5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, Oct. 12

FILE - This Sept. 1, 2017, file photo shows cranes at the Port of Houston in Houston. A major U.S. port was the target last month of suspected nation-state hackers. The Port of Houston, a critical piece of infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, issued a statement Thursday that it had successfully defended against an attempted hack in August and that no operational data or systems were impacted. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are things to know for Tuesday, Oct. 12:

1. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans any COVID-19 vaccine mandates — including for private employers

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued another executive order cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine mandates — this time banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring vaccinations for employees or customers.

Abbott also called on the Legislature to pass a law with the same effect, promising to rescind the executive order once that happenedThe Legislature is in its third special legislative session, which ends Oct. 19.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced,” he said in a tweet announcing his latest order.

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2. Port Houston being ‘overburdened’ by shipping crisis at US Ports

Although Port Houston is ground zero for goods, there’s still no shortage of work to be done.

“These two terminals make up about 70% of the container volume that’s handled in the U.S. Gulf,” Roger Guenther, the executive director said.

Still, there are major goods and retail shipping delays around the country. Guenther said Port Houston is not immune to the shipping delays.

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3. Waller police mishandled case of teen driver who struck cyclists, Waller County DA says

The Waller County District Attorney said the Waller Police Department mishandled its investigation into the teen driver who struck a group of cyclists in late September.

“This case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD,” Waller County District Attorney Elton R. Mathis wrote in a lengthy social media post Monday.

“Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.’s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so,” wrote Mathis.

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4. ‘Our district is in serious trouble’: Wharton ISD teachers concerned about safety after being assaulted by students on campus

According to at least one teacher in Wharton ISD, conditions at the junior high and high school are bad and in danger of getting more out of hand.

The teacher asked to not be identified, but the district has addressed a few of her concerns -- including the incident that left a teacher with bruises on her leg and marks on her hand from a pencil attack from a student who allegedly threatened the lives of teachers and fellow students.

“(He was) saying that he was going to kill everyone on campus,” the teacher who spoke to KPRC 2 said.

Several teachers told KPRC 2 the student was in a math class on Sept. 23 when he made the threat to a substitute. Hearing the commotion, another teacher came to help and a struggle between that teacher and the student ensued when they saw the student reached for his backpack.

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5. ‘Not the right fit’: Former HPD Chief, now-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo suspended, Miami City Manager says

Former Houston Police Chief and now-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo has been suspended and faces imminent termination, Miami’s city manager said in a statement Monday evening.

Miami City Manager Art Noriega said Acevedo’s relationship with the Miami Police Department had “deteriorated beyond repair.”

“The relationship between the Chief and the organization has become untenable and needed to be resolved promptly,” wrote Noriega.

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