5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, Feb. 10

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, file photo, signage is pictured at a Walmart store in Oklahoma City. Walmart announced Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2021, that it plans to build warehouses at its stores where self-driving robots will fetch groceries and have them ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) (Sue Ogrocki, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are things to know for Wednesday, Feb. 10:

1. Dems attempt to push through school funding, wage increase

House Democrats on Tuesday muscled past Republicans on portions of President Joe Biden’s pandemic plan, including a proposed $130 billion in additional relief to help the nation’s schools reopen and a gradual increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Democrats on the Education and Labor Committee say schools won’t be able to reopen safely until they get an infusion of federal funding to repair building ventilation systems, buy protective equipment and take other steps recommended by federal health officials. The plan faces opposition from Republicans who want to tie new school funding to reopening.

The panel met Tuesday to craft its portion of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that tracks with Biden’s plan for battling the pandemic and reviving a still staggering economy. Democrats hope to rush the bill to Biden for his signature by mid-March, using a special budget-related process allowing certain legislation to be approved by a simple majority.

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2. Woman charged in motorcycle crash that killed HCSO Sgt. Bruce Watson

A woman has been charged in connection with a motorcycle crash that killed Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bruce Watson, according to the Pearland Police Department.

On Tuesday, Floribeth Sandoval-Benjume was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Watson, a 20-year department veteran, had just finished an off-duty job leading a funeral procession and was on his way home on his motorcycle when he got involved in a crash with an SUV on Jan. 2. The driver of the SUV, Sandoval-Benjume, stopped after the crash and showed no signs of drugs or intoxication, police said.

Watson later died from his injuries at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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3. VIDEO: Houston resident robbed at gunpoint after being followed home from jewelry store

The Houston Police Department’s Robbery Division released a video Tuesday of an aggravated robbery targeting a Houston resident returning home from a jewelry store.

According to the police, the incident occurred on Thursday, Dec. 17 at around 2:00 p.m. when the resident was being dropped off at home by an Uber after shopping at a jewelry store in the 6200 block of Richmond Avenue.

The Houston Police Department’s Robbery Division is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects seen in the video.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is advised to directly contact Crime Stoppers of Houston by calling 713-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at crime-stoppers.org

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4. Bruno Mars impersonator scams Texas woman out of $100K, Case has ties to Houston

A 65-year-old North Texas woman is out $100,000 after she fell in love with someone pretending to be Bruno Mars, the famous entertainer.

Harris County cyber-crimes prosecutors said someone overseas befriended her on Instagram, convinced her that he was Bruno Mars and that he needed help with his touring expenses.

“West Africa or China. I’ve seen them come back to Iran, even North Korea on occasion,” said Keith Houston, a Harris County Assistant District Attorney with the Cyber Crimes Division.

According to court documents, a man identifying himself as “Bruno man” promised he was quitting his current tour to be with her.

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5. Some Walmart, Sam’s Club pharmacies to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine in Texas

Pharmacies at select Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Texas will begin administering the coronavirus vaccine soon.

The retailer announced Tuesday that stores will receive allotments of the vaccines from the federal government and that an emphasis will be placed on locations that reach customers with limited access to health care services.

People can make appointments on the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites when doses are available.

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