5 things to know: Thursday - FOX34 Lubbock

5 things to know: Thursday

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Dairy farmers struggling with low prices

LUBBOCK, Texas - After years of work cotton producers finally got the relief needed to keep them from blowing away. 

Dairy producers were included in the same Ag relief bill attempting to help dairymen stay afloat given the devastating low prices. Those low prices leaving a number of dairy producers struggling to break even.

"Right now we're losing money and I think for a lot of dairy farms in this part of the country they have to be around $15, $16 to make some progress," said John Devos, owner of Fox Dairy in Plainview, Texas. 

Right now prices are hovering around $13 per 100 lbs, or about nine gallons. That is down about $10 from the record highs back in 2014.

The dairy industry has been clamoring for help since support pricing was stripped from the 2014 Farm Bill and replaced with protections of producers margins.

When Congress reinstated both cotton and dairy in the Farm Bill at the beginning of Feb, it strengthen these producer margins, meaning they are on less of a hook for the losses. It also increased the volume of milk that is insurable, up to five million pounds. 

Devos said it is great for average sized dairies elsewhere in the country but on the South Plains it is not nearly enough.

Despite lawmakers efforts many dairymen are desiring more. More to be done about the low prices crippling the industry. 

LPD respond to gunshot victim, ongoing investigation

LUBBOCK, Texas - At approximately 4 a.m., dispatch received a call that a male with a gunshot wound was walking in the area of 58th Street and Avenue P. Officers located the male and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The male's injuries are believed to be serious but non-life threatening.

Additional officers responded to the area to assist with the initial investigation. Officers determined the shooting had occurred in the area of 1900 60th Street. It appears the victim and suspect got into an argument.  At some point during the argument the victim was shot and he ran from the area.

The suspect has not been located at this time, and this case remains under investigation.

The Latest: Democrat pleased with Trump support on gun laws

WASHINGTON (AP) - One of the Senate's leading gun control proponents says he is pleased that President Donald Trump expressed support for expanded background checks and other measures during a bipartisan meeting at the White House.

But Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut says he is "worried that this was the beginning and the end of the president's advocacy on this issue."

Murphy, who has long pushed for stronger gun control, says the question now is whether Trump will follow through on ideas expressed at Wednesday's meeting. He says if Trump sends a proposal to Congress "and sends his people up here to forcefully lobby for universal background checks, they will pass."

If such a proposal fails, Murphy says the blame will go to the White House and Republicans in Congress.

Walmart sets age of 21 to buy firearms, ammunition

NEW YORK (AP) - Walmart announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and would also remove items resembling assault-style rifles from its website.

The move comes after Dick's Sporting Goods announced earlier in the day that it would restrict the sale of firearms to those under 21 years old. It didn't mention ammunition. Dick's also said it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles, and its CEO took on the National Rifle Association by demanding tougher gun laws.

Walmart said its decision came after the company reviewed its firearm sales policy in light of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people. The teenage gunman used an AR-15 rifle. It said it takes "seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms" and also emphasized its background of serving "serving sportsmen and hunters."

The NRA has pushed back aggressively against calls for raising age limits for guns or restricting the sale of assault-style weapons.

Walmart Inc. stopped selling AR-15 guns and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015. It doesn't sell bump stocks, the accessory attached to a semi-automatic gun that makes it easier to fire rounds faster. It also doesn't sell large-capacity magazines. It also says it doesn't sell handguns, except in Alaska.

In announcing the change in policy, the company said it had processes in place to make sure it was applied for online sales.

White House communications director Hope Hicks resigning

WASHINGTON (AP) - White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump's most trusted and longest-serving aides, abruptly announced her resignation Wednesday, leaving a void around a president who values loyalty and affirmation.

The departure of Hicks, who worked as a one-woman communications shop during his campaign, came as a surprise to most in the White House - and cast a pall over the West Wing at a trying time for the president.

Hicks, 29, had a seemingly untouchable role in the West Wing, often viewed more as a surrogate daughter than a staffer. She was the fourth person to occupy the position since the president was sworn in, as the Trump White House has set modern records for staff turnover.

The news comes a day after Hicks was interviewed for nine hours by the House panel investigating Russia interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Hicks acknowledged to a House intelligence panel Tuesday that she has occasionally told "white lies" for Trump. But she said she had not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation. She has also been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team about her role in crafting a statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with Russians, as Mueller's expansive probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential misdeeds committed by those in the president's orbit moves ever closer to the Oval Office.

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