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Well, okay—so what is a graphic novel? There’s no hard-and-fast definition; opinions differ on whether this or that work counts as a graphic novel, and some authors avoid the term altogether. In general, though, a graphic novel is a story that’s told using sequentially organized panels of images and text. It is a media format that can be used to tell stories of any genre.

In the graphic novel sections at the Pulaski County Public Library, you’ll find currently buzzed-about series (The Walking Dead); superhero comics (Watchmen, Batman: The Court of Owls); Japanese manga (Naruto, Pokémon); memoirs (Maus, Persepolis); biographies (Anne Frank, Feynman); adaptations of classic stories (The Odyssey, Romeo & Juliet), widely loved novels (Black Beauty, A Wrinkle in Time), and contemporary bestsellers (Game of Thrones, Twilight); historical non-fiction (Lewis & Clarke); "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style books (Meanwhile); romance stories (Sand Chronicles); science fiction (To Terra); examinations of mental illness (Psychiatric Tales); religious texts (The Action Bible); and general fiction for all ages. Altogether, the library has over 900 graphic novels.

Reasons to read graphic novels are as varied as the types of stories contained within them. Young children are often drawn to the pictures, and reading graphic novels helps them develop the mechanics of literacy and the ability to make connections between words and images. Older kids and adults can use graphic novels to approach stories or subjects in a way that captivates their interest.

Most importantly, the graphic novel is valuable as a storytelling format in its own right. The combination of words and images allows authors to succinctly add subtle shading to characters and scenes, and it allows readers to interact with the text, consider thematic connections, and travel through a visual narrative at their own pace. Whether for serious reflection or pure entertainment, graphic novels can tell stories differently from any other format.

It’s clear now that the aforementioned preconceptions are based on myths. Graphic novels can be about way more than just superheroes; they can tell stories appropriate for any age; and as a format they have their own virtues, meaning they’re an alternative to (not a replacement for) other media.

If you decide to try a graphic novel, you won’t be alone—their circulation at the library has increased by over 400% in the past two years! All of the graphic novels mentioned are available to check out. If you’re looking for something else, the library staff is happy to answer questions and make recommendations. With more available in the format now than ever before, now’s a great time to come to the library and check out a graphic novel!

 
 
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Local News Briefs

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. 

 
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.

 
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.

 
Ivy Tech Kokomo sets Certified Production Technician course

Training program prepares students for advanced manufacturing jobs

KOKOMO - Registration is open for a 10-week training program offered by Ivy Tech Community College that prepares students for certification in the advanced manufacturing skills needed to succeed in the high-growth, technical jobs of the 21st Century. The program will run four days a week from April 27 to June 30. 

 
Updated Pulaski County episode appears on 'Savor Indiana'

An updated episode of "Peaceful Pulaski County" from the Savor Indiana television series can now be viewed on the Savor Indiana website: SavorIndiana.com .

The episode was also recently broadcast on Lakeshore Public Television (Channel 56) in Merrillville. Lakeshore broadcasts to 3.4 million TV Households in Northwest Indiana and Chicago. The program is available to them and other members of the Indiana PBS family.

 
 

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Indiana News

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.

 
Pence signs bill to try to reduce infant mortality rates

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law on Monday (May 4) that is designed to lower infant mortality rates in the state.

The new law establishes the Safety Protecting Indiana’s Newborns grant program and has been referred to throughout the session as Safety PIN.

 
 

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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.