Refinancing a home, police departments address protests: Popular news this week from Greater Houston

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)

Read popular stories from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

‘Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August, and families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8, according to a July 1 release from the company.



Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

Ahead of a weekend of potential Fourth of July festivities, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces.

Cypress bar owners face uncertain future following second mandated closure

Gov. Greg Abbott’s June 26 shutdown order for bars across the state of Texas has some bar owners in northwest Houston worried about the future.

Houston, League City police departments changing in wake of George Floyd’s death

After native Houstonian George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis spurred nationwide protests, Houston leaders are focusing on task forces, committee meetings and other public input processes before implementing any widespread reforms. In League City, the department is going to continue de-escalation, use-of-force, race and bias training while recognizing there is room for improvement.

Anna Lotz, Matt Dulin, Shawn Arrajj and Jake Magee contributed to this report.


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The overall death total in Harris County hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 17 deaths confirmed Aug. 5, including man in his 20s

The overall death total hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older.

UHCL has come up with an in-person and remote learning plan for the upcoming school year. (Designed by Community Impact staff)
University of Houston-Clear Lake looks at plans for fall semester

University of Houston-Clear Lake will be offering both in-person and online classes in the fall.

Restaurants in Houston can now opt to take up to 50% of its designated parking spaces to create outdoor dining space as long as COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston restaurants can now tap parking lots for outdoor dining

Houston City Council has approved a proposal to allow restaurants to take over 50% of their parking spaces to expand outdoor dining capacity.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Galveston Bay Park, Coastal Texas Study, Jim Blackburn, Rob Rogers
Galveston Bay Park idea earns top honors in Houston 2020 Visions competition

A plan to create a 10,000-acre public park of chained islands in Galveston Bay to mitigate storm damage to the coast was among three projects to win top honors in the international design competition Houston 2020 Visions.

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,438 new cases, 22 deaths confirmed Aug. 4

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day.

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County announces evening testing hours, faster turnaround on COVID-19 tests

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward.

In the last year, Whataburger launched a new, modern restaurant design and began offering curbside and delivery services for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. (Courtesy Elizabeth James for Whataburger)
Whataburger to celebrate 70th anniversary, unveil food truck, expand into 3 states

Nine more new Whataburger locations are planned by year's end, and 35 new restaurants are proposed for 2021.

Harris County Pets will offer free adoptions in August. (Courtesy Harris County Pets)
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August

As part of a national initiative to clear animal shelters, Harris County Pets will offer free adoptions for spayed or neutered and heartworm-positive pets.

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
U.S. Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

The self-response deadline has moved up to Sept. 30.