New coronavirus tracking system in place by Texas Education Agency and more Houston-area news

Katy ISD is sanitizing school buses between each trip. (Courtesy Katy ISD)
Katy ISD is sanitizing school buses between each trip. (Courtesy Katy ISD)

Katy ISD is sanitizing school buses between each trip. (Courtesy Katy ISD)

Read some of the past week's most popular news.

Texas Education Agency announces new COVID-19 tracking system for public schools

A new tracking system will monitor and report confirmed COVID-19 cases in public schools statewide starting in September, according to a joint press statement from the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

'50s-style eatery Pit Row Pit Stop Diner expands into New Caney

Pit Row Pit Stop Diner opens Sept. 4 at 19857 FM 1485, New Caney. This is the second location for owner and pitmaster Franki Vinci, who opened the first location in Livingston in 2016.

Brazoria County sets new criteria for tracking recovered cases

Brazoria County Health Department has changed its criteria for determining recovered cases, according to a press release from the county.

McHard Road construction to start, plus three more updates on Pearland road projects

The city of Pearland is starting construction on the McHard Road extension project at the end of August. Meanwhile, construction on Smith Ranch Road widening has been pushed back. The bond-funded Linwood Oaks and Orange Circle construction is set to go to bid for construction in August.

Marsalas Italian Grill coming soon to Conroe

Marsalas Italian Grill has signed a lease at 100 Scarborough Drive, Stes. A3-A4, Conroe, according to a developments report by the city of Conroe. Marsalas is now going through the permitting process, and the restaurant should open four to five weeks from now, manager and owner Isaac Rodriguez said in a Facebook message Aug. 21.

Eva Vigh, Danica Lloyd, Kelly Schafler and Haley Morrison contributed to this report.


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.

ExxonMobil's Houston campus opened in Springwoods Village in 2014. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil to lay off 1,900 employees primarily in Greater Houston area

Citing economic strain due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ExxonMobil officials announced in a press release Oct. 29 plans to lay off approximately 1,900 employees primarily at its management offices in Houston.

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."

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.

Montgomery County Commissioners Court met Oct. 27 for a regular meeting, which was broadcast live online. (Screenshot via Montgomery County)
$800K in CARES Act money will convert Lone Star Convention Center for jury, courthouse uses during pandemic

The convention center will see technology and security upgrades to use as a courthouse, but weekend events will still go on as scheduled, Montgomery County officials said.

The Center for Houston’s Future released a report Oct. 28 that looks at the economic vitality of the region’s health care system and assesses the region’s community health. (Courtesy Pexels)
Report: 1 in 4 jobs added by 2036 in Greater Houston will be in the health care sector

However, failing to further develop a talent pipeline in medical expertise would lead to job losses, the report notes.

Houston Morning Market Company is poised to launch three new markets across the Greater Houston area by Nov. 19. (Courtesy Houston Morning Market Company)
Heights Morning Market owner to launch markets in Tomball, Conroe, downtown

“The goal is really just bringing communities together, bringing diversity to these rural communities,” Hayley Summers said.

Volunteers take donations during the 2019 holiday food drive. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County Food Bank announces November start for holiday food drive

Donations will be collected at two locations Dec. 4.

Inspired by Nashville hot chicken, the new restaurant will offer chicken tender bites, jumbo chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and bone-in chicken with five heat level options, from "Wimpy" to "Cluckin' Hot." (Courtesy Tumble 22)
Tumble 22's Nashville hot chicken coming to Klein and more Houston-area news

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

Montgomery County commissioners met Oct. 27 for a regular Commissioners Court meeting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County to reimburse schools with CARES funds at estimated $40 per student

Under the $40 per student estimate, Montgomery County could provide about $4.4 million in CARES funds to school districts.

More students have opted to attend school in person as the year has progressed. (Community Impact staff)
DATA: See how many students have shifted from remote to in-person in Conroe, Montgomery, Willis ISDs

More students have opted to attend school in person as the year has progressed.

The county's cumulative case count rose by more than 700 since last Tuesday, and active cases rose by more than 400. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County sees more than 21% increase in active COVID-19 cases Oct. 20-26

The county's active case count reached 2,362 Oct. 26, a jump of more than 400 since last Tuesday and the highest such total recorded since late July.