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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 Methodist Church to serve community Christmas dinenr

WINAMAC - The First United Methodist Church, Winamac, will once again serve a "Community Christmas Dinner" on Christmas Day.

The free dinner, open to all, will be served from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 25, at the church, located on the corner of Monticello and Spring streets, Winamac.

 
Pulaski County Systems of Care group conducting needs assessment survey

The Pulaski County Systems of Care group is asking county residents to complete a needs assessment survey related to local mental health and substance abuse services.

The survey may be completed online, and will be open for completion from Nov. 20 through Dec. 20.

 
PCPL lists December events, including Santa visits

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for December, including visits by Santa, Christmas carols and Christmas Bingo.

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

 
NIPFP 26th annual Toy Show Jan. 21

The 26th annual Farm Toy Show will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21, at Eastern Pulaski Elementary School in Winamac.

The event, sponsored by the Northern Indiana Power From the Past, Inc., usually attracts over 2,000 visitors.

 
Salvation Army 'Kettle Campaign' to run Nov. 22 - Dec.23

The Salvation Army of Pulaski County has announced its annual holiday kettle campaign will run Nov. 22 - Dec. 23, in the lobby at Sanders Grocery in Winamac.

Funds raised during the campaign will be utilized in Pulaski County.

 
Pulaski Christmas Lights on display through Jan. 1

PULASKI - The annual Pulaski Christmas Lights displays are now lit from 5 to 11 p.m., nightly through Monday, Jan. 1, for public viewing.

For nearly 30 years, the residents of the river village have attracted visitors from near and far to view the lights, offered as "A Gift to Brighten Your Christmas."

 
Pulaski County Historical Society membership drive underway

The Pulaski County Historical Society welcomes new - and "re-newed" members as it launches its annual membership drive for 2018.

As 2017 draws to a close, many current or new members may prefer to pay their tax deductable memberships before the new year begins. Memberships also make thoughtful gifts for the holiday season.

 
4-H enrollment opens for Pulaski County

Pulaski County 4-H enrollment opened Oct. 1, and will run through Jan. 15.

New and current 4-H members can enroll by going online at https://in.4honline.com or by picking up an enrollment form at any of the local schools or the Extension Office. There is a $15 state program fee for each 4-H member to enroll in 4-H. Kindergarten through second grade members are exempt.

 
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.

 
 

Indiana News

Indiana Farm Bureau president discusses 2018 priorities

INDIANAPOLIS - Each year at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention, the organization’s president discusses his vision for the coming year with members from across the state.

This year’s convention took place Dec. 7-9 in French Lick.

 
Young, Donnelly release statements on Senate tax reform bill

The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping tax rewrite early Saturday (Dec. 2) in a 51-49 vote.

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee joined all Senate Democrats in voting against the 500-page bill. The proposed legislation now moves to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate version a House of Representatives tax bill passed last month.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate remains at 3.5%

Pulaski County's unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent in October, the same rate as September, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (Nov. 20). The rate was 3.9 percent a year ago.

The county has 5,822 employed persons in a labor force of 6,034. Last month those numbers were 5,883 of 6,094. A year ago the numbers were 5,973 of 6,213.

 
Food Finders Food Bank receives pet food donation

LAFAYETTE - Food Finders Food Bank recently received a pet food donation of 820 bags of dog and cat food totaling 31,160 pounds from PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program. For every bag of pet food purchased from PetSmart until Dec. 31, they will donate a meal to a pet in need.

The families Food Finders serves often struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, and some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table. Pets provide comfort and become part of the family, and people who are struggling financially more than likely will need food for their pets as well.

 
Veterans Day 2017 - Veterans by the numbers

From U.S. Census Bureau

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I.

Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.

 
Indiana Dept. of Agriculture launches conservation ‘one-stop’

INDIANAPOLIS – Improving water quality and soil health continues to be a priority for farmers statewide, and while data has always been available to support this claim, it hasn’t been accessible in one, easily navigable location.

To address this issue, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), using information compiled by the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP), launched Oct. 12 an online story map, a one-stop shop for Indiana’s conservation efforts.

 
The Power of Poison coming to the Indiana State Museum

Highly interactive, family-friendly exhibition explores science, legend of poisons 

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Museum explores the historical fascination with toxins in The Power of Poison.

The prestigious national traveling exhibition, on loan from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, opens at the museum on Saturday, Oct. 21 and runs to Feb. 11.

 
 

Post News

West Central Board continues work on safe school entrance projects

FRANCESVILLE - The West Central School Board advanced plans for its "school entrance security" projects, heard praise for the high school's dual credit program, and accepted bids for two new school buses at its December meeting.

Also, Superintendent Don Street reported that the Indiana Department of Education has notified school districts that the tuition support monthly payments will be decreased because the Indiana State Budget for education is less than the total tuition support payments.

 
Community Foundation renews commitment to pool project agreements

In a letter to the community, the Community Foundation of Pulaski County has renewed its commitment to the Winamac Community Pool Project agreements.

The Community Foundation voted last year to enter into two fund agreement contracts relating to the pool project.

 
One dead, another injured in Medaryville incident

MEDARYVILLE - One man is dead and another injured as the result of an apparent stabbing and shooting incident at a Medaryville residence Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 21).

The Pulaski County Coroner's Office identified the dead man as Kenneth Ray Henry, 41, of Rensselaer. The name of the injured man has not been released.

 
Winamac Town Council prepares for new garbage pick-up bidding

WINAMAC - The Winamac Town Council discussed preparations for bidding a new garbage pick-up contract next year, and heard updates on the new restroom project on the Winamac Parkway and progress on the new police department at its regular monthly meeting Nov. 13.

Town manager Brad Zellers also reported on plans to apply for a grant to obtain new decorative light poles for downtown.

 
CFPC awards youth grants

Two county youth organizations have recently been awarded grants totaling $800 through the Good Oil/BP Youth Philanthropy Fund.

Checks were presented to Boy Scout Troop #229 to support their 2018 Summer Camp, and to the Winamac Community High School Arts Department for “Sculpting Clay/Shaping Futures” project.

 
EPCS board approves teachers' master contract

WINAMAC - A new master contract with the Eastern Pulaski Teachers Association was approved by the Eastern Pulaski Community School Board at its month meeting Monday evening (Nov. 13).

Superintendent Dan Foster recommended an approximate three percent increase in compensation and some updated language in the contract. The contract was earlier approved by the teachers association.

 
Winamac Community Pool Committee continues to raise funds, study options

WINAMAC - The Winamac Community Pool Committee will go forward with efforts to raise funds for a new town pool, as it was charged to do when formed two years ago - even without the support of the Winamac Town Council which was unexpectedly withdrawn last month.

That was the word from pool committee chairman Judy Heater at an informational meeting last week. The committee will also study any alternative options it may have.

 
Gutwein to retire from BraunAbility; Staci Kroon to succeed as president and CEO

WINAMAC - Nick Gutwein, who has led BraunAbility since 2008, has announced his retirement to BraunAbility’s board of directors.

The board has selected Staci Kroon as the new president and CEO, and she will assume the role on Nov. 27. She will also serve as a director for BraunAbility.