Here are things to know for Monday, Jan. 18:
1. FBI vetting National Guard troops in DC amid fears of insider attack
U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.
2. ‘The biggest problem ... is with nightclubs’: Go inside HFD’s effort to patrol bars amid coronavirus pandemic
Since March, the Houston Fire Department has been working to make sure bars, restaurants and clubs are following COVID-19 guidelines.
“We just got a call that you were over-crowded, and we are doing the required governors order,” HFD Inspector Juan Garcia tells an employee at the Ojos Locos Restaurant on Gulf Freeway. “Have you been keeping it in compliance?”
Saturday night, fire marshals shut down Spire Club in Midtown because it was over capacity. A video showed people turning up without a mask and no social distancing was being observed. About 200 people stood in line, waiting to get inside.
3. About 14,500 people vaccinated during Memorial Hermann’s 4-day clinic at NRG Park
About 14,500 people received their coronavirus shots during a four-day clinic held by Memorial Hermann Hospital at NRG Park.
George Kovacik, spokesman for Memorial Hermann, said the drive-thru clinic went smoothly and most people were in and out within 30 minutes.
4. HISD temporarily closes Condit Elementary over coronavirus concerns
Condit Elementary School has been temporarily closed because of concerns over the coronavirus, officials at the Houston Independent School District announced Sunday.
Officials said the school will be closed from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25 to be deep cleaned and disinfected. In the meantime, officials said, students will transition to virtual learning.
5. Reports say Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston
The Houston Texans continue to be in turmoil as Deshaun Watson is still upset with the organization and wants out of Houston, according to various reports.
Watson has at least three years remaining on his contract, with a potential out in 2024 and a no-trade clause. If the quarterback truly refuses to play in Houston, he would have to hold out, making nothing beyond his $5,400,000 signing bonus (even though the team can recover portions of the signing bonus in a holdout).
Watson refusing to play without a trade would leave the Texans having to sign or trade for a replacement-level quarterback.