5 things to know: Friday

5 things to know: Friday

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Two area schools closed due to flu outbreak

Smyer ISD and Loop ISD are both closed for the weekend after the flu virus infected the student population.

Smyer has slightly more than 300 students. Wednesday, 70 were out sick. 

Leo Martinez and his maintenance team worked all day Thursday and will continue working though Friday to rid the school of the flu. 

"We are wiping everything down," Martinez said. "All the desks, from desks, to chairs, doorknobs, everything is getting wiped down. Anything that kids would come in contact with."

Administrators hope to have the school reopened by Monday. 


Students learning what it takes to be a skilled worker

Students are getting prepared for a career not just college. With an evolving workforce, more and more of the jobs are going to trained workers who have a proven skill set.

Whether students are looking to go straight from graduation into the real world, or to go through years of college to get that degree, Lubbock has plenty of opportunities to provide students with the path to their future.

"Absolutely you don't have to have a four year degree," Executive Director of South Plains College Lubbock Kevin McConic said. "That's great if that's your path and that's what you want to do, certainly go and do that. But the opportunity and the option is here."

"Really, kids can go straight to work out of high school, they can go on to a technical school or a community college, they can go to the university," Executive Director of the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center said.

Both SPC and several area districts have robust technical programs. Lubbock ISD features the ATC, which houses students from every Lubbock ISD high school who are choosing to become career-ready in trade and technical fields.

With many classes available, students can build a skill set and even a resume.The teachers provide a way for a student to fit in the workforce.

The college fosters an environment for students on alternative paths.The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance works with these institutions on creating new programs that teach in demand skills.


Child development experts ask Facebook to pull the plug on new messaging app

Engaging and communicating with family and friends through social media has become the norm these days and now more and more children are getting connected, but what is the right age to get on social media?

Facebook recently launched a new messengers kids app designed specifically for pre-teens with parental supervision, but since its inception it has gained some negative traction among child development experts. 

The Boston based group called Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood signed a letter and shared their concerns with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating that pre-teens just aren't ready to navigate the complexities of social media.

"The group that sent this letter to Facebook have the absolute right idea," said Eric Rasmussen, a Texas Tech assistant professor, whose conducted intensive research on child development and social media. "It's preventing kids from getting this brand loyalty to Facebook, so that they don't graduate to instant exposure to advertisement." 

Facebook's idea behind the messenger kids app is to allow pre-teens to connect with their friends and family all under the watchful eye of their parents.

The messenger kids app features animations and emoji's catered to young people. A recent report conducted by App Annie an application analytics firm indicated that messenger kids had been downloaded about 80,000 times on IOS since it was first launched in December and continues to be a favorite. 


Man charged with murder from Lubbock nightclub parking lot shooting

Malcolm Bibbs, 42, is now in custody and charged with the murder of 43-year-old Raymond Lockett.

On January 20th, Lockett was dropped off at the hospital with gunshot wounds and was later pronounced deceased. Investigators were able to determine the shooting occurred in a parking lot on East 4th Street and MLK Jr. Boulevard.

Through the investigation, detectives with the Lubbock Police Department Persons Crimes Unit discovered there had been an ongoing dispute between Lockett and Bibbs. Investigators gathered enough information to secure an arrest warrant for Bibbs on January 29th.

On February 1st, just after noon, Bibbs was arrested without incident at a home in the 1400 block of 77th Street.

LPD officers, LPD SWAT members, Lubbock County Sheriff deputies, and members of the U.S. Marshals Service North Texas Fugitive Task Force Foxtrot assisted in the arrest.

Bibbs will be held at the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond.


UPDATE: President Trump approves the release of FBI memo on Russia investigation, Comey weighs in

White House officials say President Donald Trump will clear the way for the publication of a classified memo on the Russia investigation.

The memo, prepared by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, is said to allege FBI misconduct in the initial stages of its investigation of potential ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign.
  
Trump's justice department furiously lobbied trump to stop the release, saying it could harm national security and mislead the public.
  
A White House official said Congress would probably be informed of the decision Friday. A second official said trump was likely to declassify the congressional memo but the precise method for making it public was still being figured out. The officials were not authorized to be quoted about private deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Former FBI Director James Comey is defending the agency on Twitter, saying, "All should appreciate the FBI speaking up."

Comey is urging his former colleagues to "take heart." 

He says, "American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up."

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