The 87th session of the Texas Legislature opened Tuesday with COVID-19 encompassing every aspect of what the lawmakers do, according to new House Speaker Dade Phelan.
“COVID, obviously, it will be a blanket over the entire session,” Phelan told his hometown TV station, KFDM Channel 6, in Beaumont. “We will deal with it in every aspect of policy. It will be a huge determining factor in the budget.
Before the pandemic hit, Phelan said, legislators “were supposed to come into this budget cycle with a surplus, and now we’re coming into it with a deficit …” Money will be even tighter for the next two-year budget lawmakers write during the session, he said.
“The No. 1 goal is to get the economy back on track,” Phelan said.
For the last three years, Waymon Finley has been a mainstay in the Eisenhower Eagles football program.
He has played on both sides of the ball, but is a standout linebacker who completed his senior season with 60 tackles, five tackles for losses, one forced fumble, and two sacks. Those numbers earned him the Northeast News’ Defensive Player of the Year honors. He also contributed on offense by rushing for 422 yards to lead the Eagles to a 3-4 record and a berth in the Class 6A playoffs.
The 5′-10″, 215-pound inside linebacker is a favorite of head coach Eric Jackson, who said he would miss having the dependable Finley around now that his senior season is completed.
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department launched today online registration allowing Houstonians at the highest risk of coronavirus disease to schedule appointments to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations. A Spanish version is anticipated to launch later in the day.
People age 65 and older and people age 18 and older with at least one chronic medical condition putting them at increased risk of severe illness and death may sign up to get the vaccine at HoustonEmergency.org/COVID19.
These groups are prioritized as Phase 1B of the State of Texas’s vaccine distribution plan.
Frontlines healthcare workers who have yet to receive the vaccine also are eligible to sign up to get the shot through the health department. Healthcare workers are grouped as part of Phase 1A distribution.
Appointments are also available through the health department’s COVID-19 call center by calling 832-393-4220. The call center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hours extended until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Harris County Branch Libraries Celebrates 100 years of Service and Continue modified services during the Pandemic.
This year HCPL celebrates the library’s first one hundred years and its commitment to remain a vital and vibrant asset for the people of Harris County.
Edward Melton, HCPL’s Executive Director, says, “The growth, progress and innovation you see in the library’s story over its first one hundred years mirrors that of Harris County.”
In preparation for their Centennial, HCPL librarians, for the first time, began systematically collecting and digitizing materials to document the library’s history. Their efforts resulted in the HCPL Digital Archive, an ongoing collection of photos, articles, scrapbooks, and videos of HCPL since 1921. Each month in 2021, the Archive will present digital exhibits to tell a specific story – bookmobiles, important people at HCPL, hurricanes and other disasters. It will also feature each of HCPL’s 26 branches throughout 2021, with detailed timelines that trace the library’s century long commitment to serve Harris County residents.
Although Harris County Branch Libraries have been closed to the public since the end of March 2020, the libraries have had alternatively a strong online presence by posting virtual programs to Facebook and Instagram pages. Since people can no longer walk into library buildings to browse books or utilize the rows of computers, the new curbside services have made it possible for citizens to still obtain materials and print needed documents.
Yesterday’s events in our nation’s Capitol and its images left many of us speechless. It seemed surreal to see mayhem, riots, and horrifying unrest unfold.
These events have created confusion, hurt, fear, disappointment, and even anger, no matter your political beliefs. January 6 will be a day we collectively remember as a sad day in history. What happened is unacceptable.
It is fitting that my word for 2021 is Forward. While I believe in the importance of reflection, we cannot get stuck reliving the past. We have to look to the future with hope and move forward.
That said, we must learn from what took place at the Capitol yesterday. It is a teachable moment. Democracy and civility are fundamental to our nation’s success. These are values we must instill in our children to ensure they are preserved in future generations. Hate and violence have no place in our American democracy.
I still believe in the words “United we stand, divided we fall.” We need each other to navigate through volatile times. Together, we are stronger. Together, we can do better and move forward.