5 things for Houstonians to know for Monday, Feb. 28

A group migrants waits at a gate near the U.S. and Mexico border in Del Rio on July 22, 2021. The group turned themselves over to the National Guard and Customs and Border Protection officials. (Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune, Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)

Here are things to know for Monday, Feb. 28:

1. Memphis rapper Snootie Wild shot, killed in south Houston, HPD says

A well-known rapper from Memphis, Tennesee has died after he was gunned down Friday night on Houston’s southside, according to his fiance.

The victim, who police identified as 36-year-old LaPreston Porter, was found lying in a ditch with a gunshot wound to his neck in the 4300 block of Alice Street.

Porter was a rapper who was more commonly known by his stage name, Snootie Wild. His fiance Krystal Meredith says he leaves behind five children.

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2. Transgender woman found shot, killed in unlocked apartment in SW Houston

Authorities are investigating after a transgender woman was found shot to death inside an apartment in southwest Houston.

The woman was found by her boyfriend inside the unlocked apartment located on Dunlap Street near Rookin, according to officials.

Investigators with the Houston police say the woman was killed sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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3. Houston man’s difficult journey to get home after spending more than 16 hours trying to leave Ukraine

Thousands are fleeing Ukraine and headed towards Poland as war rages in several parts of the country.

Spring native Akrum Ali was vacationing in Kyiv for almost a week and said everything was fine until Thursday morning.

“It had been completely normal until 4 in the morning,” Ali said. “Everything was normal.”

Ali said sirens and explosions could be heard in the distance, and by Friday morning, he made the decision to leave and head for the Polish border.

“There were concrete barriers and barbed wire in the road that had already been pushed through by other cars earlier. So, I pushed through that and just sped. I learned later on that they started bombing around where I had been at 3 a.m. and I left at midnight,” said Ali.

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4. “I hate it here”: National Guard members sound off on Texas border mission in leaked morale survey

When asked in January what they liked about their deployment to the Texas-Mexico border, members of the Texas Air National Guard had few nice things to say.

“I hate it here,” one respondent said in an anonymous survey about the involuntary mission with no set end date that has taken as many as 10,000 troops away from their civilian lives and families.

Another, asked for general feedback, simply posted four middle- finger emojis.

Frustration, anxiety and anger prevailed in the survey responses obtained by the The Texas Tribune and the Military Times. The survey includes responses from nearly 250 members of Task Force South, one of six units that fall under the umbrella of Operation Lone Star — Gov. Greg Abbott’s unprecedentedly large attempt to secure the border with Guard members and state troopers.

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5. COVID-19 cases are declining in Texas schools after omicron surge

Students in Texas public schools are experiencing another year upturned by COVID-19 as the delta and omicron variants spread.

Texas schools appear to be turning a corner with the virus after the highly contagious omicron variant caused a surge in student and staff COVID-19 cases in January. Statewide, cases and hospitalizations have declined. For now, schools are prohibited from requiring masks, though some continue to ignore the governor’s order banning mask mandates. Several districts temporarily closed or altered operations to compensate for staff shortages due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases. In some districts, students who are frustrated by limited COVID-19 protocols held petition drives and walkouts.

Every Friday, the Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services release COVID-19 case counts for students and staff, as reported by the state’s school districts.

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