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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

Pulaski County unemployment rate at 4.1 in October

Pulaski County has state's fourth-best unemployment rate

Pulaski County's unemployment rose slightly to 4.1 percent in October, up from 4.0 percent (revised rate) in September, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (Nov. 24). The rate was 5.5 percent a year ago. The county has 6,565 employed persons in a labor force of 6,878. Last month those numbers were 6,491 of 6,878.

The state's October rate remained steady at 5.7 percent (seasonally adjusted), the same as September. The October 2013 rate was 7.1 percent. The U.S. rate slipped to 5.8 percent, from 5.9 percent (seasonally adjusted) in September. A year ago, the national rate was 7.2 percent.

 
Christmas Tree lighting, home tour to kick-off holiday season Dec. 5

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce will kick-off the holiday season with a Christmas Tree lighting and a Holiday Home Tour on Friday, Dec. 5.

The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m., on the courthouse square in Winamac. The home tour will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

 
Chamber's Winter Wonderland Dec. 6

Updated

Winter Wonderland, sponsored by the PulaskiCounty Chamber of Commerce, will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, in downtown Winamac. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The annual event will feature vendor booths, holiday entertainment, food and a parade - plus a special appearance by Santa Claus - to kick off the holiday season in Pulaski County.  

 
PCPL lists November events

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

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.

 
Call-out meeting for Mini 4-H Dec. 16

A Mini 4-H callout meeting for anyone interested in learning more about the Mini 4-H program will run from 5 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Pulaski County Highway Garage in Winamac

Families attending can learn more about Mini 4-H, make a Christmas ornament, and enjoy refreshments.  

 
PMH Auxiliary sets holiday events

The Pulaski Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will hold three holiday events in the next weeks, a Christmas Bazaar, it's annual Angel Tree memorial, and a Wakarusa Dime Store candy sale.

Proceeds from the events will benefit the PMH Auxiliary's community projects.

 
Pulaski County Democrats set holiday gathering

Also: Democrats announce winner of patriotic quilt raffle

The Pualski County Democrats will hold their annual holiday gathering at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 1, at the Star City Community Building.

The date was set at the regular monthly meeting on Nov. 1.

 
Blood donation opportunities Dec. 3, Dec. 15

Give something that means something – Give blood or platelets

The American Red Cross asks eligible donors to give something that means something this holiday season – a lifesaving blood donation.

 
Pulaski County Association of Churches to offer 'Blue Christmas' service Dec. 21

The Pulaski County Association of Churches will offer a “Blue Christmas" service at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21, in the lobby of Pulaski Memorial Hospital. All are welcome to attend. 

Have you ever felt left out of the celebrations surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas?  While everyone around you seems full of joy and happiness, have you ever felt like you just couldn’t join in?  You are not alone.  

 
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) application deadline Dec. 19

WINAMAC - Several Pulaski County farming operation have utilized  EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Progam)  to help them improve soil health and address soil erosion, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and other resource concerns on cropland, forestland, pastureland, and livestock areas. 

Now is the time to look at the EQIP program to assist farmers/landowners with various resource concerns. These could include conservation practices such as watering facilities, heavy use areas, manure storage structures, internal fencing, cover crops, no-till, and others. 

 
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 pchsjfrain@embarqmail.com.

 
4-H online enrollment open through Jan. 15

Pulaski County 4-H enrollment is underway and will run through Jan. 15.

New and current 4-H members can enroll by going online at https://in.4honline.com 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.

 
 

Indy Star Top Stories

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

Indiana News

Pence considers suit to stop Obama immigration policies

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Thursday (Nov. 20) the state will consider suing the federal government to stop President Barack Obama’s new immigration policies from taking effect.

In a statement, Pence – a possible candidate in the GOP presidential primary in 2016 – said state officials are evaluating Obama’s executive action, which is meant to defer deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants while focusing more law enforcement efforts on blocking or expelling illegal felons or gang members.

 
Feds say yes to original HIP, discussions continue on HIP 2.0

INDIANAPOLIS – Federal officials have given Indiana the OK to extend its Healthy Indiana Plan one more year – but have not yet acted on the state’s request to expand HIP to thousands more Hoosiers.

The action by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services means residents now signed up for the current HIP program can stay on it. But it does not change the program’s eligibility.

 
Pence appoints Mitchell to serve remainder of state treasurer term

INDIANAPOLIS -  Gov. Mike Pence appointed Kelly Mitchell Tuesday (Nov. 18) to serve as Indiana Treasurer of State for the remainder of the current term ending on Dec. 31.

Mitchell will complete the term formerly held by Richard Mourdock, and most recently occupied by Daniel Huge. Mitchell was sworn in Tuesday morning in a private ceremony in the Statehouse.

 
Forbes video: Mike Pence should run for president

INDIANPOLIS – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence should run for president because “he’s got the record and got the experience” to be a strong candidate in 2016, conservative media mogul Steve Forbes said Thursday.

“Why shouldn’t he look at it?” Forbes said after interviewing Pence for an hour on stage at a Forbes Reinventing America summit in Indianapolis. “He knows what it takes to get things done. He brings the legislative perspective, the executive perspective and the principled perspective and it’s a good combination.”

 
Video & story: Republicans to ‘tread lightly’ with bigger majorities in House, Senate

INDIANAPOLIS – Republicans celebrated Election Day wins that extended their legislative supermajorities to levels not seen for decades but pledged to be inclusive with the dwindling number of their Democratic colleagues.

House Speaker Brian Bosma – who will return to that post for the next session – said he has no plans to change the makeup of committee meetings or the levels of caucus staffing, even though Republicans now have more members in the House overall.

 
Number of students using vouchers jumps dramatically

INDIANAPOLIS – The number of students using state-funded vouchers to attend private schools has jumped by more than 47 percent this school year, according to preliminary numbers confirmed by state education officials.

In all, 29,146 elementary, middle and high school students – about 3 percent of the overall student population – are now using vouchers. That’s compared to 19,809 last year.

 
 

Post News

PCCF awards $37,000 to 12 organizations

The Pulaski County Community Foundation’s community grant cycle recently culminated in an awards presentation to 12 organizations.

A total of  $37,000 from the Community Grants Fund was awarded, the largest amount to date through the Community Foundation’s competitive community grant process.

 
ALCO to close its stores across 23 states

ALCO Stores, Inc. announced Friday (Nov. 21) that it will close all 198 of its stores in 23 states. ALCO has about a dozen stores in Indiana, including locations in Knox and Winamac.

The company had entered into voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings early last month.

 
PCCF to offer new scholarship

Winamac and West Central High School seniors who are Pulaski County residents and plan to attend a public or private post-secondary or trade school will want to be sure to apply for the new Pulaski County Community Foundation Scholarship next spring.

The scholarship is open to any student in good standing at his/her high school, and no GPA requirements or field of study restrictions apply. An award will be made to a student from each high school every year.

 
Young teen girl injured in pedestrian/truck incident

FRANCESVILLE - A 14-year-old rural Franceville girl was airlifted to Indianapolis Thursday afternoon (Nov. 24) with head injuries, following a truck-pedestrian accident along U.S 421 in Francesville.

Police have not released the name of the teenager who reportedly walked onto the highway just before she was struck by a semi-tractor-trailer truck.

 
Cost of Thanksgiving meal drops, according to INFB survey

INDIANAPOLIS - The cost for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in Indiana decreased from 2013 to 2014, according to an informal survey of grocery prices from Indiana Farm Bureau. This is the second year in a row the survey total has decreased.

The annual survey indicates that the average cost for this year’s Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $46.93, down nearly $1.19 from last year’s average of $48.12 and down more than $4 from the 2012 total of $51.05 (an all-time high for the survey).

 
Walorski, Donnelly, Coats react to President's immigration action

President Barack Obama announced broad executive action Thursday night (Nov. 20) to offer temporary relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants.

The following are statements from the Congressional delegation representing Pulaski County on the president's remarks:

 
Will you push the button for the World Soy Foundation this harvest?

ST. LOUIS - This harvest, U.S. soybean farmers will be spending countless hours in the fields - gathering a portion of the food and feed for the rest of the world.

As a farmer, seeing that tank on the combine fill up quickly with high-yield soybeans is sure to spark a grin, and pushing that button on the master control lever to pour part of a season’s worth of work into the bin brings an accomplished feeling.

 
Coalition work on big data is crucial to ag’s success

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock is proud to have participated in what may be one of the most important milestones the agriculture sector has seen in decades.

A coalition of major farm organizations and technology providers has announced an agreement on data privacy and security principles that will encourage the use and development of a full range of innovative, technology-driven tools and services.

 
EPCS board continues with building project plans

WINAMAC - Rusty Nicholas of Gibraltar Design, Indianapolis, presented a tabular summary of all the components of the upcoming Eastern Pulaski Community Schools building project, including the weight room, the socialtorium, and potential capital projects work in a report at the monthly meeting of the EPCS board Monday evening (Nov. 10).

The school board voted in September to proceed with the estimated $14 million school facilities improvement project, which is targeted to begin in spring 2015 and be completed by October 2016.

 
Elementary students 'Rock Out' for philanthropy

The Fans of Philanthropy Club (FOPC) recently held two after-school camps for elementary-age students ranging from first- through fifth-grade.

Thirteen students from Eastern Pulaski and 15 students from West Central elementary schools participated in the camps.