5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, August 27

President Joe Biden speaks about the bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden speaks about the bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Here are things to know for Friday, August 27:

1. Biden vows retribution against extremists in Kabul attack

President Joe Biden is vowing to avenge the deaths of 13 American troops and dozens of Afghans in attacks at the Kabul airport that thrust the White House deeper into crisis over a chaotic and deadly end to a 20-year war. Retribution, however, will be harder with fewer U.S. intelligence assets in Afghanistan.

In an emotional address after the attacks, Biden declared to the extremists responsible: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

The president, speaking from the White House Thursday, said the U.S.-led evacuation of Americans and others from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would proceed, and indeed more than 12,000 people were airlifted from Kabul in the last 24 hours, as of Friday morning. U.S. military officials have said they are braced for more attempted attacks by the group Biden said was responsible for Thursday’s multi-pronged attack — the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

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2. UPDATE: 19-year-old woman accused setting man on fire in Kingwood arson assault arrested, officials say

The 19-year-old woman accused of dousing a man with a substance and setting him on fire in Kingwood was arrested Thursday, the Montgomery County DA’s Office confirmed.

Emma Presler has since been charged with murder after the fire left one man dead and another person injured.

The incident happened around 10 p.m. Aug. 6 at a home on Aspen Glade Drive near Northpark Drive, authorities said.

In their initial reports, authorities said they found two badly burned victims outside the home and were investigating the cause of the fire.

After further investigation, authorities said they learned the fire was intentionally set by Presler.

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3. Houston Health Department confirms city’s first COVID-19 pediatric death of child with no underlying health conditions

It was announced Thursday that a local boy between the ages 10 and 19 is Houston’s first pediatric COVID-19 death without underlying health conditions, according to the Houston Health Department.

The department reported that the city’s six previous pediatric deaths all had underlying health conditions.

Health officials said the boy, who was unvaccinated, died in late July at a Houston hospital. Officials said he tested positive for the virus but it is unknown if he was infected with a variant of the virus.

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4. Hundreds absent at Kingwood High School as COVID cases climb

The COVID surge seems to be slowing down at some Houston area school districts. But not at Humble ISD, where hundreds of new cases are reported every day.

At Kingwood High School, 107 students have reported testing positive since school started, including 80 cases considered “active.”

“I feel that they should keep the same protocols as they had last year,” said Heather Morgan, a Kingwood High parent. “It’s no longer an issue of individual choice. It’s about saving lives.”

Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen emailed parents Wednesday night outlining some changes, including easing attendance rules for exams and bringing back testing for teachers. The lengthy email also urged those with symptoms to stay home.

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5. Tropical Storm Ida will move into the Gulf this weekend

Tropical Storm Ida formed early Thursday afternoon in the Western Caribbean.

The storm will track into the Gulf eventually as a hurricane of at least Category 2 strength. Initial forecast tracks had the Texas coastline in the far western edge of the cone of uncertainty.

The National Hurricane Center indicates a landfall close to 1 p.m. Sunday as a Cat 3 hurricane. There will be adjustments to the track and intensity of the eventual storm as new information gets ingested into new weather models.

As of Friday, both the European and American models are favoring a possible landfall along the south Louisiana coastline.

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