Given the ubiquity of mobile devices and high-speed Internet, it can be tough for students to imagine life just 30 years ago, let alone 30,000.Turns out, though, it’s not impossible.Students in Matthew Liebmann’s “Encountering the Conquistadors” class recently got a feel for prehistoric life, trying their hands at an ancient weapon called the atlatl.“We’ve been studying first contacts in the New World from Columbus on, and this is a chance for students to get firsthand use of some of the technology they’ve been reading about,” said Liebmann, an associate professor of anthropology. “I think there are a lot of assumptions about the superiority of European technology, and in some cases that was certainly an advantage in the conquest of the Americas, but Native Americans were using technology the Europeans weren’t familiar with either, often with deadly results.“This is also a lot of fun,” he added. “It’s nice to get out of the classroom — it adds a fun aspect you don’t get in many classes.”The atlatl was a dominant weapon for centuries, until the rise of the bow and arrow after the arrival of Europeans. Typically about 2 feet long, with a notch at one end and a spur at the other, it functions like an extension of the throwing arm, allowing users to hurl 6-foot, stone-tipped spears — referred to as darts — with great force and speed.While the students weren’t facing an army of conquistadors, they still had plenty to aim at — including foam archery targets of deer and boar, and, with Liebmann’s encouragement, a cardboard cutout of their teacher. To up the stakes, points were awarded for each hit (Liebmann’s cutout had the highest value), and the six sections of the class battled for bragging rights.Behind the fun, however, was a serious lesson — not just about how the atlatl worked, but about gaining insight into the lives of the people who relied on the weapon day to day.“After an entire semester of trying to visualize what we are learning about, it’s great to have the chance to do this,” said Audrey Carson ’15. “It’s interesting to step into this role and look at what we’ve learned through a different lens.”“It’s a new way of learning,” agreed Joe Petrucci ’14. “Instead of reading books, we get the chance to come out here in the field and practice something that ancient people did. It definitely puts things in perspective.”
Indianapolis, In. — The House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee has voiced support for Republican state representative from Greensburg Randy Frye’s legislation that could help Indiana fire departments struggling to fill much-needed positions.“Currently, a fire department can only employ firefighters from the county their fire district is located in and the counties neighboring it,” Frye said. “This legislation would lift that restriction and allow fire departments to hire capable firefighters who reside within a 50-mile radius of the city, town or township their department serves.”According to Frye, this would allow fire departments that border other states to recruit across state lines and fulfill the need to find qualified firefighters to serve communities.According to Frye, the bill would also expand the definition of a public safety officer to include emergency management workers and division fire investigators. This would ensure family members of these public servants would qualify for the public safety officers’ special death benefits in the event an officer dies in the line of duty.House Bill 1258 can now move to the full House of Representatives for further consideration. For more information about the 2019 Indiana General Assembly click here.
Wellington Police notes for Thursday, April 9, 2015â€¢8:15 a.m. Michael D. Miller, 37, Mulvane, was issued a notice to appear charged with speeding 59 mph in a 40 mph zone.â€¢10:30 a.m. Officers took a courtesy report of a lost cell phone in Oklahoma.â€¢10:49 a.m. Roger L. Ray, 72, Milan, Kans. was issued a notice to appear for expired registration.â€¢4:15 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 600 block N. C, Wellington by known suspect(s).â€¢9:22 p.m. Officers investigated a battery and criminal damage to property by known suspect(s) in the 100 block E. 12th, Wellington. â€¢10:57 p.m. Officers investigated driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the 1100 block N. A, Wellington.â€¢11:21 p.m. Pamela Baker, 49, Sedgwick, was arrested, charged and confined with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.