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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

Alzheimer’s, Zombie Prom, Pysanky Eggs among PCPL's March events

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

 
Civic Plays to stage 'Lottie & Bernice Show' March 6-8

LOGANSPORT - Civic Players of Logansport will present “The Lottie & Bernice Show,” directed by Ben Colsten, the weekend of March 6-8.

This comedy tells the story of a two grumpy old Polish ladies who become trapped in a television studio by a blizzard and end up taking over Western New York’s favorite morning show, “Buffalo Yak.”

 
2015 Halleck Award to be presented to Judy Stinemetz

Chamber Awards Banquet March 31

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Judy Stinemetz of Star City will be presented with the 2015 Halleck Community Service award.

Mrs. Stinemetz, a long-time dietician manager at Pulaski Memorial Hospital, has been active in many community service projects, most notably her work with  Cystic Fibrosis, PMH Auxiliary, Pulaski County Human Services and voter registration.

 
Online scholarships through PCCF

Twenty seven scholarship applications for 2015 graduates are now available online through the Pulaski County Community Foundation.

Applications are found on the Community Foundation’s new website at www.pulaskiccf.org.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate dips to 4.8 percent

Pulaski County's unemployment dipped to 4.8 percent in December, down from 5.0 percent (revised rate) in November, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday (Jan. 28). The rate was 5.4 percent a year ago. The county has 6,602 employed persons in a labor force of 6,935. Last month those numbers were 6,537 of 6,877.

The state's December unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent (seasonally adjusted), up slightly from 5.7 percent in November. The December 2013 rate was 6.8 percent. The U.S. rate dropped to 5.6 percent, down from 5.8 percent in November. A year ago, the national rate was 6.7 percent.

 
Ivy Tech’s non-credit culinary classes combine food, fun

Spring semester series starts Feb. 3 

PERU – The holidays are behind us and the winter doldrums threaten. Perk up your schedule with some culinary adventures that combine food and fun in the culinary arts lab at Ivy Tech Community College’s Peru Instructional Site, 425 W. Main St.

The first session – which will help you “add flare and flavor with wine and spirits” – is set for 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3.

 
Fact Sheet issued for health coverage and federal income taxes

The following fact sheet was issued Jan. 16, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In preparation for the 2015 tax filing season, which officially begins next week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Friday a fact sheet detailing information Indiana tax filers need to know as they prepare to file their federal returns.

This tax season marks the first time individuals and families in Indiana will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health insurance on their tax returns. Consumers will have questions about this new process and the Administration is committed to providing the information and tools tax filers need to understand the new requirements.

 
Ivy Tech Kokomo Region sets seminar series on relevant topics in agriculture

Kokomo Grain partnering on 10 free seminars to be offered throughout region

KOKOMO - Ivy Tech Community College is again partnering with Kokomo Grain to present free seminars on relevant topics in agriculture, expanding in 2015 to 10 sessions and adding Tipton County to Howard, Miami and Cass counties where the sessions were held in 2014. 

 
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.

 
The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick

As 2014 came to a close, the flu season had already claimed five lives in Indiana according to the State Department of Health.

The very young, the elderly and those with chronic health issues are the most vulnerable. The five Hoosiers killed by influenza were all more than 65 years old, but the most recent Department of Health report also shows almost half of those sickened by the virus are fairly young, just 5- to 24 years old.

 
 

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Indiana News

Former Notre Dame president dies at age 97

Donnelly, Walorski, Pence issue statements

INDIANAPOLIS – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, the 15th president of the University of Notre Dame, passed away in South Bend on Thursday night at the age of 97.

Hesburgh holds the title of Indiana’s longest serving university president, having led Notre Dame for 35 years. Hesburgh guided the university from 1952 to 1987.

 
$32.4 billion budget bill moves to Senate on party-line vote

INDIANAPOLIS – The House passed a $31.5 billion, two-year budget Tuesday (Feb. 24) that boosts funding for K-12 education and spends more on domestic violence programs, community corrections, tourism and mass transit.

The bill passed 68-29 largely on party lines, with minority Democrats complaining that the plan cuts funding to urban and rural districts in favor of more money for suburban districts, charters and private schools.

 
Budget bill shifts money among schools, moves to full House

INDIANAPOLIS – Republicans pushed a two-year, $31.4 billion budget out of a House committee Wednesday (Feb. 18) despite complaints from Democrats that it robs money from urban and rural school districts to increase funding for suburban ones.

The spending plan boosts overall K-12 school funding by 4.7 percent through two years but changes the way that money is divided among districts.

 
Supporters rally for Superintendent Ritz, public education

INDIANPOLIS – More than 1,000 teachers and supporters of public schools had already been rallying for well over an hour Monday (Feb. 16) when the woman they’d been fighting for made an appearance.

“I am an educator,” state Superintendent Glenda Ritz told the crowd gathered in the Statehouse atrium. “I know what we need in our schools.”

 
Guest column: More than an elected office at stake in attack on Ritz

By John Gregg

On a cold January morning in 2001, I stood outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC with my two sons, then ages 8 and 7 to witness the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

As the ceremony began, my older son asked me “Dad why are we here, we’re Democrats?” As the crowd around us looked, then laughed, I told my sons we were there to witness the something uniquely American: the peaceful transfer of power. Americans may disagree with a candidate’s political philosophy, but we always respect the outcome of an election. It’s a bedrock principle of our great democracy.

 
House passes bill to oust Ritz as state ed board chair

Senate also moves on similar bill

INDIANAPOLIS – The State Board of Education could be working under a new chair as soon as this summer under a bill that passed the Indiana House largely along party lines Monday (Feb. 9)

House Bill 1609, authored by Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, would remove the elected superintendent of public instruction – now Democrat Glenda Ritz – from her position as chair and replace her with someone elected by the other board members, who are all appointed by the governor.

 
 

Post News

'Mike' Tiede to replace 'Mick' Tiede on county council

Former Pulaski County Commissioner Michael "Big Mike" Tiede has been selected to fill the District 4 County Council seat vacated by Mick Tiede.

The decision was reached in a second-round vote of a recent Republican Party Caucus, as reported by Pulaski County Republican Party chairman Blair Todd.

 
Potthoff, Shidler merge companies to become 'ProscapeS'

WINAMAC - JP Lawncare and Indiana Outdoor Living recently announced the merger of their individual landscaping and lawn care businesses to form a new entity: ProscapeS Unlimited LLC. 

The partnership evolved from co-owners Jason Potthoff’s and Reese Shidler’s desire to combine complimentary professional services and provide a premium customer experience. 

 
Police arrest three in Medaryville standoff

MEDARYVILLE - Pulaski County police arrested three people Monday afternoon in a standoff which ultimately involved the state police, Medaryville police and final apprehension of the prime suspect by K-9 Gil.

Arrested were Eric Scott Wireman, 31; Shantelle E. Vierke, 21; and Sadie Wireman, 53; all of Medaryville. 

 
PCCF announces Lilly Scholarship finalists

Four students from two area high schools have been named finalists in the Pulaski County Community Foundation Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship process.

Several applications from Pulaski County students were received and four students reached the final phase of the competitive process.They are: Mickayla Wenzel from West Central High School; and Hannah DeGroot, Michaela Ingram, and Taylor Tripenfeldas from Winamac Community High School.

 
Groundbreaking March 10 for Ancilla College Residence Hall

DONALDSON – Ancilla College will hold a groundbreaking for two new residence hall buildings at 4 p.m. March 10 on 9B Road.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said President Ken Zirkle. “We will house nearly 100 new students and have a student life center with dining open to the public. It’s a great time to be at Ancilla College.”

 
PCED continues pursuit of tax code change

The Pulaski County Economic Development Commission (PCED) continued its discussion at its February meeting to pursue an Indiana tax code change which would allow Pulaski County to use surplus CAGIT funds to pay the Justice Center lease, thus freeing CEDIT funds for  economic development projects.

Before addressing new concerns on the matter, PCED executive director Nathan Origer reviewed the situation for the commission.

 
EPCS begins bid process on renovation project

Commencement exercises to remain on Friday

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community School Board approved five resolutions at its February meeting to advance the $14 million renovations project for the EPCS campus.

The resolutions included the process for awarding construction bids which are expected to be submitted as early as March. The resolutions also covered the execution of the lease, additional appropriations and financial tracking.

 
State tax revenue fails to meet January projections

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana tax revenue in January fell significantly below projections – surpassing anticipated amounts in only two major categories.

The state took in $1.36 billion in general fund revenue during January. That’s $63.5 million less than estimates predicted but $32.5 million more than January 2014, a month in which snow and ice storms stunted commerce.

 
Indian Trails Career Cooperative receives two grants totaling nearly $422,000

MONTICELLO - Indian Trails Career Cooperative has announced it is the recipient of two awards totaling $421,926 from Innovative CTE Curriculum Grants.

Grants were awarded to North and South Newton schools as they collaborate on developing precision farming, agri-tourism and aquaponics. The second grant was awarded to West Central School in Pulaski County. In conjunction with the Pulaski County Economic Development Office, West Central will use its grant to concentrate on advanced manufacturing careers in Industrial repair and maintenance and certified production. 

 
Bill to require civics test for high school students passes committee

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier students could be required to pass a national civics test in order to graduate high school if a bill that passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday becomes law.

Senate Bill 269, authored by Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, requires students to take the same test administrated to immigrants by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The test is designed to ensure students have a working knowledge of national government and the country’s history.