5 things to know: Wednesday

5 things to know: Wednesday

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Dyess AFB set to receive B-21 Raider; part of larger upgrades to nuclear arsenal

LUBBOCK, Texas - West Texas is one step closer to securing the screams of bombers for years to come. 

The Air Force plans to phase out its B-1 Lancers by the mid 2030s. To fill that void, it is considering basing its next generation nuclear capable bomber, the top secret Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas.

"Dyess was traditionally a B-52 base back in the old cold war days so they've got all the infrastructure they need to be able to store weapons to be able to put people on alert, to be able to do all those types of things," said Col/ Dave Lewis, Institute of Peace and Conflict, Texas Tech.

If chosen the base would play a larger role in President Trump's larger plan to upgrade the nations nuclear capabilities. 

The Pentagon's budget request would seek $24 billion for nuclear deterrence. $2.3 billion for the B-21, 3.7 billion for the future Columbia-Class submarine, $600 million for the future long range standoff cruise missile, and $300 million for the future ground based strategic deterrent ICBM.

"We want to make sure we have the capability to deter other countries that are nuclear equipped and number two, produce a credible response should we be attacked and I think that's one of the things that is designed to deter someone like Kim Jung-Un in North Korea," Col. Lewis said.

The 2019 budget request must be approved by Congress before any further action can be taken.

Expert says social media scare takes away from human trafficking issue

LUBBOCK, Texas - It is a social media post that has caught on like wild fire. It claims a religious group that preaches "God the Mother" is involved with sex trafficking and uses a bible study to lure women.

Over the past few weeks, several Texas Tech students have received this invitation. Two women approach students about "God the Mother". Sarah Bordelon said she did not think much of it until days later when posts popped up on her social media.

Anna Claire Beasley, founder of the Tech organization 'Students Ending Slavery' said all it takes is a Google search to learn these accusations are false.

"In each of these campuses the local police departments did an investigation and each time, came up short.," Beasley said. "There was nothing empirical data." 

Since several students have complained to Tech this group makes them feel uncomfortable, Tech PD has asked them to leave campus and said they have complied.

"Sex trafficking definitely happens in Lubbock," Beasley said. "It's a big issue in most communities, and there's a lot of good work being done in Lubbock to combat it and I think when we sensationalize it and we kind of make it about us, that's when it can take away because we're not actually helping anyone by posting false information on the internet." 

Lubbock police have received reports of both the posts and interactions with this group and have not found any evidence of trafficking. We have reached out to the church and they have yet to respond.

School choice advocates: choice means new opportunities

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Republican primary ballot is conducting a poll with several propositions. The most prominent takes the pulse on school choice. Proposition 5 will ask whether parents should have the choice to decide how their tax dollars are spent when it comes to education. It specifically include the phrase without government constraints or intrusion. 

Texas Home School Coalition President Tim Lambert said the idea of giving parents options, including teaching their kids at home, can provide opportunities to all students. 

"We see over the last 30 years that home-schoolers as a group, score 30 to 35 points above the national average," said Lambert. "That is of course the proof in the pudding when you let parents make those kind of decisions than you get good results." 

Charter schools like ResponsiveEd receive federal funding and have to follow the same accountability standards any school district has, but they offer an alternative educational experience. Brad Bell the regional director for this charter school system said the idea behind school choice is simply to offer parents a variety of options to choose what's best for their children. 

The poll in the March primary is completely non-binding, but lawmakers will likely use it as a reference point the next year's legislative session, early voting for the primary begins next Tuesday and Super Tuesday is March 6. 

Evans, No. 7 Texas Tech top 23rd-ranked OU, Young, 88-78

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Keenan Evans and the rolling Texas Tech Red Raiders had their defensive focus on Oklahoma freshman scoring sensation Trae Young.

So did the hostile home crowd, for a slightly different reason.

Evans scored 26 points and No. 7 Texas Tech beat the 23rd-ranked Sooners 88-78 on Tuesday night in Young's first college game in the city where the Division I scoring leader was born.

Young, the son of former Texas Tech player Rayford Young, missed all nine 3-pointers while finishing with 19 points while getting booed just about every time he touched the ball in the fourth straight loss for the Sooners (16-9, 6-7 Big 12).

"I get that everywhere I go," said Young, who finished 10 points below his average. "Just because I'm back here in Lubbock, I didn't feel like I was going to get a welcome home type of feel. It's crazy everywhere I go, so I wasn't expecting anything different tonight."

The Red Raiders (22-4, 10-3) won their seventh straight game, including a six-game Big 12 run that's the best in the conference this season. They tied the Sooners for the most Top 25 wins nationally this season at six.

Moscow still interfering in U.S. elections, top intelligence chiefs investigate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's top intelligence chiefs all agreed Russia is still trying to meddle in American elections by spreading propaganda and conducting cyber warfare.

The president has repeatedly called the entire Russia investigation a hoax despite a unanimous warning from the heads of all six U.S. intelligence agencies.

The intelligence chiefs also stand by last year's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

"We have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here," said Mike Pompeo, CIA director.

The russia investigation is ongoing in 3 separate congressional committees plus the special counsel's office.

"We have not seen any evidence of any significant change from last year," said Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.

When the FBI director was asked if the Bureau would ever share information from any of the probes with the president, Christopher Wray said he would not discuss or provide information to the president.

Wray publicly clashed with the president about making the republican memo public and now, nearly two weeks later, Wray continues to question the rationale behind the release.

Wray also acknowledged President Trump has not directly ordered the FBI or other agencies to confront and stop Russian meddling.

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