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Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets — these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.Visitors who also bring big money to the state — to the tune of nearly $1.8 billion a year. Which explains why the winning bumper sticker in a contest sponsored by Pennsylvania's Tourism Office didn't feature the Liberty Bell or the battlefield in Gettysburg — but rather, "I Break for Shoofly Pie," an ode to the traditional Amish dessert.But pictures can be deceiving, and the office of tourism — indeed the entire state — has reason to worry. The Amish, with their emphasis on family, hard work and simplicity, have drawn hordes of tourists but also an influx of residents, malls, roads and housing developments. The upshot? Swaths of farmland have been lost, and many Amish are now choosing to give up farming or are leaving the state to pursue quieter surrounding and cheaper land.
A character from the hit television series “Amish Mafia” will serve three months in prison for his 10th driving-under-suspension charge.John Schmucker, a leading character on the Discovery Channel series, will report to Lancaster County Prison on June 27, according to his attorney.Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely ordered the prison sentence Wednesday morning, three months after Schmucker, 29, appealed a district judge’s sentence.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - Aaron, an Amish small business owner in Lancaster County, uses computer software for his bookkeeping and exchanges e-mails with customers to nail down jobs.He uses a digital camera to keep photos of job sites on file. He and his foremen, also Amish, stay in touch on their cell phones.“You want to do business with the modern world, you’re going to have to run behind them to a certain extent,” he says.
Middlefield, Ohio - The Geauga County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a 3-year-old boy was run over by an Amish buggy Wednesday afternoon in Middlefield.The boy sustained injuries from the accident and is being transported by life flight from University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. It is unknown, at this time, where the boy is being taken to.No further details were given on this story.
Strasburg Township, Pennsylvania - A 10 year old Amish girl is struck and killed while walking along a road this afternoon in Lancaster County. The incident happened at about at around 4 o’clock along the 2200 block of White Oak Road near Picadilly Hill Road in Strasburg Township.The victim is identified as Rachel Zook. The child was pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy county coroner. The driver of the striking vehicle has not been identified. Pennsylvania State Police are investigating.
Unless you're a big fan of the TLC show "Breaking Amish," you probably associate Amish culture with a traditional, austere lifestyle.But there's one thing you might not realize: The Amish are great with money. In fact, they're a lot better at managing their money than the rest of us."Some Amish do quite well and have a lot of success in business," Erik Wesner, founder of AmishAmerica.com, told us. "An Amish millionaire is not something unheard of."
Over the last year, I have been following the progress of ‘The Ausbund Anabaptist Hymnal Display’ as Leroy Beachy, the owner of the many collectible Ausbunds, has been designing and building the display. Recently, upon its completion, the entire display was transported to the Amish/Mennonite Heritage Center, about a mile from Leroy’s shop. This is a magnificent addition to the Center and I’m excited that it will be available for viewing by the public. I’m also pleased that, Rachel Mast, currently employed at Christian Aid Ministries in Berlin, Ohio was able to meet with Leroy and put together the details of ‘The Story of the Ausbund’. I’m certain you will find this article quite interesting.
Auburn, Kentucky - Two special called meetings are being held Thursday and Friday of this week to determine if the city of Auburn will force the Amish community to place collection devices on their horses while traveling through the city. These “bags” will prevent any horse droppings from collecting on the streets or in parking lots.A first reading was held Thursday and a second reading is to be held Friday to amend the city’s current animal ordinance, which will drop “collect” from the law, leaving only “capture.” That means the Amish community, or any other person(s) riding a horse through town or pulling a horse drawn vehicle, will have to have collection devices.Mayor Mike Hughes said this was well overdue and the city has given plenty of opportunity to the Amish community to do the right thing. Handshake deals have been made and failed, as well as dropping this amendment one other time it was brought to the council table giving the Amish yet another chance to clean up after their horses.
Ligonier, Indiana - A 7-year-old was accidentally shot and killed when his brother was shooting at ground moles on their Amish farm. The Noble County Coroner said Jaylin Miller died at the scene from a single gunshot wound.The Noble County Sheriff's report said the gun accidentally discharged.On Monday hundreds of people from the small town showed up to the visitation to pay their respects to the Miller family.A firearms expert at the Midwest Gun and Range said it's very dangerous to shoot a gun at the ground.
Danville, Ohio - The largest measles outbreak in America since 1996 has arrived on Richland County’s doorstep.Sixteen confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease have showed up around the Knox County village of Danville, less than 20 miles south of Richland County. Four members of an Amish community there recently traveled to the Philippines, and are believed to have infected family members with the measles upon their return.The travelers were not vaccinated against the measles, a disease characterized by a bright rash, and the Philippines is currently grappling with a measles epidemic that has afflicted about 20,000 people there, killing at least 50.
Members of an Ohio Amish community normally reluctant to vaccinate their children flocked to a makeshift clinic for measles shots this week after an outbreak that may have sickened at least 15 people.More than 135 people crowded into a local woodworking business Thursday where nurses used up every available dose of vaccine — and then ordered 300 doses more, said Pam Palm, a spokeswoman for the Knox County, Ohio, Health Department.“Not getting immunizations has been the way the Amish have felt in the past, but they certainly have responded in this situation,” Palm said.
Montgomery, Pennsylvania - Three central Pennsylvania teenagers have been accused of fatally shooting a pet donkey on an Amish family's farm.WNEP-TV (http://bit.ly/1l9B0B8) says the boys were charged Thursday, about a week after the donkey was shot 18 times on the Clinton Township farm in Lycoming County.Amos Yoder and his family have lots of animals. But he says the 6-year-old Jerusalem miniature donkey named Eeyore was his children's pet.
Lawrence County, Alabama - Lawrence County deputies made two arrests in connection with robberies against members of a local Amish community, bringing the total number of people facing charges to three.34-year-old Adam Ray Garland and 40-year-old Richard Blayne Busby were arrested on Monday.Investigators charged Garland with two counts of aggravated robbery and theft. Busby is charged with aggravated robbery. Additional charges are pending.
A judge withheld ruling Monday whether forfeiture cases should continue against several Amish families who failed to get the proper county-required building and sanitary permits before constructing residences about three years ago.The Eau Claire County case is the first of its kind in the state, according to Eau Claire attorney Matthew Krische, who says signing the permits is in violation of the Old Order Amish’s sincere religious beliefs and requested the cases be dismissed.Eau Claire County Judge Kristina Bourget heard about a combined hour of comments by Krische and assistant county attorney Heather Wolske before indicating she would issue a ruling on an unspecified date. Another hearing is set for July 17, with a one-day trial scheduled for Aug. 6.
Lawrence County, Tennessee – A suspect remains at large after police said he and another accomplice attacked members of an Amish Community in Lawrence County.Officials with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said an arrest warrant has been issued for 40-year-old Jason Matthew Judkins, of Ethridge, Tennessee. Stacey Renee Hancock, 36, has already been taken into custody and charged with aggravated robbery.On Thursday, investigators responded to three different incidents of violence within the Amish Community. Officials said at least two people were victims of robberies. In another incident, a resident was the victim of a hit-and-run, when a motorcycle forced the victim off of the roadway.
New Castle, Pennsylvania - Two police officers posing as Amish women tried to catch a man who reportedly was exposing himself to Amish children.Despite their efforts, they didn’t catch him. However, they had a description of his vehicle and believe the suspect is the same person who was placed on house arrest in Mercer County at the end of January for similar acts in 2013.
Topeka, Indiana - Authorities in northern Indiana say three Amish school teachers escaped a small schoolhouse that had filled with carbon monoxide gas.Topeka Fire Chief Stewart Bender says the three teachers lived in the school in a rural area of LaGrange County. Bender tells The News Sun one of the teachers woke up about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and alerted the others, one of who was initially unresponsive.
East Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania — Police are seeking help with a case involving a handgun being pointed at an Amish man in his buggy Tuesday.State police in Meadville are investigating the act of simple assault and reckless endangerment, on Atlantic Road, at the intersection of Leach Road, Tuesday night, around 9:30.According to police, the unknown suspect was driving a vehicle described as a new four-door sedan, with a loud muffler, possibly a dark-colored Toyota.The suspect was described to be in his early 20s, wearing a black baseball cap, with brown hair over his ears.
Burton Township, Ohio -The Ashtabula man who crashed into an Amish buggy, is now charged.Douglas Learn, 42, is charged with dui, driving under suspension and aggravated vehicular homicide.Learn is locked up in the Geauga County Jail and will have an initial appearance in the Chardon Municipal Court on April 1. The crash remains under investigation and further criminal and or traffic charges may be pending.
Convicted Ohio Amish sect leader Sam Mullet has challenged his 15-year prison sentence for orchestrating a series of beard-chopping attacks on other Amish, saying the federal hate crimes law that put him behind bars violates the U.S. Constitution and was improperly applied in his case.The Justice Department used the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act to convict Mr. Mullet and 15 followers of hacking off the beards and hair of fellow Amish in a series of 2011 attacks meant to humiliate them for straying from the faith.In a new appeal filed Monday before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Mullet and his lawyers accuse the federal government of overreaching to make their case.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - The dozens of children learning to read and write at the six Amish schools in Somerset County get there the old-fashioned way: They walk.No yellow buses ferry children from their farms to the one-room Summit Mills Schoolhouse near Meyersdale, a simple white-frame building heated by a fireplace. Only a small black bell on the roof hints at the building's purpose.Passing motorists don't see school zone signs alerting them to watch for the students, who walk in the two-lane roadway out front.
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania - State police are searching for an unlikely suspect in a western Pennsylvania hit-and-run accident: the driver of an Amish buggy.Troopers from the Mercer barracks say the buggy twice hit a passenger vehicle at a crossroads on Route 158 in Wilmington Township, about 6 p.m. Sunday.
Amish life is more than plain dress, a Germanic dialect and an aversion to modern technology. It is also an insular faith which demands that adherents live, worship and marry within the community.Those strict expectations, along with a troubled home life, were too much for one Ohio Amish woman. Saloma Miller Furlong was 20 years old in the 1970s when she first ran away from her Amish community in Ohio and sought refuge in Burlington, Vt. It’s a story that she tells in her new memoir, Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Miller Furlong recently spoke with Vermont Edition about her experience.
Philadelphia, New York - State police say a 35-year-old man has died after his car hit two horses that wandered onto a rural northern New York road after breaking loose from an Amish farm.Troopers say Jacob Tyler of Antwerp was driving on county Route 20 around 4:30 a.m. Monday when his Volkswagen Jetta hit the horses in the neighboring Jefferson County town of Philadelphia, 80 miles north of Syracuse.
Salina, Kansas - Tired after a long day at work, the last thing Ron Brunner expected to do the night of March 7 was rescue a group of Amish people in a burning bus.Brunner, who is head mechanic at Reece Construction in Salina, was driving east on Interstate Highway 70 just after 7 p.m. when he noticed flames coming from underneath a passenger bus as both vehicles passed the Ohio Street exit."The fire was coming from their rear axle," he said.Brunner flagged the bus driver, and the driver pulled the bus to the side of the highway. Brunner stopped behind the bus. Tired as he was, he couldn't abandon a vehicle and passengers in trouble, no matter how much he wanted to get home.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Anabaptists — those who observe adult rather than infant baptism — define Lancaster County in many ways and yet remain a mystery in many ways.Why do the Amish live apart? Why do some Mennonite women wear those little white caps and dresses, never slacks? Why do some Anabaptists ride scooters, while others ride bikes? What's the difference between members of the Brethren in Christ Church and of the Church of the Brethren?"Anabaptist Faith," the topic of the Spring Senior Life Institute at Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, will delve into these and many more questions in four sessions beginning next month.
Adams County, Indiana - On April 12, 2012, a buggy driven by the wife of Martin Schwartz was hit by a car while traveling on Indiana 124 in Adams County. Three of her children were killed, and the other occupants of the buggy were seriously injured.It wasn’t the first time members of the family had been involved in a buggy-car crash. Martin Schwartz had been hit by a car while traveling on Indiana 124 not long before the fatal crash.Schwartz said after the crash that killed three of his children, “A lot of people came to me and said, ‘Surely you’re going to quit using 124.' "But he said that even though he dreads using the road, which has no shoulder, forcing buggies into the traffic lane, he has no choice but to use it.
Asheville, North Carolina - A group of men from the Union Grove Amish Church in Hamptonville, N.C., were the driving force behind a barn raising this past week at Hickory Nut Gap Farm.Located in Fairview, the nearly 100-year-old farm was a hive of activity on Thursday, as a storage shed and farm workshop were assembled in a process that would end up taking just a handful of days.The barn pieces were cut in the Amish community then shipped to Fairview by a driver — the only thing these Amish drive are tractors.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin - As the Amish community grows in the U.S. so do the misconceptions about its people, students learned at Amish of Wisconsin: A New Wave of Immigrants to the Badger State, held in Sage Hall Tuesday.The presentation, along with the Pennsylvania Dutch Documentation Program, is touring different universities so students and communities can understand the Amish culture as its population continues to grow.Mark Louden, co-director of German American Studies at the Max Kade Institute, said this event is meant to clear up any confusion about the Amish community.