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

Independence Day fireworks July 4 at Winamac Community HS

WINAMAC - The annual Independence Day fireworks show will begin at dusk (about 10 p.m.), Monday, July 4, at the Winamac Community High School practice football field.

The south parking lot by the baseball field will be closed. The public should park in the lots behind the high school and elementary school (do not park on grass). All are asked to be respectful and to please clean up after themselves

Red Cross to accept blood donations July 19, 20

Pulaski County residents will have two opportunities in July to donate blood for the American Red Cross.

The first will be from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 19, at West Central Elementary School, Francesville; and the second will be from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Winamac.

Rain showers not adequate for crops

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Rain showers were not substantial enough in Indiana last week to prevent the effects of prevailing dry conditions for the season, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

A few counties received localized and heavy amounts of rain while other counties remained dry. Crops continued showing signs of drought stress causing farmers to use irrigation to water crops. In most areas, spotty showers are not enough to combat these dry and hot conditions.

4-H Fair Parade July 5

The annual Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair Parade, with the theme "4-H, a Field of Opportunity," will step off at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 5, in downtown Winamac.

The grand marshal of the 2016 parade will be longtime Pulaski County businessman, Kiwanis Club member and active 4-H supporter, Paul Gilsinger. The parade is organized by the Winamac Kiwanis Club. Late entries will be accepted up to an hour before parade time.

Winamac residents reminded of fireworks ordinance

The Winamac Town Council adopted a fireworks ordinance in 2008, regulating the use of consumer fireworks, and as the Independence Day holiday approaches, residents are reminded of the ordinance's provisions.

The ordinance is intended to protect public health and safety, and to prevent the disturbance of the peace of property owners and residents.

Farmers may enroll now in INFA program

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has announced that INfield Advantage (INFA) is in the middle of enrolling growers and their corn fields in the 2016 program. This year the program covers about two-thirds of the state with 35 local groups.

Each local group is organized by a local contact person, either an ISDA Division of Soil Conservation Resource Specialist or a staff person from one of the other Indiana Conservation Partnership organizations. In Pulaski County, the local contact is Ashley Brucker, district support coordinator for the Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Plans continue for NIPFP Legacy Project on 200 years of Hoosier agriculture

WINAMAC - The Northern Indiana Power from the Past's 2016 Antique Power Show will present a special Indiana Bicentennial Legacy exhibit showcasing 200 years of Hoosier farming.

Area residents are invited to contribute and assist with the exhibit which will transport visitors from 1816, the dawn of Indiana’s statehood, and move them through 200 years of agricultural history.

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.

Library June programs include visit of the Bicentennial Barn Quilt

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for June, which include the "Celebrate Indiana" summer learning program, introduction to Geocaching, a watercolor class, and a visit of the Bicentennial Barn Quilt.

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

PMH Senior Care helps senior citizens with mental health issues

Pulaski Memorial Hospital's new Senior Care program can help senior citizens with mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, fear and worry lasting more than two weeks. It also assists with grief issues.

Program director Mindy Shidler, RN, hopes to spread information about the Senior Care program throughout the community.

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.


Fair News

Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair runs July 1-7

The annual Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair will run Friday, July 1 through Thursday, July 7, at the county fairgrounds in the Winamac town park.  

The motto for the 2016 fair is 4-H: A Field of Opportunity. Highlights of this year's fair, in addition to the 4-H exhibits and judging, will be a tractor pull, kiddie carnival, youth talent show, country music entertainment, fair parade, 4-H Auction,

18 youth complete 10-year 4-H careers

Pulaski County has hundreds of youth in the 4-H program, but only a select few will make the committment to participate in all 10 years of elgibility. At the 2016 Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair, which begins Friday (July 1), eighteen 4-H'ers will complete their 10th year in this national program which teaches life-long values and skills which will guide them as they enter adulthood.

They will be recognized at the 4-H Recognition Program at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 2, at the entertainment stage in the fairgrounds.  All are invited to attend. 

Final concert lineup announced for State Fair Free Stage, Aug. 5-21

INDIANAPOLIS – An amazing lineup has been fully revealed for 17 days of national entertainers on the Free Stage at the 2016 Indiana State Fair, which will take place Aug. 5-21.

Each day of the Fair features a concert that is free with paid State Fair admission. Each show allows concertgoers the opportunity to experience top-level talent in an intimate outdoor setting. 


Indy Star Top Stories

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Indystar - Today's Top Stories

Indiana News

New state law: New hurdle for purchasing cold medicine

INDIANAPOLIS – A trip to the pharmacy to pick up cold medicine won’t be the same come next month.

Starting July 1, customers must have a relationship on record with a pharmacist to access ephedrine or pseudoephedrine without prescription. According to the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, this means the customer must have had a prescription filled at that pharmacy, or the customer must have previously purchased ephedrine or pseudoepherine at that pharmacy.

Hillary Clinton to visit Indianapolis Sunday

INDIANAPOLIS — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will speak in Indianapolis Sunday to hundreds of mayors from across the country.

Clinton is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 84th annual meeting at the J.W. Marriott at 4:30 p.m.

Bicentennial literary map honors Indiana writers

INDIANAPOLIS — Many Hoosier writers have put Indiana on the map, so maybe it’s only fair that the Indiana State Library has decided to return the favor.

The Indiana Literary map was created by Indiana State Library in partnership with several literary organizations to feature outstanding writers in the history of Indiana, as well as, contemporary writers.


Post News

Bicentennial Barn Quilt on display in Winamac June 27-30

Recently completed by quilters from across Indiana, the Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt is an official Bicentennial Legacy Project and part of the state's 200th birthday celebration.

The quilt will be on display in Winamac June 27-30, at the Pulaski County Public Library.

Alliance Bank welcomes three new staff members

FRANCESVILLE - Chassidy Sparks, Lila Fritz and Cathy Drake-Seymour recently joined the Alliance Bank team.

Chassidy joined the Alliance Bank team with an extensive customer service background and will be working as a loan assistant. Lila brings her strong administrative background and is joining Alliance Bank’s bookkeeping team. Cathy joins the bank as an accountant, bringing 24 years of accounting and business experience.

EPCS Board to pursue new food services director position

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community School Board decided to pursue a new position of food services director during its June meeting Monday evening.

Superintendent Dan Foster recommended the position and presented a job description. He discussed hours, expenses and the scope of the position with the board.

Francesville residential fire claims a life

FRANCESVILLE - The Pulaski County Sheriff’s office is investigating a fatal fire that occurred early Thursday morning (June 9), in the 200 block of Yellow Street, Francesville. 

The name of the victim has not been released, pending identification and notification of the family.

Iris-Elm celebrates National Garden Week

In celebration of National Garden Week, Iris Elm Garden Club presented the Pulaski County Public Library a copy of the National Garden Clubs book, The Frightened Frog An Environmental Tale.

The text includes fun frog facts, a story describing the challenges of being a frog, and ways children can "Leap Into Action" to help protect, preserve and support frog and amphibian habitats in their own backyard.

Coleman, Harper meet with local Democrats

WINAMAC - Lynn Coleman, congressional candidate for Indiana Dist. 2, and Jim Harper, candidate for state senate Dist. 5, met with the Pulaski County Democrats at their monthly meeting Saturday (June 4), in Winamac.

Coleman will face incumbent Jackie Walorski in the November election, while Harper will challenge incumbent Ed Charbonneau.

West Central releases three teachers under reduction-in-force policy

FRANCESVILLE - The West Central School Board has invoked its reduction-in-force policy and cancelled three teaching contracts, effective at the end of the school year.

The board took the action due to declining enrollment at the school corporation, and a projected decline in revenue and expenditures.

Winamac Council approves park board members

WINAMAC - In a special meeting Tuesday morning (May 31), the Winamac Town Council appointed a four-member park board.

The members of the town's new parks and recreation board will be Republicans Brad Zellers and Chris Schramm, and Democrats Courtney Poor and Jon Chapman.

Winamac Community HS awards diplomas to 97 seniors

Scholarship winners announced

WINAMAC - Commencement exercises at Winamac Community High School was Friday, May 27, in the school gymnasium. Diplomas were presented to 97 seniors.

Speakers included the Class of 2016 Valedictorian Madeline Murray and Salutatorian Emily Downing. The program included the tradition of awarding several community scholarships. announces location change has announced a change in its primary operating location.

Owner/editor Karen Fritz has moved the community website's "headquarters" from the Market Street office in downtown Winamac to her farm home in rural Winamac.

Jim Harper announces candidacy for Indiana State Senate

Jim Harper has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Indiana State Senate, 5th District, which includes Pulaski County.

Harper, a Valparaiso resident, said he is running to bring “new energy and independent leadership to the state senate.”

West Central HS commencement May 29

FRANCESVILLE - The 49th annual commencement exercises at West Central High School were held Sunday (May 29), in the school gymnasium. Diplomas were presented to 56 graduates.

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