5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, Jan. 4

Cars lined up at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Houston on Thursday as the omicron variant continued to spread through the country. (Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare, Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

Here are things to know for Tuesday, Jan. 4:

1. Balloon release held for 15-year-old found dead in Baytown park

A community came together Monday evening to remember the 15-year-old girl who was found dead in a park in Baytown.

Jania Tatum-Scott’s mother said the Sterling High School sophomore was found dead in Tejas Park just three days before Christmas.

While gathering for the balloon release, Tatum-Scott’s family said the teen’s death seems unreal.

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2. Several people frustrated over delayed COVID-19 testing results in Houston area

When it comes to COVID-19 testing, some people are feeling frustrated with the experience.

“The mayor said we’re going to get new testing sites,” said Houston resident Mary Lisa Simpson. “We got them but what good is it going to do if we can’t get the results?”

Simpson said she got tested on Friday at Minute Maid Park in Lot C and was told the results would come in 24 to 36 hours.

“That was Friday, the 31st, so today is the third day and still no results,” said Simpson.

Simpson said her brother, who lives with her, recently tested positive and she’s not sure if what she’s feeling is just allergies. She’s hoping the test provides an answer.

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3. Local school districts taking extra precautions against COVID-19 as students return to class

Thousands of students went back to the classroom this week following the winter break.

Students enrolled in the Houston Independent School District returned to the classroom Monday morning.

The district said it will continue to enforce its mask mandate at all district offices, facilities, campuses and school buses. HISD will also suspend all non-athletic field trips until further notice.

While some families are ready for kids to return to school after winter break, others are a bit more anxious as the omicron variant continues to spread.

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4. What’s in store for Texas this winter? Will the state experience another ice storm? Here’s what the Farmers’ Almanac says

What’s in store for Texas this winter? Will the state experience another ice storm?

The Farmers’ Almanac has released its 2021-22 winter weather outlook. The periodical forewarned of a “frosty flip flop Winter” during which “January will start out mild for much of the country but then turn cold and stormy, especially along the Atlantic Seaboard.”

For Texas, the almanac predicted cold and snowy conditions in late January, though “fortunately, they shouldn’t be as bad as last year.”

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5. Residents in Sienna neighborhood on edge after two homes burglarized on New Year’s Eve

After learning two of his neighbor’s homes were burglarized on New Year’s Eve, Sienna resident Samson Bouri had a message for anyone looking to do the same to him.

“Sorry, I have to shoot,” said Bouri.

He and others in the Sienna neighborhood on Poets Corner are on edge after the burglaries.

“I’ve lived here for 15 years. This area, it’s quiet. Never happen before,” said resident David Gomez.

Gomez was taken aback by the fact that the burglars didn’t stop at one address.

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