5 things to know: Monday

5 things to know: Monday

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How Damien Cortez impacted the people who inspired him

LUBBOCK, Texas - As police continue investigating what led up to the 12-year-old Damien Cortez's death at a McDonalds drive thru, those who knew Damien are mourning. 

He spent most of his elementary days at Hodges Elementary School. Assistant Principal Alice Jimenez said he was a gifted student with endless potential and always went above and beyond. 

While he was dedicated in school, he also had a passion for baseball. It was one of those teachers who also gave Damien the opportunity to attend a baseball camp where he met Estacado High School graduate and professional baseball player, A.J. Ramos. After hearing Damien was a big fan, Ramos took a photo with him and they had a brief conversation.

"It's a tragic thing and the more and more I talk about it the more I remember, he was a quiet kid," Ramos said. "I'm telling you when I was talking to him he listened to every word. I bet if you asked him he could of recited every word I told him and just the joy for the game, just doing the drills, he was happy doing the drills. "        

Jimenez said while it is a difficult time for many of his former teachers, they are going to remember the positive impact Damien has made.

Damien also attended two other schools in New Deal and Roosevelt ISD. Both districts released a statement and are offering counseling for teachers and students.


No. 7 Texas Tech beats Kansas State to take sole Big 12 lead

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Texas Tech coach Chris Beard was just happy to walk out with a victory.

"We were pleased to win another Big 12 game today." Beard said.

Keenan Evans scored 19 points and No. 7 Texas Tech beat Kansas State 66-47 on Saturday night to take sole possession of the Big 12 lead.

"These games are so hard to win with all the preparation and you have to play well to win especially on the road in this league," Beard said. "I am happy for our guys. Defensively we dialed in. I think we played our fullest 40 minutes of the year defensively."

Texas Tech (21-4, 9-3) relied on strong second-half defense. After a 27-27 deadlock in the first half, the Red Raiders turned up the pressure.

In the second half, Kansas State (17-8, 6-6) had more turnovers (11) than made baskets (5) and ended up shooting just 29 percent on the night.

Dean Wade led the Wildcats with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

At the end of the night, the Red Raiders are atop the Big 12 and guard Keenan Evans isn't worried about outside opinions. They are just trying to shock the world.


TTU student and DACA Dreamer recognized on Senate floor

LUBBOCK, Texas - Saba Nafees was born in Pakistan and brought to the U.S. by her parents when she was 11-years-old. She is just one of the thousands of immigrants who applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy when it was first introduced during the Obama administration. 

Last week, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois shared Nafees' story on the floor. She was the 108th story he has shared. 

"I don't agree with the senator in the terms of a few points he made," Nafees said. "He said there's not a lazy bone in this young lady. He's incorrect about that." 

She graduated from Texas Tech Honors College with a math degree and is now a PhD candidate for mathematical biology. While her studies keep her busy, she said she still finds time to advocate. 

"Our efforts have been good, successful in the sense that we've been able to share our stories," Nafees said. "We've been able to make a visible presence, strong visible presence on the Hill the last few months but we really haven't reaped the benefit of any of that yet because nothing has come forward."

Nafees said while many students and faculty are responding to her story well, she still gets negative backlash. She is hopeful the more she shares, the more minds are changed.

"There's not many people out here that are outspoken and who will go out there and say 'I'm a DACA recipient, I'm a dreamer and this is my story,'" Nafees said. "Unfortunately, there's just not much of that so people here don't get influenced by that at all what so ever so they really don't get the chance to learn and I think that's what's stopping them from being more open." 

Nafees said it is a waiting game now to see if Congress will pass a deal before the March 5th deadline, or if the program will be terminated. 


Congressional budget includes protections for cotton

LUBBOCK, Texas -The budget deal passed through Congress included more than just money to keep the government running. 

When President Trump signed the deal he gave farmers on the South Plains some peace of mind. 

Cotton was stripped out of the Farm Bill in 2014. Since then producers have not enjoyed the same as their counterparts growing other crops. Leaving them subject to an uncertain future.

"Everything kind of hit at the wrong time," said Dan Jackson, General Manager of the Meadow Farmers Co-Op Gin. "The '14 bill came out, they took us completely out of the commodities, they did leave us crop insurance which is great because that's a tool that allows us to go borrow money to operate but it doesn't make them whole."

As of Friday morning though, these farmers will be brought back under the umbrella of the Farm Bill. It will be reinstated as a Title One commodity, covered under the Farm Bill. 

Jackson said the bill comes at a perfect time as farmers are just now going bank to get ready for the next season.


The White House defends decision to block memo release

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is defending their decision to block the release of the memo drafted by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee...

Critics say the decision is partisan politics.

The white house claims they aren't releasing it based on the advice of legal and national security experts

Adam Schiff, ranking member on the House Intel Committee, says President Trump simply doesn't want the public to see - quote - "underlying facts."

"What is revealed in our memo are quotations from the very FISA application that really demonstrate just how misleading the republicans have been," Schiff said.

Democrats drafted their memo as a rebuttal to the Republican memo -- which accused the FBI and Department of Justice - of misusing their surveillance authority when they got a FISA warrant on former Trump Campaign Adviser Carter Page.

On Friday, the White House said President Trump is "inclined" but unable to release the Democrats' memo because it "contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages." 

Earlier this week, Republican Congressman Justin Amash tweeted that he's read both memos and in his words, "neither one endangers national security." 

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