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

Online scholarships available through CFPC

Scholarship applications for 2017 graduates will be available online through the Community Foundation of Pulaski County starting Friday, Jan. 27.  

Applications are found on the Community Foundation’s website at

Special Olympics Chili Cook-Off Jan. 28

Pulaski County Special Olympics will hold a Chili Cook-Off from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Star City Community building.

Individuals and organizations are invited to enter the cook-off for a chance at the top prize of $100. Judges will be those who attend the event and purchase $5 "Taster Tickets." Sandwiches, drinks and desserts will also be available.

PCHS to show Buster Keaton silent movie classic 'The General' Feb. 3

The silent movie classic The General, starring Buster Keaton, will be shown at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3, at the Vurpillat Opera House, Winamac.

As a special treat, live theater organ accompaniment will be provided by Mark Noller of Manteno, Ill.

Library's January programs include a snowflake craft, nutrition for 2017

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

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

Ivy Tech to offer Microsoft Office training series

KOKOMO - Ivy Tech Community College is offering a Microsoft Office training series starting in February that will offer introductory classes in four popular Microsoft Office 2013 programs, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

“Many jobs require at least a basic skill level in these Microsoft Office programs,” said Stephanie Reitan of Ivy Tech’s Workforce Alignment staff. “If you want to learn how to use certain programs or are looking to brush up on your skills, our MS Office training series is for you.”

Shefiff's office begins raising money for scholarship fund

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has begun raising money to start a scholarship fund for Pulaski County high school graduates.

The scholarship will be available to students interested in studying law enforcement from Winamac and West Central high schools. The sheriff’s office needs to raise $10,000 to transfer the scholarship to the Community Foundation of Pulaski County where the scholarship will be self-sustaining.

Historical Society to hold membership drive in January

The Pulaski County Historical Society welcomes new members as it approaches its annual membership drive in January.

The Historical Society relies on its membership to make the history of Pulaski County come alive today.

INFB Young Farmers to meet

INDIANAPOLIS - Registration is open for the 2017 INFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, Jan. 27-29 in Indianapolis. 

The conference theme is “Step Up for Ag.”

Pulaski County unemployment rate rises to 4.2% in November

Pulaski County's unemployment rate jumped to 4.2 percent November, up from 3.7 percent in October, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (Dec. 19). The rate was 4.3 percent a year ago.

The county has 6,093 employed persons in a labor force of 6,358. Last month those numbers were 6,070 of 6,305. A year ago the numbers were 6,118 of 6,391.


Indiana News

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and find out

As Donald Trump takes office as the 45th president of the U.S., let’s test your knowledge of presidential history.

For instance, did you know Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within an hour of each other on the 50th anniversary of America’s independence?

Indiana Chamber submits list of repeal requests to Pence

INDIANAPOLIS — With a Hoosier connection to the White House, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is leveraging its Indiana ties.

The chamber submitted a list of regulations it wants repealed by President Donald Trump’s administration, because they argue they are “detrimental” to Hoosier businesses.

Holcomb outlines goals in 'State of State' address

INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Eric Holcomb called for a pay raise for the Indiana State Police Tuesday (Jan. 17) at his first State of the State address, which got him a standing ovation from his audience of lawmakers, state officials, and friends and family.

“One fundamental obligation of government is to take care of those who serve and protect us,” Holcomb said. “So we’re going to give a well-deserved pay raise to the Indiana State Police.”

Donnelly, Walorski take stands on health care

In separate news releases, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski have outlined their positions on Congressional efforts this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Donnelly says he opposes the effort to "take health care away from Hoosiers," while Walorski has voted for the first step to "repeal and replace Obamacare.

Indiana residents now 'Hoosiers' instead of 'Indianans' in government style guide

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young announced Thursday (Jan. 12) that the Government Publishing Office has changed the designation of Indiana natives to “Hoosiers” in the new federal government style guide.

The style guide currently uses the term "Indianan."

IHS Marks 100th Anniversary of U.S. Entry into WWI

New exhibit features Hoosier letters, diaries, postcards and interviews

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I with a new exhibit that examines the war through the lens of what Hoosiers left behind.

The exhibit, The Great War through Hoosier Eyes, includes original letters and diaries written by Hoosier men, women and children. It also includes reproductions of several dozen postcards saved by Hoosiers throughout the war.


Post News

CDC discusses west-side industrial project

The Pulaski County CDC (Community Development Commission) discussed snags with county government on its PC-CARE project at its January meeting.

The board also discussed plans for its annual public economic summit, and proposals for 2017 tourism marketing.

VFW receives Community Foundation grant

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1728 recently received a $7,500 grant from the Community Grants Fund through the Community Foundation of Pulaski County. 

This grant will go to support a new roof on the VFW building in Winamac.

Winamac hires Barr as new football coach

WINAMAC - Craig Barr has been hired as the new varsity football coach at Winamac Community High School.

The selection of Barr, a 1981 Winamac graduate and former Warrior quarterback who has 25 years of high school coaching experience, was made at Monday's school board meeting.

Police arrest four in connection with theft ring

Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office last week assisted with a multi-jurisdictional theft investigation which resulted in four arrests in Pulaski County.

The investigation has led police to believe the subjects are part of a large-scale theft ring that has grown to involve multiple suspects who have committed crimes in Noble, Steuben, Starke and Pulaski counties, along with two counties in Michigan.

West Central Board approves teacher contracts

FRANCESVILLE - The West Central School Board approved its teacher contracts at its monthly meeting Jan. 5.

Teacher salary is based upon 2015-16 evaluations, which is based upon the state ISTEP and state assigned letter grades for schools. This information was released by the state in December.

Police seek help in solving burglary cold case

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is seeking public assistance in solving a four-year-old burglary case involving a Winamac residence. A $2,000 reward is offered.

On Jan. 8, 2013 county police investigated a burglary at the residence of Garry and Rhonda White on Crestview Drive, Winamac.

Remains of Pearl Harbor sailor, uncle of Kewanna woman, identified 75 years later

The remains of a U.S. Navy sailor killed in the Pearl Harbor attack 75 years ago, have been identified and returned to Pensacola, Fla. to be buried Friday (Jan. 6).

The sailor, Walter Henry Sollie, is an uncle of Iris Plowman of Kewanna.

Alliance Bank reflects on highlights of 2016

From Alliance Bank

FRANCESVILLE - As we all ring in a new year, it also beacons us to give pause for reflection on highpoints of the past year, observed Alliance Bank officials in an end-of-year news release.

It’s been a tough year for Alliance Bank given the illness and loss of president and CEO, Terry Stevens, and maybe that’s why, this year, a reflection seems so poignant.

Three arrested on methamphetamine-related charges

Three Winamac adults were arrested on drug charges Thursday (Dec. 22) at a residence northeast of Winamac.

The charges stem from a Pulaski County Sheriff's Office investigation in reference to manufacturing methamphetamine.