna, 9, still ride a horse and buggy to their one-room schoolhouse secluded off a county road alongside a tall row of pine trees in southern Reno County.
Despite a subtle migration of Old Order Amish away from Yoder, these children and many others still embrace the simple way of life. But for some it wasn't simple enough.
Pinecraft, Florida - It’s a weekday at 2 p.m. Though definitely past the peak lunch hour, there’s still a line of customers waiting to be seated at Yoder’s Restaurant. It’s an eclectic collection of patrons — overall-clad construction workers in yellow hardhats, college students in university sweatshirts and flip-flops and an Amish family from Wisconsin, easily recognizable in their bonnets, beards and plain dress.
West Middlesex, Pennsylvania - A criminal complaint filed Friday against a Lawrence County man stems from an October incident when he tried to call out to children on a playground from a nearby outhouse.
Lucas Avery Klobetanz, 38, of Ellwood City, was arraigned Friday on a charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure. He was committed to the Mercer County Jail on a secured bond, a Pennsylvania State Police release said.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - A Lancaster County man will face trial for allegedly touching an Amish teenager and woman while they slept during two separate burglaries.
Justin Schwanke, a Goodville parolee who has a prior burglary conviction on his record, waived a preliminary hearing Thursday morning before District Judge Rodney Hartman.
Pinecraft, Florida - Not only is the Suncoast a haven for snowbirds, but also a group of people who come from Holmes County, Ohio and Lancaster, Pennsylvania -- the Amish and Mennonites.
The Pinecraft community, located off of Bahia Vista in Sarasota County, is their vacation hot spot.
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania - “Amish Mafia” notwithstanding, the man responsible for what many around the world know of the Amish is Donald Kraybill.
Now the widely known Plain Sect researcher is retiring. Kraybill is teaching his last classes at Elizabethtown College and will step down as senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, a research center at the college, at the end of June.