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Plain People in the News February and March 2024

Friendship Churches to Host Regional Amish Awareness Conference.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Wellsville Regional News.

Early registrations are underway at Friendship for a regional Amish Awareness Conference next month which is designed to acquaint area residents with aspects of the Amish lifestyle and how to reach out to them and other increasing cultures throughout the area.

The Friday night-Saturday workshop, provided by Mission to Amish People (MAP) of Greenwich, Ohio, will be held April 19-20 at the Bible Baptist Church, 43 West Main Street, with registration being required for limited seating.

The event is being co-sponsored by the What God is Doing in Friendship ny alliance of churches, Allegany Hope and Family Life Network.

Sessions, presented by and including testimonies from former Amish in Western New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, will include information on Understanding the Anabaptist Movement, Amish Culture and Values, Amish Beliefs, Legalism and Leaving the Amish Culture, Outreach and Evangelism to the Amish and Other Cultures, special music by children of former Amish, and an overview of the MAP ministry.

A special luncheon presentation also will be provided by representatives of Houghton Academy and Houghton University in regard to low-cost Christian education opportunities which became available this school year to area students from middle school to college.

The gathering is expected to draw individuals from throughout the region to learn more about the growing Amish and multicultural unreached people groups.

A 20 percent savings will be available for those pre-registering by Sunday, April 7, after which the cost will increase from a nominal $20 to $25 per person.

A light dinner, breakfast, and lunch on Friday night and Saturday, and all breaks, along with a copy of the MAP book, Amish: Our Friends, But Are They Believers?, are included in the registration fee.

Scholarships are available for those with need, including students.


 Place: Unknown.

Group: Ex-Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber.

Confessions of an 'Amish stripper': Woman who grew up in strict conservative sect opens up about how she endured years of abuse, drug addiction, and sex work after leaving the settlement at 17.

·         Naomi Swartzentruber left her Amish settlement at age 17 and began stripping

·         She eventually turned to sex work and developed a severe drug addiction

·         But she was able to turn her life around and is now sharing her journey

By Lillian Gissen for Dailymail.Com.

Published: 13:39 EDT, 31 March 2024 | Updated: 15:44 EDT, 31 March 2024 .

A woman who grew up in a strict Amish settlement has opened up about how she endured years of abuse, drug addiction, and sex work after leaving the settlement - which she believes stemmed from her extremely sheltered childhood.

For more on this story:

'I just hope that my story can inspire and give hope to others. There can always be light if you choose to see it and you always have a choice to change your life at any time that you want to.

'You can make your life the way you want it to be, you just have to chose to do the right things. If I can do it, anyone can do it.'

Place: Mineral County, West Virginia.

Group: Possibly associated with Pentecostal. References Amish and Mennonites; makes some secondary references to churches nearby, including New Order Amish in Oakland, Maryland, and Mennonite Christian Fellowship in Swanton, Maryland.

 Fears for popular Amish TikToker Sarah Joy after she posts cryptic apology for violating community trust and says message will be her last: Local sheriff launches investigation amid calls for wellness check

By Alexa Cimino, For Dailymail.Com.

Published: 10:16 EDT, 27 March 2024 | Updated: 11:21 EDT, 27 March 2024.

Users on TikTok are expressing concern for a popular Amish TikToker after she posted a cryptic last video on the platform. Sarah Joy, better known as @thatplaingirl on TikTok, has amassed more than half a million followers, documenting her life as an Amish Mennonite in West Virginia. 'This is the last TikTok I am making while I'm still in the community,' Joy begins the video. 'It has been very nice getting to know all of you and I appreciate the opportunity that you have given me to talk about the community. 'We like to keep things among ourselves. We're not talking to protect the parents and the husband,' an Amish told For more on this story:

 Is TikTok influencer Sarah Joy Nelson faking being Amish as her controversy drama blows up?

Subhankar.The Sports Grail.Mar 31 2024.

Sarah Joy gained fame by sharing the challenges and lifestyle of someone belonging to a “plain” community, like the Amish, Mennonite, or Conservative Quaker groups, who reject modern dress, makeup, and certain technologies due to religious beliefs. Initially, people sympathized with her struggles and formed a supportive online community around her. However, everything changed when she posted a now-deleted video announcing her departure from TikTok.

Despite her attempts to clarify, Sarah Joy has deactivated her account due to the ongoing controversy. However, speculation continues about the truth behind her claims and her current whereabouts. Unfortunately, without Sarah Joy’s presence online, definitive answers may remain elusive, especially considering the skepticism prevalent on the internet.


What Happened to Sarah Joy, the TikTok Influencer Accused of Pretending to Be Amish?

The content creator, who shared details of her plain life, allegedly cosplayed as a member of a secluded religious community for clout.

By Miles Klee, Ej Dickson.

Rolling Stone.

After quickly gaining more than half a million followers by sharing glimpses into her life as a “plain” woman — a term used to describe sects such as the Amish or Mennonites — TikTok influencer Sarah Joy Nelson abruptly left the platform last week, signing off with an ambiguous apology. Her disappearance first prompted concern from fans, who assumed the account, @thatplaingirl, had been discovered by Nelson’s insular religious community, and that Nelson may be in danger. Yet those fears soon gave way to suspicions that she never belonged to any such denomination at all, prompting allegations that she was merely pretending to be “plain” for clout.

For more on this story:

Conference featuring former Amish speakers, bluegrass concert kicks off in Ashland County.

by Dillon Carr.

March 13, 2024.         

SAVANNAH — A conference featuring former Amish community members and a bluegrass band from Tennessee kicks off Wednesday evening at a church just north of Savannah. “Step out of the Boat” runs through Saturday and tickets are still available to purchase, according to John Bouquet, lead pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, the host site.

Bouquet said the conference, in its fourth year, consistently brings hundreds of former Amish together to share stories, find support and form connections.

The conference will be at Bethel Baptist Church, 575 U.S. 250, in Savannah.

Place: Middlefield, Geauga County, Ohio.

 Group: Old Order Amish.

  Japanese Nurses Learn More about Genetics at DDC Clinic.

 March 27, 2024 by Ann Wishart.

 Geauga Maple Leaf.

 Cohen’s syndrome drew some very different cultures together at the DDC Clinic Center for Special Needs Children in Middlefield last week.

 For more on this story:


Place: Mt. Hope, Holmes County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Isaac churches.

 Wayne County Amish farmers honor their heritage and the soil by growing organic.

Ideastream Public Media | By Kelly Krabill.

Published March 26, 2024 at 6:00 AM EDT.

David Hershberger guided about 50 cows into the barn at his Fredericksburg farm in Wayne County. The caramel brown and black and white spotted animals stood with Archie, a buggy horse and Buttercup, a pony. David’s wife, Emily, opened the barn door from the other side to bring in about a dozen of the cows to the milking stalls.

They’re still evolving, though. David plans to buy more cows and acreage in the future to bring his son on as a farmer. But they’re not going to grow too large — just enough to support two farmers.


Place: Morrow County, Ohio (Fredericktown area).

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 70 dogs die, 18 escape in Morrow County puppy mill fire, chief says.

An investigation revealed the fire most likely originated in the area of a wood burning stove.

Author: 10TV Web Staff.

Published: 1:12 PM EDT March 20, 2024.

MORROW COUNTY, Ohio — About 70 dogs died during a fire at a kennel described as a puppy mill by authorities in Morrow County early Tuesday morning.

Johnsville Fire Chief Harlen Barrick said crews were called out to a residence in the 4800 block of state Route 314 around 1 a.m.

According to a report, firefighters arrived at the property and found the kennel was already partially collapsed. The owner said they were able to open a few of the exterior kennels and 17 dogs were able to escape. A firefighter found another puppy alive, hiding in a corner of the building. The puppy ran under a fallen roof and into an open area before a firefighter caught it.

An investigation revealed the fire most likely originated in the area of a wood burning stove. It's unclear if the fire started within the chimney of the stove or combustibles close to the stove.

It took firefighters about 40 minutes to put out the fire.

Barrick said it was one of the most emotional scenes he has worked in 40 years as a firefighter.


 Place: New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss; Byler group.

Girl Scout's literacy project benefits Amish youth.

By Renée Gendreau | New Castle News Mar 16, 2024.

Megan Blasko went for the gold, but she wasn’t the only winner.

When the 16-year-old completed her Girl Scout Gold Award, it also benefitted about 30 Amish children who attend the Number 8 school in Wilmington Township.

For her project, Megan, a junior at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School who plays tennis for Wilmington High School, focused on building literacy in the Amish community.

“You get to do so many activities and meet so many new people that you’d never meet otherwise.”. For more on this story:


Place: Campeche, Mexico.

Group: Low German Mennonites / Old Colony Mennonites.

Maya seed guardians seek well-being in Mexico with Mennonite colonies.

North Americans seek to open a conversation between Indigenous and Mennonite neighbors for mutual benefit.

Anika Reynar, Tina Fehr-Kehler | Lars Åkerson.

Anabaptist World.

March 20, 2024.

At 9 a.m., it was already hot and humid in Hopelchén, a small city in the Yucatán Peninsula. A collective of Maya farmers had gathered in the shaded courtyard outside the home where we were staying. We could hear laughter and chatter over the wall as we returned from our morning walk. As we stepped through the gate, the group welcomed us into their circle, offering plates of food made from corn, beans and chaya.

As the meeting ended, Doña Elena and another native seed guardian returned home to warm up the mill to grind corn. They would be throwing a quinceañera party soon, and there were tortillas to make. For more information:

A delegation from the Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery will return to Campeche in May. To learn more or support the work, visit

Place: Walnut Bottom/Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Mennonites- Gloffdale Conference.

Investigation closed into Cumberland County train crash that killed 15-month-old.

Updated: Mar. 19, 2024, 10:08 p.m. Published: Mar. 19, 2024, 11:28 a.m. By Jenna Wise.

Cumberland County investigators have finished their review and declined to file charges in connection to a train crash that killed a 15-month-old boy late last year.

“They’re good parents,” said the neighbor, who had her own children out for a walk several hours later. “We’re all just reeling over this.”

Newswanger’s obituary said he is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.

“We work together as a community, like a big family, so we will pitch in and help where we can.” For more information:

Place: Walnut Bottom/Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Mennonites- Gloffdale Conference.

Investigation closed into Cumberland County train crash that killed 15-month-old.

Updated: Mar. 19, 2024, 10:08 p.m.

Published: Mar. 19, 2024, 11:28 a.m.

By Jenna Wise.

Cumberland County investigators have finished their review and declined to file charges in connection to a train crash that killed a 15-month-old boy late last year.

Pennsylvania State Police on Tuesday confirmed the investigation was closed into the Dec. 8 death of Landis S. Newswanger behind his family’s home on the 400 block of West Main Street in South Newton Township.

Newswanger was hit by a Norfolk Southern train around 10:04 a.m. and taken to a Carlisle hospital, where he died, state police said. For more on this story:

Place: Chiquitania, Bolivia.

Group: Low German (“Russian”) Mennonites.

Fabiomassimo Antenozio.

El Pais. Mar 17, 2024 - 18:06CET

In 2020, the fires in Bolivia — which are suspected of having been set to expand the agricultural frontier into forested areas — prompted me to go on a trip to Chiquitania, the most affected region and the last tropical dry forest in Latin America. This first three-month-long experience of touring these places allowed me to have contact with the Mennonite community, which has been settled in the area since the 1950s. Mennonites are an Anabaptist society centered on agriculture. Here, they are dedicated to the extensive production of soybeans and transgenic corn and raising cattle. They reject modernity, violence and laziness. Conservative and traditionalist, they speak Plautdietsch (also known as Mennonite Low German); only a few can speak proper Spanish. Women face particularly difficult conditions, as they are always forced into subordinate roles.

 Place: Holmes County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Isaac churches.

East Holmes School District partners with Pomerene Hospital for bike safety program.

Kevin Lynch, The Daily Record.

East Holmes Superintendent Erik Beun thanked and commended the efforts of Klink, the Holmes County Sheriff's Office and the participating schools for putting together the successful program together. For more information:

Place: Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin / Burkes Garden, Virginia.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Dover, Delaware churches .

9 killed in western Wisconsin traffic crash involving a semitruck and a van.

DEWHURST, Wis. (AP) — Nine people were killed Friday in a crash involving a semitrailer and a van at a western Wisconsin highway intersection.

Preliminary reports about the early morning crash indicated the semitrailer traveling on State Highway 95 collided with the van traveling on County Highway J, southwest of the small city of Neillsville, Clark County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy James Hirsch said in a Facebook post.

The van entered the intersection and was struck by the semitrailer, he said. Eight of the nine people in the van, including the driver, died at the scene, while an injured passenger was taken to a nearby hospital, he said.

The driver was the only occupant of the semitrailer and also died at the scene, Hirsch said.

An investigation is ongoing.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of all those involved, as well as the first responders who worked quickly to provide support at the scene,” Gov. Tony Evers posted on X.

The names of everyone involved in the crash will be released after family members are notified, according to the sheriff’s office.

Highway 95 was closed for hours. Overhead video footage showed both vehicles on their sides.

The area of the crash is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Eau Claire.

 Seven victims of Clark County crash were from Amish community in Burke's Garden, Virginia.

Hope Karnopp.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Seven of the nine people killed in the second-deadliest crash in state history Friday are members of an Amish community from Burke's Garden in Tazewell County, Virginia, who were traveling to Wisconsin.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office has not released the names of those killed in the crash, including the driver of the semi involved. But an information line set up by the Amish community details the names and ages of the eight victims from Virginia:

·         James McCoy, around 45. He was the driver of the van from Pounding Mill, Virginia.

·         Linda Byler, 44.

·         Lydia Byler, 24, Linda's daughter.

·         Ellen Schrock, 23, also a daughter of Linda.

·         Orlah Schrock, 24, Ellen's husband.

·         Judy Rose Schrock, 6 months old, Ellen and Orlah's daughter.

·         Delilah Schrock, 21, Orlah's sister.

·         Suzanna Hertzler, 18.

Micah Schrock, their son who is almost two years old, was the only survivor. Allen Gross, a family friend who drove the boy's grandparents to Wisconsin to be with him, has organized a Go Fund Me for the families impacted by the crash.

"Having nine lives snuffed out in one accident there's a tremendous shock. No words can explain, it is totally beyond our comprehension," reads a message on the information line.

The information line says they were going to an open house at Stillwater Ministries and were returning with a member of the Byler family. McCoy, who had often driven them around, took them on the long trip — something that is typical for Amish families, said Monte Hansford, a member of the Burke's Garden community.

"I'm not sure where their final destination was, but I know it was close," Hansford told the Journal Sentinel. "For long trips like that, they generally have people lined up that are their designated drivers."

Burke's Garden is an isolated, unincorporated community in a bowl-shaped valley carved out of the top of a mountain — nicknamed "God's Thumbprint." About 300 people and 14 Amish families live there, where they are "very well-loved and respected," Hansford said.

"They've made an indelible imprint on on our community," Hansford said. A youth group that sings Christmas carols for people who can't leave their homes has come to his house two or three times to sing "Happy Birthday" for his mother-in-law.

And the community has come together in the wake of this tragedy.

On Facebook, a local fire department said over 1,000 people are expected "to come in to the Amish community in this time of mourning," and donations like paper goods were needed. A fund has been set up at a local bank.

And some have stepped up with vehicles to help family members get to Wisconsin and take the bodies home. Dates for funerals have not yet been set because the coroner has not yet said when the bodies will be released, the information line read.

"There's a huge outpouring of sympathy," said Harold Heatley, the chief deputy at the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office. "It's my understanding that there's been three generations in one family that have been taken out by this tragedy."

The nine deaths tie the crash for the second-deadliest crash in Wisconsin history. Nine people also died in a crash in 1937 in Manitowoc County, according to Wisconsin Watch. The deadliest crash in Wisconsin history occurred in 2002 on Interstate 43 in Sheboygan County, when 10 people died in a 45-vehicle pileup on a foggy day.

According to details released by the Clark County Sheriff's Office, the Friday crash occurred when a tanker truck carrying milk and the passenger van collided at the intersection of highways 95 and J.

The semi was eastbound on State 95, approaching the intersection, when the van, which was northbound on County J, entered the intersection and was struck by the semi.

Marcie Parker, 58, of Black River Falls, stopped at the accident scene to pay her respects Sunday. She's lived in the area all her life.

There are at least two or three really bad accidents on this section of the highway every year, she said. Trucks are going fast, and coming over the top of the hill, they can’t stop.

“There are no words you can say or even think to describe how sad this is,” she said. “I know it’s tearing this community apart.”

Sophie Carson, Rick Barrett, Drew Dawson and Elliot Hughes contributed to this story.


What we know and don't know about the Clark County, Wisconsin, crash that killed 9.

Drew Dawson.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nine people were killed and one other person was injured Friday in one of the deadliest crashes in Wisconsin history.

The incident involving a semi-truck and a passenger van occurred Friday morning in Clark County, according to the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Here is what we know — and don't know — about what happened:

Where did the crash occur?

The crash happened in Clark County in west central Wisconsin at County J and State 95 in Dewhurst, between Neillsville and Black River Falls.

When did the crash occur?

Around 7:53 a.m. March 8.

What happened?

According to details released by the Clark County Sheriff's Office, a preliminary report indicated the semi and the passenger van collided at the intersection of the two highways.

The semi was eastbound on State 95, approaching the intersection, when the van, which was northbound on County J, entered the intersection and was struck by the semi.

Aerial footage from Twin Cities television station WCCO showed the semi and its trailer ended up off the road, with the trailer on its side. The van, also on its side on the shoulder of the road, appeared to have been charred by fire.

How many people died in the Clark County crash?

Nine people died in the crash. The driver of the semi was pronounced dead at the scene. Eight of the nine people in the passenger van were pronounced dead at the scene. One passenger in the van was taken to the Marshfield St. Joseph’s Hospital as a result of their injuries.

Have the victims been identified?

Seven of the victims were members of an Amish community from Burke's Garden in Tazewell County, Virginia. Their van driver was also killed. The driver of the tanker has not been identified.

While the Clark County Sheriff's Office has not released their names, an information line set up by the community details names and ages of eight victims:

·         James McCoy, around 45. He was the driver of the van from Pounding Mill, Virginia.

·         Linda Byler, 44.

·         Lydia Byler, 24, Linda's daughter.

·         Ellen Schrock, 23, also a daughter of Linda.

·         Orlah Schrock, 24, Ellen's husband.

·         Judy Rose Schrock, 6 months old, Ellen and Orlah's daughter.

·         Delilah Schrock, 21, Orlah's sister.

·         Suzanna Hertzler, 18.

The only survivor was Micah Schrock, around two years old. A Go Fund Me has been organized for the families impacted by the crash.

Is this one of the deadliest crashes in Wisconsin history?

Friday's crash that killed nine people had more fatalities than Clark County has had in a single year since at least 2019, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  Nine deaths makes this crash tied for the second-deadliest crash in Wisconsin history. Nine people also died in a crash in 1937 in Manitowoc County, according to Wisconsin Watch.

The deadliest crash in Wisconsin history occurred in 2002 on Interstate 43 in Sheboygan County, according to previous media reports. Ten people died in a 45-vehicle pileup on a foggy day.


Family and friends grieving 9 dead in Wisconsin crash between semi and van.

A family friend said the lone survivor of the crash was a two-year-old boy.

By: Kaylee Staral.

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 09, 2024.

and last updated 11:31 PM, Mar 09, 2024.

DEWHURST, WIS — Family and friends are sharing more about the nine people who died in a crash in Central Wisconsin Friday.

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the crash happened Friday morning in Dewhurst Township, around 45 miles southeast of Eau Claire. Officials said a van was struck by a tractor-trailer at an intersection.

For more information:  The driver and sole occupant of the semi was also pronounced dead at the scene.


Place: Geauga County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline.

 Yankees Clip Amish in Charity Basketball Game.

March 14, 2024 by Alan Kornspan.

Geauga County Maple Leaf.

Berkshire High School played host to the annual Yankee vs. Amish basketball game March 8 to raise money for the DDC Clinic, a center for special needs children located in Middlefield.

Berkshire High School played host to the annual Yankee vs. Amish basketball game March 8 to raise money for the DDC Clinic, a center for special needs children located in Middlefield.

It was a very close game that came down to its final seconds, with the Yankees claiming a 63-60 victory.

After the contest, DDC Executive Director Eli Miller summed up the event. For more on this story: “Both teams, the Amish and Yankee teams, came out after working all day and just played their hearts out,” Miller said. “Competitive, but at the same time it’s more about raising money for DDC Clinic. So we certainly appreciate them, all the sweat and everything that went into the game. It was a great game (and) both sides had close scores, so it was great to see.”.

Place: Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

Group: Amish.

Peace, simplicity and a sense of mystery: Exploring Amish communities across the Midwest.

Mary Bergin.

Daily Local.

PUBLISHED: March 13, 2024 at 2:38 p.m. | UPDATED: March 13, 2024 at 2:40 p.m.

When life feels too complicated, I can regain a sense of balance by driving to farmland where Amish families intentionally live quietly, simply and conservatively. Add “mysteriously,” if you’ve had little exposure to their lifestyle.

If you go, a few rules are basic when shopping at Amish farms. Stop if serious about making a purchase, but not just to gawk and interrupt. Shop with cash, not credit cards. Ask before taking photographs. Don’t visit on a Sunday. For more on this story:

Place: Fenwick, Montcalm County, Michigan.

Group: Old Order Mennonite- Groffdale Conference.

State Police search for driver who hit buggy, drove off.

Michigan State Police.

Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 13, 2024.

MONTCALM COUNTY, Mich. — Michigan State Police are searching for a truck driver accused of hitting an Amish buggy, then driving off.

It happened around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday on Senator Rd., south of Carson City in Montcalm County.

Three girls, ages 13, 10, and 8, were riding the buggy at the time. All were treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

The truck driver is described at a man in his 60s, with reddish-blonde hair. It's believed he was driving a white Chevy pickup, with a model year between 2014 and 2016. Troopers say the truck involved would have damage to the front, passenger side. For more on this story:

 Amish buggy safety in the spotlight again after crash in Montcalm County.

Elizabeth Hosang.

03/14/2024 6:00 PM EDT.

Nearly 11,000 Amish people call Michigan home, and the ethnoreligious group has deep roots in the state. But a lot has changed since the first settlement was established in 1895, including how most people travel on a daily basis.

In recent years. several high-profile crashes involving motor vehicles and Amish buggies have sparked a debate on how safe sharing the roads is.

While traveling behind moving horse-drawn vehicles, motorists should be aware of their closure time. Closure time is the time a driver has to recognize and respond when coming upon other vehicles. Drivers have much less time and distance to react to slow-moving vehicles than other automobiles. For more on this story:

Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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

Spring for Amish people in Pennsylvania means ‘mud sales,’ from pitchforks to pies.


AP News.

GORDONVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A couple hundred used buggies — horses not included — were lined up and ready for the auctioneer’s gavel last weekend when day began at the Gordonville mud sale, a local Amish tradition dating to the 1960s.

Mud sales are country auctions that benefit volunteer fire departments across what the Amish community refers to as the Lancaster settlement, located some 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Philadelphia where the devout Christian group began to settle about 300 years ago.

The modest changes, Nolt said, show “that out-migration is not the principal demographic story here, but rather most Amish are staying in the Lancaster settlement.”. For more on this Story:

Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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


Amish farmers rushed to grow cannabis in Pa. After an industrywide bust, can one man’s dream survive?

Reuben Riehl wants to transform Lancaster into a hemp haven.

by Zoe Greenberg.

Published Mar. 1, 2024, 5:00 a.m. ET.

Philadelphia Inquirer.

On a recent morning, the shelves at Lancaster County Marketing were lined with CBD root beer and cotton candy lollipops, hemp-infused honey and muscle salves, and CBD prerolled joints with names like Elektra and Special Sauce. A 300-pound sack brimming with leftovers from the local cannabis harvest, on its way to becoming highly prized CBD oil, suffused the office with a particular pungent smell. Across the driveway, the standardbred horse that transported CEO Reuben Riehl to work grazed near a small buggy.

He hopes the cannabis industry will stabilize soon, so that his company can truly take off.

“I don’t like the black market,” Riehl explained recently, “because it’s not stable.” For more on this story:


Place: Spartansburg, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

Several articles from Your Erie.

Pregnant Amish woman found dead, police claim suspicious circumstances.

by: Jennifer Mobilia.

Posted: Feb 26, 2024 / 08:23 PM EST

Updated: Feb 26, 2024 / 10:08 PM EST

The 2100 block of Fish Flats Road in Spartanburg usually doesn’t see much vehicle traffic, mostly just horse and buggy.

But Monday, marked and unmarked state police cars lined the street in front of this home after a pregnant Amish woman was found dead in her home.

“At approximately 12:30, PSP Corry got a call from 911 of a deceased female that was found at the scene.  At this point, we have confirmed the identity of the female, that she is deceased, and it looks like suspicious circumstances,” said Lt. Mark Weindorf with Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

The victim’s family and neighbors told JET 24/FOX 66 she was in her early 20s and six months pregnant.

They said her husband came home and found her body. The couple’s two children were unharmed.

“Immediate family has been notified. We have members of the Amish community here as well,” said Lt. Weindorf.

We spoke with a gentleman, who asked us not to show his face. He said he drives for the family and knew the victim well. He was driving another Amish woman when they got the news.

“I said ‘Let’s hope when I come around the corner there’s not a person in sight’… and it was just packed. I said ‘Oh my god’. I just can’t believe it. Why would someone do that to a young girl?” he said.

That’s the question state police are now working around the clock to answer.

“We will be on scene for several hours, conducting a forensic search of the entire property and inside the residence,” added Lt. Weindorf.

State police are asking anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle or person in the area to call Pennsylvania State Police in Corry.


Victim found dead in Crawford County Amish community identified.

by: Brett Balicki.

Posted: Feb 27, 2024 / 09:41 AM EST.

Updated: Feb 29, 2024 / 12:45 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP) — State police have released the name of a woman found dead at a Crawford County home on Monday.

The victim was identified as 23-year-old Rebekah A. Byler. Police were notified about the death on Fish Flats Road in Sparta Township around 12:26 p.m. on Feb. 26. It is currently being investigated as a criminal homicide.

Byler’s family and neighbors told JET 24/FOX 66 that she was six months pregnant. They also said her husband came home and found her body. The couple’s two children were not harmed in the incident.

State police are asking anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle or person in the area to call Pennsylvania State Police in Corry at 814-663-2043.


Pregnant Amish woman homicide case gains national attention, cause of death not released.

by: Chelsea Swift.

Posted: Feb 28, 2024 / 06:23 PM EST.

Updated: Feb 28, 2024 / 07:44 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP) — Two days after an Amish woman was found dead in her home, the search for a murder suspect continues.

The crime is sending shockwaves through the community, and as of Wednesday, there are still more questions than answers.

Authorities found 23-year-old Rebekah Byler dead inside her home on Fish Flats Road in Crawford County on Feb. 26. State police stated this death is being investigated as a homicide.

On Feb. 28, the Crawford County Coroner said the autopsy is complete, but the results are not being released.

As the investigation continues, members of law enforcement urge the Spartansburg community to report any suspicious activity.

“Keep being vigilant this is a criminal homicide investigation, practice safe procedures keep your doors locked report any suspicious behavior, persons, or vehicles whether it was passed or current,” said Trooper Cynthia Schick.

State police added there is growing interest in this murder investigation as network news outlets have started covering the case.

“The national attention is picking up as you said you compared it to the Burham case, so this is obviously impacting more than just the community here within itself and has reached out further so we’re also asking them as well to relay the same message to everyone. We want them to stay vigilant if somebody knows something we want them to call it in,” said Tpr. Schick.

Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at 814-663-2043.


‘Absolutely heartbroken’: Spartansburg community reacts to Amish woman’s death.

by: Chelsea Swift.

Posted: Feb 27, 2024 / 05:47 PM EST.

Updated: Feb 29, 2024 / 12:45 PM EST.

A murder in Crawford County has been impacting the entire Spartansburg community.

An Amish woman was found Monday afternoon inside her home on Fish Flats Road in Sparta Township.

Pennsylvania State Police confirmed the victim as 23-year-old Rebekah Byler.

“Buncha good people everyone seems to get along with them. Everyone is just stunned. Nobody could even imagine that this kind of stuff is going on,” said Randy Eaton, Spartansburg-area resident.

One business owner said when tragedy strikes the Amish community, it impacts everyone in Spartansburg.

“We’re just a very tight-knit community and I’m absolutely heartbroken that this has happened. I’m very very concerned about the Amish community I’m worried for them,” said Charleen Hajec, owner of Spartansburg Pharmacy.

“It’s definitely shameful that anything like this could go on here. There’s not a person who’s not concerned. Everyone everyone is surprised,” Eaton said.

“This is very shocking, very shocking, and especially to not know what happened and what’s going on, but it’s just very very shocking,” Hajec added.


State police ask for any tips related to death of pregnant Amish woman.

by: Chelsea Swift.

Posted: Feb 29, 2024 / 06:15 PM EST.

Updated: Feb 29, 2024 / 07:34 PM EST.

Spartansburg, Pa (WJET/WFXP) — There’s new information days after the shocking murder of a young Amish woman in Spartansburg.

According to the Erie Times News, state police have indicated 23-year-old Rebekah Byler suffered injuries to both her head and neck. At this time, WJET has been unable to independently verify these claims.

On Monday, Byler was found dead inside her home on Fish Flats Road in Crawford County.

No suspect has been named at this time, and state police are asking for any and all information that might lead to a break in the case, even if it may seem like a small detail.

“Anything that maybe seems suspicious, if your gut instinct is saying something’s not right, we want that reported. We’ll follow up, we’ll make sure that that information is received here and then passed on to our investigators. Again, nothing is too small at this point. We’re relying on the community and their help,” said Trooper Cindy Schick, Pennsylvania State Police.

If you have any information at all, contact state police at 814-663-2043. As Trooper Schick said: no detail is too small.


Murdered Amish woman suffered injuries to head, neck: investigators.

by: Drew Miller.

Posted: Mar 1, 2024 / 03:36 PM EST.

Updated: Mar 1, 2024 / 07:29 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP)– Investigators looking into the murder of Crawford County resident Rebekah Byler have released new information on the injuries she suffered.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Byler suffered injuries to her head and neck but did not say what the official cause of death was.

Police were first called to the Byler family residence in the 21000 block of Fish Flats Road in Sparta Twp. on Feb 26 around 12:26 p.m. after Rebekah’s husband Andy and another person returned to the home and found her unresponsive.

Rebekah was found with fatal wounds to her head and neck. She was six months pregnant at the time of her death.

After arriving, police cleared the residence and later received a search warrant of the residence, outbuildings and surrounding area of the property based on the evidence.

With no suspect named at this time, state police are continuing to investigate and are asking the public for any information, telling WJET earlier this week no piece of information is too small.

“Anything that maybe seems suspicious, if your gut instinct is saying something’s not right, we want that reported. We’ll follow up, we’ll make sure that that information is received here and then passed on to our investigators. Again, nothing is too small at this point. We’re relying on the community and their help,” said Trooper Cindy Schick, Pennsylvania State Police.

If you have any information at all, contact state police at 814-663-2043.


Arrest made in murder of pregnant Amish woman.

by: Joshua Hallenbeck.

Posted: Mar 2, 2024 / 06:09 AM EST.

Updated: Mar 2, 2024 / 07:11 PM EST.

Spartansburg, Pa. (WJET/WFXP) — State police have announced the arrest of 52-year-old Shawn C. Cranston, of Corry, PA, in the killing of 23-year-old Rebekah Byler.

Cranston is being charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass. He was arraigned just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday and is currently being held without bail at the Crawford County Jail.

Cranston’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 15.

The arrest comes after an exhaustive five-day-long investigation. Police were first called to the Byler family residence in the 21000 block of Fish Flats Road in Sparta Twp. on Feb. 26 around 12:26 p.m. after Rebekah’s husband, Andy, and another person returned to the home and found her unresponsive.

According to the affidavit of probable cause released on March 1, a cut was found on Rebekah’s neck as well as a scalping wound on her head. Troopers also reported she was six months pregnant at the time of her death.

After arriving, police cleared the residence and later received a search warrant of the residence, outbuildings and surrounding area of the property based on the evidence.

 Place: Spartansburg, PA.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

PSP thanks community for assisting in arrest of pregnant Amish woman’s alleged killer.

by: Corey Morris.

Posted: Mar 4, 2024 / 05:03 PM EST. Updated: Mar 4, 2024 / 05:44 PM EST.

Following the arrest of 52-year-old Shawn Cranston for the murder of a Pennsylvania Amish woman, state police thanked the public for their help in the investigation.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Cynthia Schick said that the tight-knit community in Spartansburg came in and shared a wealth of information with state police about the case.

Schick added that even when a case like this gets a national spotlight, it’s the local community that can provide those crucial small details that can help identify a suspect.

“We followed up on all the leads that came in. The investigatory leads that did come in were helpful, and some of those leads did lead to evidence collection which, with all of that stuff put together, is what put us on the track for him,” said Tpr. Schick.

The state police will have troopers stationed in Spartansburg at the borough building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day for any community members who have more information about this ongoing investigation.


List of seized items released in pregnant Amish woman homicide case.

by: Brett Balicki.

Posted: Mar 5, 2024 / 01:32 PM EST.

Updated: Mar 5, 2024 / 04:28 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP) — Police have released a list of the items seized from the home of a Pennsylvania Amish woman who was killed last week.

Rebekah Byler, 23, of Spartansburg, was found dead on Feb. 26 at her home in the 21000 block of Fish Flats Road.

Authorities then took 52-year-old Shawn C. Cranston into custody late Friday night and he was arraigned early morning on March 2.

According to court paperwork, Cranston allegedly broke into Byler’s home in Sparta Township on Monday where he shot her in the head and slashed her throat.

State police searched the victim’s home after the murder and seized several items for the investigation. As of March 5, the list has been provided to us with the seizure details.Some of the items taken were knives, broken blades, shell casings, two shotguns, a rifle, blood, DNA, electronic devices and undischarged ammunition among other items.No comment has been given on whether or not the items seized were involved in the homicide case.

Cranston has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass. He is currently being held in the Crawford County Jail without bail.


Community remains in shock following Amish woman’s death, Corry man’s arrest. by: Corey Morris.

Posted: Mar 4, 2024 / 05:00 PM EST.

Updated: Mar 5, 2024 / 12:55 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP) — Following the arrest of a suspect in the murder of a pregnant Amish woman, a Pennsylvania community was left with lingering questions and limited information about why.

Police took 52-year-old Shawn Cranston, of Corry, into custody Friday night outside of the Corry Dollar General store on Main Street, right next to where he lives.Cranston had been charged in the brutal murder of 23-year-old Rebekah Byler, of Spartansburg.According to court paperwork, Cranston allegedly broke into Byler’s home in Sparta Township on Monday, Feb. 26, shot her in the head and slashed her throat.

That morning, neighbors reported seeing a red Jeep in Byler’s driveway. Then on Friday night, a red Jeep was towed from Cranston’s home.

JET 24/FOX 66 spoke with a Dollar General employee who was there when police made the arrest.“He’s the guy that opens doors, let a woman in the door, help put groceries in the car. He’s a ‘yes ma’am, no ma’am’ type of person. I’ve known him for years. He’s pulled over to the side of the road to help somebody with their hood popped. Like, He helped somebody else with their problem at Walmart in a parking lot. I never, never would have thought of all people. Like, it’s crazy,” said Julia Purpura, an employee at the Corry Dollar General.

Cranston was charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass. He remains in the Crawford County Jail without bail.


Daughter of arrested suspect reacts to pregnant Amish woman murder case.

by: Jennifer Mobilia.

Posted: Mar 2, 2024 / 06:49 PM EST.

Updated: Mar 2, 2024 / 11:31 PM EST.

Spartansburg, Pa. (WJET/WFXP) — Five days after a pregnant Amish woman was murdered in her Pennsylvania home, her alleged killer is behind bars.

State police took 52-year-old Shawn C. Cranston, from Corry, Pa., into custody Friday night in connection to the death of 23-year-old Rebekah Byler. He was arrested outside of a Dollar General store on Main Street, right next to his home.

“It was crazy. I’ve never seen so much law enforcement at once. Never once,” said Julie Purpura, Doller General employee.According to court paperwork, Cranston allegedly broke into Byler’s home on Fish Flats Road in Sparta Township on Monday, Feb. 26, where he shot her in the head and slashed her throat.

As of Saturday, Crime scene tape still surrounds Cranston’s home on Main Street in Corry. JET 24/FOX 66’s Jennifer Mobilia spoke with a woman who said Cranston was her foster dad growing up.

That woman is in her 20s now and has children of her own, but she said Cranston is the only father she’s known. She was visibly upset and did not want to be on camera.“Like I could never picture my dad being that cold-hearted monster. Never in a million years,” daughter of Shawn C. Cranston.

The morning of the murder, neighbors reported seeing a red Jeep in Byler’s driveway. Then on Friday night, a red Jeep was towed from Cranston’s home.

“As far as I know, he just wanted his grandson back,” she added.

Cranston’s daughter believes the murder was a case of mistaken identity. She added the Amish couple who lived in Byler’s home a few years ago adopted Cranston’s grandson.“Supposedly she started yelling at him, coming in, then that’s when boom, all it took. It’s just horrifying to think that,” she continued.

Cranston has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass.

He is currently being held in the Crawford County Jail without bail.

Place: Spring Valley, Fillmore County, MN.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 Six people hurt in Fillmore County collision involving an Amish buggy.

By Mike Bunge. February 17, 2024.

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. – Six people were sent to the hospital after another collision involving an Amish buggy in Fillmore County.

The Sheriff’s Office says 911 calls came in around 10:05 pm Friday about a motor vehicle hitting a buggy that held several occupants.  Deputies were sent to the scene, the 29000 block of County Road 1, along with the Spring Valley Ambulance and the Spring Valley Fire Department.

Deputies say there were nine people in the buggy and six were taken to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester for treatment.  Investigators say the driver of the vehicle that collided with the buggy had driven away from the scene but was later found at a Spring Valley home. The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office says two victims of the crash, a 12-year-old and a one-year-old, remain hospitalized as of Saturday morning.  Their conditions are listed as stable.

The Minnesota State Patrol and Mayo Clinic Ambulance assisted with this incident.An SUV struck an Amish buggy driving south on Fillmore Country Road 1 on the morning of September 25th, 2023, killing two children.  Two women have been charged with criminal vehicular homicide for the collision.


Suspect in custody in Amish buggy hit & run.

KFGO. Paul Jurgens.

Feb 19, 2024 | 1:39 PM.

PRESTON, Minn. – The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office in southern Minnesota and the State Patrol are investigating a hit-and-run crash involving an Amish buggy.

Nine people were in the buggy when the collision was reported at about 10:05 p.m. Fri. Six of them were taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Investigators say the vehicle and driver who left the scene have been located.

Another buggy crash on the same road killed two children last Sept.

 Place: Freeman, South Dakotah.

Group: Schmiedeleut Hutterites.

 Refusal of World War I military service led to Hutterite brothers’ deaths at Fort Leavenworth.

Michael and Joseph Hofer died in 1918 after court martial; changes for conscientious objectors followed in aftermath.

By Erik Kaufman.

Mitchell Republic.

February 27, 2024 at 8:15 AM.

FREEMAN, S.D. — Some estimates state that 20 million people, both soldiers and civilians, died during World War I.

Among those were Michael and Joseph Hofer, a pair of brothers from near Alexandria in Hanson County in South Dakota. But the two did not die on the front lines of battle.

The two died while in the custody of the United States military, which had court martialled them after they refused to be drafted into military service during World War I. As Hutterites, the two lived at Rockport Colony, came from a pacifist religious tradition and refused any military service, a position that the government, at the time, did not accept easily.

“Nobody. The military, the Mennonites, the government, the court system. Nobody wanted to repeat that,” Hofer said. “To have someone who says ‘no, I’m not going to go’ and then to be forgiving enough that a few months later when the war is over to say ‘come back and continue your life’ (is significant),” Hofer said. “They said ‘look, we’re not going to do this again,’ and were willing to come up with a program.” For more information:


Place: Peoria, Illinois.

Group: Apostolic Christian Church of America.

A look at Apostolic Christian Skylines, a nursing home in Peoria, Illinois.

By Peoria Standard.

Feb 25, 2024.

As of the fourth quarter of 2023, Apostolic Christian Skylines was owned by Apostolic Christian Church of Peoria, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The nursing home, located in Peoria County, has been owned by Apostolic Christian Church of Peoria since Jan. 1, 1966.

Apostolic Christian Skylines is registered as a non-profit facility.

“Living a long life is something that many of us want and could get,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an insurance education group. “But when we live a long life, the chances of us needing long-term care increase exponentially. But when you need that type of care, there are limited options.” For more information:


Place: Moorefield, Centre Wellington, Ontario, Canada.

Group: Old Order Mennonite.

Local author’s approachable retelling of Haiti abduction story a first-time success.

Jordan Snobelen.

February 22, 2024 @ 12:09 pm.

CENTRE WELLINGTON – When Louise Brubacher sat at a desk in the kitchen of her Moorefield home and began writing her first published book, Captured by Gangsters, she had no idea it would be such a success.

Over 7,600 copies have been sold through online marketplaces, local retailers and personal sales in less than a year since being published in March 2023.

For more information:

Brubacher expects to be at Living Waters Book Store in Elmira with her titles on March 21 for an author signing event..


Place: Winnipeg, Canada (about 30 miles west of city).

Group: Schmiedeleut Hutterite, Group 2.

The Hutterite colonies of the Prairies, between Tyrolean and High German dialect.

Şubat 23, 2024.

Actual News Magazine.

According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, German is one of the ten non-official and non-indigenous languages ​​with the most native speakers (nearly 275,000 in 2021), and this astonishing situation is partly explained by the incessant work of Herr Elvin Hofer. Mr. Hofer teaches this language daily at the Hutterite school in the James Valley Colony in southern Manitoba, about fifty kilometers west of Winnipeg. The establishment has around forty students aged from around 5 to 17, all members of the German-speaking religious community that has been in the region for around a century.

He offers the example of the word “ Gemeinshaft ”, more powerful than the English term “ fellowship » (“very, very weak”), which also brings together the first communities of believers, at the beginning of Christianity. Another example : Gelassenheitcentral concept of the rule (Ordnung) Anabaptist, evoking serenity, plenitude, humble submission, abandonment to the will of God, without selfishness and with respect for Gemeinshaft. “It takes ten words in another language to translate what this one word means to us,” Herr Elvin Hofer said in conclusion. For more information:


 Place: Eklhart County, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline; Eklhart-LaGrange churches.

Graber Arrested For Inappropriately Touching Himself In Front Of Three Children.

Posted Feb 22, 2024  Updated: Feb 21, 2024 @ 3:42 PM.

GOSHEN — A Milford man was arrested in Elkhart County for allegedly inappropriately touching himself while in the presence of three Amish children.

Matthew W. Graber, 41, P.O. Box 542, Milford, is charged with two counts of performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor, both level 6 felonies.

Graber was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Complex on Feb. 7, 2024.. For more information:


Filing: Minnesotan who hit Amish buggy and left injured kids behind has troubling driving record.

The woman initially told a sheriff's deputy that she hit a deer.

By Paul Walsh.

Star Tribune.

February 21, 2024 — 4:12pm.

The motorist who hit an Amish buggy last week in southern Minnesota, fled the scene and left injured children behind has been identified as a 32-year-old woman with a troubling driving history.

The collision about 10 p.m. Friday on County Road 1 near Spring Valley injured six of the horse-drawn buggy's nine occupants, two of them seriously, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday by the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office that asked a judge for permission to collect evidence from the driver's car and her cellphone.

Brittany Nicole Edgar of Kasson, Minn., was soon pulled over 6 miles south of the crash scene by a sheriff's deputy who saw a car with severe front-end damage, one headlight out and taillights not illuminated, the filing read.

Edgar told the deputy that she struck a deer while on her way back to Spring Valley, and the deputy allowed her to resume her travels, the affidavit continued.

Deputies later found her car at a home in Spring Valley. Edgar repeated that she hit a deer, "then changed her story and stated that she indeed hit an Amish buggy," the filing noted.

Messages were left Wednesday with Edgar seeking a response to the court filing's allegations. Charges have yet to be filed.

Court records in Minnesota show that Edgar has two convictions for drug offenses, one each for drunken driving, a lane violation, disobeying a traffic control device and speeding, along with two for careless driving.

Last week's crash is the second serious collision involving an Amish buggy in Minnesota this month and the third in the state since September.

On Sept. 25, also on County Road 1 near Spring Valley, 35-year-old twins allegedly swapped identities in a plot to conceal from law enforcement who was driving an SUV that hit an Amish buggy. Two of the four children inside were killed.

Sarah Beth Petersen and Samantha Jo Petersen, roommates who live in Kellogg, Minn., stand charged in Fillmore County District Court with eight counts each of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.

On Feb. 1, an Amish couple and their four small children in a horse-drawn buggy were injured in a collision with a teenage driver southeast of Hinckley, Minn., the Pine County Sheriff's Office said. The vehicle's driver, 17-year-old Hayden Lind of rural Pine City, was not hurt in the crash. Charges against Lind have yet to be filed.

Place: United States, general.

Group: Amish, general.

Donald Trump Jr. Wants to Convince Amish to Vote Republican.

Published Feb 27, 2024 at 2:19 PM EST.

By Matthew Impelli.

Donald Trump Jr. is seeking to convince members of the Amish community throughout the U.S. to vote Republican in the 2024 presidential election.

"In 2024, we need an all-of-the-above voter strategy," Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "That means voter registration at gun shows, concerts, UFC fights - and even in Amish country."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's spokesperson via email for comment. For more information:


Rural road safety in Fillmore County.

Alex Cott.


Published: February 20, 2024 - 7:29 PM.

(ABC 6 News) – Late last September, two Amish girls were killed when their buggy was hit by a car on County Road 1 in Fillmore County.

Just last Friday, a second buggy was hit not even a mile down the road from the first crash, just a few months later.

Luckily. no one was critically hurt, but the Fillmore County Sheriff Office has partially identified

For more information:


Place: Akron, Ohio.

Group: Amish.

Many Amish children don’t go to high school. One woman hopes to change that.

The Ohio Newsroom | By Erin Gottsacker.

Published February 22, 2024 at 8:46 AM EST.

The lights dim at a community center in Akron, and a small crowd falls silent as about a dozen ballerinas take the stage.

They’re not dressed in pink tutus and pointe shoes. Instead, they wear black Amish dresses, their hair tied into bonnets.

For more information:


 Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Appalachian Mennonite Church / Eastern Pennsylavnia Mennonite Church / Old Order Amish- Mainline; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, churches.


Internet use in plain Mennonite vs. Old Order Amish churches [The Scribbler].

JACK BRUBAKER | The Scribbler.

Feb 12, 2024.

How do members of conservative Mennonite and Amish churches deal with usage of the internet?

The Scribbler has asked Steven M. Nolt, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, to explain.

The question was prompted by the Scribbler’s reading of a letter from Amos B. Lapp, an Old Order Amish man who lives in East Earl Township. The letter appeared in The Diary, a monthly publication of the Older Amish churches.

For more information:


Place: Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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

Bank of Bird-in-Hand raises $19.5M in latest stock offering; Price reaches $28 per share.

CHAD UMBLE | Staff Writer Feb 10, 2024 .

SUZETTE WENGER | Staff Photographer

The Bank of Bird-in-Hand said this week that it raised about $19.5 million through its latest stock offering, which valued the bank’s common stock at $28 per share.

For more information:


Place: Indianapolis, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish.

Dog breeders, pet stores bill clears Senate.

By: Whitney Downard - February 20, 2024 7:00 am.

A bill establishing care standards for dog breeders and pet stores that would simultaneously strike local ordinances banning dog sales moves back to the House after passing through the Senate on a 31-18 vote on Monday.

Sen. Blake Doriot, the chamber sponsor, described the measure as a proposal to establish some of the “strictest standards in the country” for retail stores and breeders, which must register with the State Board of Animal Health and follow Purdue University’s Canine Care Certified Program.

Because the Senate committee that heard the bill opted to amend it, those changes must be approved by the House Chamber — either through a concurrence vote or through a conference committee, where the parties hash out their differences. The bill passed out of the House in January on a 59-36 vote with a handful of ‘no’ votes from Republicans.. For more information:


Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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

 Family of Justo Smoker, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and killing an Amish girl, shares story.


Updated: 8:30 PM EST, Feb 12, 2024.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. —Nearly four years after Justo Smoker was charged with kidnapping and murdering 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos, his family members are sharing their story. With the blessing of the Amish community, they want the world to know what happened to them after the police filed charges.

Tim Rogers, Smoker's brother-in-law, remembers hearing about Stoltzfoos's disappearance in June 2020. He recalls wondering who could do something like that.

A portion of the proceeds of the book sales will go to Amish special education programs, which were close to Linda Stoltzfoos's heart. For more information:



Place: Logan County, Kentucky.

Group: New Order Amish- Guthrie / Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber, Andy Weaver group / Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber, Abe Miller group.

 Concern for Amish community on Logan roads.



Feb 15, 2024.

Concern for horse and buggy on the roads in Logan County is gaining momentum after numerous accidents plague the Amish community.

Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “There is nothing in the world so good as good neighbors.” Being a good neighbor is more than caring for them in their darkest days and celebrating with them during the best of times. In the high-speed society we have all come to know, some among

For more information:


Place: McKean County, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish.

 Increased horse-and-buggy traffic leads to new street signs in northern Pa.

WPSU | By Sydney Roach

Published February 9, 2024 at 5:30 AM EST.

A council member in a rural northern Pennsylvania community in McKean County is raising awareness for horses and buggies on the road with new street signs. He says more Amish families are moving into the area.

Chuck Parr, a member of the Mount Jewett Borough Council, asked PennDOT to install the signs after an Amish family moved in along a busy highway last fall. The signs were installed in late January.

Parr is also a truck driver. He said he’s used to giving extra space when he sees a horse and buggy, but that isn’t always the case for others in his community.

“It's new to us, especially the people who don't get out much," Parr said. "I travel nationwide. I've been dealing with Amish traffic for many, many years in various parts of the country, but local people who are just going back and forth to Kane or Bradford and doing local traffic, it's like, ‘Gasp, there's a horse and buggy!’”

Parr said more Amish families have moved into the region in the past two years. He expects to see even more because of the area’s cheaper real estate. Because of that, he wants drivers in his community and across the state to be aware of horses on the road and what to do when they see one.

“Horses can be easily spooked. You know, you slow down, you try to give them as much room as possible. And be aware that, you know, the horse can bolt, especially if he's spooked by a horn or noise," Parr said.

Parr said many people are aware of the Amish community in Lancaster County, but not in other places throughout the state.

“There's a lot of places that I come up and I'll see the sign and it's like, ‘Oh, oh, I didn't know there was any here. OK, alright.’ So now, at least I have a mindset to be aware," Parr said.

PennDOT says horse-drawn buggies usually travel 8-miles-per hour and drivers should only pass when there is plenty of room..


Place: Hinckley, Minnesota.

Group: Old Order Amish.

 Two children riding in the buggy were taken to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.


Feb 6, 2024.

Two young children are hospitalized after a driver collided with an Amish buggy in Hinckley last week, according to authorities.

The Pine County Sheriff's Office said the children, ages 2 and 4, were among six people riding in the horse-drawn buggy when they were struck by a driver in the 27000 block of Hinckley Road on Feb. 1.

Two passengers suffered life-threatening injuries, the sheriff's office said.

While the sheriff's office hasn't confirmed that the two young children were those with life-threatening injuries, it did say they were taken to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, while a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family mentions that two children were airlifted to the ICU, where their conditions are "stable" as of Saturday.

According to a news release, the driver called 911 after the collision and stated they'd "hit an object on the road."

The driver of the motor vehicle was uninjured and the crash remains under investigation.

Fundraiser creator Keith Murphy, who is a neighbor of the family, said helicopter costs associated with the transport of the children is estimated to cost between $30,000 and $100,000.

Their mother is also injured, Murphy shared. "We are praying for the best for all involved," he wrote.

In September, a collision between a vehicle and a horse-drawn buggy in Fillmore County left two children dead and two others seriously injured.


2 Amish children aged 2, 4 seriously injured in buggy crash.

Emily Baude.


February 7, 2024 - 9:56 AM.

Two young children are seriously injured after a car crashed into a buggy last week.

Deputies from the Pine County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene of the 27000 block of Hinckley Road on a report of a collision.

At the scene, law enforcement found a crash between a vehicle and an Amish horse-drawn buggy. A two- and four-year-old were brought to Children’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Pine County officials.

The driver of the vehicle was uninjured. The condition of the other four people in the buggy is unknown at this time, officials say.

The crash is under investigation.


Place: Michigan.

Group: Amish.

 New criminal laws aim to combat ethnic intimidation.

By Capital News Service, Spartan News Room, Michigan State University School of Journalism.

February 2, 2024.


LANSING – Due to Michigan’s constant increase in hate crimes, the Legislature has updated state laws on hate crimes for the first time since 1988.

Students, families and religious groups remain threatened by ethnic intimidation all over the state, experts say.

In 2022, 11% of all reported hate crimes were religion-based, 5.4% were gender-based and 1.5% were disability-based, according to Michigan Incident Crime Reporting.

“Most of the crimes committed against the Amish are misdemeanors,” including running them off the road, shouting at them from vehicles and smashing their mailboxes, he said. “Usually, the only crimes that are reported are those that are on a more serious level.” For more information:

 Place: Orrville, Wayne County, Ohio.

Group: Ohio Wisler Mennonite.

 Wayne County 14-year-old killed in tractor crash.

From Ohio State Highway Patrol.

February 20, 2024.

BAUGHMAN TOWNSHIP — A 14-year-old Orrville boy was killed late Tuesday afternoon in a tractor crash, according to the Wooster Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The driver, Bradley D. Zook, 14, of Orrville, was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to the Patrol.

The one-vehicle incident took place at 5:40 p.m. on Tannerville Road, south of the Burkhart Road exit.

According to the Patrol, the initial investigation revealed that a red 1952 Farmall Super M narrow front tractor was northbound on Tannerville Road. The tractor traveled off the right side of the roadway striking an embankment and a wooden utility pole. The tractor overturned onto its left side coming to final rest on its top.

At this time, the crash remains under investigation.

It does not appear drugs or alcohol contributed to this crash.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted on scene by Orrville Fire and EMS and the Wayne County Coroner’s Office.. For more information:


Article from Meadville Tribune.

Corry man is charged with killing pregnant Amish woman.

By Keith Gushard.

Meadville Tribune.

Mar 2, 2024.

An Erie County man is behind bars today charged with homicide for the death of a pregnant Amish woman and her unborn child at her Spartansburg area home.

Shawn Cranston, 52, of Corry, was arraigned early this morning on multiple charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police in connection with the death of Rebekah A. Byler.

Byler, 23, was found deceased around midday Monday in the living room of her home along the 21000 block of Fish Flats Road in Sparta Township. Byler's husband and a family friend arrived home just after noon Monday and discovered Rebekah Byler deceased.

Cranston was arraigned at 4:24 this morning before Magisterial District Judge Amy Nicols with one felony count each of criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary with bodily injury, and criminal trespass.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by The Meadville Tribune, Cranston is accused by state police of causing the death of both Byler and that of her unborn child.

Byler’s remains were released to Warren-Glenn Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Union City with funeral services for her private. For more information:

Place: Peoli, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber, Joe Troyer group.

 Patrol: Amish man killed in Tuscarawas County after impaired driver hits buggy, flees scene.

February 1, 2024.

By: Jordan Miller.

Crime, Local News, Traffic, Tuscarawas County.

The New Philadelphia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash involving a car and a horse and buggy.

The crash occurred Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. in Newcomerstown along State Route 258 SE near Horseshoe Bend East in Tuscarawas County.

According to troopers, a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis, operated by Benjamin Henry, 68, of Port Washington, was traveling east on SR 258. Officials say Henry drove left of center, striking a horse and buggy traveling west on SR 258.

The buggy was being operated by 52-year-old Menno Troyer of Newcomerstown. Troyer was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tuscarawas County Coroner.

Troopers say Henry fled the scene and was later located by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence and was booked into the Tuscarawas County Jail.

The crash remains under investigation.

Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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

Editorial. Why the Amish (and the English) Should Stand with Amos Miller.

by Chris Hume.

Lancaster Patriot.

February 1, 2024.

For several years the Amos Miller story has been simmering, at times boiling. In 2022, the story received national attention when Tucker Carlson interviewed Rebel News’ Jeremey Loffredo about the federal government’s crusade against Amos Miller and food freedom. That ordeal ended in late 2022 with Miller paying over $80,000 to the government and Miller being required to destroy some of his products.

Then things seemingly went quiet for time, but behind the scenes the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture was tirelessly working to build a case against Miller and bring him back to court. (Typical statism: A bunch of useless government employees who produce nothing using taxpayer money to go after a man who is the epitome of productivity and service to neighbor.)

Finally, on Jan. 4, 2024, the state’s agriculture department, with the help of state troopers, raided Miller’s farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, and detained hundreds of products in place, forbidding Miller from selling or moving them.

For more information:


Place: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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

 Amish Farmer Turned Republican Hero Becomes Flash Point in Culture War.

Published Feb 23, 2024 at 6:00 AM EST.

By Katherine Fung.


Amos Miller, an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania, has become a flash point in America's culture wars. For more information:


Amish farmer Amos Miller can’t sell raw milk as Pa. Ag Department’s case proceeds, judge rules.

DAN NEPHIN | Staff Writer Mar 1, 2024.

Amish people go into Lancaster County Courthouse for a hearing regarding farmer Amos Miller's raw-dairy business on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024.

SUZETTE WENGER | Staff Photographer.

Upper Leacock farmer Amos Miller cannot sell raw milk or dairy products made from it to the public under an order issued by a Lancaster County judge Friday afternoon.

 For more information:


Dozens show up to support Lancaster County farmer in court over raw milk sales.


Updated: 10:07 PM EST Feb 29, 2024.


Dozens of people showed up at the Lancaster County courthouse on Thursday to support a farmer who state officials say is endangering public health by selling raw milk without a permit.

For more information:


Amish raw milk farmer in central Pa. loses bid to stay in business without permits.

Updated: Mar. 01, 2024, 6:12 a.m.|Published: Mar. 01, 2024, 5:38 a.m..

By David Wenner. Penn Live.

A Lancaster County farmer can’t sell raw milk products until he at least starts the process of applying for the required permits, a Lancaster County judge ruled Friday.

However, Sponaugle noted his role is to decide whether Miller is following the law, not whether or not the law is wrong. For more information:


Amish farmer Amos Miller asks court to let him sell raw milk to out-of-state customers.

DAN NEPHIN | Staff Writer Mar 7, 2024.

Upper Leacock farmer Amos Miller wants a Lancaster County judge to allow him to sell raw milk and related dairy products to out-of-state customers.

Miller’s case has drawn national attention from the far-right media, and as of Thursday afternoon, an online fundraiser set up to support his operation had raised more than $265,000. For more information:

Place: Branch, Michigan.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 Two occupants of Amish buggy suffer minor injuries in Algansee Township crash.

By Jim Measel Feb 7, 2024 | 8:51 PM.

ALGANSEE TOWNSHIP, MI (WTVB) – Two occupants of an Amish buggy suffered minor injuries on Wednesday afternoon when the buggy they were in was hit by a car on Fremont Road near Lester Road in Algansee Township.

The Branch County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched just after 3:30 p.m.

Sheriff Deputies say a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox driven by 38-year-old Christina McMichael of Coldwater was heading north on Fremont Road when she became distracted while retrieving a cellphone and was unable to avoid hitting the left side of the buggy that was also going north.

The Amish buggy had four occupants. The ages ranged from 21 to 49 years old and all were from Branch County. Two occupants received minor injuries to their legs and refused medical treatment.

The investigation is still on going. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Quincy Fire Department and Life Care Ambulance.


Place: Berne, Adams County, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish; Swiss.

 Amish buggy hit by semi; vehicle strikes, damages Subway store.


Decatur Daily Democrat.

Feb 5, 2024.

An Amish teenager was seriously injured at 3:56 a.m. Monday when the buggy he was operating eastbound on CR 700 S failed to stop at the intersection with US 27 and the buggy was struck by a northbound semi.

The driver of the buggy, Marvin S. W. Wickey, 19, rural Berne, was flown from the scene of the crash by the Lutheran Air helicopter to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. A release from the Adams County Sheriff's Department which investigated the mishap did not denote the type of injuries suffered or if any passengers were in the buggy with him as the accident is still under investigation.


Place: Wayne County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish (general).

 Wayne County has a plan to put buggy lanes on 4 1/2 miles of Kidron Road.

Nate Powalie.

Wooster Daily Record.

February 14, 2024.

About 4 1/2 miles of Kidron Road will have buggy lanes constructed on both sides with the majority of the funding coming from a Rebuilding American grant if the application is approved.

The Wayne County commissioners approved applying for the funding at a recent meeting. The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant would fund nearly $25 million of the estimated $28.9 million cost.

The lanes would be built between state Route 241 and Berger Road.

For the remainder of the cost the Ohio Department of Transportation would cover about $3.5 million and the Amish Steering Committee will kick in $500,000.

Also at a recent meeting […]


 Place: Martin & Daviess Counties, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish- Mainline.

 Letter: How will the Mid-State Corridor impact the Amish.

Letter to the Editor    

February 9, 2024.

Has anyone taken the time to ask our Amish neighbors what they think of the Mid-State Corridor project? How do they feel about their quiet community being disrupted with construction? With increased traffic noise? With their roads dead-ending into a 4-lane highway? With their farms being cutoff? With minimal safe crossings? With their businesses losing traffic due to by-passes?

Although they are pretty self-sustaining, will they benefit, or will their way of life be forever changed? Can they be assured these changes will have a positive impact on them and their futures? Will the quaint, pastoral life be preserved? Or, will it belong to the past? Could it all be gone with the wind?

Let us not forget that we are all neighbors and we are all in this together. Lincoln was correct in saying that “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. Let’s not become that divided house. Let’s rally together and continue to oppose the Mid-State Corridor project.

Jim Arvin.

Rutherford Township.

Martin County.

 Place: Ashland County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber.

 Officers enjoy free coffee with Goldberry customers.

by Dillon Carr.

February 9, 2024.

ASHLAND — Officers of the law swarmed a local coffee shop on Franklin Avenue early Friday morning.

Instead of wielding weapons, however, they brandished cups of Goldberry coffee.

Officers from Ashland Police Division, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ashland County Common Pleas probation department showed up to Goldberry’s newly renovated space for the first Coffee with a Cop event since late 2022.

“This is the biggest one we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Lay, chief of the Ashland Police Division.

The event, sponsored by the City of Ashland, aims at giving people the chance to get to know members of local law enforcement without an agenda.

Lay said he typically invites the sheriff’s office and OSHP. He said normally around a dozen officers attend. On Friday, there were around 20 officers.

Building trust.

“I really appreciate the job they do,” said Doug Cooper, Goldberry’s owner, while nursing a steaming cup of black coffee. He said he’s always had a positive view of law enforcement, and local government in general.

“By policy, we give free coffee to people in uniform. We’ve always tried to do that,” he said.

Friday’s event was a little way for him to thank those in blue, he said.

“I think being around them helps people build trust — just be with them a little bit,” Cooper said.

Carl “Ross” Oehling, 80, spoke with several officers on Friday, a beige cup of coffee in-hand. Mostly on his mind were the Amish, and a particular local clan’s defiance to a newly passed law that requires all buggies to display flashing lights.

“(Ashland County Sheriff’s Office) brought around 40 Amish in,” he said, referencing those charged with violating the new law. “But I think they need to bring more in.” 

Oehling was part of Ashland’s Amish Buggy Committee, formed and disbanded in the 1990s, to pass a state law that required buggies to display slow-moving vehicle signs.

But it wasn’t all business on Oehling’s mind. He asked deputies about family members, shook hands and smiled a lot.

“Yeah, I know a lot of them. I should have known them when I was young, when I got picked up,” he said, sparking laughter among those around him. When the laughter died down, Oehling reminded everyone it’s important to show appreciation.

“They put their lives on the line everyday, you know,” he said.

Amanda Furman, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office, said the city hopes to sponsor another Coffee with a Cop event in April.

Furman said the city plans on sponsoring the popular Cones with a Cop events starting in June.


Place: Spartansburg, Pennsylvania.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 State police investigating burglary at Amish residence.

by: Drew Miller.

Posted: Feb 14, 2024 / 01:27 PM EST.         

Updated: Feb 14, 2024 / 01:27 PM EST.

(WJET/WFXP)– Pennsylvania State Police are asking for information on a burglary at an Amish residence in Crawford County.

Troopers from PSP Corry were called out to an Amish residence on Firth Rd. in Rome Twp. back on Feb. 9 around 10 p.m. after an unknown person or persons stole about $500 in change, $80 cash from the residence and a chainsaw from the barn.

Police said the stolen chainsaw was a HUSQVA 390XP chainsaw with a 24-inch bar valued at $700.

Anyone with information is asked to call PSP Corry at 814-663-2043.


Place: Penn Yan, New York.

Group: Old Order Mennonite- Groffdale Conference.

 Pickup truck, horse and buggy crash in Yates County.

by: Gillian Friebis.

Posted: Feb 13, 2024 / 08:01 PM EST.

Updated: Feb 13, 2024 / 08:01 PM EST.

BARRINGTON, N.Y. (WETM) — A pickup truck and horse and buggy crashed after the horse was spooked in Yates County on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Yates County Sheriff’s Office, a truck and buggy crashed at the intersection of Route 14a and Welker Road in the Town of Barrington shortly before 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. The investigation following the crash found that the buggy was traveling east along Welker Road when the horse got spooked and ran in front of a truck traveling south along Route 14a. The driver of the pickup truck was unable to stop and crashed into the open buggy.

EMS providers treated the four juveniles who were riding in the buggy at the scene of the crash. Two of the juveniles were released to their mother, and the other two were taken to hospitals to receive more treatment for their injuries. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time. The driver of the pickup and his passenger were not injured.

The Yates County Sheriff’s Office, the Dundee Fire Department, the New York State Police Department, Dundee Ambulance, and Yates County Ambulance responded to the scene.


Place: Northeastern Ohio.

Group: Amish and Mennonite.

 Brown Announces Northeast Ohio Agriculture Innovation Center Operated by The Ohio State University.

February 14, 2024.

Senator Sherrod Brown Newsroom.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced the Northeast Ohio Agriculture Innovation Center (NEO-AIC), operated by The Ohio State University, which will operate as a “one stop shop” for all value-added agriculture producers in Northeast Ohio, including: business development support; organizational assistance including connections to financial, legal, technical, and regulatory advice; and value chain coordination services. The NEO-AIC will also bring on the nation and the region’s first Amish and Plain Community Liaison to provide technical assistance to the Amish community in Northeast Ohio. This investment was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Innovation Center Program.

“The Northeast Ohio Agriculture Innovation Center will help grow local small businesses and support local food production in Northeast Ohio,” said Brown. “When we give Ohio farm and food businesses more tools to sell their products, we can strengthen local supply chains, bring down prices, and allow small producers to better compete with large corporations.”

Brown is the first Ohio senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years. As a committee member, Brown successfully secured a number of provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, including permanent mandatory funding for USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant Program and the reauthorization of the Agriculture Innovation Center Program. Brown has continually led bipartisan efforts to further increase investment in the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.


Place: Wisconsin.

Group: Amish and Mennonite.

 UW Grant to Boost NFMC Agriculture Safety Training Program for Rural Fire and EMS.

Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/16/2024.

A University of Wisconsin grant will help the National Farm Medicine (NFMC) double the number of rural Wisconsin fire and EMS departments that receive training in order to better plan for and prevent agricultural emergencies.

The UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) awarded NFMC Director Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., an Evidence to Implementation (E2I) pilot award of $75,000 as part of its efforts to advance safety in agricultural work.

NFMC developed the Rural Firefighters Delivering Agriculture Safety and Health (RF-DASH) program in 2016 to conduct training on agricultural emergencies, including mapping of local farms, analyzing agricultural hazards, performing first aid on farms, and approaching the farm community. The program has certified 78 fire and EMS trainers across 10 states and five Canadian provinces, including 30 Wisconsin fire and EMS departments under principal investigator Dr. Bendixsen’s direction.

The E2I award will allow RF-DASH to have trainees in at least 60 Wisconsin departments, doubling the program's reach. At least two trainees will be engaged in departments that are predominantly of the Plain community, which can include Amish and Mennonite people, among others.


Place: Bergholz, Jefferson County, Ohio.

Group: Old Order Amish- unaffiliated.

 Jefferson County tackles meningitis outbreak in Amish community via vaccines.

by Chloë Mesogitis.

Tue, February 20th 2024 at 1:01 PM.

Updated Tue, February 20th 2024 at 6:07 PM.

An update on the recent meningitis outbreak within Jefferson County's Amish community.

At the county health board's latest meeting on Tuesday morning, the county medical director reported they had vaccinated 166 out of the 168 in the community against meningitis.

The health department reported in December that 10 children became ill, but they were working through outreach to provide treatment to the entire community, which is in the Bergholz area.

Board members say there's been an increased presence within the Amish community, and they plan to continue improving outreach efforts in the months to come.

"I’m really proud we were able to put a button on that and stop it from becoming an epidemic," said Tony Mougianis, president, Jefferson County Health Board.

As of Tuesday, there have been no new cases reported.


Place: Adams County, Indiana.

Group: Old Order Amish; Swiss.

 Amish license plate sales start on March 1; cost of $120 may rise in 2025.


Decatur Daily Democrat.

February 20, 2024.

The annual sale of license plates for what are now described as “equine-pulled” vehicles – meaning Amish buggies – will run from March 1 to May 15 at the Monroe office of the Adams County Highway Department.

The cost will be the same as it's been since 2017 – $120 per license – but the county commissioners discussed at their February 20 meeting raising the cost next year as part of an incentive program to try to get the Amish to put rubber covers over their steel buggy wheels or even put rubber tires on the buggies.


Place: Seymour, MO.

Group: Old Order Amish- Seymour groups, Highways A & C.

 Letter: Amish drivers abuse parking?

Feb 21, 2024

I’ve noticed recently that several of the Amish drivers with handicap stickers or license plates are using the handicapped parking. But not for themselves, instead for their Amish fare.

Handicapped parking does not mean reserved for Amish taxi. You Amish drivers with handicap permits should respect that. If you’re not entering the establishment where you are dropping off non-handicap persons, be respectful, a truly handicapped person may need that parking space. Remember, it’s reserved for those handicapped who need to enter that establishment.

If your driver is handicapped and he or she is waiting for you in the vehicle and not planning to enter the store, it would be common courtesy to ask them to please save the handicapped parking for someone it was meant for.

Please, realize that handicapped parking is not reserved taxi parking.

James Curl, Seymour.


Place: Augusta, Wisconsin.

Group: Old Order Amish- 1955 Beschluss.

 Amish business near Augusta damaged in early morning fire.


Feb 21, 2024.

An Amish business saw heavy damage from a fire early Wednesday morning in rural Eau Claire County.

BRIDGE CREEK (WQOW) - An Amish business saw heavy damage from a fire early Wednesday morning in rural Eau Claire County.

Augusta Bridge Creek Fire Chief Ken Zich told News 18 they were called to the fire on County Road RR just after 2 a.m., and they were on the scene for more than three hours.

The fire was at an Amish resale store known as a bent and dent. Zich said they would buy and resell goods including groceries and cosmetics. Between the fire, smoke, and water, Zich said all of the goods inside were destroyed. He estimates the fire caused more than $50,000 in damages, adding the owners had just received a shipment the day before.

Zich told News 18 there have been three fires in the past year on Amish property in the area, with each happening at about the same time of day, making this is a little suspicious. They do not yet know what caused the bent and dent fire.


Place: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Group: Dariusleut Hutterite.

 Saskatchewan Livestock Expo.

By Neil Billinger Feb 23, 2024 | 12:53 PM.

Swift Current hosted the trade show on Thursday which also featured a few competitions and a charity auction.

First place in the pork carcass competition went to the Wymark Hutterite Colony in the Swift Current area. The runner-up spot was awarded to the Sand Lake Hutterite Colony in the Val Marie region. Rounding out the top five were the Downie Lake Hutterite Colony (Maple Creek), Beechy Hutterite Colony and the Ponteix Hutterite Colony.

The fresh chilled pork, valued at $25,000, was donated to several charity soup kitchens, including Soul Harbour Mission as well as Chili for Children.

Results from the Graded Egg Competition saw first place go to the Spring Creek Colony, followed by the Beechy and Ponteix Colonies. The champion award in the Pie Baking Competition went to the Sand Lake Colony.

A total of $17,000 was raised for charity at the Sale of the Championships Auction. Among those receiving money will be STARS Air Ambulance, Val Marie Ambulance Service, the Allan Blair Cancer Centre and HALO Air Ambulance in southern Alberta.


Goshen College to host Amish photography gallery from March 10 to July 18.

February 26, 2024.

Exhibit Reception: “Scenes of Amish Life: Photographs by Danny Graber”.

Date and Time: Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 2 p.m..

Location: Harold & Wilma Good Library Gallery.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Goshen College will host a free public reception with fine art photographer Danny Graber on Sunday, March 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Harold & Wilma Good Library Gallery to celebrate the opening of “Seasons of Amish Life: Photographs by Danny Graber.” This exhibit, running from March 10 to July 18, 2024, showcases Graber’s intimate portrayal of LaGrange County Amish families’ daily life and work.

Graber, who was born and raised in the Amish community of LaGrange County, brings a unique perspective to his photography, capturing moments of planting, harvesting and more, reflecting the timeless principles of Amish culture. The exhibit showcases Graber’s connection to his subject matter and his commitment to authenticity.


Place: Wellsville, Alleghany County, New York.

Group: Old Order Amish: Stutzman-Troyer.

 Amish horse cart struck by vehicle in Wellsville, serious injuries.

By Andrew Harris.

February 26, 2024.

An accident on the Wellsville/Andover town line resulted in severe injuries of the solo occupant of horse driven cart after being struck by a vehicle. The collision occurred in a 55 MPH stretch of Trapping Brook Road between the Lynch Casey Road and the Perkins Road.

The injured man was taken by Mercy Flight medical helicopter to an area trauma center.

The driver of the vehicle was not injured.


Place: DeKalb/Heuvelton, St. Lawrence County, New York..

Group: Old Order Amish- Swartzentruber.

 Amish family safely escapes burning home.

By 7 News Staff.

Published: Feb. 29, 2024 at 4:38 PM UTC

TOWN OF DEKALB, New York (WWNY) - Members of an Amish family escaped their burning home without injury Thursday afternoon.

Fire broke out at 594 Old Canton Road in the town of DeKalb at around 3:30 p.m.

The family was able to remove a lot of furniture and other belongings from the first floor.

When firefighters arrived, they found flames and smoke coming from the house.

Volunteers from DeKalb, Canton, Rensselaer Falls, Hermon, Richville and Heuvelton battled the blaze but officials say the home is a total loss.



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