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AKRON, OH - Supporters of presidential candidate republican Donald Trump want you get out the vote in Ohio from a group not known for participating widely in elections. They've set up an Amish PAC, a political action committee, to target the religious community. It's estimated about 70,000 Amish live in Ohio and about 17,000 of them are registered to vote. With me to talk about the outreach to the Amish is Benjamin Walters who came up with this strategy.
INDIANA CO., PA — State police reported an underage DUI incident involving five Amish men last month in Indiana County. The four passengers, 20-year-old Andrew D. Coblentz, 18-year-old William W. Byler, 20-year-old Raymond E. Kurtz, and a 16-year-old known juvenile, received citations related to their alcohol consumption and possession.
BETHANY, MO - An Amish man who admitted to poisoning his wife to death 10 years ago was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday. Samuel Borntreger, 39, admitted to poisoning his former wife, Anna Borntreger, 26, over the course of about a month in 2006 while he lived near Bethany, Missouri, in Harrison County. In a written statement, Borntreger admitted to using antifreeze and battery acid to bring about his wife’s death.
WISCONSIN - In 1989, in a cornfield in southeastern Pennsylvania, Holmes Morton, MD, built a timber-frame clinic to care for the area's Old Order Amish and Mennonite children, many of whom had poorly understood, complex medical problems due to inherited disorders. Dr. Morton spent his first day in Wisconsin at a community health event at the Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center in Norwalk, near one of the more concentrated Amish settlements in the state.
INDIANA - A study published Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2015, explored reasons why asthma is so uncommon among Amish communities, where children play barefoot in dairy barns and farm fields. Experts have long recognized that exposure to farm animals – and the microbes associated with them – protects children from asthma.
CANTON, MO - A Lewis County man is facing a sex abuse charge for an alleged incident in 1997, according to the sheriff's office. Henry Schwartz, 53, of Canton, was arrested Wednesday on a first-degree sodomy charge.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Pennsylvania police are investigating a case of alleged animal cruelty after photos of the incident surfaced on Facebook. The woman who made the post claims the horse wasn’t able to pull a wagon full of watermelons, and the man began beating the animal.
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA -14-year-old Amish girl 'gifted' to man 33 years her senior in exchange for financial help: court hears. "Fourteen," the young woman responded when asked: How old was she when she began having sex with Lee Kaplan, a man 33 years her senior? She was 14 when she moved in with him, she testified, 15 when their first child was born, and 17 when the second one came. Police said the adults claimed the teenager was given to Kaplan at 14 in exchange for his having helped the Stoltzfuses out of financial ruin, but Savilla Stoltzfus' attorney has disputed that account. He also has said he will seek to sever the cases.
DRUMORE, PA - Father, 2 sons charged in sex assaults of 3 girls at Drumore Twp. home. Ephraim Zook and Daniel Zook are each accused of assaults involving one girl while Ivan Zook allegedly assaulted two of the girls, court papers show. The girls ranged in age from 6 to 14 at the time of the alleged assaults.
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."
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.
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.