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Amish to build garage for pair who returned girls

RICHVILLE, N.Y. (AP) -- The Amish are famous for their barn raisings, when an entire community turns out to help a neighbor.

In northern New York, members of an extended Amish family plan to hold a "garage raising" for the couple who returned two kidnapped Amish girls to their home.

Jeffrey and Pamela Stinson tell the Watertown Daily Times ( http://bit.ly/1l8vUYL ) that the garage at their home in St. Lawrence County recently burned down while they were on vacation in Maine. The fire was believed to have been started by a stray cat knocking over a battery jumpstart box inside.

Earlier this month, the Stinsons were shocked when two Amish girls knocked on the front door of their home in Richville, about 15 miles from where police say the girls, ages 7 and 12, were abducted while tending to their family's roadside farm stand in Oswegatchie, on the Canadian border.

The Stinsons said the girls were cold, wet and so hungry that they quickly consumed a watermelon Jeffrey had just picked from the family's garden. The girls then asked to be driven to their home. After a brief discussion with his wife on how to proceed, Stinson decided it was best to take them home rather than call police.

"We never gave it any thought about implications or dangers," he said. "We knew they had to get home."

Two days after the girls were abducted on Aug. 13, police arrested a local couple and charged them with kidnapping. Police said Nicole Vaisey, 25, and Stephen Howells Jr., 39, of nearby Hermon, used a dog to lure the girls into the couple's car.

The girls, who authorities say were sexually abused, were released a day after being abducted when Vaisey and Howells were apparently spooked by an intense police investigation and media coverage, authorities said. The Associated Press isn't naming the Amish family members because it generally doesn't identify victims of sexual abuse.

The family plans to build the Stinsons a new garage later this week. The victims, their 11 siblings, parents, grandparents and other relatives are expected to be on hand, Stinson said.

The girls' father told Stinson that he would be offended if he could not help rebuild the garage.

"They won't take no for an answer," he said.

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buddwhyzr August 30 2014 at 11:50 AM

That will probably be the best built garage in the country.

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glencove August 25 2014 at 4:18 PM

Learn a lesson from this.We must show appreciation for good acts and not just say thanks and walk away. We can learn from the Amish.

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Pat Kenmir August 25 2014 at 3:47 PM

I lived in Pennsylvania for a couple of years and met quite a few Amish people and found them to be nice people overall. I noticed that they never used credit cards and always used cash. They always had lots of cash. They also had nice farms too. Never saw a light after dark in their house though. I used to meet many at the local Auction House on Saturday Night. This was back in the 80's.

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Jo Lavender Pat Kenmir August 30 2014 at 12:01 PM

One branch of my family owned a chain of restaurants in the Lancaster area of PA. The Amish are fair and honest in their dealings. Their children are as curious about "the English" as tourists are about their way of life. They are polite and kind, but they socialize very little outside of their own culture. We were more accepted than most locals because the restaurant bought their eggs and some produce from the Amish farms. The women were extremely curious about why I was not married at 20 and why I would want to go to college, let alone major in mechanical engineering. They were excellent cooks (think, "sticky buns" and "shoo-fly-pie") and are almost never idle. Either cooking, cleaning, washing up, sewing, quilting or other chores are always at hand.

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Jo Lavender August 30 2014 at 11:56 AM

WHY did you show the photos of the kidnappers/perverts instead of the people who actually returned the girls? Or, at least kept the mug shots of this cretin female and pedophile male OUT of the photo. Even a shot of the Amish building a barn would have been better than the free publicity you allow these two psychos.

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Jo Lavender Jo Lavender August 30 2014 at 11:56 AM


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