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Indiana Congressman Jim Banks sends letter to WNBA asking about punishments for 'excessive attack' on Caitlin Clark

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After WNBA star Caitlin Clark was flagrantly fouled by another player, Republican Congressman Jim Banks sent a letter to the commissioner of the WNBA asking what steps the league is taking to curb "excessive physical targeting" of players.

The Indiana politician sent the letter to Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stating that he has watched Clark's team, the Indiana Fever, in "admiration" since she was drafted into the league as the first overall pick in 2024.

He noted that "as a father," he has been pleased to see his three daughters become more interested in watching the WNBA.

The congressman then remarked on Clark having "shattered on court and viewership records for women’s basketball."

"Unfortunately, since joining the WNBA, Clark’s exceptionalism has been met with resentment and repeated attacks from fellow players," Banks wrote, per Outkick.

Banks pointed to Chicago Sky player Chennedy Carter bodychecking Clark to the floor as teammate Angel Reese "visibly cheered."

Reese was fined $1,000 by the WNBA for refusing to answer reporter questions after the game. The team itself was fined $5,000 for violating media availability rules, while Carter had her foul upgraded from a regular foul to a flagrant foul.

The Chicago Tribune even likened the foul to "an assault" if it were "outside of a sporting contest."

Banks then wrote what amounted to an argument about whether or not the individual player or the Chicago Sky team should be further punished for the foul.

"Indiana is a basketball state. We don’t wince at aggressive defense, but this was not an example of playing 'tough' it was a cheap shot that could have resulted in an injury and should not be tolerated. While the foul was retroactively upgraded to a flagrant, there appears to be no further punishment for Carter or the Chicago Sky organization beyond fines related to a lack of media appearances after the game. "

The Republican then suggested that the WNBA "refuses to hold hostile players accountable," stating that it has been a "disservice" to the millions of female viewers who aspire to play in the league.

He then positioned four questions to the WNBA commissioner:

• "What steps is the WNBA taking to curb excessive physical targeting of specific players?"

• "Will individual organizations be held responsible for allowing players with histories of violence to physically target their competitors?"

• "Do you believe that WNBA players repeatedly diminishing the talents of their fellow players is beneficial to the leagues’ overall success?"

• "Do you believe that it is inspiring to young female athletes to see players like the Indiana’s Caitlin Clark physically targeted for her success?"

The congressman then thanked the commissioner for her work to grow women's basketball.

The WNBA nor its commissioner has made a public response as of this writing.

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Heartbreaking: 10-year-old boy commits suicide after 2 years of relentless physical, verbal bullying

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Sammy Teusch — a 10-year-old boy with a huge, infectious grin — was laid to rest this week in his hometown of Greenfield, Indiana.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot, composite

Sammy's parents said he took his own life on the morning of May 5 — a heartbreaking end after two years of relentless verbal bullying that recently became physical and was just too much for him to bear.

The bullying mostly was over his glasses and his teeth.

'He was beat up on the school bus, and the kids broke his glasses and everything, and I called the school, and I'm like, "What are you doing about this? It keeps getting worse and worse and worse ..."'

"He was my little boy. He was my baby. He was the youngest one," Sammy's mom, Nichole Teusch, tearfully told WTHR-TV.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

"I held him in my arms. I did the thing no father should ever have to do, and any time I close my eyes, it's all I can see," his dad, Sam Teusch, shared with the station though sobs.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Sammy's family told WTHR others bullied him right up to the night before his death, an ordeal that commenced last year in elementary school and continued this year at Greenfield Intermediate School.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

"They were making fun of him for his glasses in the beginning, then on to make fun of his teeth," his dad noted to the station. "It went on for a long time."

Then the bullying got physical, WTHR said.

"He was beat up on the school bus, and the kids broke his glasses and everything, and I called the school, and I'm like, 'What are you doing about this? It keeps getting worse and worse and worse, and it's not getting any better. In fact, it's getting worse,'" Sammy's dad added to the station.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

He added to WTHR that he contacted the school 20 times about the bullying: "They knew this was going on. They knew this was going on."

But district Superintendent Harold Olin told the station neither Sammy nor his parents ever submitted a bullying report, and while school administrators and a counselor had regular conversations with the family, he can't share the content of those conversations.

Sammy's family explained to WTHR that the bullying reached beyond the school and the bus and found its way to Snapchat, despite Sammy's parents granting him limited access to his phone.

"'I'm going to beat you up. I'm going to beat you up when you get to school.' Saying mean things about his [mom], which would really, really set him off," Sammy's dad recounted to the station.

Sadly, in spite of frequent reinforcement from those who love him, Sammy's family told WTHR he became withdrawn and stopped opening up. They told the station they believe Sammy's suicide was due to fear of going back to school following an incident in the restroom the prior week and the constant harassment.

Now there is a void in the Teusch home that can never be filled.

"I always tell the kids because Sammy and his sister went to bed first because they were younger, and telling them they had to brush their teeth to get ready for bed and having him not be there to hug before bed," Sammy's mom, inconsolable, shared with WTHR.

Word spread about Sammy after his death, and WTHR reported in a follow-up story that more than 100 motorcycle riders drove side-by-side down New Road in Greenfield to Brandywine Church for Sammy's services earlier this week.

The station said most of the motorcyclists didn't know Sammy — but were touched by his story.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

In the church's auditorium, loved ones shared memories of Sammy, the station said, adding that afterward Sammy's relatives carried his casket out of the church and placed it into a hearse.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Everything culminated at Greenfield cemetery, where WTHR said Sammy is now at rest.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

The station said Sammy's family and some of his classmates surrounded his casket as the pastor read a final prayer.

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

Image source: WTHR-TV video screenshot

WTHR said a candlelight vigil is planned for Friday between 8 and 10 p.m. at Depot Park in Greenfield if weather permits.

Help in the face of bullying

The station noted the following resources if you or a child you know is being bullied:

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has a full bullying resource center. Stomp Out Bullying has resources for parents of children who are being bullied. has resources focused on cyberbulling, which can follow kids even outside of school.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It's available 24/7.

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Dead woman wins Republican primary for US House race in Indiana

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A dead woman has narrowly won the Republican primary race for a U.S. House district that represents most of Indianapolis, jeopardizing the party's chances of winning the general election in November against Democratic incumbent Rep. André Carson.

On Wednesday, the AP declared that Jennifer Pace had won the Republican primary race for District 7, narrowly edging out second-place finisher Army Lt. Catherine Ping by fewer than 330 votes. The only problem is that Pace suddenly died of a heart attack sometime in March after the deadline to change the ballots had already passed.

"No one knew she was dead."

The state chair of the Indiana Republican Party will convene a caucus of precinct committee members from District 7 to settle on a replacement candidate in accordance with Indiana Code, GOP spokesperson Griffin Reid indicated to the New York Post.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Ping ought to get the nod since she lost to Pace by just a few hundred votes.

However, Ping has a history of losing political races in this district. In fact, according to Ballotpedia, Ping has represented the Republican Party in the District 7 House race twice — in 2014 and 2016 — and lost both races handily to Carson. In 2014, Carson won 55% to 42%, and in 2016, Carson won by a whopping 24 percentage points, 60% to 36%.

There are also signs that the state Republican Party was not prepared to address the issue about the District 7 primary race since leaders apparently weren't made aware of Pace's death until recently. When the Washington Examiner contacted the party to verify that Pace had died, Griffin Reid told the outlet: "It is our understanding that, that is accurate." Reid added that the party was not aware of the cause of death.

At least one X user purporting to live in the district claimed local media had kept the news under wraps as well. "No one knew she was dead," said the account called TwoLegs. "Last week I researched the candidates online. I read their websites and questionnaire responses. I googled them. No mention of her death. No obituaries. Given her responses I strongly considered voting for her. Local media failed again."

Meanwhile, Carson sailed through the Democratic primary with 91% of the vote. Carson first won the seat via special election in 2007. The seat was previously occupied by Carson's grandmother Julia Carson.

Dead candidate wins Republican primary

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Incumbent Rep. Victoria Spartz wins Republican primary in Indiana's 5th Congressional District

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Incumbent Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana won the Republican primary in Indiana's 5th Congressional District, defeating Indiana state Rep. Chuck Goodrich and others.

"My victory in this election is a testament to the American people and my fellow Hoosiers that money and lies do not buy elections," the congresswoman said in a statement, according to reports. "I am honored to represent Indiana and ready to get back to work to get our great Republic back on track."

— (@)

Last year, Spartz had announced that she would not run for office in 2024.

But she reversed course, indicating earlier this year that she would seek re-election.

"Earlier last year, I decided to take some time off from running for public office to recharge and spend more time in Indiana with my family. However, looking where we are today, and urged by many of my constituents, I do not believe I would be able to deliver this Congress, with the current failed leadership in Washington, D.C., on the important issues for our nation that I have worked very hard on," Spartz noted earlier this year.

"As someone who grew up under tyranny, I understand the significance of these challenging times for our Republic, and if my fellow Hoosiers and God decide, I will be honored to continue fighting for them. We must carry on the sacrifice of countless Americans for our liberties and keep the American dream alive for our children," she added.

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Prolifers Sue Indiana For Records That Reveal Abortionist Atrocities

‘This isn’t about protecting women. This is about protecting dangerous abortion providers from public scrutiny and consequences for illegal activity.’