ROUNDUP: South Houston communities continue coronavirus response

Those anxiously awaiting the end of stay-at-home orders have another thing to look forward to: progress on several transportation projects around Clear Lake and League City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Those anxiously awaiting the end of stay-at-home orders have another thing to look forward to: progress on several transportation projects around Clear Lake and League City. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Those anxiously awaiting the end of stay-at-home orders have another thing to look forward to: progress on several transportation projects around Clear Lake and League City. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Here is what South Houston readers should know about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the area.

Harris County Attorney's Office authorized to file amicus brief supporting mail-in ballots amid coronavirus outbreak

The Texas Democratic Party is entering a legal battle with the governor and secretary of state to allow voters to mail in ballots during the pandemic. Despite reservations from the county’s Republican commissioners, the Harris County Attorney’s Office will submit an amicus brief—a legal document filed by an entity not involved in a lawsuit—arguing the coronavirus meets criteria for voting by mail under the state election code.

Despite pandemic, Bay Area transportation projects making progress

Contractors in Clear Lake and League City are moving forward on major transportation work. Some projects, such as the widening of I-45, may even be completed sooner because of lighter traffic from residents staying home.



METRO heightens preventative COVID-19 measures

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is taking more drastic measures to enforce social distancing on buses.

Houston takeout: Easter specials and other options around the Heights, River Oaks and Montrose

Restaurants around the Houston area are offering special Easter menus to enjoy at home.

State legislators request federal officials halt activity on Texas Central's high-speed rail project

Republican elected officials penned a letter April 6 asking the federal government to stop Texas Central’s high-speed rail project, alleging the private company does not have the financial resources to continue. The project’s funding has come into doubt following Texas Central announcing 28 layoffs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Adriana Rezal, Hunter Marrow, Matt Dulin, Jen Para and Danica Smithwick contributed to this report.


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Isabel Longoria
Harris County taps Isabel Longoria as final candidate for first-ever elections administrator

The position will overtake election duties from the county clerk and the tax-assessor collector.

UTMB Chief Medical Officer Gulshan Sharma—who is also a Clear Creek ISD parent—joined several district leaders in an Oct. 27 livestream event concerning COVID-19. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD officials, UTMB chief medical officer discuss district’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts

As of midday Oct. 30, a total of 47 COVID-19 cases are considered active in CCISD, the highest number to date during the 2020-21 school year.

Several named storms have brought heavy rainfall to the Houston area during the 2020 hurricane season amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
In the midst of 2020’s economic downturn, Harris County continues to consider social vulnerability when prioritizing flood mitigation projects

Zoning expert and law professor Sara Bronin explained how marginalized populations can find themselves in a “vicious cycle” when government agencies do not take steps to protect them from flooding.

Voters line up outside Juergen's Hall Community Center in Cypress on Oct. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County exceeds its previous voter turnout record before early voting ends

More than 1.3 million county residents cast ballots throughout the entire November 2016 election, but this year, that number was surpassed on Oct. 29—with one day of early voting remaining in addition to Election Day on Nov. 3.

Early voting runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
Double-edged sword: As voter turnout reaches all-time highs in Greater Houston area, so does risk of incomplete ballots

Under-votes, or votes that are never cast in a particular race, occur when voters cast incomplete ballots. They typically surge in elections with high voter turnout, said Steve Leakey, president of the Montgomery County Voter Awareness Council.

Freese and Nichols on Oct. 28 shared potential projects to alleviate flooding regionally in the Dickinson Bayou Watershed. (Courtesy Freese and Nichols)
Consultants share possible regional flood solution concepts for Dickinson Bayou

On Oct. 28, officials shared the first potential conceptual projects that could mitigate drainage in the region.

Less than a week ahead of the Nov. 3 Election Day, Cihan Varol, an associate professor with Sam Houston State University's Cyber Forensics Intelligence Center, shared insight on foreign election hacking and what it means for voters. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Sam Houston State University cyber forensics intelligence expert talks foreign election hacking ahead of Nov. 3

"There is a very slim chance that the hackers can change vote count, but they can definitely influence people to believe that they did manipulate it," Cihan Varol said. "If election fraud is going to happen, it'll be because of disinformation."

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project proposed rerouting I-45 through the East End and Fifth Ward, leaving the Pierce Elevated abandoned. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)
Public comment period extended on I-45 Environmental Report

The deadline was changed by state officials at activists' and local officials' request.

medical face masks
Houston approves $11.5 million in CARES Act spending

The funding was allocated toward everything from garbage bin to water testing plans.

Mission Control opened in 1965 at the Johnson Space Center and quickly became world famous as NASA managed its Gemini and Apollo space flights from the facility, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that took men to the moon. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Architects behind restoration of Apollo Mission Control to speak at Nov. 10 Zoom event

The restoration was completed in July 2019, in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Face coverings are not required for those entering polling places in Texas during the general election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: U.S. appeals court pauses decision voiding face covering exemption at polling places

The court temporarily stayed a district judge's decision to void an exemption to Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide face covering order concerning polling places.