TOP 10: These were the most read stories of 2019 on communityimpact.com

Richard Andrews, grandson of Potatoe Patch’s original owners, Richard and Caroline Schaffer, took ownership of the restaurant in August. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richard Andrews, grandson of Potatoe Patch’s original owners, Richard and Caroline Schaffer, took ownership of the restaurant in August. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

Richard Andrews, grandson of Potatoe Patch’s original owners, Richard and Caroline Schaffer, took ownership of the restaurant in August. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

1. Original owners’ grandson restores roll-throwing restaurant, Potatoe Patch, to former glory

Original story posted Dec. 9

Known to the Greater Houston area as the “home of throw’d rolls,” Potatoe Patch was first opened by Richard and Caroline Schaffer in 1988.

2. A $100,000 teacher salary, an extended school year incentive program: 5 education items to watch in the Texas Legislature

Original story posted Jan. 4


State legislators were tasked with making improvements to the Texas school finance system before the session began in January.

3. High-speed bullet train between Dallas and Houston could be operational by 2025, company representative says

Original story posted Jan. 17

Commuters between Dallas and Houston could have a less expensive, more convenient alternative to flying by 2025.

4. Perfect Game, a sports venue and mixed-use development, expected to add $200M yearly to Hutto’s economy

Original story posted April 19

The project is expected to pump $200 million annually into the local community. The current economic generation of Hutto today is around $30 million.

5. Texas Renaissance Festival announces 2019 dates, themes

Original story posted March 8

The Texas Renaissance Festival returned for its 45th season Oct. 5-Dec. 1 to the 55-acre festival grounds in Todd Mission.

6. Flood map: See which Houston streets have flooded the most since 2016

Original story posted Sept. 18

The 311 call logs offer one way to view flood patterns across the city, where streets can flood even during minor rain events.

7. Homeowners to pay full roof replacement deductible under new law

Original story posted Aug. 9

Under Texas House Bill 2102 approved in the most recent legislative session, roofing contractors who offer to waive a homeowner’s deductible on their property insurance policy could face jail time.

8. Hwy. 6 bridge demolition process to begin Aug. 30 in Cy-Fair with major closures planned

Original story posted Aug. 29

The bridge demolition is part of a larger project that will ultimately involve building a new flyover bridge connecting Hwy. 6 to FM 1960 over Hwy. 290.

9. Amazon 4-star store opening in Frisco

Original story posted Aug. 4

The Amazon 4-star store offers products that are top sellers, have received four or more stars, or are new and trending. Products include books, games, electronics, toys, kitchen and home goods, and more.

10. Here’s a list of nonprofits with volunteer opportunities in Central Austin

Original story posted Dec. 14, 2016

Nonprofit organizations in Central Austin allow residents to give back throughout the year.
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By Marie Leonard

Marie came to Community Impact Newspaper in June 2011 after starting her career at a daily newspaper in East Texas. She worked as a reporter and editor for the Cy-Fair edition for nearly 5 years covering Harris County, Cy-Fair ISD, and local development and transportation news. She then moved to The Woodlands edition and covered local politics and development news in the master-planned community before being promoted to managing editor for the South Houston editions in July 2017.

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Donations of protective supplies for Houston's first responders can be given at Minute Maid Park on April 9 from noon-3 p.m. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Gloves, gowns, protective supplies donations to be collected at Minute Maid Park on April 8

The drive only accepts sealed boxes of supplies, but monetary donations can be made as well.

As of April 3, most Houston-area parks remain open with social distancing rules in effect. (Marie Leonard/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston parks stay open with new distancing measures in effect

The Head of Houston Parks Department said closing some or all, city parks is not off the table is social distancing protocols cannot be followed.

A Harris County administrative judge has ordered county officials to "wholly disregard" an order from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo that involved releasing certain nonviolent inmates from the Harris County Jail. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
Judge orders halt to Harris County inmate release

The plan to release certain nonviolent inmates was announced earlier this week to try to prevent a coronavirus outbreak at the Harris County Jail.

Houston Airport System officials expect March passenger data to be significantly lower than in other months. Foot traffic at IAH was light March 24. (Emily Heineman/Community Impact Newspaper)
TSA limits checkpoints at George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Houston Airport System expects significant decline in March passengers

With low passenger travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at George Bush Intercontinental Airport have been consolidated to make better use of resources and personnel, Houston Airport System officials said.

As cities and businesses do their part to fight off the spread of COVID-19, health care providers find themselves not only fighting the spread but also fighting other patient ailments. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Pearland, Bay Area pharmacy working to keep people healthy in a COVID-19-focused environment

As cities and businesses do their part to fight off the spread of COVID-19, health care providers find themselves not only fighting the spread but also fighting other patient ailments.

Prices are more of an indicator of real estate activity during the coronavirus pandemic than location or geography, a local Realtor said.
ROUNDUP: 5 recent coronavirus stories from the South Houston area readers should know

Catch up on some of the latest coronavirus updates for the South Houston area below.

Volunteers unload food donations for the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Drive West Communications)
ExxonMobil makes $250,000 donation to local food banks

The energy company said the Houston Food Bank will receive $200,000, including $50,000 in gasoline gift cards. The Montgomery County Food Bank will also receive $50,000.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo provided updates on the county's "Stay Home-Work Safe" order at a March 30 press conference. (Screenshot via Harris County)
VIDEO: Texas Tribune interviews Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo about the coronavirus outbreak’s impact in Houston

The Texas Tribune demographics reporter Alexa Ura interviewed Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on April 3.

The Shaman cleansing wash sold at Bay Area Natural Wellness contains hypochlorous acid, one of eight active ingredients that the Environmental Protection Agency said can prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (Courtesy of Bay Area Natural Wellness)
Bay Area businesses remain open to offer preventive healthcare amid coronavirus concerns

Bay Area Natural Wellness and iCRYO both offer preventive health care, and business owners said customers can still take advantage of their services despite the coronavirus outbreak.

According to recent League City Police Department records, officers have responded to over three dozen reports of residents and businesses violating Galveston County’s stay-at-home order in less than two weeks. (Courtesy Fotolia)
RECORDS: League City police disband parties, visit businesses reportedly violating stay-at-home order

According to recent League City Police Department records, officers have responded to over three dozen reports of residents and businesses violating Galveston County’s stay-at-home order in less than two weeks.

The employees of The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More gather their characters together in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons." (Kate Looney/The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More)
5 recent business stories from the Houston area readers should know

Read updates on how local businesses are reacting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many renters in the Greater Houston area may be faced with struggles paying rent amid the coronavirus outbreak. There are local resources located throughout the region that can help. (Courtesy Pexels)
Struggling to pay April rent? Here are some resources in the Greater Houston area

The deadline for April rent is looming as renters—both in public and private housing—in the Greater Houston area may be struggling financially in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.