Here are 10 things Houstonians need to know on Friday
1. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo sued over face mask requirement
A Houston-area doctor who is also a conservative political activist is suing to block Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s recent order requiring residents over 10 years old to wear face masks in public places for 30 days, with some narrow exceptions.
The suit claims Hidalgo has exceeded her authority by implementing orders more restrictive than those of Gov. Greg Abbott, which take precedence. It also claims that the Disaster Act limits Hidalgo’s powers to those explicitly outlined in the statute, which “does not contain any language forcing private citizens to wear masks, wash their hands, refrain from touching their face, or stay 6 feet away from another under the threat of fines.”
2. Covid-19 causes sudden strokes in young adults, doctors say
The new coronavirus appears to be causing sudden strokes in adults in their 30s and 40s who are not otherwise terribly ill, doctors reported Wednesday.
They said patients may be unwilling to call 911 because they have heard hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.
Dr. Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, and colleagues gave details of five people they treated. All were under the age of 50, and all had either mild symptoms of Covid-19 infection or no symptoms at all.
“Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of Covid,” Oxley said.
3. ′Masks over citations’: Mayor Turner announces plans to distribute 200,000 face masks to public
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s plans Thursday to help distribute more than 200,000 face masks to members of vulnerable communities during his daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
Turner said instead of police officers giving out citations for non-compliance, the city will have them give out masks or face coverings.
4. This is what local leaders and politicians think about Harris County’s mandatory mask order
Despite the possibility to face a fine up to $1,000, not everyone is on board with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s mandatory mask order.
The order outraged many Houstonians who believe the order is unconstitutional.
Some local leaders and politicians also disagree with the mandatory mask order.
After news surfaced that a mandatory mask order was expected to be issued in Harris County, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry wrote on Facebook that there will not be any such orders in Galveston County, citing “individual liberty and freedom.”
5. Texas governor: ‘Massive’ amount of business reopening soon
Texas will reopen “massive” amounts of businesses soon, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday, teasing an imminent return of hair salons and restaurant dining.
During a blitz of of radio and television interviews, Abbott assured that life in Texas would begin looking more normal in early May but with safety standards in place to limit the spread of the ongoing outbreak.
More details would come Friday or Monday, Abbott said, and relaxed restrictions would take effect a week after that.
6. State plans to take Hurricane Harvey funds from the city of Houston
The Texas General Land Office is planning to eliminate the city of Houston’s control of funding for Hurricane Harvey housing relief. In a letter sent to Mayor Sylvester Turner Wednesday, the GLO stated it was overhauling “all responsibility for administering disaster assistance to city residents.”
The GLO argues the city has done little with the recovering funds.
Turner said the city is taking all necessary legal steps to preserve the city’s right to administer the funds.
7. Dead people are receiving $1,200 stimulus checks from the IRS, reports say
The IRS sent $1,200 checks to millions of Americans as part of a stimulus relief package to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic but while some people are still waiting on their money, it appears some dead people are getting paid.
People have reported seeing stimulus payments in the bank accounts of their deceased loved ones, according to reports from several news outlets.
Stimulus checks were sent to people based on federal tax returns from 2018 or 2019, and some people who filed taxes for those years have since died.
8. Joel, Victoria Osteen contribute $100K to Alex Bregman’s Houston Food Bank fundraising campaign
Joel and Victoria Osteen made a six-figure contribution to Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman’s mission to help raise funds for the Houston Food Bank.
The third baseman and his fiancee, Reagan Howard, are $100,000 closer to their $2 million goal due to the Osteens’ contribution to the cause.
The couple said the Osteens intend to let their congregation know how they can help during this weekend’s streaming church services.
9. Surprise $1K bonuses given to Sugar Land car dealership employees
A Sugar Land car dealership surprised all 153 of its employees with a $1,000 bonus this week.
Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land, a privately-owned business, paid employees -- from technicians to executive management -- an extra $1,000 as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
10. Bridal boutique offers free dresses to healthcare workers
A Virginia Beach bridal boutique is giving away wedding dresses to dozens of engaged healthcare workers on the front lines.
Ava Clara Couture Bridal has been closed to the public for over a month, but the boutique is still giving a special group of brides their Cinderella moment.
“I want to help as many gals have something happy to look forward to,” owner Alex Fleear says.
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