5 things to know: Thursday

5 things to know: Thursday

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Swing vote on the Supreme Court will retire

LUBBOCK, Texas - The swing vote on the Supreme Court is going to retire. In his swearing-in remarks 30 years ago, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy called the Constitution the single fact, reality, idea, and moral principle that sets the United States apart from other nations now and throughout history.

Justice Kennedy has made the key vote on high-profile issues like abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance, and voting rights. 

"It becomes very partisan and very political," said Curtis Parrish, FOX34 legal analyst. "Justice Kennedy, yes was seen as a swing vote justice, there were many times when he sided with the conservative faction of the court, sometimes he would vote with the liberal faction especially on issues about abortion and gay rights and those type of things." 

Justice Kennedy is now 81 years old and has spent three decades on the bench. He was a Ronald Reagan appointee who took the bench in 1988. 

"You are looking at a position that serves for life," said Parrish. "So if the president nominates somebody who is young, idealistic, they could serve on the court just as justice Kennedy did for 30 years." 

His retirement is effective July 31.

Drought adversely affecting cotton, high prices encouraging

LUBBOCK, Texas - With drought conditions gripping the South Plains, the outlook for cotton is not great for this years crop.

"From a rainfall perspective it hasn't been ideal on the High Plains of Texas, really going back to last Fall up until planting time in the last three of four weeks," said Steve Verett, Executive VP for Plains Cotton Growers.

Lubbock is five inches below average rainfall. In the month of May, planting season, the region only received around an 1.25 inches, an inch below average. 

"If the weather forecast comes true for maybe the first of next week and we get some rain in there then there may be some people go out and maybe plant a late sorghum crop, sunflowers or something like that, or they may just be looking at planting some kind of cover on it and then waiting until next year to try and start over again next year."

After last year's low cotton prices, producers who are able to get a good crop will likely benefit from a strong market. Averages are settling in the mid 80s, up from the 70 cent mark this time last year.

Verett said he is confident those prices will hold given demand is on the rise, citing increased use in the oil and petroleum fields, China working its large stocks down to a more manageable level and the likelihood of a smaller Texas crop.

Sen. Perry, school administrators discuss school violence

LUBBOCK, Texas - Area districts swap notes at Indiana Avenue Baptist Church about the myths and facts surrounding school violence.

Superintendent's from Lubbock Cooper, Frenship and Lubbock ISD all give presentations on what's working for their district. 

Kathy Rollo with Lubbock ISD said while cameras and police presence is already in place, there's new programs the district is taking part in. 

"We put a lot of new things in this summer with regard to training, protocols that we're using," Rollo said. "We've done a facility audit so we know what our facility needs our to make our schools safer."

For those dated facilities, the district will ask for a bond election to fund security updates from a structural standpoint. 

All three districts utilize TWITR, the Texas Tech program Governor Abbot champions as a tool to reach students who are in need of mental health assistance. 

Statewide, Senator Charles Perry said there's $110 million set aside for school safety.

Officers say A-J editorial cartoon misrepresents law enforcement

LUBBOCK, Texas - Some law enforcement officers are in disgust with an editorial cartoon published in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal and Amarillo Globe-News.

The illustration shows a police officer shooting a gun at an unarmed black man with a caption that says "meanwhile.. far from the border.. children are being separated from their families."

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said it misrepresents the work law enforcement does on a daily basis.

"They're out risking everything everyday to serve their communities and serve their citizens," Rowe said. "To degrade them and to suggest that we're behaving as if we've stepped back forty, fifty, sixty years, is absolutely ridiculous."

The AJ and Amarillo GN responded in another editorial piece saying the illustration represents the viewpoint of the illustrator, not the newspapers.

UPDATED: Shooting near 87th & X wounds infant, 12-year-old

LUBBOCK, Texas - Detectives with the Lubbock Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit are currently investigating a shooting that sent two children to the hospital.

On Tuesday, just before midnight, the Lubbock Police Department received a call that multiple shots had been fired at a home in the 2200 block of 87th Street. Two adults and five children were inside the home during the shooting.

A 12-year-old child was seriously injured and an eight month old infant received minor injuries during the shooting. Both were taken by ambulance to the hospital. As of Wednesday morning, the 12-year-old child remains in critical condition.

Throughout the night and this morning, LPD Crimes Against Children detectives searched for evidence related to the shooting and questioned nearby neighbors.

Right now, they are continuing to canvas the area for possible evidence or surveillance video.


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