5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, Jan. 1

Woman abducted from Liberty County home at gunpoint found safe in Illinois, authorities say

Happy New Year! Here are things to know for Friday, Jan. 1:

1. Brazoria, Galveston counties want to move into Houston’s trauma service area

After a state-mandated tightening of coronavirus restrictions prompted businesses to close or reduce capacity in Brazoria and Galveston counties, leaders in both places are asking to be moved into the same trauma service area as Houston.

Brazoria and Galveston counties are in Trauma Service Area R, while Harris County, where Houston is located, is in area Q.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in area R have been at or above 15% for at least two weeks, while the rate has been inching higher to that mark in area Q.

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2. Here’s how Houston-area hospital systems plan to distribute the coronavirus vaccine

With the first shipments of coronavirus vaccines arriving this month in Houston, hospitals have been able to begin vaccinating thousands of eligible recipients in Phase 1A and Phase 1B of Texas’ guidance for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Here’s a look at how Houston-area hospital systems plan to distribute the approved vaccines.

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3. Woman abducted from Liberty County home at gunpoint found safe in Illinois, authorities say

A woman abducted at gunpoint from her Liberty County home Tuesday was found alive and unharmed in Illinois, according to authorities.

Kidnapping suspect Abel Fajardo, 38, was arrested.

Erika Rios Valdez, 32, was kidnapped from her home  around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday while parking and unhooking a food service trailer on County Road 3404 in the Plum Grove area in north Liberty County. An acquaintance, identified by authorities as Abel Farjado, 38, drove up and forced Valdez into his pickup truck at gunpoint.

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4. Homeowner says home has flooded 9 times due to drainage in east Houston neighborhood

It was a mess of a morning for Adolph Garcia who woke up with water inside his home following the overnight rain.

Garcia said, “Every time that it rains heavily or a big storm, I have water in my house one or two or three inches or sometimes even more.”

Garcia said making matters worse, this is the 9th time his home has flooded in the last 12 years he’s lived at the home in the 13000 block of Topeka Street in East Houston.

Read more.

5. WATCH: Massive brawl erupts at bowl game played in Texas

There was a massive brawl Thursday at the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. Players from Mississippi State and Tulsa were involved in an on-field postgame altercation.

Police were called to de-escalate. It is unclear if anyone was injured.

Read more.


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