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

Pack-a-Backpack donation drop-off Aug. 2

The annual donation drop-off for Pulaski County Pack-a-Backpack, Inc. will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday (Aug. 2), at the NAPA parking lot, Winamac (US 35 South).

Anyone wishing to donate school supply items for the project may drop them off at this time. Monetary donations are also appreciated.

West Central first day of school Aug. 12

FRANCESVILLE - West Central Schools have announced back-to-school information for the 2014-15 school year.

The first day of school for all students will be Tuesdayay, Aug. 12.

School begins Aug. 12 at EPCS

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community Schools have announced back-to-school information for the 2014-15 school year.

School begins for all students (K-12) on Tuesday, Aug. 12 for a full day.

PMH to offer immunization clinics for school children

Pulaski Memorial Hospital will offer three immunization clinics for school-aged children at the PMH Medical Office Building behind the hospital (540 Hospital Dr., Winamac).

The clinics will be 12 noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday (July 23); 12 noon to 7 p.m., Friday (July 25); and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday (Aug. 2).

Pulaski County SWCD to hold open house Aug. 13

The Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) invites county residents to an open house Wednesday, Aug. 13, at its offfice at the Winamac USDA Building at 309 Northwest Street.

Visitors are welcome anytime between the hours of 5 to 7 p.m.

Pulaski County unemployment rate ticks up to 5.0 percent in June

No Indiana counties at 9.0 percent or higher

Pulaski County's unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0 percent in June, up from 4.7 percent in May, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Friday (July 18). The rate was 6.6 percent a year ago. The county has 6,580 employed persons in a labor force of 6,925. Last month those numbers were 6,300 of 6,619.

The state's June rate also inched up to 5.9 percent, compared to 5.7 percent (seasonally adjusted) in Mayl. The June 2013 rate was 7.6 percent. The U.S. rate dropped to 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent (seasonally adjusted), in May. A year ago, the national rate was 7.5 percent.

German Fest Aug. 9 in Winamac

German Fest will return to Winamac, sponsored by the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, from 3 p.m. to 12 midnight, Saturday, Aug. 9, in downtown Winamac.

The event will feature children's activities, a German brats meal, a beer garden, and Jay Fox and the Bavarian Show Band.

Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing Aug. 9

The annual Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing will tee off at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 9, at Pond View Golf Course, Star City. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The event will be followed by the Chamber's "Germanfest" in downtown Winamac, which will begin at 3 p.m.

Pulaski County History Museum open summer Saturdays

The Pulaski County History Museum is open every Saturday during the summer, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Operated by the Pulaski County Historical Society, the museum is located along the Tippecanoe River behind the County Building on Riverside Drive, Winamac. Admission is free.

Kersting’s 'Learn To Ride' provides opportunity for area youth, adults

Kersting’s Cycle Center & Museum opened in 1962, sparked by owner Jim Kersting’s passion for the joy and freedom of riding motorcycles.

Kersting’s hopes to pass along that enthusiasm for motorsports by offering “Learn To Ride” training sessions to interested youth and adults at their facility, located northwest of Winamac. The program is off to a solid start and the initial season of training is scheduled for each Saturday now through Labor Day weekend.

Warrior/Panther football game Aug. 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium

WINAMAC - The Winamac Warriors football team will play the Pioneer Panthers at 12 noon, Saturday, Aug. 30, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

Tickets are available from any WCHS football player and/or cheerleader. Advance tickets are $11 for adults (13 and over) and $8 for children (12 and under). Gameday tickets will cost $15 for all tickets.

Food Pantry needs donations

The local Food Pantry, overseen by Pulaski County Human Services, is in need of donations, especially as school is out and families cope to feed children at home for the summer.

Last month, the Food Pantry served 135 local families, totaling 404 individuals who received 16,968 pounds of food.


Fair News

It's the 'Year of the Coliseum' at the Indaina State Fair

INDIANPOLIS – After seven years of celebrating Indiana homegrown products, the Indiana State Fair is celebrating the “Year of the Coliseum” during the fair’s 17-day run Aug. 1 – 17 in a number of ways, including with a new 92-page digital flip book that chronicles the building’s 75-year history. 

The 18-month, $63 million Coliseum Complex renovation that wrapped up in April is the largest project in the fairgrounds’ 123-year history, making it uniquely qualified to be honored with “Year of” status.

Indiana State Fair runs Aug. 1-17

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2014 Indiana State Fair, with the theme "A Time to Celebrate" will run Aug. 1-17 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds; 1202 E. 38th St. Indianapolis.

The fair is filled with agriculture, livestock, home and family arts, horticulture, 4-H and other exhibits, competitions, concerts, family fun events, educational displays, a huge midway, and endless food concessions.

'Year of the Coliseum' at state fair

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Fair is always a celebration.

It celebrates agriculture, youth and all foods deep-fried or served on a stick. But this year’s fair is historic for another reason – a reopened Fairgrounds Coliseum following an 18-month, $53 million renovation.

4-H Livestock Auction totals over $141,754

By Karen Clem Fritz

Buyers paid a total of $141,754.65 at the annual 4-H Livestock Auction at the 2014 Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair Thursday evening (July 3) at the Winamac fairgrounds. The amount was down from last year’s total of $148,359.70. (The 2006 record auction totaled $157,816.46.)

Cattle, sheep and hogs at the auction numbered 107, compared to 124 last year. There were five starter calves and 21 goats sold. Other items auctioned included poultry, dairy products and kisses by 4-H Royalty and Miss Pulaski County.

Open Class Exhibit champions named

The Open Class exhibits at the Pulaski County fair provide proof that 4-Hers are not the only ones working hard on creative projects. Over 300 open class exhibits were displayed throughout the week inside the Community Building on the fairgrounds.

The Open Class exhibits are sponsored by the Extension Homemakers, but open to all.  

2014 4-H livestock champions announced

The Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair 2014 4-H livestock champions have been announced as follows:

(Results will be updated as they are received)

2014 4-H Project champions named

Here are results from 4-H exhibit judgings at the 2014 Pulaski County 4-H & Community Fair.

(Results will be updated as they are received)


Indy Star Top Stories

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Post News

Two-vehicle accident claims life of Winamac woman

A car-truck crash west of Winamac claimed the life of a Winamac woman, Dolly Frinkle, 71, just before noon on Monday (July 28).

The driver of the truck, David Bailey, 48, was treated at the scene, according to a report from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department.

Community Foundation announces grant cyucles

The Pulaski County Community Foundation has announced it will offer more grant dollars than ever before through its annual fall grant cycle.

Grants totaling up to $37,000 will be made available, with individual grant awards of up to $7,500.

Farmers begin to look ahead to harvest

LANSING, MI - Cool, dry, windy weather saw a number of Indiana farmers hoping for a rainstorm, even as many attended county fairs, according to the USDA, NASS (National Agriculture Statistics Service), Great Lakes Region.

For the week ending July 27, average temperatures for the week ranged from 67 to 76 degrees, or 8 to 1 degrees below normal. The lowest recorded temperature for the week was 47 degrees; the highest, 94 degrees. The statewide average temperature for the week was 70.8 degrees, 4.1 degrees below normal.

Walorski signs VA Conference Committee bipartisan legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Conference Committee, signed bipartisan legislation Monday night (July 28) to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and overhaul the mismanagement that jeopardized the health of veterans across the country.

The bill now heads to both the full House and Senate for further consideration.

BraunAbility to build final Paratransit Van in October; celebrates the legacy

WINAMAC – BraunAbility is scheduled to build its final Paratransit commercial vehicle in October and honored the life of the vehicle line with a celebration on Wednesday. The paratranist line produced mobility-equipped full-size vans for commercial use.

Over 25,000 Paratransit vans were built in Winamac over the course of the vehicle’s life, with 3,000 being delivered to North Carolina alone. Kim Angel of Macon County, North Carolina was present. Her agency represented one of the hundreds of customers that BraunAbility supplied with paratransit vehicles over the past 38 years.

Health insurance plan runs out of money for new enrollees

Plus: Getting the most health care to the most people

INDIANAPOLIS —Indiana has stopped accepting new applications for the Healthy Indiana Plan because funding from the state’s tobacco tax can’t support more people.

When HIP was renewed last year, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services permitted Indiana to adjust eligibility during the year if funding was not able to support enrollment. It is possible for new applications to be accepted if current members drop out. If that’s the case, information for enrollment can be found at

2nd judge declares right-to-work law unconstitutional; state to seek stay

INDIANAPOLIS – A Lake County judge has struck down Indiana’s 2012 right-to-work law that made it illegal for companies to compel non-union members to pay fees for union services.

But Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday that he will ask for a stay to prevent the decision from taking effect immediately. A similar case is already pending before the Indiana Supreme Court.

Pence wraps up UK trip with more business meetings

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence wrapped up his job-hunting mission Wednesday by meeting with a company he said is considering Indiana for its U.S. operations – but his office wouldn’t reveal the firm’s name or any details.

“Out of respect for the company, we cannot share further details about the company or their potential plans in Indiana at this time,” said Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault. “However, we hope to have good news to share in the future.”

State officials confident transportation deal will prevent highway funding cuts

INDIANAPOLIS — State officials are so confident Congress will pass a deal to cover a shortfall in a federal highway fund that they have not solidified contingency plans that would be needed if the money runs out next month.

Will Wingfield, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said the agency has been watching the situation closely and has started to prepare plans. But he said officials feel “pretty confident” that Congress will step in.

Grads in Action assist Humanitarian Distribution Center

The Pulaski County Community Foundation’s fourth annual Grads in Action project took place June 14 at the Humanitarian Distribution Center (HDC) in Francesville. 

2014 PCCF scholars were invited to participate, giving them an opportunity to show off their grad-itude to their community before heading off to college.