It always amazes that for an insular culture that seeks to stay out of the headlines how often the Amish end up in the headlines. Here is a little news (with some commentary from yours truly) about happenings this past week in the world of Plain:
NORTH COUNTRY BUGGY SAFETY: The Amish population in Upstate New York (affectionately known as the "North Country") has been steadily increasing. Combine curvy hilly roads with a college campus full of young, out of town drivers unfamiliar with the Amish and you have a recipe for disaster on area roads. Authorities in northern New York are launching an initiative aimed at educating drivers about sharing the roads with horse-drawn vehicles. It's a decent idea, certainly extra awareness can';t hurt, how helpful that will be at curbing college students intent upon texting while driving remains to be seen....
AMISH NEWSPAPERS MAKE HAY: Or make money, I should say. In an economy that has seen traditional print papers implode over the past 10 years, Amish newspapers continue to do OK. They don't have competition for peoples' attention from the internet as much as non-Amish papers have. This holds true for Mennonite publications and the German Baptist paper, The Vindicator. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece about The Budget and other Plain papers; it's a fun read although, truthfully, I think they run a variation of this same article about once every five years.
AMISH SLOW TO CHANGE: This is another article that I think runs in numerous variations every few years when the news cycle gets slow, but it's still a fun read.
MENNONITE ABUSE CASE TAKES BIZARRE TURN: We've been following the case of some Manitoba Mennonites who were arrested and separated from their children for over-use of corporal punishment. Now there's a new twist to the case. Bizarre.
Through the Ohio Extension office there is a buggy safety course available complete with posters showing things like how to make a left turn, etc. There is a students booklet, and a teachers booklet in addition to the posters.