5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, April 20

2 dead after self-driving Tesla crashes near Houston

Here are things to know for Tuesday, April 20:

1. Suspect arrested after leading deputies on high-speed chase, shootout

A man has been arrested Monday night after leading deputies on a high-speed chase and a shootout on the East Freeway, Houston police said.

Houston police said the incident started when deputies were looking for a robbery suspect who they said committed a few crimes while out on bond.

“He was out on bond for three aggravated robbery warrants. Last night he also assaulted his girlfriend. He also kidnapped her. She was able to get away yesterday, and we received additional information today that the suspect was in the possible area,” HPD assistant chief Chandra Hatcher said.

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2. ‘Autopilot was not enabled’: Tesla CEO Elon Musk responds to deadly crash near The Woodlands

While the design is simple, Tesla owner Michael Fowler said the vehicle comes equipped with intricate safety features.

Some Tesla’s, like his Model 3, include full self-driving capabilities.

“This is your display, it controls everything in the car,” Fowler said as he demonstrated the features of his car. “You can see with the full self-driving hardware. It’s actually able to detect stop signs, stoplights.”

Investigators said a Tesla that crashed into the woods and killed two men Saturday night was driverless, but Fowler said the feature makes it impossible for the car to drive itself without someone behind the wheel.

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3. Texas A&M scientists identify new variant of coronavirus called BV-1

Scientists at Texas A&M University have identified a new variant of the coronavirus.

The variant was discovered by researchers at the school’s Global Health Research Complex. It’s called the BV-1 variant because of its origins in the Brazos Valley, scientists said.

The case was identified in a saliva sample taken from an off-campus A&M student on March 5, and the student tested positive again on March 25. Scientists said this may indicate the BV-1 variant causes a longer infection in adults age 18-24 than is typical for COVID-19. The student only suffered mild, cold-like symptoms and those symptoms were resolved by April 2.

Scientists said this variant is concerning because of its genetic make-up.

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4. Could Matthew McConaughey be the next Texas governor? Polls show he has a good chance

Matthew McConaughey may be a viable candidate for Texas governor as more registered voters say they favor the actor over the incumbent Greg Abbott, according to a poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler.

According to the poll, McConaughey has a 12 point lead over Abbott.

The results found that 45% of Texas registered voters would vote for McConaughey, 33% would vote for Abbott and 22% would vote for someone else, The Dallas Morning News reports.

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5. ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons opening Tex-Mex restaurant in Garden Oaks

Tres Amigos Cafe & Cantina is not just for “Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers.”

Opening Thursday, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons joins Delicious Concepts founder Ken Bridges and Houston-based “Pura Vida” Tequila founder Stewart Skloss in a Tex-Mex concept collaboration, bringing classic Tex-Mex dishes with a ZZ Top flair, according to Houstonia Magazine.

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