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

Ivy Tech sets financial aid workshops

FAFSA must be filed by March 10 to meet state deadline for 2015-16 financial aid

KOKOMO – Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region is scheduling a series of workshops in Logansport, Rochester, Peru, and Wabash to help students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, for the 2015-16 school year, which begins Aug. 21.

State Education Superintendent Ritz to visit EPCS Jan. 30

WINAMAC - Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation has announced that Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will visit the local school corporation on Friday, Jan. 30.

The current schedule calls for Superintendent Ritz to arrive at the EPCS corporation office at 9:30 a.m., for a small meet and greet and official welcome to EPCSC and the Winamac area.

Chamber seeks nominations for 2015 Halleck Award

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the  2015 Dr. H.J. Halleck Community Service Award which will be presented this spring at the Chamber's annual meeting/awards banquet in March

Nominations for the 33rd Halleck Award will be accepted through Feb. 1.

Ivy Tech’s non-credit culinary classes combine food, fun

Spring semester series starts Feb. 3 

PERU – The holidays are behind us and the winter doldrums threaten. Perk up your schedule with some culinary adventures that combine food and fun in the culinary arts lab at Ivy Tech Community College’s Peru Instructional Site, 425 W. Main St.

The first session – which will help you “add flare and flavor with wine and spirits” – is set for 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3.

Civic Players announces auditions for 'Chicago'

LOGANSPORT - Auditions have been tentatively set for Civic Players of Logansport’s spring musical, “Chicago.”

Set in 1920’s Chicago, the show tells the story of murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows.

Fact Sheet issued for health coverage and federal income taxes

The following fact sheet was issued Jan. 16, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In preparation for the 2015 tax filing season, which officially begins next week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Friday a fact sheet detailing information Indiana tax filers need to know as they prepare to file their federal returns.

This tax season marks the first time individuals and families in Indiana will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health insurance on their tax returns. Consumers will have questions about this new process and the Administration is committed to providing the information and tools tax filers need to understand the new requirements.

PACE offers 2015 grants

Pulaski Alliance for Community Education (PACE) has announced that $60,000 is available for educational grants to eligible organizations. 

Organizations whose primary mission is public education may apply for grant funds. 

Ivy Tech Kokomo Region sets seminar series on relevant topics in agriculture

Kokomo Grain partnering on 10 free seminars to be offered throughout region

KOKOMO - Ivy Tech Community College is again partnering with Kokomo Grain to present free seminars on relevant topics in agriculture, expanding in 2015 to 10 sessions and adding Tipton County to Howard, Miami and Cass counties where the sessions were held in 2014. 

Extension Homemakers to offer craft, food workshops

The Pulaski County Homemakers Association will host a series of craft and food workshops in January and February, open to anyone who is interested in vintage finds, learning new paint techniques, and for those who like to cook. 

“We are very excited about these educational, fun and creative workshops that will be offered this winter,” said Natalie Daily-Federer, County Extension Director and 4-H Educator.

PCPL lists January events

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

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.


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Indiana News

Walorski supports legislation to combat human trafficking

WASHINGTON D.C. – This week, Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) supported a package of legislation to combat human trafficking.

The 10 bills were passed with bipartisan support and would help prevent human trafficking in the U.S. and internationally.

Feds approve HIP 2.0; coverage will start Feb. 1

INDIANAPOLIS – Federal officials have approved Gov. Mike Pence’s plan to provide health insurance to lower-income Hoosiers, despite provisions that require some participants to pay part of the premium.

Coverage under the expanded Healthy Indiana Plan – dubbed HIP 2.0 – will begin as early as Feb. 1 for individuals who qualify and sign up. As many as 350,000 Hoosiers are expected to qualify.

Prison inmates will no longer make license plates

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana prison inmates will no longer be a part of the license plate production process as of May 1.

The Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles ended its contract with a company earlier this month that had worked with Prison Enterprises Network, which employed the state prison inmates.

185,730 Hoosiers sign up for Health Insurance Marketplace

HHS encourages consumers to sign up before Open Enrollment ends Feb. 15

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 7.2 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace as of Jan. 16, including 185,730 in Indiana. 

“With just four weeks before the Feb. 15 deadline and the end of Open Enrollment, 185,730 Indiana consumers are counting on the Marketplace for affordable health coverage,”  U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said.

Indiana Hospital Association rolls out new hospital cost-comparison website

The Indiana Hospital Association has developed a new website that will help Hoosiers understand hospital billing.

The website can be found at and compares the costs of different hospitals across the state side-by-side, and illustrates hospital charge data in a compiled list.

Pence calls for balanced budget amendment, federal HIP 2.0 approval in third State of the State address

INDIANAPOLIS – In his third State of the State address, Gov. Mike Pence called for a balanced budget amendment that he says will protect Indiana from a possible economic downturn and will show Hoosiers their tax dollars are being spent wisely.

The proposed amendment – authored by Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek – will prevent the state from allowing recurring state spending from exceeding projected tax revenue.


Post News

Pleasant View Rest Home nominated for designation to National Register of Historic Places

The Pulaski County Historical Society has announced that the Pleasant View Rest Home (also known as the "county home") has been nominated for designation to the National Register of Historic Places.

The IDNR's Historical Preservation and Archaeology Committee voted Jan. 21 to nominate the landmark facility, built in 1881, to the national register.

Parents memorialized through new scholarship

Too often we take for granted all that parents do for us.  But in this case, the children of Don and Mary Good of Monterey have come together to create a permanent memorial to their parents.

The Pulaski County Community Foundation (PCCF) is pleased to announce the creation of the Don O. and Mary M. Good Memorial Scholarship.

Preschoolers, parents learn about literacy

The Head-Start Preschool students and parents attended a preschool literacy and dialogic reading program in January to learn more about importance of reading.  

The program was provided by Purdue Extension of Pulaski and Jasper counties.

NIPSCO extends option for customers to 'go green'

MERRILLVILLE - Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) has announced that its Green Power Rate pilot program, which launched in May 2012, has been approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission as a long term program.

The Green Power Rate program allows residential, commercial and industrial electric customers to designate 25, 50 or 100 percent of their monthly electric usage to be attributed to renewable energy sources. Commercial and industrial participants also have the flexibility to designate five or ten percent of their monthly usage.

Donnelly returns from official travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel

Bipartisan delegation focuses on national security concerns in the Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly Tuesday morning (Jan. 20) returned from a bipartisan Senate delegation to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).  

U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), Angus King (I-ME) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) were a part of the delegation. 

Sheriff Richwine announces deputy officers

New Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine, who assumed office earlier this month, has announced his deputy officers.

Along with the sheriff, the team will be led by veteran officers Barney Rausch and Chris Schramm.

Agriculture leaders convene for the inaugural Indiana Governor’s Agriculture Conference

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and nearly 350 agriculture leaders from throughout Indiana and the nation gathered Friday (Jan. 16) for the Inaugural Governor’s Agriculture Conference that featured national speakers from key sectors of the agriculture industry.

Pulaski County one of five communities awarded HCI grant

INDIANAPOLIS - Pualski County has been awarded a Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), Nathan Origer, executive director of the Pulaski County Economic Development Commission, announced late Monday.

Pulaski County is one of six communities to participate in the first-ever HCI.

Pulaski County Community Foundation Board adds directors

Pulaski County Community Foundation (PCCF) Board welcomes three new directors in 2015.  

Incoming members are:  Missy Culp, farmer/bookkeeper; Carola Forsythe, retired nurse; and Shane Pilarski, Alliance Bank vice president/controller.  

Zellers named new Winamac town manager

The Winamac Town Council has named Brad Zellers as its new town manager. 

Zellers is a 20-year veteran of the town's wastewater treatment plant, acting as its supervisor for the past 13 years.

Endowment established for Animal Center

A permanent endowment has been created to provide support to Pulaski Animal Center (PAC), a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

The new fund comes just over a year since a temporary start-up fund was created in the Pulaski County Community Foundation to accept donations toward a facility for abandoned and stray animals.