FOX 26 Daily Digital News Brief for Feb. 22, 2018

Governor Greg Abbott has commuted the death sentence of Bart Whitaker after a parole board unanimously recommended to commute Whitaker’s death sentence to life in prison. Whitaker orchestrated the deaths of his mother and brother in 2003, so that he could inherit $1 million. His father survived, forgave him, and asked the state to spare his life.

Rumored layoffs of HISD police officers will not happen. The district is looking at making some cuts, including 40 percent of non-teaching staff, but we’re told that will not include police.

Houston parents are still having trouble relying on Houston ISD buses. Parents tell us the buses often arrive up to an hour late or don’t show up at all. That leaves some moms and dads scrambling to get their kids to school. HISD officials ask parents to call the HISD Transportation Department if they have any transportation issues.

17-year-old Tomball High School student Corbin Pacheco is facing felony charges, after Tomball Police said he posted a threat on social media. According to police, Pacheco posted a picture of an assault rifle and the words “don’t come to school tomorrow.” He allegedly told investigators he did it as a joke.

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, President Donald Trump recommends arming certain teachers. He said allowing teachers with military or special training experience to carry a concealed gun could make a gunman think twice about entering a school. He suggested arming 20 percent of teachers across the country, and paying bonuses to those trained teachers who are armed at work.

We’re just a few days away from the official start of Rodeo Houston. In the meantime, you might smell something cooking at NRG Park. The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest kicked off today and runs through this Saturday. The carnival is also open.

Three pet horses have been killed in Liberty County in the last couple of months. The Brock family’s first pet horse was shot in the head just before Christmas. A rescue group donated another horse, and he was found killed Monday. The family’s five-year-old daughter is devastated. The Liberty County sheriff is also investigating the shooting of a miniature horse in November that belonged to another little girl.