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Posts published in “Day: January 13, 2022

County raises COVID threat level


Harris County, Texas – On January 10, 2022, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she is raising the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 2: Orange to Level 1: Red. A surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant has contributed to an increase in COVID transmission across Harris County.

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 transmission in Harris County. Residents experiencing symptoms should get tested and avoid contact with others, assuming they have COVID until they confirm otherwise. Any gatherings should be held outdoors and ideally with masking. Unvaccinated residents should avoid all gatherings and get vaccinated immediately.

“We’re finding ourselves again at a point in this pandemic where hospital staff are being stretched way too thin,” said Judge Hidalgo. “We owe it to our nurses, doctors, and teachers to take steps to protect ourselves and give them a break. If you have been on the fence about getting vaccinated, now is the time to roll up your sleeve. We are in the midst of a COVID-19 tsunami and our best defense are vaccines and booster shots. We’ve been here before, but this time we have more tools available and a better understanding of this virus.”

The COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine booster continues to be available at no charge for all Harris County residents. To find out more information, locations and hours, click

Hidalgo said she made the decision because hospitalizations and ICU cases have spiked at area hospitals, along with the positivity rate.

New EHC project to help homeless

This property on E. Wallisville in HIghlands is being acquired by the East Harris County Navigation Center for the Homeless, to be a transitional living center to provide services and temporary housing for the homeless, as they receive help from the organization.

HIGHLANDS – The Marcelous Williams Resource Center is a social service agency, headquartered on Main Street in Highlands, providing services to the needy and the homeless. It was started several years ago by Eddie and Ramonia Williams, having seen the need for social services in the East Harris County area.

The agency also has an office in the Sterling Library in Baytown, staffed by Tammy Guidry, the director of community engagement and homeless services.

Tammy Guidry and Ramonia Williams, above, and Eddie Williams provide services to the community.

Director Ramonia Williams told this newspaper, “On November 16, 2021 we celebrated the 1 year Anniversary of our Homeless Services Program. Through this program, we have assisted 190 clients from November 3, 2020 to November 3, 2021. Clients were able to meet with our Director of Community Engagement and Homeless Services, Tammy Guidry, to obtain services such as I.D. cards, SNAP food benefits, medical services, social security cards, and birth certificates.

“Twelve of our clients qualified for a new emergency housing voucher program from HUD through the Baytown Housing Authority and are now in their new apartments. We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who came out to celebrate with us. A special THANK YOU goes out to Sterling Municipal Library for offering us office space and for showing us so much love.

“THANK YOU to our partners United Way of Greater Baytown and Chambers County, The Harris County Sheriffs Department Homeless Outreach Team, Love Network, Hearts and Hands of Baytown, and Legacy Community Health for all of the support given to assist our clients.”

Williams notes that her agency has helped housing, food, medical, rent, home repair after a disaster, ID cards, utility bills, and employment opportunities.

NS Mustangs over C.E. King Panthers 52–48

Coach Sam Benitez (center) rallies his Mustangs moments before they secured their victory over rival C. E. King. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

North Shore High School Basketball Stadium – January 7, 2022, in front of a packed house, the Mustangs under Head Coach Sam Benitez hosted the C.E. King Panthers, their district rival, and in the last two minutes, came from behind with a 4 point win.

The game began with the Mustangs exploding on offense and defense. They lead by double digits midway into the second quarter. By halftime the Panthers had fought back and closed the gap, trailing only by four, 27-23.

At the end of the third quarter the Panthers trailed only by a point, 40- 39. In the fourth quarter the game was tied numerous times, both teams swapped the lead back and forth. With under a minute Coach Benitez tighten his defense, the Mustangs went ahead by four and held on for the win.

Bates, HCDE provide new cars to two Head Start families

Leila Bates with Destini Rhodes and her family, receiving their newly rehabbed automobile from Bates Collision and HCDE.

Dec. 17, 2021 — Two wishes for wheels came true this week as Bates Collision Centers and Harris County Department of Education’s Head Start division presented two special moms with rehabbed vehicles filled with presents as part of their annual Responsible Parenting Award.

In its 23rd year, Bates Collision Centers presented cars No. 41 and 42 to Destini Rhodes, a teaching assistant at Sheffield Head Start, and Alionuska Montalvo Perez, a Pugh Head Start mom. Both were nominated by Head Start staff.

28-year-old Rhodes is a full-time employee and student at San Jacinto College pursuing an associate’s degree in early childhood education. She currently relies on a borrowed vehicle to shuttle her kids and herself to and from school and work. After unwrapping her new vehicle, a 2011 Chevy Equinox, she expressed disbelief over the generous gift.

“I feel very grateful,” said Rhodes, a single mother of three children. “I’ve never been given anything in my life before. I’ve always had to work for everything. I can’t even believe that I’m being recognized for being a good parent. It’s something that you just do because you’re a parent.”

Destini Rhodes received her newly rehabbed car from Lee and Leila Bates above.

Galena Park Library Reopens

The Galena Park Branch Library reopened its doors on Monday, January 3. We reopened without our new furniture or shelves and are currently using borrowed furniture. We hope to be replacing those items as they are ordered and delivered.

We will have a small collection of books available for check out and free crafts for all ages. We will also have computers, a scanner, and print services available. We are using our meeting room for storage so it unavailable for programs or reservations until further notice.

Programs for all ages will resume in person in February. In the meantime, the computer lab will serve as a program room/teen space.

We also have new operating hours.