If a dozen or more terrorists held two women, 10 children, toddlers and a baby hostage for six hours, the event would be on television nationwide and on the front pages of newspapers the next day.
I suppose it would not mean so much to me if the victims were not my friends, as if they are my brothers and sisters. In fact, they are probably the most loving family I have met in many, many years. I cannot help but bring the story to the forefront again along with new details and nestling all the legal documents and video together in one place.
In this latest Update video, an investigative reporter interviews the victims and the sheriff’s office and includes video of their children and small farm.
It happened before Christmas 2008 at a food and health ministry for hungry families in Ohio. It was as if the family were bio-terrorists or something.
Three snipers with high-powered rifles were aimed at the home with ten children being homeschooled. Babies and toddlers were inside also. About twelve armed sheriff deputies along with agents from the Lorain County (Ohio) Health Department and the Ohio Department of Agriculture raided and ransacked the inside and held the family for six hours inside a room in their home outside Lagange, Ohio.
Food, computers and phones were seized from their private home along with 61 boxes of grass-fed beef and lamb were taken that was butchered, wrapped and labeled by a licensed and USDA inspected butcher shop and delivered the day before. According to the expired search warrant, deputies were to seize money and bank accounts. The storehouse of organic foods from a variety of suppliers as well as the personal food stock were taken as the terrified family watched.
Why? A dozen eggs had been sold after being coerced by an undercover agent. As anyone would say, “there is more to it than that”. Yes, there was more. The owners of the home, Jackie and John Stowers, and their Manna Storehouse, an organic food co-op inside, were alleged to have operated without having a retail food license.
But this event did not make the newspapers or television news much at all, leaving the public unaware to this day what occurred on December 1, 2008, not far from my house.
In homeschool, the children are being taught the 3Rs, as well as Greek and Hebrew. The two Stower teenagers raise the sheep and goats they care for and love so much. The authorities had apparently been tipped off as to their time to strike as the kids lambs were led to slaughter. This was so they could make the bust the day the packed meat was delivered to their home for distribution. Yes, the grinches stole Christmas-even the Christmas dinner, not for just the Stowers, but for many hungry families in the LaGrange area.
But where is the news media, the fair and balanced team?
Where is the Ohio health rule that states a private co-op who does not sell food but arranges for orders of food to be delivered at one location, is required to have a retail food license? There is none.
No charges have yet been filed against the Stowers and The Manna Storehouse. So, where is the beef? Has it been eaten? Or is it rotting in a leased storage facility?
Is this how the Lorraine County Sheriff protects and serves? Is this how the Ohio Department of Agriculture promotes sustainable, organic agriculture and small, family farms? And is this how the Ohio Department of Health and their county counterparts promote and protects public health through their food safety program?
Just who are the terrorists?
It will be a Christmas never forgotten for the Stowers families and the 12 children, including those of Katie, the wife of Chad Stower. Chad is serving America in the Iraqi War as a Navy SeaBee.
The official motto of the Seabees is “Construimus, Batuimus” – translated into English as “We Build, We Fight.” The Seabees have several unofficial mottos as well. Their best known unofficial motto is the simple phrase “Can Do!”
What will you do?______________________________________
Now meet John and Jackie Stowers:
more about “The Stowers tell their story”, posted with vodpod
Of course the “full story” is in the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER article with the expired Search Warrant and Sherrif’s Report here: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/12/lorain_county_sheriffs_office.html
The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Lorain County General Health District (LCGHD) have until about January 15, 2009 to submit an answer to the civil lawsuit filed by the private food cooperative Manna Storehouse LLC and its owners, John and Jacqueline Stowers (click here for a copy of the complaint). The civil suit was filed in response to a raid of the Stower’s residence and the Manna Storehouse conducted pursuant to a search warrant by the two agencies and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department on December 1, 2008. Law enforcement officials seized thousands of dollars in business and personal property, including over $8000 worth of the Stowers’ personal food supply.In the complaint the Stowers and Manna Storehouse ask for the return of all property seized and for an injunction against any further unconstitutional searches and seizures as well as an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the licensing requirements of the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code upon the cooperative. ODA and LCGHD both claim that the co-op needs a retail establishment food permit to operate legally Full Story from Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund.
(Because of new information, our headline has changed this week. In fact, it has already been called lies by some state personnel– “whining farmers, affiliated with liberal media and terrorists organizations”. The headline has changed from SWAT-like to SWAT, because there is no real difference, but they were trained by Homeland Security and at least one of the cars were marked SWAT, not to mention the three snipers aiming at the windows. It is a Food Ministry because the Manna Storehouse has administered and distributed wholesome, organic food through their co-op to private members for over ten years-not to mention a good dose of healthy soul food. It is being called a Health Ministry because it offers a healthier and reasonably prices food choices than those at the grocery store. Ask any one of their 300 customers how their health has improved dramatically. It is called a ministry for Hungry Families because most of the customers are children and because they are hungry for healthy, wholesome unadulterated food rather than factory foods with harmful and toxic additives. So we feel the headline is not sensationalism, but more accurate than “SWAT-like Team Raids Organic Co-op”.)