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Posts published in “Day: August 26, 2021

Railfans view UP Big Boy in Huffman

Photos by Jody Fuchs and Chris Wisdom

HUFFMAN – The world’s largest steam engine made an appearance in Huffman and Houston last week, on its 10 state, 32 day tour through the midwest of the United States.

Union Pacific No. 4014 is also known as “Big Boy” for its huge and unique size.

It was restored in 2019, and since has been housed in the UP engine facilities in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Almost every year the UP takes one of their restored steam locomotives on a tour of the United States for publicity purposes. Last year they skipped the tour due to the Pandemic, so Railfans were very enthusiastic to get a chance to see 4014 this year.

After spending a day in downtown Houston, where the public got to board the train and the Museum car that it was pulling, it steamed away toward New Orleans, passing through Huffman and stopping for photo opportunities. Several hundred people were on hand to witness the huge locomotive and enjoy the unique experience.

County offers $100 for new vaccine shots

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County Public Health Announced New Vaccine Incentive Initiative for All First Dose Recipients on Tuesday of this week.

Residents who receive their First dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through HCPH will receive a $100 cash card.

In an effort to improve vaccination rates and better protect the residents of Harris County from COVID-19, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will provide $100 cash cards to residents receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at an HCPH vaccination site.

Walle’s return from DC allows Quorum in Legislature

Texas Democratic Representatives Armando Walle, and Ana Hernandez, seen above, and Garnet Coleman broke ranks with the group of missing Legislators, and returned to Austin from DC. This allowed the Republican controlled House to declare a Quorum for the first time in over a month.

ALDINE – State Representative Armando Walle and two other Democratic legislators, Ana Hernandez and Garnet Coleman, returned from their hiatus in Washington to the state Capitol in Austin last week. Their absence, along with about 50 others, had kept the Texas House from having a quorum and unable to pass controversial Voter Restriction legislation that the Democrats said would disenfranchise many minority voters.

However, with all Republicans plus these three Democrats and a few others who never left, the Speaker of the House Dade Phelan declared they had a Quorum, and would proceed to act on legislation.

The three returning Democrats received a great deal of criticism for allowing this to happen, from labor unions, minority voter groups, and their colleagues that were still in Washington.

Walle’s office issued the following statement in defense of the return:

Personal Responsibility urged as Positive COVID-19 Cases Increase in County

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, Chambers County Local Health Authority Dr. William Clay Brown, Chambers County Public Health Director Mary Beth Bess and Chambers County Emergency Services Director Ron Nichols urgently appeal to Chambers County residents to take personal responsibility for their own health and actions and take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is wreaking havoc on the local, regional and state healthcare system, restricting the level of and speed at which emergent care can be delivered. As of the issuance of this statement, the Chambers County EMS call volume has increased 73 percent over this time last year and 67 percent of calls are to either COVID-19 positive or suspected positive patients.

Many regional hospitals have declared Internal Disasters or are unable to take patients due to lack of available beds or staff. Patients are spending an average of 96 hours in the Emergency Room before they are moved to a bed. Many are being treated in hallways and medics are being left with patients who are waiting to be admitted so that ambulances are able to return to service.