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In March of 2003, during the Shock and Awe" military campaign, three American members of a Christian Peacemaker Team were injured in a car accident in the Iraqi desert. (One of those peacemakers, Cliff Kindy, is from North Manchester, Ind.. He came and added his memories to the presentation.) They were taken to Rutba, a Sunni-majority town whose lone hospital had been partially destroyed just three days earlier by U.S. bombs.

The peacemakers feared that they would be targeted for retribution. Instead, they were met with kindness and compassion. Dr. Farouq Al-Dulaimi, who treated their wounds, said, “We take care of everyone - Christian, Muslim, Iraqi, American. It doesn’t matter. We are all human beings. We are all sisters and brothers.” When it came time for the peacemakers to leave, Dr. Al-Dulaimi had one request: “Just go and tell the world about Rutba.”

In his book and his presentations, Barrett has been helping the peacemakers do just that. He emphasized that the barriers people erect between ourselves - along religious, national, political, racial, or economic lines - obscure the fact that, as humans, “we’ve got far more in common with each other than differences.”

Barrett, who spent 20 years traveling the globe as a wire correspondent, has found that to be true wherever he goes. The peacemakers in Iraq, he said, “discovered that ‘the enemy’ wasn’t the enemy.” Instead of being split by doctrinal and national differences, the American Christians and the Iraqi Muslims were united by the experiences and values they shared.

Barrett hopes that people take more from the The Gospel of Rutba than just a heartwarming story. Acknowledging our shared humanity requires us to reevaluate our own beliefs and actions, both individually and collectively, he observed.

Barrett expressed specific concern about U.S. military policy in the Middle East. On a return trip to Iraq in 2010, he spoke with one of the nurses who treated the peacemakers in 2003. Echoing what Barrett had heard around the region, the nurse said, “We love Americans, but we hate your violence.” With bombs and drones, the U.S. government fights terror by using weapons of terror

In doing so, Barrett believes the U.S. is only perpetuating violence and hardening the hearts of people outside the country. He looks to the Christian peacemakers as better examples of how to effect positive change in the Middle East. By going to damaged, destitute areas and acting with empathy to find common ground, Barrett calls these peacemakers “some of the best diplomats America has.”

This event was co-sponsored by the Pulaski County Public Library and the Winamac First United Methodist Church. The library has copies of The Gospel of Rutba available for checkout.

Article submitted by the Pulaski County Public Library

 
 
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Local News Briefs

July library programs include superhero training, online genealogical research

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for July.

All events will take place at the Winamac branch unless otherwise noted. For more information on any program, call the library at 574-946-3432.

 
4-H Fair Parade July 7

The annual Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair Parade, with the theme "Plant Yourself in 4-H and Watch Yourself Grow," will step off at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 7, in downtown Winamac.

The grand marshal of the 2015 parade will be Betty Kruger of Francesville. The parade is organized by the Winamac Kiwanis Club. Late entries will be accepted up to an hour before parade time.

 
Excess moisture damages crops

LANSING, Mich. - Prolonged floods and ponding in fields prevented farmers from applying much needed nutrients to stressed and deteriorating crops last week which continued to bring down crop conditions across Indiana, according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), Great Lakes Region.

While there was less rainfall across the state than the previous week, many crops remained in standing water.

 
Residents reminded of Winamac fireworks ordinance

The Winamac Town Council adopted a fireworks ordinance in 2008, regulating the use of consumer fireworks, and as the Independence Day holiday approaches, residents are reminded of the ordinance's provisions.

The ordinance is intended to protect public health and safety, and to prevent the disturbance of the peace of property owners and residents.

 
Francesville 'Spirit Day' garage sales July 11

FRANCESVILLE - The annual Francesville "Spirit Day" town-wide garage sales will be Saturday, July 11.

Headquarters for the event will be the fire station downtown where where refreshments will be served. Restrooms and a lost-and-found will also be at the fire station.

 
NIPFP Antique Power Show July 16-19

WINAMAC - The 38th annual Antique Power Show, sponsored by the Northern Indiana Power From the Past, Inc.(NIPFP), will run Thursday through Sunday, July 16-19, at the fairgrounds in the Winamac Town Park.

The featured tractor for 2015 show is International Harvestor and Equipment. Admission is $3, or $9 for a four-day pass. Children under age 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. The admission fee covers all daily events, stage shows and the horse pull.

 
Winamac town-wide yard sales July 18

WINAMAC - Town-wide yard sales, sponsored by the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday July 18, throughout Winamac - rain or shine.

The event has been scheduled in conjunction with the annual Antique Power Show that same weekend in the Winamac park. 

 
Rick Haschel Memorial 5K Run/Walk July 18

WINAMAC - The annual Rick Haschel Memorial 5K Run/Walk will take place Saturday, July 18, beginning at the Pulaski County Historical Society’s railroad freight depot on Main Street, Winamac.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Pulaski Memorial Hospice. Registration is $20 per person through July 16. Registration may be completed online here.

 
Pulaski County's unemployment rate 4.5% in May

Pulaski County's unemployment rate inched up to 4.5 percent in May, up from 4.3 percent in April, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (June 22). The rate was 5.3 percent a year ago. The county has 6,266 employed persons in a labor force of 6,558. Last month those numbers were 6,125 of 6,400.

The state's May unemployment rate dipped to 5.1percent (seasonally adjusted, down from 5.4 percent in April. The May 2014 rate was 6.0 percent. The U.S. rate rose slightly to 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 in April. A year ago, the national rate was 6.3 percent.

 
Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay torchbearer nominations now open

INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) and the Pulaski County Bicentennial Committee announced Friday (May 15) the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is now accepting torchbearer nominations from the public.

Torchbearer nominations recognize Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state.

 
 

Fair News

4-H Royalty to be honored July 4

“Plant Yourself in 4-H and Watch Yourself Grow” is the theme for the 2015 Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair which runs Friday, July 3 throughThursday July 9 at the county fairgrounds in the Winamac park.

One of the primary features of the fair is to showcase the projects completed by our 4-H youth - demonstrating what they have learned in this valuable program which develops talents as well as important skills and values. For many years now 4-H members have included “city kids” as well as “farm kids.”

 
Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair runs July 3-9 - with some modifications

Updated Friday, July 3

The annual Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair will run Friday, July 3 through Thursday, July 9 - mostly at the county fairgrounds in the Winamac town park, but with a few activities relocated or postponed due to the saturated ground conditions at the park..  

Fair officials announced an updated schedule late Wednesday morning (July 1).

 
Miss Pulaski County pageant July 5

Pageant location moved to socialtorium

Six young women will compete for the title of Miss Pulaski County 2015 at the annual pageant at 8 p.m.,Sunday (July 5), during the Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair.

Justine Kruger, Miss Pulaski County 2014, will crown her successor following a glittering evening of professional wear, evening gown and impromptu question competition.

 
Sixteen Youth to complete 10-year 4-H career

Pulaski County has hundreds of youth in the 4-H program, but only a select few will make the committment to participate in all 10 years of elgibility. At the 2015 Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair, which begins Friday (July 3), sixteen 4-H'ers will complete their 10th year in this national program which teaches life-long values and skills which will guide them as they enter adulthood.

They will be recognized at the 4-H Recognition Program at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 4, at the entertainment stage in the fairgrounds.  All are invited to attend. 

 
4-H Junior Achievers named

Each year the local 4-H club leaders are asked to choose a fourth-year member of their club who they feel has demonstrated the qualities of up-and-coming leaders. These qualities include character, willingness to help, achievement skills, leadership, and overall positive attitude. 

All of these Junior Achievers will be recognized at the 4-H Achievement Program at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 4 at the Entertainment Stage in the Fairgrounds.

 

Indy Star Top Stories

Indystar - Today's Top Stories
Indystar - Today's Top Stories

Indiana News

Pence surveys crop damage in Cass, Jasper counties

INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence visited northern Indiana Wednesday to survey damage caused by the recent heavy rainfall.

He met with Hoosier farmers in Cass and Jasper counties to see how much damage has been done and to gauge the potential economic impact for farmers across Indiana.

 
State ends contract with company enlisted to repair state’s image

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has decided to put an end to the contract with Porter Novelli and instead “focus resources on enhancing existing marketing efforts.”

Porter Novelli was hired to help restore the state’s image after fallout from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

 
 

Post News

State Climate Office: Indiana rains set record for month of June

WEST LAFAYETTE - Indiana set a record for rainfall in the month of June, with a state average of 9.03 inches, the Indiana State Climate Office said Wednesday (July 1). June also was the fourth-wettest of any month on record since 1895.

The rainfall surpassed the previous June record of 8.13 inches set in 1958. The climate office, based at Purdue University, said nearly all parts of Indiana received above-normal rainfall. Normal rainfall ranges from 4.1 inches to 4.3 inches across the state.

 
Hurt: Indiana crop losses now potentially up to $475 million

WEST LAFAYETTE - Indiana’s corn and soybean crops in a month of rain have gone from among the best to among the worst, with Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt now estimating that production could decline by $475 million.

Indiana has dropped from having above average corn and soybean yield prospects in the first week of June to well below normal at the end of the month, noted Hurt, who analyzed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report released Monday (June 29).

 
Donnelly visits Iraq as part of Congressional delegation

Senator will continue Armed Services travel through the week

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S.Sen. Joe Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, departed Iraq Monday (June 29) after traveling there with fellow members of Congress.

Donnelly participated in a fact-finding trip to meet with Iraqi leaders and U.S. military commanders on the ground to discuss operations against ISIS.

 
2015 scholars express their 'grad-itude'

Scholarship recipients give back 

Since 2011, graduating seniors have had the opportunity to give back to the community that has given to them all of their lives.

The Community Foundation organizes the annual Grads in Action program to allow them to do so.  

 
Winamac Council to fill in town pool

WINAMAC - The Winamac Town Council has decided to fill in the old town pool, located next to the YMCA.

At its June meeting, council member Judy Heater informed the council that the YMCA has no way to secure funds for a swimming pool, and suggested that the town fill in the pool. The council agreed. 

 
New name, logo for Community Foundation

The local community foundation has announced its new name and logo.

“Community Foundation of Pulaski County” may seem to be a very slight change from the former “Pulaski County Community Foundation,” but it is an important one, according to Wendy Rose, executive director. “The revised name identifies first what we are - a Community Foundation - and then the community we serve: Pulaski County.”

 
Kruger promoted at Alliance Bank

FRANCESVILLE - Ron Kruger, AVP/commercial loan officer at Alliance Bank has been promoted to vice president/commercial loan officer, company officials have announced.

Kruger works out of Alliance Bank’s Winamac office and is in his 24th year with the bank.

 
End-of-school-year field trips include sheriff's department

In the last month of the school year, children were busy exploring their community on a variety of field trips.

Among the destinations was the Pulaski County Sheriff's office in Winamac

 
Lt. Gov. Ag Trade Mission to China runs June 22-July 3

Delegation includes Francesville's Harvey Gutwein

NDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will lead an 18-member delegation of state and private sector agricultural leaders on a 12-day visit to China, departing on June 22 and returning on July 3.  

The trip will include visits with national and provincial government and agriculture leaders to promote trade opportunities for Indiana agricultural products. 

 
County Commissioners issue emergency declaration due to county-wide flooding

County-wide severe flooding has caused the Pulaski County Commissioners to issue a local emergency proclamation. 

The declaration was made at 12 noon Friday (June 19) and will remain in effect until such time the commissioners evaluate the hazard to be ended.

 
Quilts of Valor presented to 52 local veterans

Quilts of Valor were presented to 52 Pulaski County military veterans Saturday afternoon (June 13), at the Winamac Community Middle School gymnasium. 

This was the third year for the local program. Last year 39 local veterans were honored.