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General News

Manna Storehouse "S.W.A.T." story unfolds

By The Bovine  Posted by Linn Cohen-Cole (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Of further interest is the fact that the story was also reported Dec. 3, 2008  in a local newspaper, “The Morning Journal”. Interesting to read their “sanitized” version that sounds a lot like most other newspaper stories — kind of makes one wonder how heavily filtered all the other mainstream news is. Here’s an excerpt from that report, which is titled “Local Food Cooperative Searched by State”:

“PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP — An Ohio Department of Agriculture agent seized food, electronic devices and documents from a Pittsfield Township organic and natural food cooperative believed to be unlicensed, according to a search warrant filed yesterday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

Jacqueline and John Stowers, owners of the Manna Storehouse, 43565 SR 303, were inspected in November 2007 by the Lorain County General Health District, according to court records.

On Monday, ODA enforcement agent William Lesho confiscated hundreds of pounds of processed beef and large amounts of lamb, turkey and other perishable products in addition to office files, a computer, two cell phones and other electronic devices, according to the search warrant inventory. The items were taken to establish the Stowers’ ownership in any property, records of hidden wealth or illegal income and anything that would establish illegal activity, according to the search warrant affidavit.

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Jacqueline Stowers declined to comment because she had not seen the court papers yesterday evening.

A health district sanitarian and two other inspectors visited the cooperative on Nov. 30, 2007, to make observations and were told to leave. Jacqueline Stowers wrote in a December 2007 letter to the sanitarian that the inspectors never had permission to be on their property and that the Manna Storehouse is not operating a retail food establishment that requires a license.

“We declare now that we do not want to be a ‘licensed retail food establishment’ or a ‘food service operation’ and we do not plan to become one in the future and that we will not knowingly conduct any activities that would require that type of licensing,” she wrote.”

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The comments that follow the web edition of this story are not so restrained, however:

Peacechicken wrote:

” THANK YOU for actually reporting this story. Every other Cleveland news outlet has ignored it.

You may also want to include the fact that a SWAT team held semi-automatic weapons at the Stowers’ families heads all day while the raid was conducted. They were also not read their rights and had items confiscated that were not included on the search warrant. Who needs Constitutional Rights, anyway? All because they wanted to eat and sell healthy food…

The Buckeye State has become a Police State. “

Sean wrote:

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” What a clear breech of their God-given rights! These people are being targeted by our police State because they are independent and not within the control of the State. People should be able to raise their own food as they see fit, without harming their neighbor, and be able to distribute it to their neighbor as well. God bless them for their work and all work like it, and may it be restored to its former condition. The State should pay dearly for persecuting its own citizens. Bravo to this paper too for publishing the story. “

Withheld wrote:

” We need to bombard the ODA’s inbox and telephones with messages. We will not stand for this. This is a constitutional violation up one side and down the other. Those poor babies that were held by gunpoint - who had no idea what the heck was going on - are going to have nightmares and anxiety for years to come!

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