5 things to watch for Friday

5 things to watch for Friday

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Family homeless after SUV crashes into house

A family in North Lubbock now without a home after a SUV crashed into their house around 2 A.M and started a fire.

Police said the driver was probably speeding and lost control of the vehicle near Redbud Avenue and Parkway Drive. One person was hospitalized but injuries are not serious. The residents of the home are staying with family instead of using Red Cross. 

No Word yet on the identity of the driver or whether alcohol is being considered as a factor. 

LPD Homeless Outreach Team working in the community

LUBBOCK - Lubbock Police Department officers bridging a much needed gap to those many overlook.

"I got told today it's nice to be treated different than they normally are, we don't talk to them any different manner, but we do we show them that we are really  trying to help them," Lubbock Police Officer Tony Chacon said. 

They're H.O.T or LPD's Homeless Outreach Team, which was started nearly two years ago.

"Our first couple contacts that we had at Open Door for example our day shelter, we showed up there and there wasn't a lot of interaction between us and that community and after a few months of building the rapport and relationships, that changed," Lubbock Police Sgt. Steven Bergen said.

Now when HOT pulls up, "they are calling us out by name and aye what are you doing, who you looking for you know," Chacon said. "Sometimes we don't even do anything, we just go up to just have a conversation with them and it's like they are waiting for us to come by just so they can say hi and that's all because of something we did previously to help them out."

The help comes in many different forms.

"Giving someone a bicycle is really cool, because they come here and their expectations are not that high and granted some of our bicycles are in not that good of shape, but we do a lot of work on them and we help improve them," Chacon said. "So when they get something and they are able to move on it, it totally changes their aspect."

With help from the community, HOT has given away more than 40 bikes, in just a year and a half. 

"If you think about it that's 40 people that have jobs, that didn't have jobs before and are able to go back and forth to them," Chacon said.

Their help goes beyond Lubbock streets. 

"Our bus program, we reunite folks with family or friends," Bergen said. "There is kinda some criteria they have to meet before we can actually send them somewhere, they can't have any active cases or warrants with us or in the area and they actually have a place to stay, so we don't send people away to be homeless somewhere else."

45 people and counting have benefited from the bus and housing programs. 

"There is a cost associated with individuals who are homeless especially chronically homeless, they can cost anywhere up to $40,000 a community, a year," Bergen said. "So housing is a desperate need for these folks, get them into housing, get them jobs, get them back on their feet."

It's program with a lasting legacy, not only within the police department's walls, but in our city by HOT helping put a face and name to those we tend to forget. 

Dangerous ecstasy pills seized by LSO

LUBBOCK, Texas - A dangerous pill is making its way to the South Plains.

Lubbock County Sheriff Deputies warns about a dangerous ecstasy pill that has been seized. 

According to reports, law enforcement have issued warnings nationwide. 

This "extra strong IKEA pill" is sending people to the hospital.

Temporarily closed 'Legacy Play Village' in need of volunteers for grounds upkeep

LUBBOCK, Texas - Legacy Play Village claims it's been serving smiles for families on the South Plains since 2002, but not everyone is happy with the condition of the park.

It's a popular spot for families with young children to frequent during the summer. However, anyone looking to have some fun is met with locked gates and signs that say "temporarily closed."

The three story, 30,000 sq ft wooden playground is meant to be a castle hideaway for young children, but Spring Wishmeyer, a mom of two boys, Christopher, 14 and Corben, 3, finds the place to be more of a hazard.

"You know makes me a little uneasy, a little unsafe. It makes me feel that it's unsafe to be here and to bring your little ones here."

She said the wooden playground just isn't up to par.

"Nails, loose boards, there's graffiti. The nails itself are a huge hazard. Children are crawling on these, and climbing. That can do some serious damage. It's all about safety. If you're going to open something like this, that should be number one is safety."

Wishmeyer said the nonprofit that owns the park, Friends of Legacy Play Village should consider options to maintain it.

"Oh there's always something you can do, there's always something. There's fund raising, there's something you can do. Whoever owns this, upkeep the place, that way it stays safe for families to come out and and have a good time here."

Now since this isn't a city run park, it requires the help of volunteers to keep it up and running. The nonprofit is hosting a volunteer work day this Saturday morning, Aug. 5, starting at 8am.

Wishmeyer is happy to hear something is being done to try to maintain the grounds.

"I want to be able to bring my children here so they can have fun and enjoy it. We just want to come here and have a great time and and not have to worry about any of that."

The park is scheduled to reopen that following Sunday, Aug. 6, but a spokesman with the nonprofit said it will take as much time needed to get the park back up to par.

New immigration reform plan laid out by U.S. lawmakers

LUBBOCK, Texas - Senators David Perdue (G.a) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) proposed the first step in comprehensive immigration reform by adjusting visa programs. President Trump announced his support for a congressional plan that would overhaul the immigration system for the first time in half a century.

"It's including the modification of two aspects of immigration law; family and employment immigration," said local immigration attorney Paola Ledesma.

 Ledesma said this proposed law would cut the number of legal immigrants admitted into the country, changing the system's foundations. 

"What the current system is trying to do is unify families it is somehow controversial but at the same time we understand that there has to be limits to immigration to the legal immigration to the country."

Since his announcement the president has received opposition from both the democratic and republican party focusing on the economic impact this would cause. 

Ledesma said one of the biggest questions is what will happen to undocumented immigrants.This proposed law faces a tough battle in the senate. Republicans will need democrats to agree to the plan and the full support of the republican conference,something the GOP has yet to manage with its other legislative priorities.

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