5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, June 3

Child found dead in Jasper motel room believed to be missing 6-year-old Samuel Olson, HPD says
Child found dead in Jasper motel room believed to be missing 6-year-old Samuel Olson, HPD says

Here are things to know for Thursday, June 3:

1. Samuel Olson case: Father’s girlfriend charged after child found dead in Jasper motel room

The girlfriend of a missing boy’s father is behind bars, charged with tampering with evidence after a child’s body was found in a motel in Jasper, Texas, Houston police said Wednesday.

Theresa Balboa may face additional charges, as appropriate, police said during a news conference in which updates were shared in the case.

Balboa, who is currently in the Jasper County Jail, was out on bond from an assault case in November, police disclosed Wednesday. She was charged with assault with intent impeding breath, and Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, was the complainant in the case.

Balboa was arrested in Jasper Tuesday night when a child’s body was found in the motel room. Police said Wednesday that they believe the child’s body is missing 6-year-old Samuel Olson, but that is the medical examiner’s determination to make, they said.

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2. Texas push to close shelters for migrant kids alarms groups

A move by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to shutter more than 50 shelters housing about 4,000 migrant children could seriously disrupt a national program that already faces strained capacity to properly care for minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which cares for migrant children, said Wednesday that it did not intend to close any facilities but that it was “assessing” the Republican governor’s late Tuesday disaster declaration. The proclamation directs a state agency to deny or discontinue within 90 days licenses for child care facilities sheltering migrant children.

Groups that represent migrant children and reunite them with their families said the order could be harmful because it may mean more minors are sent to mass-scale, unlicensed facilities that attorneys and advocates say endanger their health and safety. Abbott argues that the federal government can’t force Texas to keep issuing state licenses in response to a federal problem.

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3. Texas families with students receiving free or reduced lunches could be eligible for up to $1,200 in food aid

Texas families who relied on the Pandemic EBT card, which previously provided a one-time benefit of $285 for students receiving free and reduced-price meals, can apply for another round of the food aid for the 2021-22 school year.

The federal benefit helps provide for the approximately 3.7 million eligible, low-income children in Texas who lost access to free and reduced-cost meals when schools first shut down during the pandemic. This time, the benefit could provide up to $1,200 per student depending on the number of days most students at their school received remote instruction during the past school year.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission would allocate more than $2.5 billion in food benefits to all eligible families, an increase from the $1 billion in food benefits distributed last year.

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4. George P. Bush running for attorney general against Ken Paxton in Texas

George P. Bush on Wednesday launched his next political move: a run for Texas attorney general in 2022 that puts the scion of a Republican dynasty against a GOP incumbent shadowed by securities fraud charges and an FBI investigation.

Bush, who has served as Texas’ land commissioner since 2015, is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the nephew and grandson of two former presidents. He is the last of the Bush family still in public office — and was the first to break with them over supporting former President Donald Trump, who has mocked the family that was once the face of the Republican Party.

He is now launching the first major challenge against embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has spent six years in office under felony indictment over accusations of defrauding investors, and more recently was accused of bribery by his own former top aides.

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5. Tory Burch outlet shopper refused to wear mask, then coughed on people, officials say; Now, she’s accused of assaulting a deputy

A woman who refused to wear a mask at a Tory Burch store at Houston Premium Outlets is accused of assaulting a responding deputy, Harris County Constable, Precinct 4 officials said Wednesday.

The incident happened Tuesday in the 29300 block of Northwest Freeway. When deputies arrived, employees told them that a woman refused to leave the store after she declined to wear a face covering and began to cough on customers.

While speaking to the suspect, authorities say she refused to comply and proceeded to push him and subsequently assaulted the constable deputy.

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