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Posts published in April 2020

ABBOTT ORDERS END TO VIRUS “STAY HOME”: Governor reopens Texas on May 1

Businesses that open subject to restrictions

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott on Monday, April 27 announced the first phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase I, certain services and activities are allowed to open with limited occupancy. The Governor also outlined special guidance for Texans over 65 and detailed a comprehensive mitigation plan for nursing homes in Texas. The Governor also announced a statewide testing and tracing program developed by the Department of State Health Services that will help public health officials quickly identify and test Texans who contract COVID-19 and mitigate further spread of the virus.

The Governor’s announcement is accompanied by a 66 page manual, Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas available to download at gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.

“This strategic approach to opening the state of Texas prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and follows the guidelines laid out by our team of medical experts,” said Governor Abbott. “Now more than ever, Texans must remain committed to safe distancing practices that reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we must continue to rely on doctors and data to provide us with the safest strategies to restore Texans’ livelihoods.”

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Harris County Judge orders residents to wear masks in public for next 30 days

Harris County, Texas – April 22, 2020 — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Wednesday issued an order requiring residents to wear masks when in public for the next 30 days, beginning on Monday, April 27, 2020 and will continue until May 26, 2020 at 11:59 pm. The order requires individuals over the age of 10 to wear a face covering, which can be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, when outside the home. Medical masks or N-95 respirators are not recommended as they are needed for health-care workers and first responders.

Masks should cover the nose and mouth, and must be worn except when an individual is exercising or engaging in physical activity outside alone; alone in a separate indoor or outdoor space; eating or drinking; when driving; or when doing so poses a threat to their health, mental health, or safety. Masks are not required when an individual is in the presence of only members of their residence.

“When it comes to fighting this virus, each of us is capable of committing heroic acts by making adjustments in how we live our daily life,” said Judge Hidalgo. “Steps like wearing a face covering, getting tested, and staying home save lives and reduce transmissions, which will get our economy back online sooner. I’m heartened by the number of residents who have already been following guidance to wear face coverings already, but we are in this for the long haul. The best way to get our economy back up and running again – and keep it open – is by making sure we’re working together to prevent the spread of this virus. Wearing face coverings is a vital piece of our playbook.”

The order comes as an uptick in hospital admissions indicates the region has not yet reached the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak. During the past week, the county has doubled its testing capacity and dispatched mobile testing units to all four precincts. (more…)

Food drives help feed 500 families in Pct. 2

Volunteers who helped pack and distribute food bags pause for a group photo.

HIGHLANDS – With much of the population observing “Stay Home” rules, or temporarily without a job, food availability has become a major concern.

A number of local groups, including Precinct 2, organizations such as Rotary, churches, and individuals have been collecting food and distributing it to anyone in need.

Last week Food Drives were held at a number of Precinct 2 community centers, including Highlands.

Tonya Kostka told the North Channel Star about the drive in Highlands. “What a great day! Lots of hard work from great volunteers! Thank you first to Monument Chemical Gloria O’Bannon and her team for the generous donation to our Community.

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North Shore Rotary to award all prizes in Raffle on May 16

North Shore Rotary’s top prize in their Annual benefit Fish Fry is this 2020 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, courtesy of Turner Chevrolet in Crosby.

NORTH SHORE – The Rotary Club has announced that although they had to cancel the in-person Fish Fry due to Covid-19 restrictions, nevertheless they will hold their Prize Raffle, and proceeds will benefit scholarships and community projects. Their statement:

“The 45th annual fund raiser will not include crawfish, catfish, or a live auction. We have incorporated many of our nicer auction items and included them as prizes for our raffle.

We will have a grand prize of either a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck or a Camaro. The choice will be made by the winner of the raffle.

Other prizes include a whole hog, a side of beef, each cut and wrapped from animals purchased at auctions from local FFA students. Houston Livestock & Rodeo packages, Texan tickets with hotel accommodations, vacation packages, gift cards, and many more. Twenty prizes to be drawn.

Tickets can be purchased from any Rotarian or purchased via Pay-Pal by going to URL: nsrotaryfishfry@gmail.com or Contact President Elect Lowell Everitt @ leveritt@everittind.com.

You may Pay by Check: Mail to PO Box 1152 Channelview, Texas 77530.

For more information: info@northshorerotary.org The drawing will be held at Turner Chevrolet at 2:00 PM on Saturday May 16, 2020. It will be shown live on Facebook Live by going to Rotary Club of North Shore Facebook page.

The drawing will also be presented via a Zoom meeting. Check the Rotary Facebook page for ID to enter the meeting.

Congresswoman Garcia brings funding to District’s Colleges

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX – April 27, 2020 Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) announced that three college systems in the 29th Congressional District will receive funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and will allocate more than $307 million for the Governor’s Fund Component of the Education Stabilization Fund in Texas. In addition to this statewide funding, individual institutions of higher education will receive funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

“The community colleges in my district play a critical role in the workforce development of residents all across the Houston region. They equip our residents with opportunities to earn jobs, get promoted, and get trained for careers in new industries. I am thrilled that Houston Community College, the Lone Star College System, and San Jacinto Community College District will receive much-needed funding under the CARES Act to ensure that they can continue to serve our students and provide them with the career opportunities that will help our region recover from the impacts of this pandemic,” said Congresswoman Garcia.

The three recipients in the 29th Congressional District are:

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Governor plans to reopen state

Governor Greg Abbott at a new conference in Austin last Friday, announcing steps to re-open the state.

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott last Friday, April 17, 2020, announced initial steps to re-open the Texas economy as it continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

During a news conference at the Texas Capitol, Abbott said Texans’ efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus were paying off.

“We’re now beginning to see glimmers that the worst of COVID-19 may soon be behind us,” Abbott said. “We have demonstrated that we can corral the coronavirus.”

To get the economy going again, Abbott named a “statewide strike force” chaired by James Huffines, the Austin banker and former UT regent. The task force staff will be led by Mike Toomey, a veteran lobbyist who was chief of staff to Abbott’s predecessor, Rick Perry.

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Houston, Harris County appoint ‘Recovery Czars’ to lead relief from Covid19 crisis

HARRIS COUNTY – April 20, 2020 — County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Monday selected State Representative Armando Walle to lead the COVID19 pandemic relief and recovery effort on her behalf. As Harris County COVID19 Relief and Recovery Czar, Rep. Walle is tasked with leading the effort to drive the region’s economic recovery. He will join the Houston relief and recovery Czar in this effort and jointly they will convene community and government stakeholders as necessary.

“State Rep. Walle is uniquely positioned to build consensus across Harris County’s diverse communities to help our region emerge from the COVID-19 disaster. As a leader in the state Legislature on issues of health, safety, and the economic well being of families, he’s a champion for the important priorities that we want to make sure are in the forefront of this relief and recovery effort,” Judge Hidalgo said. “Like the rest of the world, Harris County will not be the same when this crisis abates. But with inclusive, fast and coordinated planning, we will build an economy and a social services network that gives every resident the tools they need to thrive once again.”

A Harris County native, Rep. Walle is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Law and has served in the Texas Legislature since 2009. Rep. Walle serves on the Business and Industry Committee, serves as Vice Chair of the Land & Resource Management Committee, and serves on the Federalism & Fiscal Responsibility Committee.

“While we are in the midst of a public health crisis, it is critical for our decision-making to be driven by data and the judgment of our public health experts on how those decisions impact the people of the greater Houston region,” Rep. Walle said Monday. “We need to work together on an inclusive recovery that responsibly ensures the health and economic well being of the people of Harris County. We need to save lives, and also save livelihoods.”

Rep. Walle will work with a wide variety of regional stakeholders in this effort, including private sector, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and local governments.

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Galena Park I.S.D. names John Moore lone finalist for Superintendent Position

Dr. John C. Moore

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Galena Park I.S.D. Board of Trustees announced Dr. John C. Moore as the lone finalist in the District’s superintendent search.

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected as the lone finalist for superintendent of Galena Park I.S.D., and I look forward to continuing the great work started by Dr. Angi Williams. My objective is, and has always been, to become a superintendent in Galena Park I.S.D. who inspires students, staff and the community to grow beyond what anyone believes is achievable. Dr. Williams has led this District extremely well for the past nine years, and is a well-respected educational leader throughout Texas and the nation,” remarked Dr. Moore.

Dr. Moore began his educational career as a teacher in Calcasieu Parish School, Sulphur, Louisiana in 1990. In 1991, he moved to Houston, Texas and became a teacher at W.C. Cunningham Middle School. During his tenure in Galena Park I.S.D. he has spent 29 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and associate superintendent, all in Galena Park I.S.D.

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Galena Park holds Food distribution on Earth Day

Hundreds of boxes for food were distributed.

The City of Galena Park and Mayor Esmeralda Moya hosted a free food distribution event on Wednesday, April 22 which was also national Earth Day.

Also included were free face masks. The food was given out at curbside at the City’s Basketball Pavilion on Keene Street, in the afternoon starting at 2 p.m.

City Residents only were given food, and they had to show proof of residency.

For home-bound senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, distribution was on Thursday at their residence in Galena Park.

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A MESSAGE From STATE REP. ANA HERNANDEZ

Dear Friend,

The coronavirus pandemic is overwhelming, and one of the most excruciating parts for many people is the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of widespread suffering and hardship. Though staying inside and staying healthy are the most crucial ways to stave off this outbreak, there are many ways you can help your community while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

It is important that we take care of each other during these stressful and uncertain times. Several nonprofit organizations could use your time and money to make sure vulnerable populations are cared for during the pandemic. Below, we have listed information about how you can support some of our frontline organizations through their COVID-19 response.

If you can’t contribute financially there are many ways to help fellow Texans during this crisis.

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Jacinto City moves May Election

JACINTO CITY – The city council met at their regular time last Thursday evening, and on the Agenda was an item to consider moving the May 2nd Municipal Election to a different date.

Governor Abbott had sent instructions to all municipalities to consider moving their election date to November, due to concerns about people congregating at the polls during the Covid-19 virus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. He strongly advised this action, with possible discipline if it was not followed.

The council voted to move the election, but did not specify a date, only that it would be in the future. City Manager Lon Squyres said it might be in July, when a run-off election is scheduled in the county, or November.

The council meeting was unusual, because it took place in the new police building, with all participants observing “social distancing” and the public participating by video conference.

Some elections are still scheduled May 2, including the Barbers Hill bond referendum, and Mont Belvieu municipal offices.