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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Mayor Turner and the honor guard.
Houston joins nationwide coronavirus memorial, lights landmarks

The memorial was planned as a component of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inauguration.

If the park becomes a hub, it would join two others currently established in the county: One is at the University of Texas Medical Branch hospital in Galveston, and the other hub is at the Galveston County Health District. The health district will offered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to those 65 years of age and older by appointment only after receiving 1,000 additional doses; appointments were filled within hours. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
NEW: League City's Walter Hall Park closed to become potential mass vaccination site

Two other vaccine hubs are currently established in Galveston County, neither of which are offering new vaccine appointments the week of Jan. 18.

Yachty Gras (Courtesy Yachty Gras Foundation)
TO-DO LIST: 7 Bay Area events in January and February

Here are Bay Area events worth attending in January and February.

Learn about League City Orange Groves, January's featured neighborhood

League City Orange Groves is located near I-45 with quick access to schools, shopping and dining.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

Bay Area-based company Intuitive Machines has selected SpaceX as the company that will deliver two of its payloads to the moon, according to a Jan. 13 press release. (Courtesy Intuitive Machines)
Bay Area aerospace company selects SpaceX as vehicle to moon

Bay Area-based company Intuitive Machines has selected SpaceX as the company that will deliver two of its payloads to the moon, according to a Jan. 13 press release.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

Houston City Hall aerial view
Houston City Council ethics committee to review speech policies

The discussion comes after Facebook posts by Council Member Greg Travis led to calls for his resignation or censure.

For the next few months, League City City Council will hold meetings at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center because the council chambers next door are under renovation. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City council chambers under renovation

For the next few months, League City City Council will hold meetings at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center because the council chambers next door are under renovation.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is scheduled to return in person in October. (Courtesy Katya Horner/Bayou City Art Festival)
Bayou City Art Festival scheduled for in-person return in October

The Memorial Park version of the festival will be celebrated through alternative virtual and smaller in-person events.

At a Jan. 15 emergency court hearing, officials came up with a plan to try to reduce the inmate population at the Harris County Jail that centers on hosting more bail reduction hearings. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
With open beds dwindling, officials look for ways to reduce Harris County jail population

The inmate population at the Harris County Jail is rising, and officials are looking for ways to quickly ease the pressure as concerns grow over the ability to quarantine and restrict the spread of the coronavirus.