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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

67 seniors to receive diplomas at West Central HS May 24

FRANCESVILLE - The 47th annual commencement exercises at West Central High School will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday (May 24), in the school gymnasium.

The program will open with a baccalaureate service, sponsored by the West Central Ministerial Association, followed by the commencement ceremonies at 2:30 p.m.

 
County Memorial Day Service, Monday, May 25

Service also planned at Francesville

The annual county Memorial Day Service will begin at 11 a.m., Monday (May 25), on the courthouse lawn, Winamac.

Cathy Fritz, of the WinamacAmerican Legion, will be master of ceremonies. Speaker will be Thomas Fanning of Michigan. Pastor Ruth Waite of the Star City Methodist Church will serve as chaplain, giving the opening and closing prayers. The American Legion and VFW auxiliaries will place wreaths at the war memorials.

 
Winamac Community HS commencement May 29

WINAMAC - Commencement exercises at Winamac Community High School will begin at 7 p.m., Friday, May 29, in the school gymnasium. Diplomas will be presented to 90 seniors.

Speakers will be Class of 2015 Valedictorian Hannah DeGroot and Salutatorian Francesca Niewiadomski. The program will also include the tradition of awarding several community scholarships. 

 
Scattered rainfall leads to planting delays

LANSING, Mich. - Scattered storms throughout the week ending May 17 across Indiana narrowed planting opportunities for corn and soybeans, but the warm weather was excellent for crop growth, according to the USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), Great Lakes Region. 

Humid weather coupled with rain showers kept heavy soil too damp to continue planting in some areas. Crusting in topsoil postponed planting for some, and led others to employ rotary hoes to help emergence. 

 
Elder L.E.A.D. workshop begins June 8

Pulaski County Human Services (PCHS), Inc. will hold a three-part workshop for persons age 60 or over, or personnel who work with the elderly.

The workshops will take place:  Mondays June 8, 15, and 22 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. (ET) at PCHS, 115 W Pearl St. Winamac. Lunch will be provided.

 
Big and Rich, KC & the Sunshine Band and Indigo Girls highlight the Indiana State Fair Free Stage

INDIANAPOLIS –What’s better than a free concert? A free concert held at the 2015 Indiana State Fair during the Year of the Farmer presented by DOW AgroSciences.

From the funky beats of Morris Day & The Time, to the anthem classics from the Village People and the great country hits from Craig Morgan; every fan will be singing aloud during the summer nights of the State Fair.

 
May library program topics include, protecting identity, nature photography, vision screening

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

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.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate drops to 5.1 percent in March

Pulaski County's unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in March, down from 5.7 percent in February, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday (April 22). The rate was 6.3 percent a year ago. The county has 6069 employed persons in a labor force of 6395. Last month those numbers were 6,047 of 6,410.

The state's March unemployment rate dipped to 5.8 percent, down slightly from 5.9 percent in February. The March 2014 rate was 6.0 percent. The U.S. rate remained steady at 5.5 percent, the same as February. A year ago, the national rate was 6.6 percent.

 
'Moonlight Over the Tippy' bike ride June 5

WINAMAC - The Friends of the Panhandle Pathway will sponsor a "Moonlight Over the Tippy" bike ride from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 5.

The ride will begin and end at the Winamac Train Depot where participants can ride up to 20 miles (roundtrip). A sag stop (turnaround point) will be located near Thornhope.

 
YMCA golf outing postponed to June 27

The Pulaski Family YMCA  golf outing Saturday, April 25 at Mystic Hills Golf Club has been postponed to Saturday, June 27

Cost is $50 a person with four-person teams. Cost includes green fees (18 holes), cart, refreshments, and contests of longest drive, longest putt, and closest to the pin.

 
 

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Indiana News

Get outside this Memorial Day weekend

INDIANAPOLIS - DNR campgrounds and cabins at state parks and state recreation areas are booked to capacity for Memorial Day weekend,

For picnics and other day-use gatherings, a few shelters at locations statewide remain available. Shelters not reserved 48 hours in advance are open on a free, first-come, first-served basis on the day of arrival.

 
BMV audit finds lack of centralized oversight caused fee errors, other problems

INDIANAPOLIS – An external audit of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles blames a lack of “centralized authority or oversight” for recent problems that have forced the agency to refund millions of dollars to Hoosiers.

In a 40-page report, the auditing group BKD listed eight key areas in which the BMV administration has been lacking. Most of the issues focused on ineffective or outdated technology used to manage BMV information.

 
Pence signs budget $31 billion, two-year budget bill

LEBANON, Ind. – Gov. Mike Pence signed a two-year, $31.3 billion state budget into law on Thursday (May 7) surrounded by kids at Perry Worth Elementary School in Hendricks County.

The bill means $460 million more for public schools and private school vouchers plus another $20 million in extra funding for charter schools.

 
Controversial common construction wage bill signed by Pence into law

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law Wednesday that eliminates the state’s common wage system – a move supporters say will make public projects cheaper and critics complain will depress pay for construction workers.

The change means market forces will determine the pay for workers on projects worth $350,000 or more.

 
How Gov. Pence fared on 4 key agenda items

INDIANAPOLIS – Lawmakers handed Gov. Mike Pence wins on nearly every piece of his legislative agenda during the 2015 session that ended April 29.

It was almost a sweep. And even some legislators seemed surprised by how well the Republican governor – who just weeks ago seemed crippled by a furor over a religious freedom bill – finished.

 
 

Post News

West Central seniors honored at Awards Night

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 18), at the high school.

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2015 will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 24.

 
Community Foundation’s nonprofit series ends

A webinar series provided by the Pulaski County Community Foundation at no charge for local nonprofits was recently concluded.  

Ten people representing four local organizations attended the sessions on topics including best practices, applications and interviews, hiring, employee manuals, correcting performance issues, and termination.

 
Woman fatally stabbed; charges pending against person of interest

WINAMAC - A woman was fatally stabbed late Sunday evening near Winamac, and Pulaski County police report that murder charges have been filed against her husband.

Police also report the stabbing resulted from a domestic disturbance that was fueled by alcohol.

 
Body found in rubble of Medaryville explosion

Updated

MEDARYVILLE – The body of a woman was found in the debris of a fire, following an apparent house explosion northwest of Medaryville Saturday morning (May 16).

The Pulaski County Coroner’s Office has positively identified thecvictim as the homeowner: Nancy A. Jendrasziewicz, 53. An autopsy performed 
today (May 18) in Tippecanoe County indicated that Mrs. Jendraszieicz died of smoke inhalation.
 
Winamac, West Central prepare for May graduation activities

Valedictorians, Salutatorians announced

A total of 157 seniors will receive diplomas at Winamac Community and West Central high schools at commencement ceremonies this month. .

Commencement at West Central will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 24, honoring 67 graduates; while graduation at Winamac will be at 7 p.m., Friday, May 29 for 90 graduating seniors.

 
Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay torchbearer nominations now open

INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) and the Pulaski County Bicentennial Committee announced Friday (May 15) the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is now accepting torchbearer nominations from the public.

Torchbearer nominations recognize Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state.

 
57 Winamac seniors earn awards

WINAMAC - Fifty-seven Winamac Community High School seniors were recognized for various academic and athletic awards, honor roll, and scholarships at the Senior Awards program, Monday evening (May 11), at the high school socialtorium.

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2015 will be at 7 p.m., Friday, May 29.

 
West Central board studies state's new school budget formula

FRANCESVILLE - The projected 2016 and 2017 school budget formula recently approved by the Indiana state legislature was reviewed by the West Central School Board at its meeting Thursday (May 7).

The school formula projections estimate a decrease to the school system's general fund by $300,000 for 2016.

 
Indiana launches revamped IN.gov website

INDIANAPOLIS - The State of Indiana today announced the launch of the revamped IN.gov and my.IN.gov.

The revised site is geared toward mobile users and offers a new feature that enables users to personalize content via my.IN.gov.

 
Link Environmental, Two Guys to partner

WINAMAC - Link Environmental Equipment, provider of environmental equipment and service for the waste and recycling industries, has announced its new partnership with Two Guys Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

Two Guys Mechanical, a locally-owned business with over 20 years of experience in millwright, mechanical and industrial maintenance industries, will manage the Link Service department.