Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 16th, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

1. Condolences to Ariel Walden and Family

Everyone at KFYO and at Lubbock's First News sends our prayers and condolences to our Producer Ariel Walden and her family after a death in the family. Ariel will be away from LFN for a while and we ask that you join us in praying for God's love and strength during this tough time for her and her family.

2. Will Texas Matter?

It's becoming more and more clear that Texas is in a mess when it comes to the GOP primary. Yesterday, an agreement was finally reached on a statewide map but only for the Texas Senate elections. The battle continues to go on over House and congressional maps. So what does that mean?

Judge Jerry Smith has asked lawyers for both parties and other officials to start pulling together details for a May 29th primary. That date isn't set in stone, but it might be the earliest that Texans can head to the polls. Texas being part of Super Tuesday is dead and so are the hopes that the state would actually get a say in the GOP primary. If the maps aren't set soon we could even see a Texas primary in June.

Sorry Texas, it looks like we will lose out on having a say on who will become the GOP nominee. It could be all wrapped up by Super Tuesday and we will just have to deal with it.

Yesterday I tweeted that Texas has been held hostage by Democrats, the courts, and other outside influences. I still believe that. Those who were elected to represent us did their job by drawing the maps only to have lawyers and courts get involved. Not only that, but Democrats are saying it's unfair and outside groups want to throw the will of the people away. The primary is important, but now it's time for the Republicans in Texas to stand their ground. We may have lost our influence in the nomination battle, but we can't lose our voice to those who wish to hijack our system.

3. Delaying STAAR (link)

Republican Rob Eissler joined with other Texas lawmakers yesterday to ask the Texas Education Agency to delay the implementation of STAAR's 15% rule.

The letter, which Eissler will formally send to Education Commissioner Robert Scott on Friday, follows a similar one from his counterpart in the Senate, Florence Shapiro, R-Plano. His letter says that delaying the requirement that the new exams make up 15 percent of a high school students' final grades is in their best interests, and that the state agency has the authority to grant a waiver.

"Opposing excessive testing is not a retreat on school accountability and rigorous standards in the classroom," Eissler wrote.

I have to admit, I don't understand what the problem is here. Texas lawmakers wanted a tougher test and from everything I've heard they got it. What are they worried about? Seeing just how bad education in Texas has been? Well, okay yeah that's probably what they are worried about.

Delaying the 15% rule by one year won't help. Education in Texas will take a while to get better. You want a tough test, you better be prepared to see the ugly results.

4. Dumb story of the morning (link)


Fifteen TCU students, including four members of the football team, were among 18 people arrested early Wednesday after a six-month drug sting in which deals allegedly went down everywhere from players' homes to a Hooters restaurant.

The fast-moving story took an unexpected turn late in the day when Fort Worth police said that an arrest warrant affidavit had mistakenly identified the wrong man, Austin Carpenter, and would be canceled.

In addition, TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said late Wednesday that only 15 of those arrested were actually registered for classes this semester.

One man remained at large Wednesday night.

The bust ensnared members of the Horned Frog football team, which recently celebrated an invitation to the Big 12 conference, and information in the documents revealed a surprise team-wide drug test on National Signing Day.

The players, two of them starters, were accused of selling marijuana to other students and teammates.

The students sold drugs ranging from marijuana to ecstasy to cocaine to undercover officers at a variety of places, including a fraternity house and a grocery store parking lot, the affidavits said.

One of those arrested, Katherine Ann Petrie, 20, sold marijuana from a house on ritzy Bellaire Drive South with her Lexus SUV parked out front, the documents say.

The football players are linebacker Tanner Brock; defensive lineman D.J. Yendrey; offensive tackle Tyler Horn; and cornerback Devin Johnson, according to the documents.

The documents also say that TCU football coach Gary Patterson sprung a surprise drug test on the football team on Feb. 1, National Signing Day, and that Brock later told an undercover officer that there "would be about 60 people being screwed" as a result of the test.

Brock, the team's leading tackler during the Frogs' 13-0 Rose Bowl season, was injured in 2011.

Sources told the Star-Telegram that Patterson ordered the drug test after a prize recruit told him that he would not attend TCU because of drug use by players.

TCU has not released results of any drug tests, but Johnson told an undercover officer that 82 players failed, the documents say.

The affidavits do not indicate that Patterson knew about the six-month investigation that led to the arrests early Wednesday, including three on campus.

This will have ramifications on many different fronts.

Other Top Stories:

Did Republicans Cave?

Swing State Polls

Maxine Waters Being Maxine Waters

GOP Demands Apology Over Chimichanga Tweet

Student Quits HS Choir Over Islamic Song Praising Allah

Controversial Muslim Group Speaks to Students, Parents Not Happy

Guests Appearing on LFN Today:

Jerry Reynolds from The Car Pro Show heard on KFYO Saturdays 11a-2p

Lisa Gilliland from Lubbock Meals on Wheels

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show