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5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, August 13

Harris County fires design firm behind new ship channel bridge. What now?
Harris County fires design firm behind new ship channel bridge. What now?

Here are things you need to know for Thursday, August 13:

1. Do you know him? Officials seek help identifying man’s body found in the surf in Galveston

Officials are asking for public help identifying a man’s body that was found in the surf in Galveston.

The body was found near the Kahala Beach area on May 10 around 12:30 p.m., according to David Florence, the chief investigator at the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

He is a Black man believed to be between the ages of 17 and 35. Florence said the man was in good physical shape and had black hair.

Read more.

2. ‘They ruined everything’: Houston funeral home puts wrong body in casket, family says

Doctors diagnosed Natividad Torres Cordova with pancreatic cancer in May. The father, grandfather and great-grandfather spent his final two weeks at home.

The day of the funeral arrived at Santana Funeral Directors, and the family said the casket was late. That wasn’t too big of a deal until Maria Vasquez opened it.

“I went up to the casket to tell him, ‘I love you,’ before anybody came in, and (I) was touching the wrong person, with [my] dad’s clothes,” she said in tears. “They ruined everything.”

Read more.

3. What is next for $1 billion Houston bridge after county fired bridge designer?

The most expensive single project in Harris County history is in limbo after commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to fire the designer of the $1 billion Houston Ship Channel Replacement Bridge. 

A vote to hire a replacement designer is scheduled for the next Harris County Commissioners Court in September.

Read more.

4. Here’s what you should know about Judge Hidalgo’s new color-coded plan to help schools reopen safely

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo laid out a new color-coded plan Wednesday to help schools in Harris County reopen safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The health authorities in both Harris County and Houston signed a joint order in late July that shuttered schools to in-person instruction until at least Sept. 8, but that order was thrown into question after the state’s attorney general said he doesn’t believe local officials have the authority to keep schools closed.

Read more.

5. Fort Bend County announces reduction in property tax rate

Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced Tuesday that county residents would see a reduction in the 2020 property tax rates.

According to George, the rate was lowered to $0.424967 per $100 from last year’s rate of $0.4447 per $100, which is a significant improvement from the 2000 rate of $0.624 per $100.

Read more.


3 things to share

WORD OF THE DAY

Abattoir [ab-uh-twahr, ab-uh-twahr] (noun) a slaughterhouse.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Aug. 13, 1961: Shortly after midnight, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” - Jackson Pollock


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