5 things to know: Thursday

5 things to know: Thursday

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53 drownings in Texas already this year

LUBBOCK, Texas - If you plan to spend time at the pool or lake through the rest of this hot summer, safety needs to be your top priority. 53 kids have drowned in Texas just this year. Fortunately none have been on the South Plains. 

"Make sure you check for the life jackets and required equipment on the boat but also very important on a very busy holiday week, designate a sober operator," said Aaron Sims, a Game Warden for Texas Parks and Wildlife. "That's the number one thing people can do besides a life jacket that will keep them safe out there."

Just because you have a life jacket on does not mean it will work. Sims said it needs to be the right size.

It is not just large bodies of water you have to be careful at though. More kids have died in pools than anywhere else this year.

"If you know your child cannot swim, always have them in some type of flotation device," said Chris Gonzales, Aquatics Director at YWCA. "I would recommend something that's Coast Guard certified but always have them in a life jacket if they cannot swim."

Gonzales said even then it is critical you keep an eye on your child regardless if there are life guards on duty.


Crash ties up I-27 traffic near 34th street

LUBBOCK, Texas - At approximately 8:30 p.m., Lubbock Police officers responded to a traffic crash in the northbound lanes of the 2800 block of I-27. The crash occurred between a motorcycle and a car both traveling northbound.
 
One person was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
 
Right now Accident Investigators are on scene. All northbound lanes of I-27 between 34th Street and 19th Street are shut down. Northbound traffic will be forced to exit 34th Street.


On July 4, Americans celebrate their union, rue divisions
  
NEW YORK (AP) - Americans are marking Independence Day with parades, fireworks and, for some, a renewed sense of pride in their 242-year-old nation.
  
For others, a sense of a United States divided weighs heavy on its quintessential holiday.
  
From New York to New Mexico, July Fourth events will celebrate what Americans have in common. Festivities are as elaborate as the Macy's July Fourth fireworks show, as gulp-worthy as the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest and as easygoing as backyard barbecues.
  
But in a country roiled with debate over what it means to be an American, there are even competing televised Independence Day events in the nation's capital.
  
PBS' broadcast of music and fireworks from the U.S. Capitol's West Lawn faces new counterprogramming from the White House, which is hosting its own concert.


Thai official says boys may be taken out of cave in stages

?MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) - A Thai official overseeing the rescue operation of a soccer team trapped in a flooded cave said the 12 boys and their coach may not all be extracted at the same time depending on their health.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Wednesday that "all 13 may not come out at the same time. If the condition is right and if that person is ready 100 percent, he can come out." He said authorities will evaluate their readiness each day and if there is any risk will not proceed.

The teammates and their coach were seen in latest video sitting with Thai navy SEALs in the dark cave, their skinny faces illuminated by a flashlight. The boys, many wrapped in foil warming blankets, take turns introducing themselves, pressing their hands together in a traditional Thai greeting and saying their names and that they are healthy.


Sanctioned Russian oligarch linked to Cohen has vast US ties
  
WASHINGTON (AP) - For more than two decades, Viktor Vekselberg was known by American executives as someone who got deals done - sometimes with Russian President Vladimir Putin's blessing.
  
In May, Vekselberg's name was tied to payments President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen made to a porn star. But the oligarch has long worked to extend his influence in the U.S.
  
Together with an American cousin who heads New York investment firm Columbus Nova, Vekselberg once backed a $1.6 million lobbying campaign to aid Russian interests in Washington.
  
Now, his cousin's firm is dealing with Treasury Department financial sanctions lodged in April against Vekselberg.
  
Columbus Nova spokesmen say the sanctions indefinitely halted Velselberg's financial relationship with Columbus Nova. They say the U.S. firm is also in discussions with Treasury to recover blocked assets.

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