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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

Memorial Day Service May 30

The annual county Memorial Day Service will begin at 11 a.m., Monday (May 30), on the courthouse lawn, Winamac.

Guest speaker will be VFW Post No. 1728 Commander Matt Garbison. The American Legion and VFW auxiliaries will place wreaths at the war memorials.

 
Sheriff's department memorial service May 31

 

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office will hold its annual memorial service at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, at the front entrance of the Pulaski County Justice Center, Winamac.

The memorial service will be held to remember and honor the three officers who were killed in the line of duty while employed at the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

 
West Central HS commencement May 29

FRANCESVILLE - The 49th annual commencement exercises at West Central High School will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (May 29), in the school gymnasium. Diplomas will be presented to 56 graduates.

The program will open with a baccalaureate service, sponsored by the West Central Ministerial Association, followed by the commencement ceremonies.

 
Winamac Community HS to award diplomas to 97 seniors

WINAMAC - Commencement exercises at Winamac Community High School will be a 7 p.m., Friday, May 27, in the school gymnasium. Diplomas will be presented to 97 seniors.

Speakers will include the Class of 2016 Valedictorian Madeline Murray and Salutatorian Emily Downing. The program will include the tradition of awarding several community scholarships. 

 
'Moonlight Over the Tippy' bike ride June 3

The Friends of the Panhandle Pathway will once again sponsor a "Moonlight Over the Tippy" bike ride on Friday, June 3.

The ride will begin with a mass start at 7 p.m., and conclude at 10 p.m. The ride will begin and end at the historic railroad freight depot in downtown Winamac.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate continues to improve

Pulaski County's unemployment rate improved in April, dropping to 5.1 percent, from 5.6 percent in March, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (May 23). The rate was 4.3 percent a year ago.

The county has 6,079 employed persons in a labor force of 6,408. Last month those numbers were 5,998 of 6,355. A year ago the numbers were 6,038 of 6,308.

 
Pulaski County Farmers' Market to run first, third Saturdays

A Pulaski County Farmers' Market is being organized this summer, to be held on the first and third Saturdays of the month, June through October.

The market will run 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 being sought.

 
PMH Safe Sitter class May 31-June1

Pulaski Memorial Hospital will hold its Safe Sitter Class, for youth ages 11-14, on Tuesday, Wednesday May 31-June 1.

The class will run from from 9 a.m. to 3 :30 p.m., both days, at the county highway deparment on U.S. 35, north of Winamac.

 
Plant a blue/gold Indiana Bicentennial Garden

Are you planning your bicentennial garden?

The Garden Club of Indiana’s state endorsed bicentennial project is a “Blue and Gold Floral Tribute to Indiana’s Flag.” All Indiana residents and businesses are encouraged to take part in this floral celebration. Any size planting—large or small, in ground or in containers—will show Hoosier pride.

 
Library's May events include Indy 500 celebration, free comic books, adult coloring

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for May. Events include a celebration of the 100th running of the Indy 500, a free comic book day, and more coloring for adults.

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

 
 

Indy Star Top Stories

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Indiana News

Racing to a victory: Indy sees tourism spike for 500

INDIANAPOLIS — When the green flag drops at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, there will be 350,000 race fans to witness the 100th running of the Indy 500.

For Dillon Kaller, 24, it’s surreal to experience the Indy 500 festivities in person for the first time.

 
The Indy 500 is a sell-out and that’s good for state’s economy

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in years, the Indy 500 is sold out.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway leadership made the announcement on the steps of the Statehouse alongside Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Friday (May 6).

 
Newly revealed panoramic photos of the first Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS ­— To mark the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the Indiana Historical Society is sharing panoramic photographs from the first race.

The four photos were taken by Charles F. Bretzman, the race’s first official photographer, at the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 30, 1911.

 
Major Salesforce expansion tied to RFRA fix

INDIANAPOLIS — Salesforce, one of the top technology employers in the state, plans to add 800 jobs in Indianapolis by 2021. The company also plans to move into Chase Tower and rename it Salesforce Tower.

“I want to say to the Salesforce of today and tomorrow across central Indiana—this is really your day,” Gov. Mike Pence said during the announcement Friday. “To the people of Indiana goes the credit for this win for Indiana, with this announcement.”

 
 

Post News

West Central HS presents awards to underclassmen

FRANCESVILLE - West Central High School held its underclass awards program Tuesday (Mary 24).

Honor roll, attendance and academic awards were presented to freshment, sophomores and juniors as follows:

 
Alliance Bank's Junior Board of Directors celebrate first term

FRANCESVILLE – Alliance Bank’s Junior Board of Directors, their families and school administrators assembled May 1, at North White High School Auditorium to celebrate their first term as a board of directors. 

Alliance Bank’s Junior Board of Directors is comprised of junior and senior students from North White, West Central, Winamac and Twin Lakes high schools, serving two terms as board members; one term as a junior and one term as a senior.

 
Plans on course for new community pool in Winamac

WINAMAC - More than half of the funds needed to build a new $643,000 community swimming pool have been raised, reports Winamac town councilwoman Judy Heater who heads a committee to steer and raise funds for the pool project.

Heater gave an update on the committee's progress to a group of interested citizens Tuesday evening (May 17)..

 
Winamac Community HS presents senior awards

WINAMAC - Sixty-four seniors were recognized Monday (May 16) at the Winamac Community High School Senior Awards Program for various academic and athletic awards, honor roll, and scholarships. 

The following is a list of various award winners:

 
West Central HS holds senior awards program

FRANCESVILLE - West Central High School seniors were recognized for various academic, attendance and honor roll awards, and scholarships at the Senior Awards program, Monday evening (May 16), at the high school.

The following is a list of the award winners:

 
CFPC meets Lilly GIFT challenge

The Community Foundation of Pulaski County (CFPC) has announced it has successfully completed Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) challenge

"When Lilly Endowment announced the newest phase initiative in the fall of 2014, it was the first experience for nearly the entire board of directors," said Wendy Rose, CFPC executive director. "It was also an extraordinary opportunity to impact our community by increasing the foundation’s grant-making capacity. Board, staff, and donors responded in amazing fashion and deserve deep appreciation for this accomplishment toward a brighter future for Pulaski County."

 
Winamac Community HS names top seniors

WINAMAC - Valedictorian Madeline Murray and Salutatorian Emily Downing will stand at the head the Class of 2016 at commencement ceremonies later this month at Winamac Community High School.

Madeline is the daughter of Tim and Joan Murray of Winamac, and Emily is the daughter of John and Denise Downing of Winamac.

 
EPCS Board discusses transfer student policy, textbook fees

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community School Board discussed policy on accepting transfer students at its monthly meeting May 9.

The board also adopted textbooks and set textbook rental fees for the next school year.

 
Longtime subscriber creates wall of 'TIME'

If it's important, you'll find it in TIME.

That one-time slogan for TIME magazine rings true for Mike O'Connor of Winamac who has subscribed to the venerable news magazine for over 40 years - since his college days at Indiana University.

 
Over 40 county residents complete Indy Mini

INDIANAPOLIS - Over 40 Pulaski County residents crossed the finish line in the running of the 2016 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis Saturday (May 7).

Leading the pack in Pulaski County were Joell Grisel of Winamac who finished in a clock time of 1:34.41, followed by Tasha Mitchell of Winamac, who ran the course in 1:36.57, and Anthony Chapman with a time of 1:46:20.