5 things to know: Friday

5 things to know: Friday

Democrats have abysmal turnout for gubernatorial runoff

LYNN COUNTY, Texas - The "blue wave" became a trickle Tuesday for the gubernatorial runoff between Lupe Valdez and Andrew White.

Only Democrats cast a ballot during the March primaries. During the runoffs, around 60 percent of them failed to vote, marking the largest primary-to-runoff drop in Texas. On top of that, Democrats cast the fewest ballots in a runoff since 1920.

In four counties, not a single vote was cast in the gubernatorial runoff; King, Hall, Lynn, and McMullen Counties. 

"It's really hard to get people to get out and vote anyway and then a runoff election, there was just no interest," said Bonnie Schwertner, the Lynn County Democratic Party Chair.

Schwertner was one of those who did not vote in the runoff.

Susan Tipton, the Lynn County Clerk, thought the voting population in the county hardly knew there was an election, let alone what it was for.

"This last one was lack of publicity," Tipton said. "There was none here in the county, of course that's left up to the Democrats to get that to the newspapers and the TV stations that there's going to be a runoff and there was nothing in our newspaper, nothing from the party sent to them, and then honestly in the Lubbock, which we get Lubbock news stations, the only one I saw was the local county judges race."

Despite the low numbers, Democrats around the region remain hopeful that come November turnout will increase and the "blue wave" will sweep across the state.


Ravaging storms cause a spike in insurance claims

LUBBOCK, Texas - The insurance claims are falling from the sky following the rash of severe storms this past week. State Farm alone reports as many as 820 auto claims and 700 homeowner claims in our area.

"There were a lot of damaged roofs and sky lights," said Brooke Wootan, an insurance agent for Progressive. "There were also a lot of commercial businesses that have had their roofs damaged and windows broken." 

Wootan said now is the time to reach out and start the claim process for storm damage, find out what your deductible is and repair any small damage you can.

The initial contact with the insurance adjuster will usually take two or three business days. Once the claim is submitted each damaged home or vehicle repair will be fixed on a case by case basis some may take more time than others. 

Severe weather damage also tends to drive in many scammers who say they can do repairs for a cheaper price or a better deal Wootan recommends to beware before saying yes. 


HUD increases last year's funding for Lubbock by more than $300,000

LUBBOCK, Texas - Last year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $642,000 to the Lubbock Housing Authority. This year, that number increased to $986,000. Todd Steelman of Lubbock Housing Authority says it's hard to predict what each unit will receive. 

"HUD has a huge formula when it comes to figuring out how much you get for each unit. They take in age, the size, what it's made of, and things along those lines," Steelman said.

Steelman says the next focus is to work on some basic, but necessary repairs.

"The heating and air conditioning is a big priority. This is Texas, in West Texas we get 100-plus degree days. The painting is also important," Steelman said.

With the spike in funding, certain residents benefit more than others.

"We give a preference to the elderly and the disabled, but also the working families. If they work at least twenty hours per week, they get points and move up on our program," Steelman said.

Once the paperwork is done, the funds will be available. Steelman says the timetable is sometime in either September or October.


Shooting survivors share their stories with Texas governor

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Survivors of last week's school shooting at a high school near Houston told gripping stories of dodging bullets, hiding from the attacker and seeing classmates get shot as they pleaded with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
  
They said they want more armed security to keep campuses safe. The emotional three-hour discussion Thursday marked the end of three days of meetings Abbott held on school safety and mass shootings.
  
While the governor has appeared to embrace ideas of boosting security and tracking student mental health, there is little expectation the staunch gun-rights supporter will push for major changes to restrict owning firearms or buying them.
  
The Republican organized the mostly closed-door meetings shortly after eight students and two substitute teachers were fatally shot inside Santa Fe High School.


Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse
  
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - When North Korea slammed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton, its language was very blunt and impolite, but still milder than its typical crude and inflammatory insults unleased on other top U.S. and South Korean officials.
  
The North likely had just tried to strengthen its positions amid negotiations on giving up its nuclear program.
  
But calling Pence a "political dummy" was still strong enough for President Donald Trump to scrap the June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un, at a time he faced pessimism at home about Kim's sincerity.
  
Apparently startled at Trump's abrupt move, a senior North Korean official who touched off recent rhetorical attacks on Washington issued an unusually conciliatory statement Friday saying the North still wants to engage with the United States.

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