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Plain People in the News: April 2023

Updated: May 15

How an Amish Craftsman Turned Masterpieces From The Met Into Gallery-worthy Furniture. Abner Henry has unveiled a furniture collection based upon art masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. April 28, 2023, 1:45am Ernest Hershberger has never felt spiritually connected to a piece of furniture. A devout member of the Amish church and chief executive officer of high-end furnishings maker Abner Henry, Hershberger saw the pieces he designed and handcrafted as merely the end product of his hard work. But that changed three years ago when he got a call from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Met wanted to expand its home goods licenses into furniture — the museum has partnerships with other brands such as luxury bedding maker Ann Gish — and it needed a collaborator that could deliver the level of quality befitting the prestige of the venerable institution. The full story can be found at:

Amish scooter stolen in Crawford County.

by: Brett Balicki. Apr 26, 2023 / 02:16 PM EDT.

(WJET/WFXP/ — An Amish scooter was stolen from a teen in Rome Township. At about 1 p.m. on April 2, a gray Dodge truck with a ladder on top stopped in the 40,000 block of Buells Corners Road in Crawford County.

According to a Pennsylvania State Police report, a 13-year-old Centerville boy was out in the woods when two men got out of the truck and one of the men picked up the boy’s light blue Amish scooter. He then put the scooter in the truck’s bed.

Both men got back into the truck and drove off toward Centerville. The scooter is valued at $300. Police are investigating. The full story can be found at:

Amish communities are using a surprising new kind of vehicle to travel long distances: ‘It’s a lot quicker’.

Several churches have now decided that the benefits outweigh the costs.

by Jeremiah Budin. The Cooldown. April 24, 2023 .

Electric bikes, as many have discovered in recent years, are a highly convenient mode of transportation. They’re much cheaper than electric vehicles, faster than walking, and less physically arduous than riding a regular bike. And they don’t produce planet-warming pollution like cars do. Now, it seems that e-bikes have caught on in a somewhat surprising place: Amish communities. Although it is commonly believed that Amish communities eschew any type of technology that isn’t several centuries old, this is a misconception. In reality, there is no central Amish governing authority, and each individual community is allowed to make its own decisions about what type of technology it makes use of.

The official tourism site for Lancaster, Pennsylvania — home of numerous Amish communities — explains this nuance best. The full story can be found at:

Five injured as car hits Amish buggy, driver says at first he didn’t know what he had hit.

By Ken Delaney Apr 24, 2023 | 3:45 PM

An Amish buggy destroyed in a crash in Branch County's California Township April 22, 2023 (courtesy Michigan State Police). CALIFORNIA TOWNSHIP, MI (WTVB) – Michigan State Police say the driver of a car that struck an Amish buggy in Branch County’s California Township early Saturday morning didn’t see the buggy before the collision, and at first, didn’t know what he had hit.

Two persons were taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne after they suffered what were described as severe injuries in that two vehicle crash in the area of East Southern Road and Kelley Road just after 12:30 a.m. The full story can be found at:

Severe weather warning.

Tornado outbreak highlights role of disaster-response ministries.

Tim Huber. April 21, 2023. Anabaptist World.

One of the most active tornado seasons in decades has disaster-response organizations busy responding across several states in the eastern half of the United States. Strong tornadoes produced considerable damage and claimed more than 60 lives from Iowa to Delaware in early April, triple the number of tornado fatalities in the U.S. last year. At least three more people were killed by a tornado April 20 near Oklahoma City. Mennonite Disaster Service and weather experts have identified a trend of tornadoes not just moving east from the traditional “tornado alley” of the Great Plains but also growing in severity. “Some of us think there are ­tornado seasons or fire seasons, but now it’s 365 days a year, 24/7,” said MDS executive director Kevin King on April 5, less than two weeks after a tornado nearly wiped Rolling Fork, Miss., off the map, part of a series of storms that killed more than 20 people. The full story can be found at:

University students help New Castle library with programming, outreach.

By Nicholas Vercilla | New Castle News Apr 27, 2023.

New Castle Public Library Director Andrew Henley said the library is constantly working to come up with new ways to help the community, while at the same time working to improve its existing programs and relationships.

The library partnered with students from two universities for two different research projects. project with library and information science master’s degree students from the University of Pittsburgh focused on the library’s perception, the library’s vacant parking lot and after-school literacy classes. The other project, with Rutgers University Master’s of Business Administration students, focused on ways to help the county’s Hispanic and Amish communities. Henley said educational institutions and their students often provide a fresh, outsider perspective that can be used to help the library. The full story can be found at:

Open Source: Do the Amish pay taxes? By Nathan Hart, Report for America Corps Member. Ashland Source. Apr 21, 2023. This story was generated by a reader who directed it to our Ashland Source staff via the Open Source portal. If you'd like to ask a question to be considered for a story, follow this link. ASHLAND — It appears that some Ashland community members had a bit of a disagreement last week when 26 Amish appeared in court. According to a reader of Ashland Source, viewers of the court appearance could not agree on whether or not Amish paid taxes. Some thought they did, some thought they didn't. So the reader reached out to us to find out if the Amish have to pay taxes, to clarify it for the community. The short answer is: "Yes. They pay taxes," Ashland County treasurer Angie McQuillen said. The full story can be found at:

Amish Community Members vs. Lenawee County Health Dept. back in Court; Sides Working on Possible Agreement.

April 19, 2023. WLEN News Staff.

Adrian, MI – Lenawee County and several members of the Amish community are in the process of working together to possibly settle several cases brought forward by the County Health Department about storage and removal of human waste, water well concerns, and storage of greywater on their properties.

Richard Shultee with Wright & Shultee, out of Ohio, and the Michigan ACLU are representing the Amish community in Lenawee County Circuit Court. John Gillooly is representing the County.The full story can be found at:

Two injured when semi strikes Amish buggy near Kenton.

By J Swygart. April 17, 2023. KENTON — Two members of the Hardin County Amish community were injured Sunday afternoon when the horse-drawn buggy in which they were riding was struck by a semi. According to information provided by the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m. on state Route 31 and Township Road 265 near Kenton. Rural Kenton residents Levi Yoder, 25, and Orfa Yoder, 20, were ejected when their buggy entered the southbound lane of traffic and was struck by a semi driven by Justin Gabianou, 53, of Columbus. Both occupants of the buggy were transported to Memorial Health System in Lima with serious injuries. Gabianou was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Kenton Fire Department and EMS, Mount Victory Fire Department and EMS and BKP EMS. The full story can be found at:

Parents of 2 children killed in Amish buggy crash grateful for support.

by: Ken Kolker. Posted: Apr 17, 2023 / 04:46 PM EDT

Updated: Apr 17, 2023 / 06:19 PM EDT MANTON, Mich. (WOOD) — A month after two of their children died in a buggy crash in Wexford County, an Amish couple struggles with a home that’s a little less crowded, a little quieter. But they are thankful that their 9-year-old daughter Hannah is home from the hospital and for the support they’re getting from the community. Hannah spent part of Monday at the family’s farmhouse in Manton, near Cadillac, putting together puzzles with her little brother, her only surviving sibling. Her smile warmed the room. A neck brace was a stark contrast to her long, gray homemade dress and black bonnet. The brace was the only outward reminder of what she’s been through.

“It’s hard to go on without the rest and yet we feel God has helped us,” her father Eli Miller told News 8 on Monday. “He knew we needed Hannah.” The full story can be found at:

1 injured after Amish buggy struck in hit-and-run crash.

Published: Apr. 15, 2023, 8:59 a.m. By Michael Kransz.

BRANCH COUNTY, MI – A person was injured Friday evening when a motor vehicle struck a horse-drawn Amish buggy and then sped off. The hit-and-run crash was reported around 8 p.m. Friday, April 14, on South Ray Quincy Road near Lester Road in Algansee Township, which is roughly 14 miles southwest of Hillsdale.

Michigan State Police troopers say a motor vehicle believed to be a minivan was headed southbound on South Ray Quincy Road when it struck the horse-drawn buggy occupied by two people who are Amish. The vehicle failed to remain at the scene of the crash and continued southbound, troopers said. The vehicle is believed to be a 2000′s Ford Windstar that is dark blue/gray in color with new front-end damage. The vehicle is missing its passenger side headlight assembly.

One of the buggy occupants suffered minor injuries, troopers said. Anyone with information on the incident, or those similar, is asked to call the Michigan State Police Marshall Post at 269-558-0500. The full story can be found at:

Ashland County Health Dept. targeting Amish, 'isolated populations' with $230K mobile vaccination clinic.

By Dillon Carr, Staff Reporter. Ashland Source.

Apr 16, 2023. ASHLAND — The Ashland County Health Department plans to purchase a van outfitted as a mobile health clinic to bring vaccinations to Amish and “isolated populations” across the county. The health department received the green light from the Ohio Department of Health on Monday to use leftover funds from federal COVID-19 stimulus money, according to Jill Hartson, a community health educator for Ashland County Health Department. Vickie Taylor, the health commissioner, said the $230,000 van should be delivered this week or next.

The van, a used 2022 Ford E450, is outfitted with a generator, two vaccination areas and an area for a clerk to process paperwork. Taylor said the health department will not make new hires and instead will use existing nursing staff.

“The van will be ready to use immediately. We will need to do some training on using the items provided in the van and ensure the refrigeration is at temperature before we use it for COVID vaccines,” Taylor said. The full story can be found at:

Fire destroys Amish workshop east of Westby.

by Leah Rivard. Apr 14, 2023. CLINTON, Wis. (WKBT) - Multiple fire crews were called to the scene of a fire at an Amish workshop on Pa's Road, east of Westby.

The building was engulfed in flames when firefighters got to the building.

Westby's fire chief says there are no injuries from the fire, and a dog that was inside the building got out of the building safe. Five different fire departments responded to the fire, along with tanker trucks carrying water. The building and everything inside is destroyed. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The full story can be found at:

Ashland County Amish community members appear in court to answer for buggy violations The 26 members are refusing to comply with a new state law that makes flashing yellow lights on their horse-drawn buggies mandatory. The defendants claim new laws mandating flashing lights on the backs of the horse-drawn carriages violate their religious beliefs.

Author: Carmen Blackwell Updated: 10:17 PM EDT April 14, 2023.

ASHLAND, Ohio — More than 20 members of the Amish community were in court on Friday in Ashland after refusing to comply with a new state law that makes flashing yellow lights on their horse-drawn buggies mandatory.

Ashland Municipal Judge John Good ordered that they pay fines to avoid jail time.

All 26 members took the stand to contest that they could not and would not pay the fine because it is against their religion. So Judge Good gave them the option of either putting a lien on their properties or performing community service instead. According to the OSP, there have been more than 150 crashes across the state since 2021 involving Amish buggies. The majority of those accidents happened during the nighttime hours, when visibility was most likely a big factor. The full story can be found at:

Grundy County Rural Fire Protection District responds to controlled burn location southwest of Trenton.

Local News April 10, 2023. KTTN News.

A controlled burn of brush got away and burned approximately 15 to 20 acres of grass and timber on Saturday at a location six miles southwest of Trenton.

Grundy County Rural Fire Protection District Chief Kenny Roberts reported the location of the fire was at a scout camp on Southwest 62nd Avenue, and an adjoining property. The controlled burn was being done by the Amish on the adjoining property when it spread to the scout campgrounds.

Grundy County rural firefighters responded to the location Saturday morning and returned Saturday afternoon when flames rekindled. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately two hours for each callout No injuries were reported. The full story can be found at:

Minnesota Amish seek OK from appeals court to ditch septic systems.

The Swartzentruber Amish community returned to the Minnesota Court of Appeals after a favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Andy Monserud / April 11, 2023.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CN) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a long-running dispute between members of a southern Minnesota Amish community and state and county regulators who say the community cannot refuse to install septic tanks to process sewage and greywater.

The case, which has been to the U.S. Supreme Court and back since it was first filed in 2017, centers on a dispute between several members of Fillmore County’s Swartzentruber Amish community and government officials with the county and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The full story can be found at:

La Farge woman dies after motorcycle collides with Amish buggy Sunday in Vernon County.

Vernon County Times staff, Apr 11, 2023.

A La Farge woman died at the scene of a motorcycle crash after authorities say an Amish buggy crossed into the vehicle’s path Sunday in the town of Whitestown.

According to a press release from the Vernon County Sheriff’s office, at about 4:30 p.m., a motorcycle operated by Joseph Oium, 53, with his passenger, Kim Oium, 54, both of rural La Farge, was traveling northbound on Sandhill Road in the town of Whitestown. A single horse-drawn buggy, occupied by two juveniles, was traveling southbound. The horse became startled, crossed into the path of and struck the oncoming motorcycle. The motorcycle left the roadway, both riders were were ejected, and came to rest along the northbound shoulder.

Kim Oium suffered serious injuries and lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Vernon County Coroner’s Office. Joseph Oium reported head, back and hand injuries. He refused treatment at the scene, but may have sought medical treatment on his own. The two buggy occupants were not injured. The full story can be found at:

Amish Heritage Center in Arthur coming to life with state grant.

by: Arriana Williams. Posted: Apr 10, 2023 / 06:28 PM CDT. ARTHUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Amish Heritage Center in Arthur has big plans up its sleeves.

We told you last week they’ll be getting $500,000 from the state’s tourism attractions and festival grant. And they’re putting that money toward bringing this 3D model to life. The chairman says the grant money puts them a step closer to completing the living history farm. It will let them bring in animals and activities to show what Amish life was like a century ago. “People say are they annoyed by the tourism, or do they appreciate all that attention? And the answer is they’re very open and receptive to curious people who want to why they do the things they do,” said Chairman Wilmer Otto, “but it is a nuisance if you’re standing in your yard putting your clothes on the clothesline and car pulls up and wants to engage you in conversation.” He says the upgraded heritage center could be the solution. They’re still fundraising for the $3 million project. They plan to break ground next year and have it open the following year. The full story can be found at:

46 dogs rescued from Greenleaf Twp. House.

April 07, 2023. Sanilac County News.

GREENLEAF TWP. – On Tuesday, April 4, Sanilac County Sheriff’s deputies and Sanilac County Animal Control executed a search warrant on Huron County Line Road in Greenleaf Township. According to a sheriff department press release, the warrant stemmed from complaints about a person breeding and selling animals and animals living in deplorable conditions. When deputies arrived on scene, and a strong odor of urine and feces could be smelled coming from the House.

Forty-six dogs were in the house, where the ammonia smell was overwhelming.

Dogs were located throughout the home and in cages, living in fecal matter and urine-soaked flooring. Many of the dogs were covered in feces and were urine soaked. All 46 dogs, four cats and one bird were removed by Animal Control.

Animal Control is currently caring for all animals and providing the necessary care and treatment. The case is being investigated by the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office. The animals are not available for adoption at this time.

No additional information will be released at this time. The full story can be found at:

Amish Baby Killed In Farming Accident ID'd In Central PA.

The 18-month-old girl killed by a family member in a farming accident in Central Pennsylvania has been identified.

Jillian Pikora. Daily Voice. 04/10/2023 2:30 p.m.

Kristiana Joy King was run over by a skid loader on the 700 block of East End Mountain Road in Lamar Township at 4:33 p.m., on Wednesday, April 5, according to a release by Mill Hall police late on Friday.

Witnesses told police that a family member was using the loader to push a feed wagon full grain, and didn't realized the infant was "behind the rear wheel of the wagon resulting in the child being struck," the police said.

Despite life-saving efforts, Kristiana succumbed to injuries in the Lock Haven Hospital Emergency Room later that day, the family explained in her obituary. The full story can be found at:

Update on Amish infant airlifted from accident in Centerville that was reportedly caused by cow. The child has recovered and is expected to be discharged.

Michael T. Baldwin. April 10, 2023.

A potentially tragic outcome has been averted after an Amish buggy crashed on Easter Sunday in the Allegany County Town of Centerville.

Authorities tell us seven people were injured…mostly children…and one child was flown to Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. A State Police Investigator said the youngest child sustained a “significant head injury.” Thankfully, the child may be discharged from the hospital this week.

The Investigator said the accident was caused when a nearby cow “spooked a horse.” There are clearly no charges and law enforcement says “this is just a tragic accident.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Traffic accident with Amish horse and buggy in northern Allegany County.

An infant was airlifted from the scene on Rushford Road in the town of Centerville.

By Andrew Harris. Wellsville Sun.

A trusted source for news about emergency responses, Allegany County Fire Wire, reported some sad Easter Sunday news. This service reports news as they hear the situation unfold over emergency service radio/scanners. They provide a general idea of what transpired, not exact details: “Several units responding to an Amish Buggy accident on Rushford Road in Centerville. Reported possibly serious injuries, potential of 6 to 8 patients.” Shortly after that, responders at the scene prepared for an medical helicopter to arrive to transport an infant for treatment.

All other injured at the scene were reported to be stable. We’ve asked the New York State Police for any updates on the victim or the circumstance and will provide updates. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Amish Farmer Challenges Constitutionality of Federal Firearms License.

Federal agents removed 615 guns from the man's barn.

By Beth Brelje. April 5, 2023. Updated: April 20, 2023.

The Epoch Times. Amish dairy farmer Reuben King’s farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was raided on Jan. 12, 2022, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which charged King with dealing in firearms without a license and confiscated 615 guns. An undercover ATF agent bought five guns from King between October 2019 and March 2020, according to court papers filed by the ATF. On June 11, 2020, the ATF served King with a cease-and-desist letter advising him to get a Federal Firearms License (FFL) before selling any more firearms. King told the ATF that he didn’t sell firearms as a business and only occasionally sold personal long arms for which he had no further use.

After that letter, King sold four firearms to undercover state troopers in November 2020, March 2021, and December 2021, prompting the charges.

But King doesn’t need an FFL, his attorney, Joshua Prince, told The Epoch Times. He’ll argue that the FFL itself is unconstitutional. “Your rights belong to you. They don’t belong to the government to dole out to you. If that were the case, these would be privileges. But these are rights that existed prior to the creation of our nation. They are endowed to you by your creator. If we start to relegate any of our rights to second-class rights, then there are no longer rights at all, and any of those rights can fall at any time. … It is your right to own a firearm in America provided you are a law-abiding citizen. And these are attempts to chip away at those rights, undermine the Second Amendment, and eliminate it, ultimately.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Road safety campaign demands more road signs for Amish populated areas.

By Oksana Kotkina. Apr 7, 2023.

CAMDEN, Mich. — Lisa Scarpa came to live in Hillsdale County, Michigan, from Florida in September last year. She and her boyfriend, originally from Indiana, bought a log cabin 6 miles away from Camden on Camden Road, and were excited about the move and making new friends out in the country. It turned out that Scarpa’s and her boyfriend’s closest neighbors were Amish, many of whom travel to Steuben County to work and shop. “Since we bought it off the Internet, we didn’t know anything about the area, just what we could see, and we were completely unaware that pretty much all of our neighbors were Amish,” said Scarpa. After some time in the community, Scarpa has been concerned about safety of the Amish when they are out in their buggies. To view Scarpa’s GoFundMe campaign or to donate, please visit:

This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Amish couple claim religious violation in West Caln zoning. By Michael P. Rellahan. WEST CHESTER — An Amish couple who contend that a zoning restriction that prohibits them from keeping a horse on their one-acre property in West Caln violates their religious liberties is awaiting trial in Common Pleas Court on their challenge to the township code. Samuel and Sadie Mae Stoltzfus have filed an appeal of the township board of supervisors’ decision earlier this year denying their request for an amendment to the township’s zoning code that would allow them to keep a horse they use for transportation on the property they own across from their home on Sandy Hill Road — a rural area north of West King’s Highway in western Chester County. The Stoltzfuses now keep their horse on their home lot, which is also where their parents live. But they say that arrangement will become more inconvenient as their parents, now in their 70s, grow older. Their request to keep a horse on the one-acre lot across the road was denied as the township requires at least three acres of land for a horse or other livestock. The board ultimately found that the zoning restrictions did not prohibit horses used for transportation being kept in the township, and that the Stoltzfuses’ had not presented compelling evidence that their religious rights were being violated. “The provisions is the Zoning Ordinance being challenged are reasonable, and not arbitrary and in fact serve a legitimate government purpose,” read the decision, penned by township Solicitor Kimberly Venzie, of the law firm of Buckley, Brion, McGuire and Morris of West Chester. The appeal has been assigned to Jude William P. Mahon. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Clinic for Special Children unveils designs for a bigger, new center in Leacock Township [update].

LISA SCHEID | Business Trends Reporter Apr 4, 2023. LancasterOnline.

Idario Santos left everything he had in Brazil in 2005 with his wife, Soraya, and very ill child, Artur, in pursuit of hope offered by a clinic in Lancaster County.

At the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg Township, the Santos family found a cure for Artur’s Maple Syrup Urine Disease, a severe genetic metabolic disorder that is fatal without treatment. He could find no treatment in Brazil.

“It was like opening the door for a new life,” Soraya Santos said of the treatment Artur received. “He was born again.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

U.S. 60 outrage? Residents, ranging from business owners to many Old Order Amish, sound off about MoDOT’s plans for proposed improvements on U.S. 60 in Seymour. By Matthew McFarland, Webster County Citizen. Members of Seymour's Old Order Amish community spent lots of time viewing corkboards and proposed drawings of the 2027 highway projects on U.S. 60 in Seymour at last week's public meeting. It’s safe to say Seymour residents — ranging from local business owners to the Old Order Amish — made it clear last week to the regional officials from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) that the state’s plans for a new interchange at the city’s northeast edge were, if nothing else, incomplete. Last Tuesday, March 21, a public meeting entitled “U.S. Route 60 Intersection Improvements In Seymour” was attended by more than 200 residents, with some estimates saying nearly 300 were in attendance over the course of the almost two-hour gathering. The atmosphere was energetic and fractious, the people eager to speak their minds as eloquently as possible. Aerial renditions of the proposed construction was displayed on several long tables, others hung from corkboards along the walls of the Seymour middle- and high-school cafeteria. The extensive $31.5-million project, which includes, in part, a new interchange at the intersection U.S. 60 and highways C and K, the construction of a roundabout intersection on Loren Drive and particularly the removal of the West Clinton Avenue signalized (stoplight) intersection, was revealed to be quite unpopular with a vast majority of the residents of Seymour and the surrounding area. It was longtime Seymour resident and decades-long community volunteer Bob Crump who perhaps captured the overall mood of the meeting when he said, “This thing will kill the economy of Seymour. I’ve never seen this amount of structure in a small town. Marshfield was cut down to one exit, and they worked for 15 years to get a second one back.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Controversy Around Record Buck In Pennsylvania.

By Brad Kaufmann

News first broke from of a giant Pennsylvania buck shot by Anthony Faus, that missed the archery record by half an inch. Once the image of this deer hit social media, rumors began swirling quickly! As with any giant deer, people are quick to jump to conclusions saying, “It was probably poached!” and “It’s a high-fence deer that escaped!” While most of us can tune those comments out, one thing really stood out to me when diving deeper into this story. There are ZERO pictures of the hunter with this deer… According to the GoErie article, this buck was shot in Adams County, PA with a crossbow by Anthony Faus back on October 15th. It measures a whopping 228 3/8″, has an inside spread of 18 4/8″, and came up just 3/8″ short of the current record held by Eric Carns in 2016. According to sources, Anthony Faus is a younger guy, who is either Amish or Mennonite, which explains the lack of photos and the disdain for notoriety around this buck. Pennsylvania is known to have plenty of Amish and Mennonites, so if true, that would explain why Faus has not been seen in pictures posing with the deer. While scouring the social media comments sections, I was quick to find plenty of comments saying, “It was a high-fence buck that escaped it’s pen.” And while doing some research, I was able to find several people who claim to live within a few miles of where this buck was shot. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Herndon Amish School Destroyed In Fire.

News Edge Newsroom.

An Amish school on Fentress Lane was destroyed in a fire late Wednesday night.

Herndon firefighters say the building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived just after 11 p.m. No one was injured in the fire and the cause was unknown. Firefighters say there was no electricity to the structure but there was a fireplace. Herndon Fire Department was assisted by Square Deal and Oak Grove fire departments. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Deadly Amish Buggy Crash Near Preston Results in Jail Sentence.

Andy Brownell. April 1, 2023.

Preston, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Hastings man has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years on probation for his conviction on charges stemming from a fatal traffic crash in Fillmore County in 2021. 41-year-old Joseph Perry recently entered into a plea agreement and admitted to a gross misdemeanor drug possession charge and a misdemeanor count of driving after suspension. A number of other charges, including a felony drug charge, and misdemeanor counts of open bottle, careless driving, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed. Court documents say Perry was behind the wheel of a pickup that crashed into a horse-drawn buggy operated by 15-year-old Henry Hershberger on a rural road near Preston, causing the Amish teenager to suffer fatal injuries. Following the deadly collision, Perry told a deputy the sun was in his eyes and he did not see the buggy until it was too late to swerve around it. The investigation determined Perry was driving at just over 50 mph and did not apply his brakes. The criminal complaint says Perry had two children in the rear seat of his pickup when the fatal crash occurred. Investigators later found a small amount of marijuana and marijuana wax in the pickup. His plea deal with the Fillmore County Attorney's Office also included a provision requiring Perry to write a letter expressing his condolences to the Hershberger family, but he would not be expected to acknowledge any liability for causing the fatal collision. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Amish community pours into SoKY: turnout unprecedented for 38th Annual ‘Amish Auction’.

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. – People from across the U.S. flooded Allen County this past Saturday for the Amish-run 38th Annual Southern Kentucky Horse Drawn Machinery Consignment Auction. Despite virtually zero media promotion, thousands both within and outside of the Amish community poured into Scottsville to participate in the auction rings. Buyers trudged through the mud to bid on all kinds of horse-drawn machinery, shop equipment, farm animals, and much more. Long-time attendee Titus Glick said, “When I first came 15 years ago, there were only four auctioneers at the same time. Now, there are people from 20-something states. And so people bring and come here to buy from all over the U.S.” If you want a piece of the bidding next year, go ahead and mark your calendars same time and place next year. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Harmonia Sacra hymn sings keep local history alive.

WMRA | By Randi B. Hagi.

The fifth edition of the Harmonia Sacra, published in 1851, is part of the collection at Eastern Mennonite University's historical library.

A religious musical tradition spanning back two centuries is alive and well in the Shenandoah Valley. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports. About 60 people met in the 19th-century Union Church in Mount Jackson on Sunday afternoon. Many of them wore Old Order Mennonite head coverings and plain dress; others sported blue jeans and sweaters. One by one, attendees took turns leading the congregation in song – with people calling out requests by the hymn's number. This one is number 254. SAM SHOWALTER: It's a very ecumenical kind of happening. … The oldest one was at Weaver's Church, out on Route 33. They've been singing there for over 120 years, out of this book. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

GOP States Press Voter Photo ID Rules, With Unclear Effects.

As Ohio’s primary approaches, a strict new photo ID requirement is stirring concerns for military veterans and out-of-state college students and there are worries about it in Amish communities and among older voters.

By Associated Press.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — As Ohio’s primary approaches, a strict new photo ID requirement is stirring concerns for military veterans and out-of-state college students, in Amish communities and among older voters. Other Republican-led states are moving in the same direction as they respond to conservative voters unsettled by unfounded claims of widespread fraud and persistent conspiracy theories over the accuracy of U.S. elections. Critics characterize such requirements as an overreaction that could end up disenfranchising eligible voters.

Ruth Kohake is among those caught up in the confusion over Ohio's law, which is going into effect this year. The retired nurse from Cincinnati gave up her driver’s license and her car in 2019. Now 82, she thought she might never have to step foot in another state license agency. So far this year, photo ID proposals also have failed in Virginia and Wyoming. “A really critical distinction to draw is, yes, it's true that the majority of Americans are in favor of voter ID laws, and it’s also true that the majority of voter ID laws are set up to allow people who don't have an ID available to still cast a ballot,” she said. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

3D artwork of Amish-born Zook twins sold at auction; $20K offered for Abner Zook mill picture.

CHAD UMBLE | Staff Writer

An auction Saturday of more than two dozen works by Amish-born artists Abner and Aaron Zook yielded a high bid of $20,000 for one picture but had offered prices that fell well short of those from some recent auctions of the brothers’ works. The top bid was for an Abner Zook picture from 1989, “AC Roland Grist Mill,” which depicts a horse team parked at a mill next to a covered bridge. The picture, which measures 52 by 27.5 inches, was donated in the name of Mennonite Central Committee, and proceeds of the sale benefited that Akron-based nonprofit.

The second-highest bid of $18,000 was Abner Zook’s “Rocky Ridge School,” an equally large picture from 1994 that features a removable covered bridge top that can be put on or taken off a stone bridge. Proceeds from that sale also benefited MCC. While prices at the most recent sale did not approach that recent high, the 25 Zook works collectively attracted bids totaling $180,500. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Oval Amish farm goes up in flames.

Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Oval Amish farm goes up in flames. PHIL HOLMES/Sun-Gazette

OVAL – Volunteer firefighters from Lycoming and Clinton counties were battlling a massive barn fire at the dairy farm of Abner Stoltzfus on Schoolhouse Road in Limestone Township that broke out about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Family members were in the barn milking cows when the fire was discovered, but everyone got out safely and all the livestock, about 50 cows, was released to the fields, a family member told a reporter at the scene. To get water to the barn, firefighters stretched hoses down a lengthy driveway, and set up two portaponds on Schoolhouse Road. Tankers shuttled water from a pond on Little League Road to the scene. There were no reports of injuries. Firefighters were successful in preventing the massive ball of fire from reaching the farmer’s home, about 50 feet from the barn. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Proposed project would make roads safer for motorists and Amish. WQKT.

A proposed $25 million project is aiming to make Wayne and Holmes County roadways safer for both motorists and the Amish community. To fund project, the two counties are hoping to receive $24.3 million in federal funding and an additional $6,000 from Rails to Trails and the Amish Steering Committee. If the counties’ joint application is approved, crews will construct three and a half miles of trails, two and a half miles of bike lanes and nearly six miles of multi-purpose buggy and bike lanes. The project would also include the installation of four solar electric vehicle charging stations and five buggy detectors. Assuming the counties receive the funding, construction would likely begin no earlier than 2025. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

After a decade, South Dakota's Amish are moving on.

“When we first moved here, people probably figured we were a little different," Rudy Borntreger, the bishop in the small community near Tripp, said. "And I guess we are a little different."

By Jason Harward.

TRIPP, S.D. — About two miles west of Tripp, past a yellow warning sign with a horse and buggy and down a dirt road muddied from snow melt, sit a set of red barns and white homes, all with green roofs.

The structures dotting the rolling landscape house South Dakota’s lone Amish community, a nine-family, 60-person settlement that started in 2010, widely believed to be the religious group's first venture into South Dakota.

But come this summer, they’ll be gone — some of their homes are listed on Zillow, and an auction is scheduled for April 28. “We wanted there to be an Amish community here, but seems like everybody Amish is more from Ohio or Pennsylvania, where there are more trees,” Rudy Borntreger, the community’s bishop, or elder, explained. “I think it's so open, nobody wants to join us. Now more people decided to move back to Iowa and Minnesota, so kind of for unity's sake.”

“When we first moved here, people probably figured we were a little different. And I guess we are different, but we're just trying to be friendly people, make an honest living, raise our families,” Borntreger said. “That’s what our mission is, I guess. Serve God, and don't forget to pray.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

This craftsman makes insanely cool, customizable Amish furniture.

By Caroline Biggs. Business of Home.

Don’t let his traditional upbringing fool you—LaVern Hershberger has an eye for modern design. Though he’s been crafting heirloom-quality furnishings for his family’s furniture brands, Homestead Furniture and Abner Henry, since teenhood, his present-day pieces for the latter—a contemporary offshoot of the former—are brimming with contemporary appeal. “Fulfilling the brand’s mission to ‘serve with excellence’ requires innovation,” he tells Business of Home. Looking ahead, Hershberger says he and his team are currently hard at work on a fresh range of personalizable furnishings that, like all of the brand’s offerings, rely on age-old craftsmanship—not mainstream trends––to stand the test of time. “The goal is to cement Abner Henry’s place in the luxury furniture market,” he says. “If we continue to build on the customization and quality we are known for, we can keep elevating the brand with more refined artisanal designs.” This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Amish family works together to complete storage barn.

Ed Zagorski.

David Detweiler, who resides in the town of Lowell, took advantage of the 50 degree temperatures Tuesday afternoon to begin work on an equipment shed on his property. Detweiler relied on his family and relatives, who are also members of the Amish community, to help construct the building. The photographer refrained from taking photos in which faces of the Amish are recognizable. Only one person, Detweiler, was photographed in such a way to see his face. It was done out of respect for our Amish neighbors in Dodge County and their way of life. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Expansion of Mennonite farmland in Bolivia encroaches on Indigenous land.

by Iván Paredes Tamayo on 3 April 2023 | Translated by Matthew Rose.

Mennonites first began settling in Bolivia in the 1950s, primarily in the department of Santa Cruz. Today, Bolivia’s Mennonite population numbers around 150,000, most of whom are involved in mechanized, industrial agriculture.

As Mennonite colonies continue to expand, so too are their massive crop fields, which are putting pressure on Santa Cruz’s Indigenous Territories and other protected areas. Life goes at its own pace in the town of Chihuahua, where the modern mixes with Mennonite traditions. To one side, horse-drawn carts pull up at a plot of land that stands in the middle of the plain. To the other, an almost-new car parks in front of a chalet-style house. Such is life on this Mennonite colony located in the eastern Bolivian municipality of Cuatro Cañadas.

The colony’s 280 families are considered rebels by other Mennonites, having drifted from the denomination’s strict way of life, which forbids the use of many forms of modern technology. The town’s streets are lined with heavy machinery; residents, many of whom have forgone the traditional Mennonite dress, walk around with mobile phones in their hands. This is a translated and updated version of a story that was first reported by Mongabay’s Latam team and published here on our Latam site on Oct. 19, 2022. Watch a related video report from the Peruvian Amazon: “How did a religious group take over part of the Amazon?”. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Two injured when semi strikes Amish buggy near Kenton. By J Swygart. Newsbreak. 4/18/2023. KENTON — Two members of the Hardin County Amish community were injured Sunday afternoon when the horse-drawn buggy in which they were riding was struck by a semi. According to information provided by the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m. on state Route 31 and Township Road 265 near Kenton. Rural Kenton residents Levi Yoder, 25, and Orfa Yoder, 20, were ejected when their buggy entered the southbound lane of traffic and was struck by a semi driven by Justin Gabianou, 53, of Columbus. Both occupants of the buggy were transported to Memorial Health System in Lima with serious injuries. Gabianou was not injured. The crash remains under investigation. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Kenton Fire Department and EMS, Mount Victory Fire Department and EMS and BKP EMS. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Presentation to cover Apostolic Christian Church origin, heritage.

Apr 18, 2023. The event will be held at the Mennonite Heritage Center on Illinois 116 between Metamora and Germantown Hills. It is part of the leadup to the quincentennial anniversary celebration (1525-2025) of the birth of the Anabaptist wing of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. The buildings and grounds of the Mennonite Heritage Center are open free of charge to visitors with guides present on 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from April through October. They feature a number of displays of horse-powered agriculture of a century ago, along with archival and library sources on Anabaptist family histories and Illinois Mennonite congregations. The Center is operated by the Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society. More information is available at on the internet and the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center page on Facebook. Its email address is This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

Car Crashes into Back of Amish Buggy.

Ryan Arntz. Thumb Net. Fri, 14 Apr 2023 13:30:45 EDT

The Sanilac County Sheriff's Office has issued a press release regarding a serious accident on N. Van Dyke Rd. near Shabbona Rd. in Evergreen Twp. involving a Chevy Impala and an Amish Buggy. The investigation is ongoing, but the initial findings by the responding deputy indicate that the car, driven by a 32-year-old Caro man, rear-ended the buggy at around 9:18pm on Wednesday (April 12).

Two young women, aged 18 and 20, were operating the buggy at the time of the incident. Both women were treated by Cass City EMS and the younger of the two was transported to McLaren Thumb Region Hospital. The department stated that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:

TikTok is fascinated by Amish teens’ Rumspringa party: ‘I feel like I’m watching something illegal’. In the Know, Yahoo! Most Americans know very little about the realities of growing up Amish, but Johnny Detweiler (@johnnydetweiler4) is trying to change that. The Amish teen, who lives in Smock, Pennsylvania, frequently takes outsiders behind the scenes of his day-to-day life on TikTok and YouTube, where he has a combined following of more than 100,000 people. Right now, one of his videos is going viral for offering a rare glimpse into a common Amish tradition known as Rumspringa, which shows a very different side to Amish life that most people might not expect. This story has been edited for brevity. The full story can be found at:


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UPCOMING EVENT Topic: "Pennsylvania Dutch: A Living Language" Speaker: Rose Fisher When: Friday, May 5, 2023, 12 to 1 PM Eastern Time Where: Via Zoom or teleconference Description: Pennsylvania Dutch

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