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News stories tagged with "amish"

Nicole Vaisey arrives at the preliminary hearing Thursday at the town of Fowler court. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Nicole Vaisey arrives at the preliminary hearing Thursday at the town of Fowler court. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Detective: kidnappers went on "shopping trip" to abduct

The woman accused of kidnapping two Amish girls told investigators she and her boyfriend "wanted to make the girls their slaves."

That's according to testimony presented Thursday at a preliminary court hearing in the town of Fowler. Detective Brooks Bigwarfe testified 25-year-old Nicole Vaisey drove herself to the sheriff's office while a massive search was on and confessed to the crime. The pair was arrested a few hours later last Friday night.

Vaisey was sent back to jail without bail on charges of second degree kidnapping.  Go to full article
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey have been charged with first degree kidnapping. Photos: St. Lawrence County Sheriff
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey have been charged with first degree kidnapping. Photos: St. Lawrence County Sheriff

Hearing set in Amish girls' kidnapping

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A woman accused along with her boyfriend of abducting and sexually abusing two young Amish sisters is due in court for a preliminary hearing.

Nicole Vaisey will be in court on Thursday. Her lawyer says she's a victim of an abusive relationship with 39-year-old Stephen Howells Jr.

Howells waived his right to a similar hearing. His case will go to a grand jury in St. Lawrence County near the Canadian border.  Go to full article
The house in Hermon where Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey live. Photo: Natasha Haverty
The house in Hermon where Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey live. Photo: Natasha Haverty

DA: "potential of other victims" of accused kidnappers

Investigators are sifting through mountains of potential evidence gathered at the St. Lawrence County home of a couple accused of kidnapping two Amish girls from their roadside vegetable stand last week.

Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey, of Hermon, are in county jail on charges of first-degree degree kidnapping.  Go to full article
Photo: Natasha Haverty
Photo: Natasha Haverty

Local residents respond to Amish girls kidnapping

It's been six days since the two Amish girls were kidnapped from their family's roadside vegetable stand. People in this rural part of St. Lawrence County have been living crime up close. Natasha Haverty spent some time in Hermon, where the alleged kidnappers are from. Yesterday, she spoke to residents there. She joined Todd Moe this morning.  Go to full article
SUNY Potsdam anthropology professor Karen Johnson-Weiner
SUNY Potsdam anthropology professor Karen Johnson-Weiner

Amish cope with tragedy and its "Big Media" aftermath

As the legal side of the kidnapping case kicks into gear, the St. Lawrence County Amish community is coping with the tragic ordeal.

An expert on Amish culture and religion says their coping hinges on the Amish sense of faith "by a deep belief that whatever is happening, they are in God's hands," says Karen Johnson-Weiner, an anthropology professor at SUNY Potsdam who has written several books about the Amish. "I think that provides them with a kind of courage that some of us might not have that keeps them from giving in to the despair."  Go to full article
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey have been charged with first degree kidnapping. Photos: St. Lawrence County Sheriff
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey have been charged with first degree kidnapping. Photos: St. Lawrence County Sheriff

More charges expected against Amish girls' kidnappers

More charges are expected this week against a St. Lawrence county couple who allegedly kidnapped two Amish girls. Police gathered evidence Sunday at the Hermon, NY, home of 39 year-old Stephen Howells II and 25 year-old Nicole Vaisey. Hermon is about a dozen miles south of Canton.

Howells and Vaisey were arrested Friday night following a massive search and investigation. They are charged with 1st degree kidnapping with intent to harm the two Amish girls, ages 6 and 12. They're in St. Lawrence County jail without bail.

The abduction happened Wednesday evening when the girls came out to attend to their family's roadside vegetable stand. The girls were set free about 24 hours later. But the prosecutor in the case says that was not before they were sexually assaulted.  Go to full article

Woman faces charges after car hits horse buggy

CLYMER, N.Y. (AP) A woman has been charged with drunken driving after her car crashed into a horse-drawn buggy in western New York.  Go to full article
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Amish farmers partner with Agri-Mark

Most of the North Country is losing population, and losing farms. But there's one group that keeps growing: Old Order Amish. They're drawn to the St. Lawrence Valley by the area's cheap, available farmland.

The Amish live an agrarian lifestyle that's more 19th century than 21st century. But in order to support their communities and their culture, the Amish have had to find a place in the local economy, including the dairy industry and an unlikely partnership with Agri-Mark.

Agri-Mark provides electrified milk houses where the Amish can deposit their milk. The partnership is expanding: Agri-Mark has built 4 new milk houses since June of 2013.  Go to full article
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Why more Amish aren't registering for the STAR exemption, and how it's getting fixed

New York state is urging people to re-register for their STAR property tax exemption before the deadline of December 31. Even if you've done it before, you need to sign up again - it's part of an effort by the state to curb fraud.

You can register online or by phone (here's how), but what if you don't have a computer or a phone? What if, say, you're Amish?  Go to full article
R. M. Doyon.    Photo:  courtesy the author.
R. M. Doyon. Photo: courtesy the author.

Books: "Thou Torturest Me"

Canadian author R. M. Doyon's new novel, Thou Torturest Me, is a sequel to his debut novel, Upcountry. Set in upstate New York, Upcountry fans will recognize many of their favorite characters in this second volume. Todd Moe spoke with R.M. Doyon from his home on Howe Island in the Thousand Islands. Doyon says his new book is filled with love, loss, hope and culture clashes between mainstream society and the sometimes misunderstood Amish.  Go to full article

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