5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, Sept. 10

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference in Houston on Sept. 9, 2020.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference in Houston on Sept. 9, 2020. (KPRC)

Here are things you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 10:

1. Turner says some events can resume in Houston while parades, festivals cannot

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s plan to restart live special events in Houston on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Turner said the Houston Health Department and the Mayor’s Office of Special events partnered together to formulate health and safety protocols for live special events. He said live events with controlled venues will now be able to have a small audience at 25% capacity.

Read more.

2. FEMA ends extra $300 unemployment benefit for Texans this week. Here’s why

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ended the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which provided an additional $300 a week to qualified unemployment recipients impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.

FEMA informed the Texas Workforce Commission that the benefits would end on Sept. 5.

Because the funds provided by FEMA were limited, TWC cannot extend payments beyond that date.

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3. Don’t fall for this text message scam, Texas attorney general warns

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning people to stay vigilant for a new scam targeting text messages.

According to Paxton, scammers are now sending messages containing a fraudulent link and false delivery information for a package.

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4. Texans with developmental disabilities in state homes still don’t have visitors. Their parents worry they don’t know why.

Stephanie Kirby saw her son Petre just three times in the past six months — visits that were possible only because he was in the hospital. Two of the hospital visits stemmed from Petre Kirby self-harming; the other was for a scheduled appointment.

Outside of those painful and brief visits, Stephanie Kirby is otherwise unable to hug, comfort or see in person her 28-year-old son, who has an intellectual disability and functions at the level of a 3-year-old. Petre Kirby has depression and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from abuse and neglect he suffered before Stephanie Kirby adopted him when he was 6. He lives at the Denton State Supported Living Center, where visitation has been restricted since March because of COVID-19.

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5. Texas physicians are losing money during the pandemic. They want lawmakers to make health insurers pay up.

Texas primary care doctors say they’re hemorrhaging cash and at risk of closing their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, and a new trade group proposal argues it’s time for Texas lawmakers to overhaul how physicians' practices get paid.

More patients are forgoing office visits as they stay home to avoid the virus, and doctors' offices report that their revenues have fallen sharply as a result. Many large health insurance companies have posted huge profits during the same period.

Read more.

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