5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, March 2

J.J. Watt (Twitter, Twitter/J.J. Watt)

Here are things to know for Tuesday, March 2:

1. Congressman Dan Crenshaw introduces anti-lockdown legislation to end shutdown during pandemic

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) introduced anti-lockdown legislation Monday that he said would end the economic shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to qualify for COVID recovery aid, the End Lockdowns Now Act would require states and localities to submit economic reopening plans. Crenshaw said his legislation would also ensure that the president could not impose national lockdowns or bans on interstate travel.

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2. Waitlist for NRG Park coronavirus vaccine clinic being expanded

The waitlist for the NRG Park coronavirus vaccine clinic is being expanded.

Stephen Williams, director of the Houston Health Department, said Monday that the waitlist is being expanded to everyone who qualifies to receive the vaccine under phases 1A and 1B.

Phase 1A of the state’s criteria focuses on frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B focuses on people 65 and older and people age 16 and older with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Williams said the large number of vaccines that can be administered at the NRG Park site necessitated the widening of those who qualify for the waitlist.

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3. Texas workers struggle to pay for groceries and rent after losing wages during winter storm

Nearly a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, Hockley resident Roxanne Espinosa didn’t know how she and her husband would pay rent or feed their family. They decided to buy groceries and make a late payment to their landlord.

Espinosa, who cares for their children full time, tried to file for rental assistance, but the process took too long to provide any immediate relief for her family.

Espinosa’s family — like many in Texas — is again facing that same choice between buying groceries or paying rent on time. As this month’s winter storm left millions without power or ways to get to work, hourly wage workers across the state lost income.

By missing an entire week or more, some residents missed out on earning over a quarter of their monthly wages. As they sat under blankets in the dark and cold, many wondered how they would make up for their financial losses ahead of rent and bills coming due Monday.

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4. JJ Watt joining Arizona Cardinals

Former Houston Texans star J.J. Watt is going to the Cardinals, Watt said on Twitter Monday morning.

The Cardinals confirmed the information shortly after.

Watt shared a photo of himself wearing a Cardinals shirt on his account.

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5. Talks of renaming of Robert E. Lee High School lead to larger discussion

An advisory committee that was formed following the debate over the name of Robert E. Lee High School has delivered its final report to the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District board of trustees.

“They are going to review the data, review the report and ultimately it’s in the hands of the school board to make the decision as the elected officials for Goose Creek CISD,” said Thomas Parent, chairman of the Facility Names Committee.

Last year, the board decided to keep the school’s name but also decided to create a committee to research and provide feedback on the district’s policy for naming and renaming facilities.

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