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Plain People in the News January 2024

Place: Wayne County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber.

Re-Examining the Suspicious Death of Amish Woman, Ida Stutzman, 30 Years Later.

Sara Kettler. A&E TV.

Billboard seeking information on the death of Ida Stutzman. Photo: Courtesy of Gregg Olsen.

In July 1977, 26-year-old Ida Stutzman, an Amish woman, died as a barn fire raged at her farm in Dalton, Ohio. According to her husband, Eli Stutzman, Ida woke him just after midnight because of the fire. He told multiple people that Ida, who was pregnant, had wanted to save some milking equipment before going to a neighbor’s house to call for help. I think there’s enough evidence in the book that the county should at least classify that death as suspicious or a potential homicide. They need to say, ‘This was a mistake in 1977.’

And I do hope that somebody out there who has another piece or two of the puzzle will come forward. Just because [Ida] was Amish doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve justice. For more:

Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Mennonite (various) and Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

 Pennsylvania courts adds its first group of Pennsylvania Dutch speakers to its interpreter roster.

Gabriela Martínez, WITF. January 5, 2024 | 1:11 PM.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts is piloting a program to get native PA Dutch speakers certified as court interpreters.

For the first time, Pennsylvania Dutch-speaking communities in the state will have access to interpreters in court.

The effort to recruit native speakers from Amish and Mennonite communities came out of a  partnership between the court system’s Interpreters Certification Program and Safe Communities, a Lancaster-based nonprofit that works to prevent sexual abuse and help survivors. It was spurred, in part, by a need for culturally responsive language support for women and children who testify in cases that involve abuse. Fifteen native Pennsylvania Dutch speakers from Mennonite and Amish communities in Lancaster County took workshops aimed at preparing them to become court interpreters last fall. Ten passed the two required English proficiency exams. There are eight on the courts’ interpreter roster because two are waiting for background checks to clear. For more:

Place: Simpson County, Kentucky.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber, Abe Miller group (suspected).

 Police investigating armed robbery at Amish produce stand.

Deputies say it happened Thursday Nov. 30 in the New Salem Road area.

By Allie Hennard.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Simpson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery that occurred Thursday, Nov. 30.

According to a press release, two white males pulled up to an Amish produce stand and requested produce. The Amish man went to retrieve the requested items and when he returned, he was presented payment.

Police say, when the victim made change from his wallet, the passenger pulled a gun and demanded the victim’s wallet. The suspects fled toward Logan County.

The suspect vehicle is a dark, 2-door sports car with a spoiler and dark tinted windows with no registration plate. The Simpson County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who sees a vehicle matching the description to contact Detective Duke at 270-586-7425..


Place: Hopkinton, Iowa.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 LETTER: Amish lifestyle deserves our respect;

From Paul Adams, Manchester.

Back in 2011 when the Amish moved into Delaware County, I realized that they are much more than farmers. The Amish have many different occupations. In Delaware County, many of them are carpenters and roofers. The Amish are highly productive, industrial and skilled individuals. They are very innovative as they use battery-powered tools; the lighting and heating of the community center north of Hopkinton is an innovation. For more:


Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

 A tiny genetic tweak with big heart health implications.

By Nipuna Weerasinghe. ASBMBTODAY: The Member Magazine Of The American society for biochemistry and molecular biology.

Jan. 2, 2024. Heart disease remains a leading cause of death globally. A gene mutation found among members of the Amish community could pave the way for new treatments, a research team recently reported.

The scientists delved into plasma’s depths to understand how a specific mutation of a gene involved in posttranslational modification of proteins via covalently adding carbohydrates, a process known as glycosylation, can affect our plasma proteome, lipid levels and potentially heart health. In a study recently published in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, Yunlong Zhao and a team of scientists from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in New York and the University of Maryland focused on the B4GALT1 gene. This gene directs the synthesis of the enzyme beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase 1, or B4GALT1. This enzyme catalyzes the addition of ß-galactose sugar to core N-glycan structures during stepwise protein glycosylation in the Golgi apparatus.

Specifically, the researchers were interested in a naturally occurring mutation of B4GALT1 called N352S. This variant is exceedingly rare in the general population (fewer than one in 10,000 people have it), but it is found in about 12% of individuals in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Amish community. The N352S mutation correlates with lower cardiovascular disease levels. The research team aims to understand how this variant alters B4GALT1 activity and how this affects levels of plasma glycoproteome and lipids, such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which plays a role in atherosclerosis.

The team used plasma for a couple of reasons. “Plasma is an ideal starting point for our research. It can be directly drawn from individuals with this naturally occurring mutation and readily linked to other clinical indices,” Zhao said. “But it’s not just about convenience. Plasma contains proteins that regulate circulating lipid levels, making it relevant for their study.”For more:


Place: Daviess County, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline / Miscellaneous Mennonites.

 Canning relief comes to Daviess County;

Mike Grant. Times Herald. Jan 1, 2024.

Volunteers work at the Dinky Center on canning meat as a part of the Mennonite Central Committee Relief Project. Times Herald file photo

MONTGOMERY — The Mennonite Central Committee meat canning will start tomorrow and continue through Thursday at the Dinky’s.

“This is an annual thing. The mobile meat cannery is based in Pennsylvania. They start out west in Missouri or Iowa and they stop at different communities and work their way east through the winter months. It is a large mobile cannery and everything is USDA approved,” said organizer Kris Wagler. “As a community, we gather donations and buy the meat and we can this and send it out to Pennsylvania and from there they distribute this to other countries.”

The meat canning project began around the time of the Depression. Over the years it has grown and changed. In the past, local organizations would slaughter and process their own meat. Now, it is purchased in bulk from poultry operations in Pennsylvania, but the finishing work is still done locally.

For more: “This is a place where you can donate and see where your help is going.”


Place: Milverton, Ontario.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Milverton churches.

 Five things to know about horse-drawn buggies on Ontario roads;

Deadly collision involving buggy puts spotlight on horse-drawn carriages.

Brian Williams, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

A deadly collision north of Stratford involving a horse-drawn buggy left one boy dead and another injured, training a spotlight on the use of horse-drawn carriages. For more on this topic:


Place: Fremont, Michigan.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Michigan churches.

 Amish girl riding bicycle dies when hit by SUV, state police say.

Published: Jan. 05, 2024, 8:36 a.m.

By Bradley Massman.

OCEANA COUNTY, MI – A teen girl died, and her brother was seriously injured after the siblings were struck by a vehicle while out riding their bicycles, Michigan State Police said. The 15-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy are from the Amish Community, troopers said.

The crashed happened around 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, along Skeels Road, just west of 192nd Avenue, in Oceana County.

Troopers said a 35-year-old woman was driving an SUV westbound on Skeels Road when she struck the two bicyclists who were also traveling westbound.

The teen girl was pronounced dead at the scene, and the teen boy was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.


Place: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky.

Group: Old Order Mennonite- Groffdale Conference / Old Order Mennonite- Orthodox / Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

 Amish, Mennonite communities thrive in Christian County, from business to volunteering;

By Daynnah Carmona.

January 6, 2024 9:03 pm.

HOPKINSVILLE, KY (CHRISTIAN COUNTY NOW) – Seeing a horse and buggy driving along the side of the road or parked at Walmart is a regular occurrence in Christian County. The Amish and Mennonite populations enrich the area and provide unique services that benefits the city.

“They are a very well organized, compassionate community,” said Carter Hendricks, former Hopkinsville mayor and current executive director of the Southwestern Kentucky Economic Development Council. Hendricks also mentioned their community’s compassion, especially when Christian County was in crisis following the tornadoes in 2021. They stepped up to the plate to help rebuild by repairing homes and clearing debris wherever they were needed.

The Hopkinsville area has the second largest Amish population in the state of Kentucky, and Kentucky has the eighth largest population in the country, according to stats from Amish America’s website. There are two Amish settlements in Christian County: one near Crofton that was founded in 1972, and a larger settlement in the Hopkinsville/Pembroke area that was founded in 1989. For more on this story:


Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

 State Police investigating after hit-and-run injures horse-and-buggy driver;

by: Lara Bonatesta.

(WHTM) — Pennsylvania State Police are investigating after a hit-and-run crash that left the operator of a horse-and-buggy injured in Lancaster County.

According to police, the crash happened on Friday, December 8 in Strasburg Township on May Post Road at its intersection with Sides Mill Road.

Police say the pictured vehicle struck the horse-and-buggy causing injury to its operator. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact police at 717-299-7650.

Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

State Employees Search Amos Miller Farm, Seize Property.

by The Lancaster Patriot Staff.

January 4, 2024. State Employees Search Amos Miller Farm, Seize Property.

State agents carry off coolers full of Amos Miller's property on Jan. 4, 2024 in Upper Leacock Township, Pennsylvania.

Three Pennsylvania State Troopers and seven other individuals spent several hours inside a building on Amos Miller’s Lancaster County farm while conducting a search on Jan. 4, 2024, eventually leaving with multiple coolers containing Miller’s property. For more on this story:


Prompted by reports of foodborne illness, Pa. Agriculture Dept. conducted search at Amos Miller farm in Upper Leacock Township.

LANCASTERONLINE | Staff Jan 5, 2024.

DAN NEPHIN | Staff Writer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said it executed a search warrant Thursday at an Upper Leacock Township farm as part of an investigation into two food-borne illness cases. That led to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service investigating and suing Miller over the meat and poultry issue in 2019, which led to the first agreement under which Miller was to follow federal food safety rules. For more on this story:


Donald Trump Jr. 'Sick' After Amish Farm Raided for Eggnog.

Jan 05, 2024 at 2:45 PM EST.

Newsweek. Donald Trump Jr. said on Friday that he was "sick" over a raid at a Pennsylvania Amish farm for issues relating to products that stemmed from the farm and resulted in food-borne illnesses.

"Instead, the state unlawfully obtained a search warrant, based on materially false statements in an affidavit by a high-ranking state official in an agency with a known grievance against independent farmers like Amos, and, after the raid and finding no evidence of wrongdoing, then illegally ordered detained every item of food in one of Amos Miller's coolers, including buffalo meat not even subject to federal regulation." Newsweek reached out to Barnes via email for comment. For more on this story:


Authorities search Lancaster farm after reports that tainted eggnog sickened children.

Published: Jan. 06, 2024, 9:03 a.m. PennLive.

A Lancaster County farm with a history of defying food safety guidelines was raided by authorities after reports of two cases of food-borne illness linked to the dairy. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told LNP that it executed a search warrant at Miller Organic Farm, in Upper Leacock Township, on Thursday after being notified by public health officials in New York and Michigan about illnesses reported in children who consumed raw eggnog from the farm.

The states said tests were positive for Shiga toxin producing E.Coli.

The department said the search warrant “sought, among other things, illegal raw milk and raw milk products, including eggnog,” but would not comment further on an active investigation, according LNP. The farm’s owner, Amos Miller, has been involved in litigation over violations to federal health and safety regulations for years. During that time he became a cause celebre among proponents of raw milk products, that are illegal in many states but not Pennsylvania. Miller has a membership co-op and sells “traditional Amish foods” to customers around the country. Among those rushing to Miller’s defense Thursday was Donald Trump Jr. who posted on X: “Imagine what law enforcement could accomplish if they went after oh I don’t know, say, members of elite pedophile rings rather than farmers selling to their neighbors???” On Friday, a fundraising campaign had generated close to $70,000 to support Miller. The state’s action was first reported in The Lancaster Patriot, a conservative news website. Since then Miller has been sued by the Department of Justice and racked up hundreds of thousands in fines for non-compliance, even as he has entered into agreements with the federal government as recently as 2022 to comply with health and safety laws and avoid jail time. For more information:

Place: Belle Center, Ohio.

Group: New Order Amish.

Retired Ohio science teacher reveals why he joined the Amish at age 51 - but could YOU give it all up for the simple life?

Mark Curtis, now 71, was baptized into an Amish church in Belle Center, Ohio, in 2003, after their care for his cancer-stricken mother convinced him to join

Other converts, including a former top chef in Chicago, have cited spiritual awakenings as reasons for joining the Amish, while some have joined for love

Mark Curtis has bookshelves stuffed with tomes on China, World War Two, and slavery. By Miles Dilworth, in Logan County, OhioFor Dailymail.Com. Published: 01:13 EST, 25 December 2023 | Updated: 08:28 EST, 25 December 2023 His bedroom is adorned with a portrait of King George V, half a dozen pictures of English country homes, and a collection of Sherlock Holmes posters - a nod to his self-confessed 'Anglophilia'. He has traveled around Europe, including trips to Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and has even been to China. Yet for the last 20 years of his life, Mark has lived as part of a traditional and isolated Amish community in Belle Center, a small village of around 800 people in Logan County, Ohio, of whom roughly 10 percent are Amish. For a man with a passion for global affairs and travel, joining an austere and inward-looking religious sect whose only means of transportation is a horse and cart might seem an odd choice. But Mark, now 71, says he has never been happier. His journey has been driven by disillusionment with modern society, punctuated by the loss of his mother, and shaped by the challenges of abandoning home comforts..... But Mark and his church in Belle Center are more pragmatic - they believe they can make common sense accommodations to modernity, while retaining their essential spirituality. As we slurp down our second helpings of chicken soup, Mark leaves us with this thought: 'You don't have to crap in a creek to prove you're Amish.'. For more on this story:

Place: Celina, Mercer County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swiss Amish (Adams County, Indiana).

Mercer County Car-Amish Buggy Head-On Crash Claims The Life Of One Year Old Girl. Author: statelinesportsnetwork.

(12-22-23) Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that his office is investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred this evening, December 22nd, 2023.  Mercer County Central Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call at 5:18 PM of a traffic crash on St Rte 49, north of Oregon Rd in Liberty Township. The preliminary investigation revealed that Trey Frech (24) of New Paris, OH was driving a 2016 white Chevy sedan northbound on St Rte 49.  A John Schwartz (24) of Celina, OH was traveling with his family southbound in a horse driven buggy.  Frech went in to the southbound lane to pass a northbound van and then struck the Schwartz buggy head-on.  Frech was ejected from his vehicle. Frech was air lifted from the scene by Lutheran Air and transported to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN. Schwartz was transported by Celina EMS, Squad 6, to Mercer Health in Coldwater and was treated and released.  Elizabeth Schwartz (26) who is seven months pregnant, was transported by Squad 6 to Mercer Health and was later transferred to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. John Schwartz Jr, (3) was transported by Squad 6 to Mercer Health.  John and Elizabeth Schwartz’s daughter, Roseanne (1) was pronounced deceased at the scene.  The horse was seriously injured and later passed. Assisting at the scene were members of the Chatt Fire Department, Celina EMS, Rockford EMS and MCERV.   The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team was called to the scene.  This crash remains under investigation at this time and will be forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for review. For more on this story:

Place: Macomb/Heuvelton, New York.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber.

Amish home a total loss, woodstove to blame for blaze.

By 7 News Staff Published: TOWN OF MACOMB, New York (WWNY) - An Amish home in St. Lawrence County is a total loss following a Friday night fire.

Pictures shared by the Morristown Fire Department show their home on Mitchell Road in the Town of Macomb fully involved when crews arrived on scene.

Fire Chief Jay Moore says it only took firefighters 15 minutes to get the blaze under control.

There were no injuries to report. The cause of the fire was deemed to be a improperly installed woodstove and chimney.

Morristown was assisted on scene by crews from Heuvelton and Brier Hill Fire Departments as well as the Morristown Auxiliary. For more on this story:

Place: Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.

10-year-old killed in Christmas morning fire.

A 10-year-old girl died in a house fire Christmas morning in Elkton, Maryland.

By WJZ via CNN Newsource

Published: Dec. 26, 2023 at 12:17 PM UTC

ELKTON, Md. (WJZ) - It was a Christmas morning tragedy in Maryland when a 10-year-old girl died in a house fire.

When firefighters found the family standing outside their home, the family said a young girl was still inside.

Neighbors said the house was fully engulfed in flames.

It took 75 firefighters about an hour to get the fire under control.

When they were able to get inside, they found the 10-year-old, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Five other family members reportedly lived in the home, including four adults and a 13-year-old boy.

It’s unclear what caused the fire. For more information:


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