HARRIS COUNTY — At least 16 units were damaged early Monday morning, July 13, in a massive 2-alarm fire at a north Harris County apartment complex.
This happened in the Capewood Apartments located in the 4300 block of Aldine Mail Route. The Aldine Fire Department said they were alerted to the fire shortly before 3:30 a.m. When they arrived on scene there was a large fire at the south end of the apartment complex.
All residents were able to get out on their own. Two pets had to be rescued by firefighters. One resident was seen being treated for smoke inhalation.
Just 11 days ago, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo upgraded the COVID-19 public threat level from significant (Orange, Level 2) to severe (Red, Level 1). This is the highest level, and those who live in Harris County are encouraged to follow safety precautions and limit activities outside of their home.
Following this guidance, Aldine ISD has decided to cancel the Class of 2020 outdoor graduation ceremonies, scheduled for July 22-25. District leaders made the decision after reviewing guidance from the Harris County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Canceling our in-person graduation was a difficult decision to make, but we believe we must act out of an abundance of caution to protect the safety and well-being of our students and families,” said Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney. “I want to thank our families for their patience as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation.”
While the traditional ceremony will not take place, the District held a virtual conferral ceremony on June 1, recognizing the senior class as official graduates of Aldine ISD. During this ceremony, the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees and Dr. Goffney officially recognized the completion of graduating seniors’ high school diplomas. The graduates of the Class of 2020 are officially Aldine ISD alumni.
HARRIS COUNTY – Tuesday, the Democratic and Republican Parties held their Run-Off Primary elections and the results in several races were different than had been predicted.
Jacinto City and vicinity had a showdown between Precinct 2 Constable incumbent Chris Diaz against challenger Lt. Jerry Garcia. This was a close race, with Garcia winning by only 229 votes of 9,505 cast. This race had been marked with negative charges of unethical practices and favoritism on both sides.
Substantially more people voted in the Democratic Party in early voting at several Precinct 3 locations. Early voting counts in Crosby were 744 Democratic and 434 Republican most probably due to the hotly contentious local Precinct 3 Constable race between incumbent Sherman Eagleton, and previous constable Ken Jones, and the fact that there were more contests at issue for the Democrats. Over 150,000 votes were cast county wide on the Democratic ticket. The Republicans drew about 60,000 on their ballot.
Voters are no longer designated to specific voting precincts but habitually tend to vote at locations near where they live and with which they are familiar.
Aldine ISD’s re-entry plan, Return to Learn, will now have all students learning virtually from home for at least the first three weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. The 2020-21 school year begins Monday, August 17.
“We are thankful that the TEA made the decision to allow districts to use virtual learning as an option for the first three weeks,” Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney said. “Aldine will take advantage of this option. Regardless of the model families select —Learning At Home or Learning On Campus — the first three weeks of school will be virtual. As we move forward, we must remain flexible as we continue to monitor the conditions in Harris County and Houston. We will open as fast as we can but as slow as we must.”
Goffney emphasized that the academic school year begins on August 17. She stressed that the three-week remote learning period would help facilitate and ease the transition of the on-campus, back-to-school process for staff and families. The time will also be used for teacher training and planning. The district will continue to monitor local health conditions and reassess as needed throughout the school year.
Grants of up to $25,000 Available; Recipients Will be Selected at End of 10 Day Application Window
Harris County, Texas – July 13, 2020 – Eligible businesses can apply for financial assistance through the Harris County Small Business Recovery Fund today through Friday, July 24. The $30 million grant program, which was unanimously approved by the Harris County Commissioners Court on June 30, prioritizes struggling small businesses that have not yet received funds from other COVID-19 relief programs.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Harris County’s economy, and the pandemic has hit them especially hard,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo “While county government alone cannot make up for all of the loss, we must do all we can to help as many as we can.”
To be eligible for grants of up to $25,000, applicants must meet the following requirements:
– Must conduct business in Harris County, within Precincts 1-4. Businesses located in the City of Houston are not eligible unless located within Precinct 1
– Must employ fewer than 30 employees (including owner(s))
– Must have been in business for the entire calendar year 2019
– Must be in good standing with local, state, and federal governments with no outstanding tax obligations or liabilities
– Must be able to verify negative impact on operations due to the pandemic
After the application process closes on Friday, July 24, at 3:30 p.m., eligible businesses will be entered into a weighted lottery based on the size of their operation. Program funds are limited and only a subset of qualified applicants will receive grants. Those selected will receive 75 percent of the funds upon approval, and 25 percent of the funds in November 2020.