5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, June 10

117 employees file lawsuit against Houston Methodist for mandating workers to take COVID-19 vaccine; deadline is June 7

Here are things to know for Thursday, June 10:

1. Human remains found in wooded area in north Harris County, authorities say

Deputies found human remains in a wooded area Wednesday in north Harris County, officials said.

Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said there is a heavy police presence in the 22200 block of Willowgate Drive in the Greengate Place subdivision.

Officials said deputies discovered some remains in a wooded area around 11:30 a.m. They believe the remains belong to a missing person from six years that involved a suicidal man.

Deputies said the remains found were just bones, not a body. They also found some parts and pieces of clothing.

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2. Houston homicides up 35%, which is much higher than Chicago, LA or NY

Homicide rates are rising once again across the country after last year’s spike, and Houston is faring worse than the largest U.S. cities.

Four homicides in Houston in the last 24-hours have brought the total this year to 199, a 35% increase over 2020.

Compare that to only a 5% increase in homicides so far over last year in Chicago, a 17% increase in New York and a 23% increase in Los Angeles.

The total number of homicides is also higher in Houston than in Los Angeles, a city with nearly twice the population. It’s also higher than New York City, a city of more than eight million people.

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3. Woman charged after leaving child in hot car for 20 minutes, police say

A woman was charged after Houston police say she left a child in a hot vehicle for 20 minutes on Tuesday, according to Houston Police Department.

Blanca Chavez, 37, has been charged with abandoning a child with the intent to return.

According to court records, Chavez left a child younger than 15 years old in the vehicle for 20 minutes as outside temperatures reached 94 degrees.

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4. 178 Houston Methodist employees suspended for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine requirement

More than 170 Houston Methodist employees were suspended without pay for the next 14 days after not complying with the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Houston Methodist said Tuesday that 178 full-time or part-time employees who did not get fully vaccinated or were not granted an exemption or deferral were ultimately suspended for 14 days without pay.

“The small percentage of employees who did not comply with the policy are now suspended without pay for the next 14 days. We won’t have the final numbers for two weeks as employees can still get vaccinated with their second dose or with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. I wish the number could be zero, but unfortunately, a small number of individuals have decided not to put their patients first,” Houston Methodist PR Manager Gale Smith said.

Houston Methodist added that of those 178 employees, 27 have received one dose of the vaccine. Out of all employees, 285 employees received a medical or religious exemption, and 332 were granted deferrals for pregnancy and other reasons.

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5. Houston artist painting massive mural to show support for city’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

One of Houston’s popular artists is bringing the spirit of the World Cup to the city in a new mural.

The mural, called “Gateway to the World” will be painted by artist GONZO24,7 along with six other artists. The mural will be crafted a 10,000 square-foot wall at Hobby Airport, supporting Houston’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, according to a news release.

Passengers flying in and out of Hobby Airport will be able to see the mural from the aircraft.

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