Local News Headlines: November 8, 2023

Terrorism attack at Indianapolis school
34 year-old Ruba Almaghtheh was charged with Felony Intimidation; Felony Criminal Recklessness; and, Felony Institutional Criminal Mischief, after intentionally driving her car into what she thought was a Jewish school. The incident took place early on Saturday afternoon.

Almaghtheh, a self-described Palestinian woman, was unaware that the school she intentionally targeted out of hate for the Jewish was actually a school which is occupied by an antisemitic sect of ‘Black Hebrew Israelites’, as labeled by the Anti-Defamation League.

The school is called the Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge and listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A woman labeled a ‘Terrorist’ by police is officially charged with three felony counts after attempting to commit a hate crime against a Jewish school. She told officials that she had committed this act of terrorism for “her people back in Palestine,” after admitting to doing so purposefully, thinking it was occupied with “Jewish.”

There were 5 occupants of the building at the time of the attack, three of which are children. No injuries were reported, and Almaghtheh is being held on a $200,000 bond.

Local Election Results

  • Kerry Thomson wins unopposed race to become Bloomington’s next Mayor
  • Hopi Stosberg (D) defeats Brett Heinisch (R) in Bloomington’s District 3 City Council seat, the city’s only contested Council race
  • MCCSC Referendum passes by less than 100 votes
  • Columbus Mayor Race Mary Ferdon (R) defeats Sean C. Burton (I)
  • Indianapolis Mayor Race Joe Hogsett (D) defeats Jefferson Scott Shreve (R)
  • Linton Mayor Race John Dennis Preble (R) defeats Brent A. Murray (D)
  • Mitchell Mayor Race Don Caudell (R) defeats Eugene Terrell (D)
  • Terre Haute Mayor Race Brandon C. Sakbun (D) defeats Duke A. Bennett (R)
  • Carmel Mayor Race Sue Finkam (R) defeats Miles Nelson (D)

Stigma, fear may keep shooting survivors from seeking mental health services
A new study finds that shooting survivors may not seek the mental health services they need after experiencing gun violence due to stigma, fear and a lack of trusted resources. The study, led by assistant professor Lauren Magee with the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Indianapolis, is featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open. Magee’s co-authors on the study included IU School of Medicine’s Zachary W. Adams, Matthew Aalsma, Brigid Marriott, Damaris Ortiz, and Sarah Wiehe.

Magee and her partners with Stop the Violence Indianapolis interviewed survivors of gun violence in the Indianapolis area, all of whom were between the ages of 13 and 34 at the time they were shot. The study did not include survivors of shootings that also involved fatalities.

Despite describing symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders, half of participants believed they were adequately coping without formal services. Thirty-nine percent said they did not seek professional help due to a fear of potential repercussions from peers for providing information to police or health providers; 56% said they did not seek mental health assistance because they did not trust providers. Most survivors said that if they were to seek professional help, it was important the provider understood their lives and communities.

The research team found that survivors preferred receiving support from their existing networks instead of professionals. In fact, 83% of the survivors surveyed said they relied on their families and friends for physical and mental healing, whether serving as primary support or through connecting them to mental health care. Responses from survivors also showcase the broad impact that nonfatal shootings have on their families — emotionally and in day-to-day life — highlighting a need for broader recovery support.

These study results are critical for those seeking to help develop appropriate support systems for survivors of gun violence and their families.

This Week in Hoosier History

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1922 – Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, IN. Vonnegut was an American writer and humorist known for his satirical and darkly humorous novels. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published fourteen novels, three short-story collections, five plays, and five nonfiction works; further collections have been published after his death.

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