Here are things you need to know for Wednesday, June 17:
1. Mayor Turner, 8 other mayors ask Gov. Abbott for power to impose face mask rules
The mayors of nine of Texas’ biggest cities, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, urged Gov. Greg Abbott in a letter Tuesday to grant them the “authority to set rules and regulations” mandating face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Texas, an executive order from Abbott bans local governments from imposing fines or criminal penalties on people who don’t wear masks in public. The mayors wrote that many people in their cities continue to refuse to wear face masks and that “a one-size-fits-all approach is not the best option” when it comes to regulating the issue.
2. US Supreme Court halts execution of Texas death row inmate 1 hour before he was scheduled to die
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a reprieve Tuesday to a Texas inmate scheduled to die for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago, continuing a more than four-month delay of executions in the nation’s busiest death penalty state during the coronavirus pandemic.
The justices blocked Ruben Gutierrez’s execution about an hour before he could have been executed. Gutierrez’s attorneys had argued his religious rights are being violated because the prison system won’t allow a chaplain to accompany him in the death chamber.
3. Physical altercation at northwest Harris County Walmart leads to false reports of gunfire, officials say
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after two people got in a physical altercation inside a northwest Harris County Walmart Supercenter that resulted in panic and false reports of gunfire.
The first reports were made at 4:15 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter located at 12353 Farm to Market 1960 Road.
4. Houston man plans Police Appreciation Rally for Thursday in support of law enforcement
Charlie Diggs is proud to support law enforcement officers and says right now they’re being disrespected, so he’s holding a rally Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m.
“If we don’t have police on our corner, it’s going to be a bad world. We need to stand beside them at all costs. They have to know that we are there. They have to know that they are supported,” said Diggs.
5. What 2020-21 school year will look like in Fort Bend County
Fort Bend Independent School District parents now have an idea what the upcoming school year will look like — hybrid learning.
School officials stress the framework is still fluid and subject to change.
The 2020-2021 school year in Fort Bend County will begin on Aug. 12 with and without students returning to class.
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WORD OF THE DAY
Xylem [zahy-luh m, -lem] (noun) (botany) a compound tissue in vascular plants that helps provide support and that conducts water and nutrients upward from the roots, consisting of tracheids, vessels, parenchyma cells and woody fibers.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
June 17, 1885: The dismantled Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“To have felt too much is to end in feeling nothing.” - Dorothy Thompson