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DECATUR, IN - More than 100 Amish men, many of them bishops in their church, along with a handful of members from the English community, attended a public informational session at the Berne Senior Center Monday night on the possible implementation of a wheel tax in Adams County. What is commonly referred to as a wheel tax is actually two different taxes: a wheel tax and an excise surtax. The excise surtax applies to passenger vehicles, motorcycles, motorbikes and trucks weighing less than 11,000 pounds. The wheel tax applies to larger vehicles like semis, buses, recreational vehicles and trailers.
HOPEWELL, PA - If at first you don’t succeed at harassing a farmer out of business, try again…and again…and again. That has been the tack the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Hopewell Township have taken since 2012 against Amish farmer and FTCLDF member Chris Zook. All four actions against the farmer have stemmed from Chris Zook’s building of a new barn on his farm to replace the original one that had been destroyed in a 2011 fire. Hopewell Township issued Zook a permit to rebuild his barn, but both the Township and the Commonwealth objected to Zook using part of the barn as a retail store.
LANCASTER, PA. - Medical professionals are trying to minimize the number of farm fatalities in Lancaster County. The county leads the state in fatal farm incidents with more than 60 deaths since 2000. In 2011, a team from Lancaster General Hospital visited an Amish farm to see what was causing so many injuries. Children, they found, were falling through barn hay holes, rectangular openings in the structure’s upper level that provide ventilation and are used in the feeding of cattle below. The holes can be as high as 10 to 15 feet off the ground.
In 2009, the Amish community was rocked by the murder of one of their own, Barbara Weaver, in Apple Creek, Ohio. Even more shocking was when her husband, Eli, was charged with aggravated murder. It was only the third time an Amish man was suspected of killing his wife in the 250 years the Amish have lived in America. On the day of her murder, Weaver’s alibi was solid — he was fishing with friends. But neighbors and family kept mentioning one name: Barb Raber.
ELKHART, IN - Nearly 400 members of Elkhart County's Amish community recently learned about the dangers, warning signs and law enforcement efforts related to the illegal drug epidemic. "They are simply being proactive and I applaud them for that," said State Police Sgt. Trent Smith, spokesman for the Bremen post. "This is something that they have done in the past with other agencies. The difference being the entire community was present, parents and children at the same time."
HARRISBURG, PA – An Amish couple have won an appeal against the Sugar Grove Sewer Authority that will allow them to connect to the township’s sewer system in the way that is least restrictive to their religious beliefs. The recent order by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania follows an appeal submitted by Sugar Grove Township residents Barbara L. Yoder and Joseph I. Yoder.
SOUTH AMERICA - The Amish branched out last year with new settlements in Bolivia, Argentina and Canada as their numbers continued to grow and a high percentage of young people opted to remain within the religious community, which eschews many modern conveniences. The sect's total current population is about 308,000 and has grown about 18 percent over the past five years.
NAPPANEE, IN — It's a place you may not expect to hear about substance abuse. But there's a push to get the word out in the Amish community. "There is drug problems among the plain community," said a community member. "I know of a young gal that's actually being challenged right now because of that."
FEASTERVILLE, PA - Lee Kaplan was arrested at his home in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning after child welfare workers and police conducted a surprise visit based on an anonymous tip. They found girls between the ages of 6 months and 18 years living in the house in Bucks County. All are believed to be Amish. Daniel Stoltzfus told investigators he and his wife were the parents of the 18-year-old, whom they "gifted" to Kaplan as thanks for helping his family out of "financial ruin", according to Kaplan's criminal complaint.
RICHMOND, IN - Amish communities from three Indiana counties met Monday night to talk about a common problem: heroin. Amish elder Ben Stoltzfus says the problem of opioid addiction hasn't spared his otherwise isolated community.
LANCASTER, Pa. — A Nottingham man will serve at least one month in prison for causing one of the most "bizarre" DUI crashes officials say they have ever seen. Thomas Candler Felts was convicted of giving Amish teens beer and yelling "Rumspringa" at them before crashing into their buggy with his car at a Turkey Hill store on Route 272 in August.
BETHANY, MO.- The Missouri Attorney General's office is helping with the prosecution of an Amish minister from Kentucky charged in his wife's 2006 death in Missouri. Borntreger, of Summer Shade, Kentucky, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Anna Yoder Borntreger in late 2006 in Missouri.
KENTUCKY - Sam Girod, an Amish farmer from Kentucky, has been running his small business selling natural salves made from herbs such as chickweed (which seem to help relieve many skin conditions, including allergic rashes, psoriasis, poison oak and even skin cancers) for 15 years. He has no criminal record, is 56 years old and the father to 12 children and yet the FDA wants to put him in jail- for up to 48 years. Yet another story that I couldn’t make up.
PEOLI, OH -An Amish woman, who had spent four days fasting and praying in the woods of southern Tuscarawas County, was found safe Friday afternoon after searchers spent two days looking for her. Family problems prompted the woman to go into the woods, Campbell said. After talking to her husband and children, individually and as a group, she left home Monday wearing a dress and no shoes.
Auburn, KY - Objections to a local ordinance requiring waste collection bags for large animals persist in Auburn, which has resulted in a glut of cases in the Logan County court system. Seven defendants, all members of Auburn's Amish community, made appearances Thursday in Logan District Court in relation to 10 separate citations for failing to equip their horses with bags to collect their droppings.
PENNSYLVANIA - This year, a Super PAC has already been established to stir up Amish support for Republican candidate Donald Trump, who is neck-and-neck with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in early polls in states like Pennsylvania. But the Amish community's support is far from a given, and its history at the polls complicated to say the least.
SHIPSHEWANA and TOPEKA, IN - Five Amish teens are facing alcohol related charges after they were caught driving 110 mph on U.S. 31 in Northern Indiana on Friday night. The teens may have been on their rumspringa, an Amish rite of passage teenagers take to decide if they want to stay with the church or not, said Indiana State Police Officer Ben Reason.
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) – Authorities say twin brothers detonated improvised explosive devices in Pennsylvania over two weeks, damaging several buildings. Authorities say the twins also detonated explosives inside an Amish phone shed in Colerain Township, in a Strasburg Township produce shed, and inside a West Fallowfield Township well pump shed.
From Donald Trump's Twitter feed, to the nonstop cable news coverage, the 2016 election has been nothing if not digital. For most of the country this has made politics inFrom Donald Trump's Twitter feed, to the nonstop cable news coverage, the 2016 election has been nothing if not digital. For most of the country this has made politics inescapable, but not for the technology-averse Amish community, who are at a considerable remove from the election. But now, a brand new super PAC is trying change that. The aptly named Amish PAC calls itself "the first Super PAC dedicated to getting plain voters [using a common term referencing the Amish lifestyle] to the polls."
New Order Amish are often seen as one of the most progressive of Amish groups. Less traditional dress, neatly groomed beards and hair, and homes with telephones are just a few things that set them apart from their Old Order counterparts. They also allow rubber tires and sliding doors on their buggies and air-filled “balloon” tires on farm equipment. Although they don’t own vehicles, the New Order are allowed to travel by airplane unlike other Amish.
Physical and sexual abuse in the Amish-Mennonite community weighs heavily on Larry and Kendra Kaufman, pastoral couple at Grace Mennonite Church.Just this year in their community, the issue has been thrust into the public eye through the conviction and imprisonment of an Amish preacher who is a sex offender.
Fairview Township, Pennsylvania – Two Amish men were arraigned Tuesday on charges that they damaged and tried to enter a home during a confrontation with the homeowner.Joseph and Nathan Hochstetler, both 18 and of 59 Poole Road, Jackson Township, were among a group of Amish who congregated March 28 outside a home in the 100 block of Runkle Road, Fairview Township, state police said.
Grand Rapids, Michigan - Ben's Soft Pretzels is finding its sweet spot in Meijer stores.In the last few years, the fastest-growing soft pretzel franchise in the United States has opened a dozen locations in Meijer stores across the Michigan-based retailer's Midwest footprint.
Amish couples usually keep a wedding announcement secret until it’s revealed or “published” in church.Still, there’s plenty of speculation over who will be married as the curious search for telltale signs.“Folks watch to see whether families with marriage-eligible girls might be painting their homes,” said Karen M. Johnson-Weiner. “And whether those girls might be sewing new dark blue dresses.”
Jefferson County, Illinois -- A Jefferson County man is facing sex abuse charges.Rudy Byler, 38, of Belle Rive was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 9.
Millersburg, Ohio - If plain communities don’t deal with sexual abuse among them, the state will step in to deal with the problem, and some freedoms may be lost.That was Chester Weaver’s sober message to attendees of the 11th Anabaptist Identity Conference March 10-12.
Motorists in eastern P.E.I. are being asked to watch for a different kind of vehicle on the roads as the first Amish couple has arrived in the area, and with them, a horse and buggy.Brad Oliver, a local realtor, helped the pair move in to their new home in Summerville last week. All four parents of the couple are expected to arrive Tuesday.Oliver said another group also plans to set up in Dundas.
Hammond, New York - A 9 year old Amish boy was killed Saturday morning in a farm accident off Route 37, near Hammond.7 News reporter John Moore, on scene, spoke with the boy's father, Henry Mast, who identified the child as David Mast.
Larue, Ohio - A "large caliber," high-powered firearm was used in the shooting of two houses in western Marion County between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. Sunday, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office statement released Tuesday.The residents of both homes are Amish, and no one was hit, Sheriff Tim Bailey said.
Who is likely to be a more successful entrepreneur – a Harvard Business School graduate or an Amish man who quit school in eighth grade? According to new research, the answer may surprise you.Amish scholar Don Kraybill says the failure rate of Amish start-ups is less than 10%, while the failure rate for non-Amish businesses is 65%. Although it is tempting to say that their businesses target different consumers, the reality is that Amish businesses are competitive with mainstream businesses, with many Amish even offering online ordering and shipping.