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


Local News Briefs

4-H enrollment runs Oct. 1 through Jan. 15

Pulaski County 4-H enrollment will begin Oct. 1 and continue through Jan. 15, 2017.

New and current 4-H members may enroll by going online at or by picking up an enrollment form at any of the local schools or the Extension Office in Winamac.

Health Department to offer Flu Shot Clinic Oct. 5-7

The Pulaski County Health Department will hold a flu shot clinic in Octobrer, open to children and adults on a first-come, first-served basis.

The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends a flu shot for anyone age 6 months or older.

Hot temperatures boost harvest

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Mostly hot and humid weather kept Indiana farmers extremely busy harvesting corn and soybeans last week, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Temperatures were above normal by 11.3 degrees, with the statewide temperature at 72.9 degrees. Although few rain showers moved through the region last week, it was just enough to keep the humidity levels high. Statewide precipitation averaged 0.02 inches, below average by 0.76 inches.

Nutrition Education program, with hot meal, Oct. 6

Purdue Extension Pulaski County will sponsor a Nutrition Education program, with a free hot meal, at 12 noon, Thursday, Oct. 6 in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church, Winamac.

During this program participants will learn about healthy eating using My Plate, portion control, label reading and fats.

Chamber holding candle sale fund raiser

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is holding a Gold Canyon Candles sale as a fund raiser.

Each candle is $20. Proceeds from the sale will help support Chamber programs. Deadline to order is Monday, Oct. 10.

Pulaski County to celebrate Indiana Bicentennial with three-day TorchFest Oct. 7-9

Pulaski County will officially celebrate Indiana's 200th Birthday with a three-day TorchFest the weekend of Oct. 7-9, in downtown Winamac.

The celebration will kick-off with the arrival of the Bicentennial Torch in Pulaski County on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 7.

'President Lincoln' to appear at TorchFest Oct. 7

As part of the Indiana Bicentennial TorchFest weekend in Pulaski County, "Abraham Lincoln" will visit Winamac on Friday evening, Oct. 7, to campaign for U.S. President - 1860-style.

The Pulaski County Historical Society has contracted with Famous Hoosiers to have Danny Russel portray Lincoln from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 7, at the Vurpillat Opera House.

Friends of Panhandle to hold pork sandwich fund raiser Oct. 8

Friends of the Panhandle Pathway will hold a pull-pork sandwich fund raiser Saturday, Oct. 8, during the Bicentennial TorchFest celebrations.

The boxed meals will be sold for $8 each, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Winamac Corner Deli on Monticello Street.

Pulaski County unemployment rate 4.7% in August

Pulaski County's unemployment rate rose slightly in August, up to 4.7 percent, from 4.5 percent in July, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday (Sept. 22). The rate was 3.9 percent a year ago.

The county has 6,213 employed persons in a labor force of 6,618. Last month those numbers were 6,179 of 6,469. A year ago the numbers were 5,999 of 6,241.

PCPL lists September programs, activities

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for September, which include library card sign-up month, coloring circle for adults, a computer class on Mail Merge, craft workshops and banned book discussion.

For more information on any program, call the library at 574-946-3432.

Are you registered to vote?

Voter registration for the November 2016 General Election ends Tuesday, Oct.11, 2016 at the close of the business day if in person at the county clerk’s office, or at midnight if completing an application online.

Those who have not voted in the last four or more years, or who have moved, changed names, or have never registered to vote have several options.

Pulaski County Farmers' Market open first, third Saturdays

A Pulaski County Farmers' Market has been organized this summer on the first and third Saturdays of the month, June through October.

The market runs from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, in downtown Winamac at the town parking lot on the corner of Logan and Main streets. Vendors are welcome.


Indy Star Top Stories

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Indystar - Today's Top Stories

Indiana News

Governor candidates 'polite' is debate on education

INDIANAPOLIS - The first debate between the three candidates for Indiana governor ended up showing off the similarities between Democrat John Gregg, Republican Eric Holcomb and Libertarian Rex Bell rather than the differences.

As they spoke before an audience of students, teachers and administrators at Lawrence Central High School Tuesday, the candidates were polite, but rarely rebutted or addressed the other candidates answers or policies.

Indiana Farm Bureau helps 'Pay it Forward' with donation to Indiana FFA Foundation

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance have donated $25,000 to the Indiana FFA Foundation.

This is a match for donations to the Pay It Forwardcampaign to retire the original loan on the Indiana FFA Leadership Center and continue to build the Give Hope Annuity which is the fund created to help with future capital projects of the Indiana FFA Leadership Center, located in Trafalgar, Ind.

Hoosiers choose covered bridge license plate

INDIANAPOLIS — With more than 330,000 votes cast, Hoosiers have selected a covered bridge design to replace the outgoing bicentennial license plate.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles let Hoosiers choose from three designs.

Indiana State Museum seeks photos for Veterans Day exhibit

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Museum wants Hoosiers to submit photos of veterans and active military personnel for a special Veterans Day exhibit.

The photographs will be used in a mural at the museum. They also will be posted on the museum's Facebook page.

'Bicentennial Visioning Project offers 50 ideas for Indiana's future

INDIANAPOLIS - With less than 100 days until Indiana celebrates its 200th birthday on Dec. 11, Hoosier leaders are looking ahead to the future of Indiana with a new project.

The "Bicentennial Visioning Project" is a book containing 50 ideas from more than 110 thought-leaders and subject-matter experts. The goal is for these ideas to help shape the state’s future.


Post News

Francesville elevator explosion injures two


FRANCESVILLE - A grain elevator employee and a truck driver were airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital with critical burns, according to emergency officials, following an explosion at a Francesville grain elevator Monday afternoon

A call reporting the explosion at the Tate & Lyle grain facility, located on the south edge of town, came in just after 2 p.m.

One-car accident claims life of Hamlet man

WINAMAC - A one-car accident claimed the life of a Hamlet man Sunday afternoon  (Sept. 25) and injured the driver.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office responded to a report received at about 3:22 p.m. of the incident near SR 39 and CR 100 S in Jefferson Township.

It’s harvest time: All drivers should watch out for slow-moving farm equipment

INDIANAPOLIS - With harvest season officially underway, motorists should expect to see more slow-moving farm equipment from Indiana’s 57,700 farming operations on Hoosier roadways.

Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana State Police (ISP), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), as well as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), are teaming up for the Be Alert, Slow Down, Share the Road campaign to bring attention to the need for more safety on Indiana’s rural roads.

Pulaski County CDC considers possible restructure

The Pulaski County Community Development Commission is considering its future structure and possible reorganization at the suggestion of the county council.

The matter was discussed at the CDC's monthly meeting Sept. 13.

Alliance Bank names Pilarski interim president/CEO

FRANCESVILLE-   With the recent loss of Alliance Bank president/CEO, Terry Stevens, Alliance Bank has made some changes, as called for in its succession plan.

The board of directors has announced Shane Pilarski has been named Interim president/CEO.

EPCS renovation project nears completion

WINAMAC - The two-year, $14 million renovation project at Eastern Pulaski Community Schools is nearing completion, and the school board heard an update of the final stages of the project at its monthly meeting Sept. 12.

The primary focus of the project is to provide necessary security for the school buildings, an improved, modern learning environment, and updated infrastructure efficiency and reliability.

Police chase, detain two Monticello residents near Francesville on burglary, drug charges

FRANCESVILLE - Two Monticello residents were held, and a third suspect is sought, on burglary and drug charges stemming from a police chase in the rural Francesville area, at about 2 a.m., Friday, Sept. 2.

Taken into police custody were Brittany L. Bonnell, 24, and William L. Naydol, 34, both of Monticello.

West Central School Board adds four honors math classes to courses weighted for GPA calculations; approves fall drivers education class

FRANCESVILLE - The West Central School Board has given its approval to add four honors mathematics classes to its list of courses for weighted grade calculations.

The action came at its September board meeting Thursday evening (Sept. 1).

Winamac Park Board discusses Octagon Pavilion; approves budget, advisory board

WINAMAC - The preservation of the historic octagon pavilion in the Winamac Town Park was discussed by the Winamac Parks & Recreation Board at its September meeting.

Board member Brad Zellers shared that he felt the 1892 octagon pavilion was the most historic part of the park. He suggested that white steel be placed on the outside of the building to preserve the inside.

Candidates assist with food pantry event

The Pulaski County Democrats were joined by two state candidates in volunteering to assist with the visit of the Food Finders mobile pantry that visited Pulaski county Friday (Sept. 2).

State Senae Dist. 5 candidate Jim Harper and State Representative Dist. 16 candidate Rich Ludington were part of the crew that served 85 local families.