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Posts published in “Day: January 18, 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.

Woman killed, Deputy injured in Chase Crash

The Sheriff’s Deputy’s car burns and smokes after the collision with another car at Laura Koppe. It lost control and smashed into a store’s parking lot.

NORTHEAST HOUSTON — An innocent driver was killed, and two children and a deputy are in the hospital, after a chase on Wednesday night involving a robbery suspect ended in a violent crash. The chase was the result of a man committing two robberies along the Eastex Freeway, one at an Exxon Station and the other at a CVS.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that at about 10:42 p.m. deputies were responding to a call of an aggravated robbery at a CVS in the 10800 block of the Eastex Freeway and Tidwell. A sheriff’s deputy saw a man leaving the CVS wearing a mask and getting into a car that matched the description he heard on the scanner. When the deputy tried to stop him, the man kept going, sparking the pursuit.

Gonzalez says that at 10:49 p.m., the deputy called in that they were chasing someone, possibly in a Lincoln town car. By 10:52 p.m., the deputy’s radio went silent.

Seven cars were involved in the crash. At left, the black car which contained the family and the woman who was killed.

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.

WIC benefits extended through March 2022

HOUSTON – Women and children will have an added value to their Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits with another temporary extension of fruits and vegetables.

On December 3, 2021, the Further Extending Government Funding Act of 2022 was authorized to give WIC agencies across the country the opportunity to increase the Cash-Value Voucher/Benefit (CVV/B) for fruit and vegetable dollars beginning January 1, 2022 ending March 31, 2022.

The Houston Health Department’s WIC program provides nutritious foods and nutritional counseling and education to low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, infants and children up to the age of 5. Single fathers, grandparents and foster parents are also eligible for WIC services for their children.