New restrictions coming for Houston-area counties due to COVID-19; former superintendent accused of theft and more top local news

As of Jan. 5, the Texas Department of State Health Services recorded COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area Q–which includes Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties–surpassed the 15% total capacity threshold from Dec. 29-Jan. 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
As of Jan. 5, the Texas Department of State Health Services recorded COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area Q–which includes Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties–surpassed the 15% total capacity threshold from Dec. 29-Jan. 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

As of Jan. 5, the Texas Department of State Health Services recorded COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area Q–which includes Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties–surpassed the 15% total capacity threshold from Dec. 29-Jan. 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

Greater Houston

New restrictions on horizon for Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high

Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties could see public health restrictions tighten as a result of increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to data by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Bay Area



League City to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from Galveston County

The Galveston County Health District Is offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine—one of two available coronavirus vaccines—to county residents, including in League City, who meet certain criteria.

BREAKING: Former New Caney ISD Superintendent Kenn Franklin accused of stealing at least $30K from district, tampering with government record

New Caney ISD's former Superintendent Kenn Franklin, who suddenly left his position in mid-November, was arrested at 3:05 p.m. Jan. 7 and charged with alleged theft of at least $30,000 and tampering with a government record, according to arrest records from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Harris County

Bars closed, businesses back to 50% capacity in Harris County as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain above 15% threshold

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area Q—which includes Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend and six other surrounding counties—exceeded 15% of total hospital capacity for the past seven consecutive days, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Montgomery County

UPDATED: Keough allows outdoor gatherings of 10 or more in Montgomery County

In the Jan. 6 video posted to social media, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough stated the county will allow outdoor gatherings of 10 people or more, in compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's GA-32 executive order.

Adriana Rezal, Jake Magee, Kelly Schafler and Danica Lloyd contributed to this report.





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MOST RECENT

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.

Bocca Italian Kitchen serves seasonal, Italian-inspired dishes, such as polenta and various pastas. (Courtesy Marco Torres)
Italian eateries open in Generation Park; Houston bike lane fines enforced and more local news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Minute Maid Park
Houston Health Department vaccine appointments fill up in 16 minutes

The department will administer 5,000 doses at Minute Maid Park on Jan. 16 and 17.

(Courtesy Himalayan Taj)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Himalayan Taj now open and more

Here is a roundup of business news from Clear Lake and League City.

Officials expect demand for the vaccine will be huge once it opens to the general public. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County plans vaccine distribution; FDA warns of false negatives and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular stories from the past week from the Houston area.

Students will have the opportunity to safely show and sell their agriculture projects through the 2021 CCISD Livestock Show and Online Sale through Jan. 20. (Courtesy Clear Creek ISD)
Clear Creek ISD students take robotics competitions, livestock exhibitions virtual amid COVID-19

Although students may not be able to physically attend competitions and exhibitions, parents and district leaders said students are rising to the occasion with the remote experiences.

Man riding bike in city
Houston’s grace period for bike lane parking fines ends

Houston residents now face a $100 fine for parking in bike lanes.

As of mid-January, the League City Volunteer Fire Department has a new all-hazards response boat. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City Volunteer Fire Department receives all-hazards response boat

As of mid-January, the League City Volunteer Fire Department has a new all-hazards response boat.

On Jan. 12, League City City Council voted unanimously for the city to terminate its agreement with Big League Dreams due to safety concerns. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City ends agreement with Big League Dreams; fields closed until further notice

In a city already struggling to meet the demand for sports fields on which young athletes can practice and compete, the League City location of Big League Dreams is closed until further notice.

Despite a global pandemic, Houston home sales broke records in 2020 and saw 10% more sales overall compared to 2019. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Report: Houston home sales surpassed 2019 volumes despite pandemic

2020 single-family home sales surpassed 2019’s volume by more than 10%.

La Cocina de Roberto launched its second eatery in The Woodlands area in January. (Courtesy La Cocina de Roberto)
La Cocina de Roberto restaurant opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

From Jan. 19-29, Coalition for the Homeless and staff from The Way Home will conduct the 2021 Homeless Count & Survey, in which they will work to identify sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. (Adobe Stock)
Coalition for the Homeless, The Way Home to conduct annual Greater Houston-area homeless count Jan. 19-29

The results of the 2021 homeless count and survey are expected to be released to the public this spring.