5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, Sept. 16

A nurse holds a syringe filled with flu vaccine during a drive-thru flu shot clinic
A nurse holds a syringe filled with flu vaccine during a drive-thru flu shot clinic (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Here are things you need to know for Wednesday, Sept. 16:

1. President Trump denies downplaying virus, casts doubt on mask usage

Fielding compelling questions about voters' real-world problems, President Donald Trump denied during a televised town hall Tuesday that he had played down the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year, although there is an audio recording of him stating he did just that.

Trump, in what could well be a preview of his performance in the presidential debates less than two weeks away, cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific conclusions of his own administration strongly urging the use of face coverings and seemed to bat away the suggestion that the nation has racial inequities.

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2. Less than half of Americans say they’ll get a vaccine for coronavirus

Less than half of Americans say they will get the coronavirus vaccine if one is approved by the government.

According to a new NBC News / SurveyMonkey weekly tracking poll, out of more than 34,000 adults, 44% said they would get the vaccine and 22% said they would not get the vaccine. A third say they’re not sure.

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3. ‘Say her name’: City to pay $12M to Breonna Taylor’s family

Months after the police killing of Breonna Taylor thrust her name to the forefront of a national reckoning on race, the city of Louisville agreed to pay the Black woman’s family $12 million and reform police practices as part of a settlement announced Tuesday.

But Taylor’s mother and others who have taken up her cause said much more must be done to right the wrongs of racial injustice in America.

“Please continue to say her name,” Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, declared at an emotional news conference, evoking the call that has become a national refrain for those outraged by the shooting and police violence.

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4. Judge finds no probable cause against suspect in slaying of disabled Cypress woman

A judge said Tuesday he could not find probable cause in the case brought against an 18-year-old charged with murder in connection with the weekend slaying of a disabled Cypress woman.

Emma Presler, 18, had been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Sierra Rhodd, who investigators said was hit by shots fired into her Timber Crest Drive home during a drive-by shooting.

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5. ‘Totally grateful’: Family living in SUV now staying in hotel after community support

After seven months of sleeping in a car, Maria Baez and her son will finally have beds to sleep in tonight.

“It’s incredible because for seven months we didn’t see the light,” Baez said.

On Monday night, KPRC 2 shared the story of the Houston mother who said she fell behind on bills and lost her job in the middle of the pandemic. Shelters wouldn’t accept the family dogs and Maria said that she couldn’t part with them so the family has been living out their SUV. Her 16-year-old son was completing virtual classwork in the backseat of the car.

Since the report aired, Maria said she has been inundated by the generous offers from others. Houstonians have called and reached out, offering to provide food, shelter and gas.

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