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LANCASTER, PA - Driving through Lancaster County and other parts of rural Pennsylvania will provide views of cornfields, cows and barns as well as horse and buggies, which move at speeds around 10 miles per hour.
She couldn’t even pull into the driveway. The conversation happened a decade ago, but Sharon Tyson, of Findlay, remembers it clearly. She had gratefully let a friend pick up her four children for a church get-together earlier in the day, and, initially, when that friend called her to say that she couldn’t bring the children back, Ms. Tyson didn’t think anything of it.
The Amish have negotiated a pact with modernity. Whereas much of the contemporary world sees technological progress as inevitable, even a moral imperative, the Amish ideal lives in the past, circa 1850.
HUNTSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH - In Amish society, young people between the ages of 16 and 21 are encouraged to explore the outside world before choosing the simple life and that often includes the use of alcohol.
CAYUGA COUNTY, NY - Late last month, after responding to the third horse and buggy accident in three months, members of the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office sat down to discuss what had gone wrong on the road.
The photograph accompanying this column tells the story of a phenomenon that somehow escaped the Scribbler’s attention when he discussed big-wheeled Amish scooters a few years ago. One of two sources, both of whom want to remain anonymous, took the picture.
BRASHER FALLS, NY - With the number of Amish families growing in their community, members of the Brasher Town Board have adopted a resolution that asks the state commissioner of motor vehicles to require members of the Amish community to install slow-moving-vehicle emblems on all of their vehicles that are used on public roads and highways.
PINECRAFT, FL - Each winter, for close to a century now, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families have travelled from their homes in icy quarters of the U.S. and Canada to Pinecraft, a small, sunny neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida. Arriving on chartered buses specializing in the transportation of “Plain people” from areas such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio, they rent modest bungalows and stay for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. It’s vacation. For many, it’s the one time of the year that they spend with people from communities other than their own.
ST. LAWRENCE, NY - In 2015, state and St. Lawrence county officials met with representatives of the Amish community to discuss how to increase safety when it comes to horse-drawn buggies.The all-black buggies can be difficult to see by drivers at night as well as in poor traveling conditions.Injuries and deaths often occur when motorized vehicles strike buggies using the same roadways.
MADISON, WI - Gov. Scott Walker signed into law this week a bill drafted to make roads safer for both auto and buggy drivers, mainly by requiring more visibility for horse-drawn vehicles.Authored by Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, and Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, the bill mandates that animal-drawn vehicles have a rear flashing yellow or amber strobe light, in addition to the one white headlight and two red rear lights already required by law.
Illinois - The proposed Illinois Amish Heritage Center has the potential to do more than inform the outside world.The Illinois Amish Heritage Preservation Foundation has set an ambitious goal: to build a heritage center in southwestern Douglas County. Already, the group has more than half of the $1.7 million needed to bring its plan to fruition.On 5 acres along Illinois 133, the Illinois Amish Heritage Center is to become a living-history farm and museum, so modern-day visitors gain an appreciation and understanding of the unique life and culture of this Illinois faith community that dates back to the mid-19th century.
MIDDLEFIELD, OH - Two West Farmington men are among three suspects accused of stealing a freezer full of ice cream in an Amish community.The Geauga County Sheriff's Office says Raymond Welz, Jr. and Mark Boggess, both of West Farmington, as well as Michael Pascal of Middlefield, have been arrested in connection with the crime.Detectives say Welz and Pascal were charged on March 21 with breaking and entering and theft after they were caught on a trail camera allegedly stealing a freezer an Amish freezer house on Old State Road in Middlefield Township.
WEST CHESTER, PA - A Sadsbury man was formally sentenced Tuesday to state prison for a series of burglaries at Amish owned businesses in western Chester County and Lancaster County.Jesse Lewis Johnson, 30, had pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary, and single counts of robbery, simple assault, flight to avoid apprehension and fleeing and eluding police in January. His sentence of 7 1/2 to 15 years behind bars was dependent on whether he paid restitution to his victims. If he did not, he would have faced trial and possible additional time behind bars.
MOUNT HOPE, OH - A sobering commitment to nonresistance in wartime was the theme given the most attention at the 13th Anabaptist Identity Conference.Hours of lectures on the experiences of nonresistant Christians during the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War I made up the bulk of the talks given March 15-17 in the horse sale barn at the Mount Hope auction complex.
Palm Desert resident John Peters, 66, came from a confused family background—which, in anyone else, might have led to dysfunction, insecurity and/or any number of psychologically traumatic results. But this ebullient man has not only prevailed—he has triumphed.Peters was born the youngest of four children in Intercourse, Penn. (Yes, that’s really the name.) His father died when Peters was 6 months old—and his mother remarried and moved, leaving behind the four kids. His two brothers were sent to an orphanage school; his sister was placed in a similar school.“There were no social programs back then for a young mother like there are today,” Peters says gently.