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

County officials to conduct 'open discusssion' on county home status

The Pulaski County Commissioners and County Council will meet in a joint special session at 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, to hold an open discussion with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology regarding the Historical Landmark status of the Pleasant View Rest Home.

The session will take place at the courthouse in Winamac.

Early (absentee) voting runs now through Nov 3

Early (absentee) voting will run from Tuesday, Oct. 7 through 12 noon, Monday, Nov. 3.

Hours will be 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., weekdays. Saturday voting will be offered from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. Early voting will be conducted at the courthouse in Winamac.

Veterans program Nov. 6 at Winamac library

A special veterans program, "Honoring Our Heroes," will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Pulaski County Public Library, Winamac.

Bob Hoffman and Mick Hofman will share history and and help the library dedicate its "Our Heroes' Tree."

Girl Scouts to hold supply drive for Pulaski Animal Center

Girl Scout Troop No. 47607 will hold a "supply drive' to benefit the Pulaski Animal Center (PAC) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, at the PAC, located on U.S. 35 N, Winamac.

This service project will be the culmination of the fifth-grade girls' hard work to earn their Bronze Award (the third-highest award a Girl Scout can earn). The Scouts will be present to collect the donations.

‘Back to College Night’ for adults set at Kokomo-Howard County Public Library

Ivy Tech representatives to share information on enrollment, financing options

KOKOMO - Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region representatives will be on hand for a “Back to College Night” for adults from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

Faculty members Sarah King and Cody Mullins are serving on special assignment this year on the Ivy Tech recruiting staff. At the Nov. 10 meeting, they will bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm that can ease the journey back to college. They will be available with information on various degree programs and the enrollment process as well as options for financing higher education that make going to college more feasible for working adults and parents.

Pulaski County unemployment rate continues to drop in September

Pulaski County's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in September, down from 4.2 percent in August, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Tuesday (Oct. 21). The rate was 5.7 percent a year ago. The county has 6,491 employed persons in a labor force of 6,878. Last month those numbers were 6,588 of 6,878.

The state's September rate dipped to 5.7 percent (seasonally adjusted), down from 5.8 percent in August. The September 2013 rate was 7.3 percent. The U.S. rate slipped to 5.9 percent, from 6.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) in August. A year ago, the national rate was 7.2 percent.

Winamac Community HS to stage 'Rebel Without A Cause'

The Winamac Community High School drama department will present Rebel Without A Cause, the stage version of the classic 1955 James Dean film, in three performances Nov. 7-9.

The plot follows three teenagers through a series of escalating events as they search for self-identity and a solution to the age-old generation gap dilemma.

PCHS seeks donors, volunteers for annual holiday assistance projects

CLASP's annual Toy Store will be Saturday (Dec. 13),  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Pulaski County Human Services (PCHS), on the corner of Pearl and Logan streets, Winamac.

Anyone who would like to volunteer the day of the Toy Store and Gift Distribution is welcome to do so. Contact Human Services by calling 946-6500 or email at

CASA seeking volunteers to advocate for abused, neglected children

The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program in Pulaski County is in need of volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the legal system.

CASA volunteers are specially trained and provide information that helps judges make informed and timely decisions about what is best for an abused or neglected child, whether it be foster care, reuniting with parents, or adoption. 

Property taxes due Nov. 10

Pulaski County taxpayers are reminded by county treasurer Lynette Wilder that the second installment of property taxes are due Monday, Nov. 10.

The taxes may be paid at several locations around the county, or mailed to the treasurer's office at the county courthouse in Winamac.

Ivy Tech Corporate College to offer Professional Food Manager course

KOKOMO - Ivy Tech Corporate College will offer multiple opportunities to take its two-session Certified Professional Food Manager Course in Logansport, Kokomo, Peru, Tipton, Wabash, and Winamac between now and next June.

The eight-hour instructor-led training course is designed to lead to the CPFM certification for participants.

New 4-H enrollments dates listed for Pulaski County

Pulaski County 4-H enrollment will start on Nov. 1 and run through Jan. 15, 2015. 

New and current 4-H members can enroll by going online at or by picking up an enrollment card at any of the local schools or the Extension Office. There is a $15 state program fee for each 4-H member to enroll in 4-H. Mini 4-H members are exempt.

Pulaski County featured in second television program

A second television program featuring Pulaski County, ExtraordINary Indiana, has now been released for broadcast around the state on various local PBS stations, reports Nathan Origer, executive director of the Pulaski County Economic Development Commission.

The five-segment show can be seen at the ExtraordINary Indiana website here; or now also on YouTube, here.


Indy Star Top Stories

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Indiana News

Statewide candidates take to TV to spread message

INDIANAPOLIS – With no race of national interest on the ballot in Indiana, the TV ad wars that accompany most election seasons have been largely missing.

But the men and women running for state treasurer, auditor and secretary of state are trying to fill the void and nab voters’ attention.

Arkansas, other states experiment with Medicaid options

Less than a year after low-income Arkansans started receiving health coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s controversial Medicaid expansion, the state is declaring its so-called “private option” experiment a success.

Hospitals saw fewer uninsured patients, state coffers were spared millions in health care costs and private insurers reported record-low premium hikes. Most important, Arkansas’ uninsured rate fell from 23 percent to 12 percent, the sharpest drop in the country.

2015 Indiana State Fair to be 'Year of the Farmer'

Partnership with Dow AgroSciences offers opportunity to promote farming all year long

INDIANAPOLIS – It started with corn. It continued with pigs. The Indiana State Fair has subsequently featured tomatoes, trees, soybeans, dairy cows and popcorn during its annual summertime celebration, and now it plans to promote the one thing that all these commodities have in common – the farmer.

State Fair and Dow AgroSciences executives, alongside Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Monday (Oct. 27) declared 2015 to be the Year of the Farmer presented by Dow AgroSciences culminating at the State Fair in August.

6 things to know about Indiana’s new scooter law

INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of Hoosiers who drive scooters and mopeds will face new restrictions and requirements starting Jan. 1 and state officials say licenses branches will be ready to accommodate them.

The law requires moped drivers to be at least 15 years old. And it means those who don’t have a driver’s license – whether because they’re too young or lost it after a drunken driving arrest – will need to take a test to become legal.

Pence won’t seek federal dollars to expand pre-K

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has opted to end Indiana’s bid for up to $80 million in federal pre-kindergarten funding, a move that appeases some conservatives as he mulls a 2016 presidential run.

Pence says he’s concerned about strings attached to the money. But Democrats complained Thursday that the Republican governor is throwing away an opportunity to expand a pilot program that is set to open next year to children in only five counties.

House GOP wants to rewrite school funding formula

INDIANAPOLIS – House Republicans say they will work in 2015 to boost money for public schools and rewrite the formula that distributes those dollars to try to reduce the gap between the state’s highest and lowest funded districts.

The move could mean a shift in funding from some of the state’s urban districts – and those with the highest concentrations of poverty – to suburban and rural districts. But House Speaker Brian Bosma said the goal will be to increase the funding overall so no district suffers considerably.

Pence says he’s confident Hoosier health workers can handle Ebola

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence appeared on a webcast with health care workers Thursday (Oct. 9) to talk about Ebola and the state’s preparations should the disease arrive in the state.

“At this time, we have no reported cases of Ebola virus in Indiana,” Pence said. “However, there is no doubt that the Ebola virus has been a cause for international concern and is a growing concern here in the U.S., now more than ever.”

Gay marriage now legal in Indiana, high court opts not to review lower court decision

INDIANAPOLIS – Gay marriage is now legal in Indiana.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Monday (Oct. 6) an appeal from Indiana and four other states, a move that leaves in place lower court rulings that legalize same-sex unions.


Post News

Who's on my election ballot?

The U.S. "mid-term" General Election will be Tuesday, Nov. 4.

For Pulaski County voters, election contests include U.S. Congress (Dist. 2), three state offices (secretary of state, auditor and treasurer), State Representative (Dist. 16), several county offices, Winamac Town Council; Culver, Eastern Pulaski and West Central school boards, and township offices.

For US House freshmen, definition of success rarely includes legislation

WASHINGTON – Voters who live in an area represented by a first-time U.S. representative shouldn’t be surprised if nothing happens to bills from their congressional district.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, recalls orientation during his first days in Washington and being told that passing legislation as a freshman is “just not going to happen.”

NIPSCO: applications for Winter Energy Assistance Programs begin Nov. 3

Households in need encouraged to contact NIPSCO

MERRILLVILLENorthern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is partnering again this year with state agencies and other organizations to help connect families struggling to pay their heating bills this winter with available assistance funds.

Enrollment for the federal low income energy assistance program begins on Monday, Nov. 3. 

How the safety net cuts poverty rates across the country

Without Social Security, the poverty rate among senior citizens in the U.S. would be more than 50 percent; instead, it’s just 14.6 percent.

For people of all ages, food stamps cut the poverty rate by about 10 percent, and they reduce poverty among those under 18 by even more than that. And refundable tax credits, many of which help the working poor, reduce the poverty rate among children by more than a quarter.

West Central 8th-graders experience 'Reality Store'

FRANCESVILLE - The “Reality Store” program provides students with a chance to learn about careers, and envision their lives at age 28.

Recently, West Central Middle School eighth-graders received an opportunity to experience the Reality Store - and for many, this experience quickly became a “reality check.”

Pleasant View website launched

A website has been created to keep the public informed of the happenings regarding the Pleasant View Rest Home.

The site,, is updated regularly and features a wealth of information to assist the public in making an informed decision about the future of the facility.

EPCS Board hears update on building project

WINAMAC – At its October meeting, the Eastern Pulaski Community Schools Board heard a review of improvements proposed from Russell Nichols and Todd Cass of Gibraltar Design, Indianapolis for the recently approved renovation project for the school system facilities.

The project is targeted to begin in spring 2015 and completed by October 2016.

Francesville man dies in two-truck crash

FRANCESVILLE - A Francesville man is dead following a two-truck accident Wednesday afternoon, southwest of Francesville.

Bruce Wheeler, 76, Francesville, died from injuries sustained in the crash after being airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital. Also injured was Keegan McMindes, 25, of Battleground.

iPads and Enhanced Wi-Fi at the Pulaski County Public Library

The Pulaski County Public Library is offering a new way to access its digital services: iPads can now be checked out for use at both the Winamac and Medaryville library branches. In addition, the library’s wireless network has been improved at each branch.

The library was recently awarded a Library Services and Technology Act grant in the amount of $8,531 to fund these new and improved services. The goal of this project is to expand access to the library’s digital offerings to all members of the community.

County Council votes to remove funding for Pleasant View

Council approves 2015 budget of $15.9 million

The Pulaski County Council has unexpectedly voted to remove funding for the Pleasant View Rest Home (the county home) in its 2015 budget.

The council approved the action in a 3-2 vote Monday night (Oct. 13) at its annual budget adoption meeting.

Winamac Community HS fine arts students attend leadership seminar

WINAMAC - Several Winamac Community High School band and choir students traveled to Concord Community High School in Elkhart last month to attend a leadership seminar led by famed lecturer, Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.

Dr. Lautzenheiser is the founder of Attitude Concepts for Today, Inc. Dr. Lautzenheiser has worked as a collegiate director, and was executive director of Bands of America. He has held seminars that have included over 2 million students nationwide.

IFB state convention on the road again

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual state convention will be held Dec. 12 and 13 in French Lick at the French Lick Resort. This year’s theme is “Get on Board.”

Indiana Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, with approximately 72,000 farmer members and 182,000 associate members. Approximately 1,200 are expected to attend the meeting.

Fall leaf colors mostly on schedule, but rainy weather taking toll

INDIANAPOLIS - The fall color display for trees is on schedule across most of Indiana, although recent cool, rainy and windy weather is likely to slow the color change and knock leaves from trees, according to DNR community and urban forester Carrie Tauscher.

The result could be a shorter viewing season.