Good morning! Here is what's on Good Day Lubbock this morning 5-9 a.m. on FOX34.
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Dry today with increasing cloud cover, highs in 70s and 80s
A front will be in our area today with a range in highs from the lower 70s to some 80s in our southern counties. We stay dry with increasing cloud cover and a light wind changing from the northwest to the southwest during the afternoon. Low near 52, mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 70s and a breezy west/northwest wind Thursday. The chance for rain increases overnight Thursday through early Saturday with some storms possible and a good coverage of rain.
The city council approved partial re-zoning where the expo center is planned and the project is moving forward
Last night, city council voted 5-2 to change some but not all of the residential land to commercial. The Lubbock County Expo Center Steering Committee that bought the 133 acres of land back in January will turn over 102 acres to the county for the project. It's expected to cost at least $35M. Chances are, you may already be paying it. The "hot tax" approved in November 2018 on hotels and rental cars has been collecting the money that will eventually go to the project. Anything more will have to be through private donations. The expo center committee expects the land to be turned over to the county by late May or early June, and building the center is projected to take 2 years.
Lubbock grand jurors have indicted and enhanced the charge for a man accused of robbing and killing a man over drugs
The grand jury believes the state can prove LaCharles Curtis shot and killed JaWhan Jones at the Coronado Inn last month. Curtis is a felon who's already done time for drugs and weapon charges. A warrant shows Jones tried to buy drugs from Curtis then Curtis pulled a gun, trying to rob Jones and shot him three times. If convicted, Curtis faces a max sentence of life in prison with parole.
Violent crime in Lubbock went up 1% from 2018 to 2019, according to FBI data
Chief Floyd Mitchell went over the stats with city council. Police investigated 16 murders, 269 rapes, 468 robberies, and nearly 1,900 aggravated assaults last year. There were about 12,000 property crimes reported. Police investigated more burglaries and car thefts but fewer car break-ins. City Manager Jarrett Atkinson notes these are raw numbers and the city's growth outpaces the growth of its crime. Chief Mitchell reports 51 people died in traffic crashes last year which is 50% more than in 2018.
The police chief says last year was a tough one for the department
Arrest numbers went down, and fewer emergency calls were dispatched in less than two minutes. Only 79% of those "priority one" calls hit that metric. The target is at least 90%. Chief Mitchell says the change in July from 12 to 10 hour shifts and staffing are big contributors to that. There are dozens of recruits signed up and in the training pipeline but there will be 24 police department vacancies by Friday. In order to compensate, the chief plans to put more emphasis on patrol and to recruit more dispatchers.
A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from allowing 3D printed gun files to be released on the internet
The company that developed the "ghost gun" projects, Defense Distributed, is based in Austin. A federal judge in New York issued a multi-state preliminary injunction on the files. They would allow anyone to access the projects with specifications to build fully-functioning weapons including "AR" style rifles. The ghost guns were given their name because they are unregistered and untraceable.
Dick's Sporting Goods will stop selling guns at more than 440 additional stores this year
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, Dick's announced it would stop selling semi-automatic weapons. A few months later, Dick's pulled firearms and hunting accessories from ten stores as a test and overall sales increased at those stores. And in March 2019, the company pulled guns and ammunition from 125 additional stores. Now, Dick's plans to nearly quadruple the number of its stores without guns.
The U.S. has just topped 1,000 cases of the novel coronavirus
While that's still a relatively small number, it can be argued nearly everyone is affected by it. The number of confirmed cases globally rises daily and there's a ripple effect. Festivals and large-scale events are being canceled or postponed and some businesses are asking employees to work from home. Now colleges nationwide are shutting down campuses with plans to continue instruction online. Dozens of colleges have canceled in-person classes temporarily or the balance of the semester. Harvard directed undergraduates to leave the ivy league campus by the end of the week and not to return after spring break. With more campuses canceling classes by the day, the potential impact looms large into the spring for final exams, new student tours and graduation ceremonies.
In a push to help keep the public safe from coronavirus infection, CVS pharmacies waiving fees for their prescription home delivery service
The CDC is asking higher-risk patients to stay at home in order to avoid potential contact with the virus. Aetna Health Care is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for its members, as long as they have the benefits administered through CVS Caremark. A Lubbock CVS pharmacist says there are some things to know when it comes to the no-cost delivery prescriptions. The effort applies to the medications that are currently approved for home delivery. Restricted from that list are controlled substances, medications prescribed through Medicaid and Express Scripts, refrigerated medications and ones through 3rd party insurance carriers. All medicines on the list can be dropped off at your home the day after they're called in, usually if it's by noon within a 30-mile radius of each CVS location. A reminder - there are still no confirmed coronavirus cases in Lubbock County or West Texas.
Voters in six states hit the polls yesterday
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders went head to head in key contests for the democratic presidential nomination. Joe Biden swept the first three primaries Tuesday night with dominating wins in Missouri and Mississippi, and a crucial victory in Michigan. The "Wolverine State" was the biggest available prize with 125 delegates. The former vice president has enjoyed a wave of endorsements since Super Tuesday from his former rivals, who have since dropped out of the race. Six states held primaries, with 352 delegates up for grabs. Sanders spent most of the day in Michigan, a state he won in 2016 in a stunning upset, but, this time he fell well short. Sanders received an endorsement from former members of Elizabeth Warren's campaign staff. Coronavirus fears are now impacting campaigning. Both candidates canceled rallies in Cleveland tonight, and the DNC announced there will be no live audience for this Sunday's debate in Arizona.
An appeals court ruling yesterday could potentially open the door for another house impeachment inquiry
The court has granted the house access to secret grand jury material gathered in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and cited in the Mueller report. In a 2-1 ruling Tuesday, the DC circuit court of appeals granted the access. The Department of Justice can appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court or again to the DC-based appeals court. The house told the court it wanted the still-confidential Mueller findings and grand jury material so it can investigate the president for potential obstruction of justice during the Russia investigation. The house said during the Ukraine impeachment proceedings it could still consider impeaching Trump again, because of his actions during the Mueller investigation.
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