RISING WELTERWEIGHT STAR VERGIL ORTIZ JR. STOPS SAMUEL VARGAS IN ROUND SEVEN

Jul 28, 2020
RISING WELTERWEIGHT STAR VERGIL ORTIZ JR. STOPS SAMUEL VAR
Click HERE for Photos, for Video of Virtual RoundtablePhoto Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy  

 INDIO, CALIF. (July 24, 2020) – Rising 147-pound star Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 KOs) of Grand Prairie, Texas defended his WBA Gold Welterweight Title via seventh-round stoppage against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) of Bogota, Colombia tonight in Golden Boy and DAZN’s return to regularly scheduled pugilistic action. The bout took place inside a fan-less Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. “I didn’t really notice fighting with no fans,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr.  “I’m so focused on the fight. We usually spar without fans, so didn’t make a difference. I hit Vargas to the body a lot. I don’t know how he didn’t go down. He was hurt the entire time. I asked him, so I know he was hurt.. I also knew it was time to take him out in round seven. If it had gone to eight rounds, he would have been hurt worse. When I take rounds off like that, I try to get used to the timing and make them miss some shots.” “I would like to fight Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman,” Ortiz Jr. continued. “They’re good opponents I can beat. I want to take risks. I’m not here to take easy fights. I’m in the hardest division in boxing, so when I win a title it will mean a lot more.” In the co-main event, Shane Mosley Jr. (16-3, 9 KOs) of Pomona, California scored an eight-round unanimous decision win against Jeremy Ramos (11-9, 4 KOs) of Colorado Springs, Colorado in a middleweight bout. “This was a great experience,” said Shane Mosley Jr. “This was my first fight as a Golden Boy fighter. I’m glad I got the win and got to knock some dust off of me. It was different due to the circumstances. Ultimately, it’s still a fight. He came to win. I think it was a good performance from me, but I still have to add some more things to my game, like adding more punches to the body.” Seniesa “SuperBad” Estrada (19-0, 8 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. scored a devastating first-round knockout win against Miranda Adkins (5-1, 5 KOs) of Topeka, Kansas in a scheduled eight-round defense of her WBC Silver Light Flyweight. The fight only lasted seven seconds. “It was the outcome I expected,” said Seniesa Estrada. “I give her respect for stepping into the ring with me while having a 5-0 record. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have had an opponent tonight, so I thank her. Hopefully next time I can fight someone who is a world champion.” Hector Valdez (13-0, 8 KOs) of Dallas, Texas retained his undefeated record by beating Josue Morales (11-12-4, 1 KO) of Houston, Texas via eight-round unanimous decision in a 122-pound bout. The judges scored the fight 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73 for Valdez. “I felt I had an OK performance,” said Hector Valdez. “I give myself a 7 out of 10. I was calm, which is good. But now I need to work on being calm and being active with my punches. Now I’m going to go back to the gym, and I hope to come back soon on another Golden Boy card.” Welterweight prospect Evan Sanchez (8-0, 6 KOs) of Parlier, Calif. scored a six-round unanimous decision victory against Issouf Kinda (18-5, 7 KOs) of the Bronx, N.Y. The judges scored it 59-54, 58-55, and 60-53 for Sanchez. “I felt a little rusty in there,” said Evan Sanchez. “But I’m honored to be opening up for Golden Boy.  I know a lot of people were watching. I hope to get a two-week break and come back very soon.” Ortiz Jr. vs. Vargas was a 12-round fight for the WBA Gold Welterweight Title presented by Golden Boy. The event was sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The event took place on Friday, July 24 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and was streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
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Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Announce Schools Will Delay In-Person Classes Until Sept. 8

Jul 28, 2020
HOUSTON – To protect students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and help blunt progression of the virus in our communities, all public and non-religious private schools must delay in-person classes until Sept. 8, Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Friday.

The City of Houston’s Local Health Authority Dr. David Persse and Harris County’s Health Authority Dr. Umair Shah signed the joint public health order. A copy of the full order is available here.

“We do not want our kids to fall behind, but we must do what we can to keep them, our teachers, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, school support staff, and safer,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We can help save lives by further delaying the opening of our schools. COVID-19 positivity rates are at an all-time high. It is very difficult to see these numbers on the rise and talk about returning our children to school.”

“Sending students, teachers and staff into classrooms while this virus is still spreading uncontrollably is not only unsafe for the people in the schools, it’s dangerous for their families, friends and the entire community,” said Dr. David Persse, City of Houston Local Health Authority.“In order for students to be able to learn and grow, they must also be healthy and safe,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Right now, we continue to see a severe and uncontrolled spread of this virus and it would be self-defeating to reopen schools as usual for in-person instruction. We are all desperate to move on from this crisis and get life back to normal. September 8 is still likely too soon, but the truth is, the fastest way we can all work together to bring this virus under control, the sooner we will be in a position to reopen again for the long term.”In addition to the suspension of in person instruction, the order includes the following:Virtual instruction is allowed consistent with individual district or school academic plans.  Instructors may use classrooms for video streaming if they are alone in the classroom and building occupancy does not exceed 10%. All school sponsored events and activities, including but not limited to clubs, sports, extra-curricular activities, fairs, exhibitions, academic and/or athletic competitions, must not take place in-person, on or off campus, until school systems resume on-campus instruction. By no later than Friday, August 21, 2020, each School System shall develop and submit a written plan with safety and health protocols for resuming in-person instruction and extracurricular activities to the Local Health Authority with jurisdiction over the school. School systems must make the plan available to parents and the general public. 
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Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos

Jul 17, 2020

(on the state of the team two days prior to its next game) “It was nice to first of all get on the field and play, that was the most important part. I know that’s what the players wanted, you know that’s what they were dreaming about for the last few months. It was nice to get on the field, obviously we had a really difficult opponent to start with. It became more difficult on the field to try to limit them from creating opportunities, because they are so talented, but overall happy with the team. I know they are happy that we have confidence back, it was not easy living with a 4-0 loss for the last 3-4 months. So yeah, so I think we’re back for the next game and hoping like every team to get into the next round.”

(on how he navigates coaching the team during this time) “I’m just trying to coach the team like I would always coach the team. It’s really no different, you know I still have the personal conversations. We still talk about if they have any issues off the field, we talk about that. So really, it’s not a whole lot different. I think what’s different is how together we are and it’s important for us, all the things that we do, we do together, because obviously you know we all depend on each other. We are in an environment here which we feel like at this point is safe, but still – we have to be careful and the more we are together the better it is for everybody.”

(on if the last match was disheartening due to the outcome) “I think obviously there’s no question, we’re disappointed when you have a 3-1 lead and coming out with a 3-3 tie. I think you’re always going to be disappointed. At the end of the day, you know when I think about the fact that we gave up the third goal and it was still about 20 minutes to play in the game. I thought the team did quite well and try to win the game after that. You know LAFC is one of those teams that has so many weapons. Vela obviously wasn’t there, but I think you know Bradley Wright-Phillips coming in was also a great boost for them, in particular in the first half. So, you know they have a lot of good players, they got a lot of points last year, they were the leader in the league. You know that, probably the best team in the league. So, I think overall it was a really tough task for us to match up with this team in the situation we were coming in but I feel like we overcame that hurdle. Like I said before, I was happy that we were drawn into a really difficult group. I want to see where we stand and how we have to move forward, so having said that I think our first step was really positive.”

(on what he saw in training to move Memo Rodriguez more toward the center) “Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question and that’s something that Memo and I talked about in October when I first came on. I mentioned to him that I had seen him play a lot and that I felt that he was an interior player, not a winger. So it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t play some more games out on the wing coming inside, but I do feel like his best position is being that number eight or that number 10 in the middle of the field and not wide.”

(on his relationship with Portland Timbers head coach Gio Savarese) “That’s a great question, so Gio and I are very good friends. I respect him so much in the way he is, not just as a coach, but as a person. As a player, he was always a very hard worker, he certainly earned everything he got playing soccer and I think his team reflects that. They are a hard-working team and although they have good players they all get behind the ball. They all defend, they will all work very hard and I think that’s the reflection that they have of their coach.”

(on how the defense can approach the through-ball) “First of all, I think every defense is having trouble with LAFC’s through balls. They did it all of last year, they did it all the year before that. That’s how they play, they’re able to do that because they have such great possession in the middle of the field and such great wingers who can create. So, they have a great team, in terms of how this game is going to be. It’s going to be different because Portland is not LAFC. They play different, they try to get you a little bit more on the counter. Whereas LAFC, they want to take charge of the game the whole time. So, it’ll be a completely different game. I wouldn’t take, you know, we always want to correct mistakes and we want to get better, but I wouldn’t necessarily take the through balls that we gave up against LAFC as something that’s automatically going to happen against Portland.”

(on the status of Marcelo Palomino and Adam Lundkvist) “Palomino was out, it wasn’t just before the match, Marcelo was out for the last almost three weeks. He’s back now in training. So, we’re happy to have him. He is ready to go for Saturday, obviously, he hasn’t played on a full field for a long time. So, we have to consider that, and Adam is recovering pretty well from the injury. I think he will be 100 percent for the game.”

(on giving Nico Lemoine his first MLS appearance last Monday) “I don’t look at it that way, I’m not sitting on the bench thinking ‘how can I make Nico Lemoine’s first start a good one for him.’ Nico is a good player, this is why I asked if we could sign him from our second team and bring him on board, because I think he can contribute. I’m very happy for Nico, because he earned that opportunity and the reason he came on the team at that moment wasn’t because he was a young player and we needed to bring a young player on. He came on because we thought that was the best player we could put on under the circumstances during the game. So, I’m very happy for him, I think he’s got a great career ahead of him. A lot of learning, but it’s a great career ahead of him. He’s got some qualities that most players don’t have and I’m looking forward to working with him into the future.”

(on Sam Junqua also making his MLS debut) “Yeah, Sam has been performing really well in practice. So, at the moment Adam (Lundkvist) went down it’s not like it came into our mind to switch someone else into that position. So, we could have potentially put Zarek (Valentin) at left back and then brought in a right back, which is Jose Bizama, who’s been out for a long time. So, we really didn’t want to mess with the team because we thought that Sam, although he’s a young player, he’s been doing really well in practice. We thought he’d be up to the task, he came in at a very difficult moment and did a great job. So, we’re happy with that.”

Director Tecnico del Houston Dynamo Tab Ramos

(sobre el partido del sábado contra Portland Timbers) “Si, vamos al sábado con bastante confianza que se recuperó con el partido contra Los Ángeles.  Porque sabíamos que iba a ser un partido sumamente difícil, pero en cuanto a lo que viene hacia Portland, los que nos preocupa, un poquito más primero que todo, crear más ocasiones por nuestra parte. Sé que convertimos tres goles contra LAFC. Pero creo que podíamos haber creado más ocasiones todavía. Sobre Portland y su equipo, nos preocupa el movimiento de (Sebastián) Blanco porque es un jugador que se mueve por todo el campo, en diferentes situaciones y también (Diego) Valeri.  Porque Valerie es un jugador que se ubica muy bien cuando nosotros tengamos la pelota y él se encarga de ubicarse en sitios donde puede empezar jugadas de transición. Entonces, esas son las dos cosas más importantes en el momento que nos preocupan de Portland”.

(sobre la adaptación a la burbuja en Orlando) “Si, bueno. Primero que todo, los primeros días había mucho nerviosismo porque, obviamente, vimos que los otros equipos habían tenido problemas, habías casos. Y había positivos y a medida que va pasando el tiempo y uno se empieza a sentir un poquito más cómodo. Creo que en este momento, creo que nos sentimos seguros en donde estamos, donde comemos donde tenemos reunión, donde vamos a entrenar. Todas esas cosas ya que el equipo en este momento se siente cómodo y creo que la MLS ha hecho un gran trabajo para mantenernos seguro”.

(sobre la nueva posición de Memo Rodriguez) “Si, bueno. Creo que primero, tenemos que tener paciencia con Memo. Recién está jugando en esa posición con nosotros. Aparte, es una es una posición que, si uno mira alrededor de la liga, es una posición que está cubierta normalmente por jugadores extranjeros que tienen un costo. Y Memo siendo un jugador nuestro, un jugador de Houston que tenga la posibilidad de jugar una posición tan importante dentro del equipo, creo que es importantísimo para para el club. Y bueno, creo que para la para los niños que vienen de abajo para verlo también. Pero en cuanto a su función en general, creo que no cabe duda, que como cualquier jugador joven, va a tener sus altibajos. Pero él tiene buena técnica para jugar esa posición. Aparte tiene buena capacidad física para ir de área a área. Y es lo que le estamos pidiendo, porque Memo aparte de tener buena técnica nosotros le exigimos que él tenga recuperación de balón. Entonces estamos trabajando con él acerca de eso y creo que él va a seguir mejorando a medida que pase la temporada”.

(sobre la mentalidad del equipo en buscar a proponer en la ofensiva) ““Creo que es una pregunta importante, si es verdad, todos los entrenadores vivimos de esos momentos. Lo que sí le voy a decir es que, veo el fútbol de una manera y quiero jugar al fútbol de una manera y de la manera que creo que es adecuada para mí para y para el tipo de jugador que quiero. Sea, hay que recordar que estoy en un equipo que fue formado por otras personas. No fue un equipo armado totalmente por mí. Habiendo dicho eso, tenemos jugadores importantes que a mí me gusta muchísimo y creo que con este equipo podemos hacer buen futbol. A veces se demora tiempo, si existen posibilidades que se pueda perder por supuesto, lo que sí le voy a decir es que en ningún momento Houston va a ser un equipo que va a salir a defenderse solamente. Porque fuimos a Kansas City a presionar a uno de los mejores equipos de liga y desafortunadamente perdimos cuatro a cero. Pero no perdimos 4-0 por querer defendernos, nosotros perdimos 4-0 por salir a ganar. Y así va a ser, así es lo que quiero del equipo. Quiero confianza con el equipo y a veces eso se demora un poquito de tiempo pero la idea que nunca va a ser de salir solo a defenderse y a jugar a no perder”.

(sobre la regla de utilizar cinco cambios) “Si, es un poquito raro porque, no cabe duda, que cinco cambios en un partido cambian el partido. Prácticamente uno está jugando con un equipo diferente cuando hace cinco cambios. Nosotros elegimos a ser cuatro en este partido, como todo el mundo sabe, tenemos tres ocasiones para sólo cinco cambios, aparte de medio tiempo. Y creo que para este partido se hicieron los cambios adecuados. No quiere decir que para el próximo partido no usemos los cinco para poner piernas frescas. Pero en realidad, lo que quiero hacer quiero que el equipo evoluciones. No se trata tanto de darle minutos a jugadores, sino a que el equipo vaya mejorando. Sí veo que lo podemos hacer con dos cambios el sábado nada más, a lo mejor se hacen dos cambios nada más. Sé que no estoy pensando necesariamente que tengo que usar los cinco cambios”.

(sobre cómo se puede utilizar las características de Alberth Elis) “Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted en este caso. Queremos idealmente que Alberth se le juegue balones al espacio. Ahí es donde él tiene su mejor posibilidad, porque sí, como usted dice – creo que es uno de los jugadores más rápidos de la liga y un jugador muy potente que entra en el área muy bien. No necesariamente nosotros estamos buscando Alberth al pie siempre, a veces sí. Obviamente, si lo podemos encontrar en extremo uno contra uno le vamos a dar el balón. Pero también es importante que al contragolpe se lo encuentre en espacio y es lo que están buscando frecuentemente”.

(sobre lo que aprendió de los cambios que hizo al medio tiempo) “Si, bueno. Obviamente, no estamos contentos de haber desaprovechado la ventaja de 3-1 que teníamos. Y bueno, el segundo tiempo no se dio de la manera que lo queríamos. Sabemos que defensivamente tenemos que seguir mejorando. Hemos en este momento nos hemos dado siete goles los últimos dos partidos y obviamente el partido de hace cuatro meses es casi otra liga, pero igual tenemos que juntarlos todos. Y defensivamente, tenemos que ser mejores y vamos a competir con un equipo de playoff. Estoy seguro de que vamos a seguir mejorando en ese aspecto y que el equipo va a ir cada vez a más”.

Dynamo DF Zarek Valentin

(on what the team took away from the first game of the tournament) “I think first and foremost, we have to be a little bit disappointed with how the result went. We never want to give up a lead, especially one that was two goals. I think there are definitely a lot of positives to take from it. Primarily that LAFC is one of the best teams in the league. So, taking a point from them can be viewed as a positive, but I think that we definitely want to build on what we saw and play a little bit more of a complete game. I think that there’s definitely room to improve going to Portland, win all three points and hopefully a situation where we can move to the top of the group.”

(on how the team can build on the last performance and carry over to the game on Saturday) “I think there’s a few points in which we can emphasize going to the next game against Portland. One of those is just communication, a lot of times when there’s moving parts on the field, it’s difficult to navigate situations, the easiest ways to communicate whether you’re passing on runners, you’re staying with the runner or whether there’s quick free kicks or set pieces and things like that, communication is massive. We can always improve on that and that is something that we can take from game-to-game. Obviously, there’s individual moments that will be a little bit more specific to LAFC. They pack a lot of number centrally, so we have to make sure we get to the ball and they get their heads down, obviously, if you get pressure on good players but don’t get close enough to potentially make them make a decision then it becomes easy. With guys like (Diego) Valeri and (Sebastian) Blanco, who I know well, we have to make sure that we close them down and not give them as much space, and time to make decisions, because they’re going to punish you.”

(on the play of the Houston Dash in the NWSL Challenge Cup) “First and foremost, I think the NWSL has put on an incredible tournament in Salt Lake City. It’s been great to see and I think the competition levels have been fantastic. I’m excited to continually watch the Dash more specifically, as they’ve been one of the more spoken about “fun teams” to watch. Obviously, down in Houston we have a little bit more access to that and where I would say, we are a little bit on the front foot in terms of recognizing skill and stuff like that. Obviously, Rachel (Daly) has had an incredible tournament and there’s been some players that have really been able to step up and make a name for themselves, which is exciting to see. I think that now the Dash have turned some heads and suddenly it’s one of the organizations that is being spoken about, which rightfully so, and I can’t stress enough that my teammates and I were talking about it and we’re excited to see them hopefully move on in the tournament.”

(on playing with Gio Savarese and Tab Ramos) ““There are some similarities and I think that there are definitely some differences. I think some of the similarities would be that they were both attacking players. So, they definitely want to enjoy the ball and also give the player the ability to express themselves, because that’s what they did. Gio was a goal scorer and Tab’s resume speaks for itself as well, but I think that both coaches want to give the players the space to create for themselves because and not give them too many barriers. Because as players they wanted to have that creativity, that freedom as well. I think one of the biggest differences would probably be personality. Tab is a little bit more, I would say less gif-able than Gio. Gio wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s there and he’s passionate and he wants to be on the field with you and cheering you on. You can see that he’s in the game, when he leaves, he’s sweating, and you know he’s been there with you. Obviously, Tab is a little bit more controlled and pensive about kind of the way he goes about things. Neither is right or wrong, I think that is definitely what you’ll see on the sidelines. I mean every game Gio is doing something where people are looking and saying ‘oh man, that’s a coach that definitely wants to be there with his players’ and then Tab is one of these guys that you know really is knowledgeable that will pull you aside and maybe not be as outwardly emotional but definitely has incredible knowledge in the way he goes about coaching.”

(on Memo Rodriguez’ performance against LAFC) “Memo and I spent a lot of time in the individual training session period of the Dynamo. We have obviously, we were split up into quadrants like most teams and memo was the player to my right or left, depending on the way you were. We were able to run and suffer and work together and I was able to see his work ethic from putting in work on fitness, we challenged each other and kind of have little bets. Then obviously, to see the work you put in whether we were shooting or dribbling, whatever it might be. So, to see him put in that work and to dedicate himself to his craft, was inspiring. It just proves that he belongs at this level and he can really excel and be one of the better midfielders in this league in my opinion. I am his biggest fan, hopefully he’ll tell you that, if not maybe his mom will go first, but I’m definitely a solid number two.  I think that he can sky is the limit for him as long as he continues to put in the work, put in the effort, which I know he does. He can become an incredible player and it’s great to see that he is reaping the benefits of that, but also he’s cognizant of the fact that it’s just one game. He scored two goals in one game and now he wants to do the same thing in the next game. He wants to continuously push himself and to enjoy the challenge that comes with that. Ultimately, as most people that cross the ball will tell you, a lot of times those guys make you look pretty good. So, his run was incredible, Mauro’s (Manotas) initial movement helps set everything up and those guys made my ball look pretty decent at the end. Don’t forget Alberth (Elis) doing all the hard work and all the running for me.”

(on how he feels about his experience in the bubble) “As a union member I was involved in a lot of these calls and the background and everything for the past few months. I’ve said that upon seeing a few of my friends and colleagues in the league I’ve thanked them for all the work they’ve been doing. They have been working 18, 19, 20-hour days for the past few months and it’s a lot of work that goes into this. Ultimately, outside of Nashville and Dallas there hasn’t been many positive tests. The players feel safe, this is safer than Houston at this moment in time. We don’t have to go to the grocery store, we don’t have to leave our house to do anything. We can stay in our bubble and focus on the game and focus on our opponents and focus on soccer. That’s the most important thing at this moment. The fact that we are able to give 110 percent and we don’t have to think about the outside world is a kudos to the league, obviously. There are some difficult protocols, we have to wake up early to do testing and things like that. If waking up at 7:15 a.m. to have access to testing, so that we can play the game we love, that’s no problem at all. Again there’s a lot of moving pieces but credit to the league for putting on this tournament in such quick fashion and being successful with it, knock on wood, until the end of it. Which will be early, mid-August.”

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Javier Hernández, Joe Corona, Sacha Kljestan y Guillermo Barros Schelotto atienden a los medios de comunicación vía videoconferenciaI

Jul 17, 2020

LOS ÁNGELES (Jueves, 16 de julio, 2020) – Ya está disponible el video de la videoconferencia de prensa que se llevó acabo hoy como parte de la previa al segundo partido del LA Galaxy en el Torneo Especial MLS is Back, con la participación del delantero del LA Galaxy Javier Hernández, el mediocampista Joe Corona, el mediocampista Sacha Kljestan y el director técnico Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

crédito al LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy enfrentará a LAFC el sábado, 18 de julio a las 7:30 p.m. PT en vivo por ESPN/ESPN Deportes. En el primer partido del equipo angelino en el Torneo Especial MLS is Back, LA Galaxy cayó 2-1 ante Portland Timbers el lunes por la noche en el complejo deportivo ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex en Orlando, Florida.

En el último partido de la Fase de Grupos, LA Galaxy se medirá ante Houston Dynamo el jueves, 23 de julio a las 5:00 p.m. PT en vivo por FS1 y TUDN.

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City of Houston and Reliant Launch 2020 Beat the Heat Program to Help Houstonians “Stay Cool in Your Home”

Jul 8, 2020
HOUSTON –  Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Reliant and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to officially launch its Beat the Heat program to help residents “Stay Cool in Your Home” and avoid the summer heat while practicing social distancing. The 2020 edition of this annual program will provide residents across Houston with portable AC units, care packages, financial assistance and energy efficiency information for much-needed summer relief.

“The COVID-19 public health crisis has changed our lives, but it will not change the city’s commitment to helping Houstonians during the hot summer months. Although we won’t be opening the cooling centers as usual to help keep people socially distant, I’m proud we have come up with a way to still make sure Houstonians can keep cool during the summer,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Staying home means also being able to stay cool in your own home. I want to thank Reliant for being a great partner as we work together to provide for our communities.”
 
“During these hot summer months, social distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic will make it even harder for our seniors and vulnerable residents to get the help they need,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant. “For 15 years, we have welcomed our neighbors into Reliant’s Beat the Heat cooling centers across the city. While this year’s program looks different, we are pleased to expand our partnership with the City of Houston and provide new support for Harris County Precinct 2 through their nonprofit Precinct2gether to help even more residents stay cool while safe at home.”
 

 
How Houstonians Can Beat the Heat This Summer
 
Reliant is bringing its annual Beat the Heat cooling centers inside Houston homes this year by providing portable air conditioning units to seniors and other vulnerable residents to “Stay Cool in Your Home.” Health, safety and energy efficiency tips; energy assistance information; supplies, including a wall thermometer, mask, gloves, cooling cloths and bottled water; and important services and phone numbers will be shared, along with Zoom meeting links for activities to help keep seniors engaged.
 
As needed, Reliant and the City of Houston will open emergency cooling centers while ensuring the appropriate social distancing and safety measures are in place. Residents can sign up for AlertHouston notifications to be informed when emergency cooling centers are opened. For more details, visit the Beat the Heat website.
 
Community Assistance by Reliant
 
In addition to kicking off this year’s program, Reliant announced two donations totaling $80,000 to support seniors and vulnerable citizens across the city.$60,000 to the Houston Health Department’s Harris County Area Agency on Aging air conditioner program that will provide portable AC units to seniors to stay cool in their homes, and care packages for vulnerable residents and seniors who are participants in the department’s meal programs. Harris County seniors, disabled individuals and families without means to cool their homes can call 832-393-4201 to qualify for the AC program.$20,000 to Precinct2gether in East Harris County to provide additional portable AC units, helpful information and resources to vulnerable residents. 
“Over the last 3 to 4 months, my team has worked tirelessly around the clock to find ways to help our residents, especially our vulnerable communities. We’ve conducted numerous giveaways for masks, pet food, human food, and really ramped up our homebound meals for seniors. With the summer heat already here, I’m so proud we’re able to partner with Reliant to provide yet another necessity for our seniors – air conditioning units. Being comfortable at home is a luxury many of us take for granted, so I’m happy to help provide them with some much-needed relief in these next few months,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
 
For anyone who needs help paying their electricity bill this summer, call 2-1-1 within Texas or visit 211texas.org. Reliant customers can also call 1-866-222-7100 or find additional information at reliant.com/care.
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HOUSTON PUBLIC WORKS WINS SEVERAL TOP INDUSTRY AWARDS

Jul 7, 2020
HOUSTON – Houston Public Works and several of its employees have received several top industry awards for 2020. The recognition includes individual awards and awards for various projects.2020 American Public Works Association Awards
Professional Manager of the Year – Emergency Management – Brian Mason
Professional Manager of the Year – Water Resources – Michael Johnson
Professional Manager of the Year – Transportation – Ian Hlavecek
Professional Manager of the Year – Facilities & Grounds – Jay Patel
Drahn Jones Award for Excellence in Education – Gloria Guerra, Daryl Pope, Hector Montanez-Rivera
Citation for Exemplary Service to Public Works – Chris Broussard
Management Innovation – Wastewater Executive Management Team
Technical Innovation
 – Valve Preventative Maintenance Team
Project of the Year – Structures $25M to $75M – Southeast Water Purification Plant – Jay Patel, Quinn Pitt, Azhar Patankar, Sonny Do, John Msigwa, Kresmimir Begic, Robert Toliver, Kevin Peeples
Project of the Year – Structures $5M to $25M – Ardmore Drinking Water Operations Facility – Jay Patel, Quinn Pitt, Azhar Patankar, Sonny Do, John Msigwa, Kresmimir Begic, Robert Toliver, Kevin Peeples

2020 American Water Works Association Awards
Dr. John Leal Award – Yvonne Forest (the Dr. John Leal Award is presented annually for distinguished service to the water profession)

2020 Texas American Water Works Association Awards
Watermark Award for Community Outreach & Education Programs – 2019 Water Works Festival
Honorable Mention – Imagine a Day Without Water

2020 Water Environment Association Of Texas Awards
Employer of the Year – Shannon Dunne
Medal of Honor for Heroism – Ralph Hect and the Cullen team“Houston Public Works continues to maintain the standard of excellence, innovation, and dedication required by our community and our peers. I am proud of our team and how we remain resilient in our efforts to improve our customer service while creating a strong foundation for Houston to thrive,” said Houston Public Works Director, Carol Ellinger Haddock, P.E.
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Top coaches and experts to discuss evolution of women’s football in FIFA Women’s World Cup webinar

Jul 7, 2020

•Webinar to take place on Thursday 9 July at 4pm CET
•Media can follow live and submit questions via FIFA.com and YouTube
•Panel to include April Heinrichs, Pia Sundhage, Dawn Scott and Dr. Paul Bradley

To mark the one year anniversary of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 this week, FIFA will host a special webinar with some of the world’s top international coaches and experts to discuss the evolution and development of women’s football, as well as the key findings from the recently published Physical Analysis Report from the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

According to the report, France 2019 was a landmark tournament for the technical, tactical and physical development aspect of women’s football with more distance covered at a higher intensity by more players compared to previous editions of the tournament.

As part of the webinar, leading coaches and experts will join the authors of the report to discuss what the tournament meant for the evolution of football and what it means for the future tactical and technical development of the women’s game.

Date: Thursday 9 July 2020

Time: 4pm CET onwards

Panel (to be moderated by Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer):

  • Dr Paul Bradley – BASES-accredited sports scientist, Reader in Sports Performance at Liverpool John Moores University and a Consultant for FC Barcelona
  • Dawn Scott – Senior Women’s Physical Performance Manager for the English Women’s National Team and former High Performance Coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team (2010-2019)
  • April Heinrichs – FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and Head of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ Technical Study Group (TSG)
  • Pia Sundhage – Head Coach, Brazil Women’s National Team and FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year (2012)
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Mayor Turner visits Vanessa Guillen mural, asks City to stand with her family

Jul 7, 2020
Mayor Turner’s statement on Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen.
Houston Native Participated in the Mayor’s Hire Houston Youth Program.
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner joins Vanessa Guillen’s family, friends and the community in honoring the Houston native and Army Specialist.Today, Mayor Turner visited a mural created in Vanessa’s memory at Taqueria Del Sol in South Houston. He also laid flowers at the site of a growing memorial. 

“On behalf of the City of Houston, I extend my prayers and support to the family of U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen. Vanessa was a bright and beautiful young woman. We are shocked and saddened by what happened to her.   “Vanessa participated in the City’s Hire Houston Youth program, which provides young people with internships and job opportunities in the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and government. After graduating from Chavez High School, Vanessa enlisted in the army to protect and serve our nation. Vanessa’s family said she wanted to be a hero, a fighter, and accomplish something great. 

“On this Fourth of July, as we commemorate our country’s freedom and founding ideals, we also honor Vanessa’s service in the United States military. The City of Houston stands in solidarity with the Guillen family in their grief and in their search for justice.” 
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The Houston Fire Department Recommends Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Activities

Jul 1, 2020
The Houston Fire Department Recommends Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Activities
With many people staying at home to celebrate Memorial Day due to the coronavirus crisis, it’s expected that backyard barbecues and home pool use will be widespread over the course of this upcoming long holiday weekend and into the summer months. With that in mind, the Houston Fire Department urges citizens to follow some simple safety tips if enjoying the outdoors: 

Barbecue Grill Safety Tips

◾Portable barbecue pits, charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices outside of a building should not be operated on combustible balconies or located within 10 feet of combustible walls or roofs or other combustible materials.

◾When igniting the barbecue charcoal, citizens should use a charcoal lighter, not gasoline. Gasoline can flash violently in and around the pit causing serious injuries to anyone in the area of the flash. A fire extinguisher or charged garden hose should be handy while the fire is burning. Check the pit frequently to make sure that it is okay.

◾Hot ash and coals from barbecue pits and charcoal burners should be placed in a non-combustible container until cooled or thoroughly saturated with water, before being disposed of.
 
 Pool and Water Safety

◾Active, focused, adult supervision is the most important safety measure to prevent a water-related tragedy involving a child. The vast majority of children who drown in pools do so in the backyards of their own homes or of relatives.

◾Never leave a child alone near water, always watch your children around swimming pools

◾Enroll children over the age of 3 in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. However, swimming lessons don’t make your child “drown proof.” Remember, flotation devices are not a substitute for supervision.

◾Use approved flotation devices

◾If your apartment has a pool, inspect the fence and gate. If the gate does not lock or you find any other defects with the fence, report it to the apartment management immediately.

◾Bring a cell phone to the pool in case of emergency

◾Standing water is the #1 cause of slips and falls around a pool. NO RUNNING on the pool deck!

◾Always have a first aid kit and emergency contacts handy

◾Watch for dangerous “TOOs”- Too Tired, Too Cold, Too Far from Safety, Too Much Sun, Too Much Strenuous Activity

◾Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. If lightning and thunder are nearby, get out until the storm has passed.

Teach Children these safety tips:

◾Always swim with a buddy

◾Don’t dive into unknown bodies of water. Jump in feet first to avoid hitting your head on the shallow bottom.

◾Don’t push or jump on others in or around water

◾Swim in supervised areas only

◾Obey all rules and posted signs
 
HFD also recommends parents and guardians learn CPR. Seconds count if a person drowns and performing CPR quickly and correctly can save their life. For more information on local CPR classes, please contact the American Red Cross , your local hospitals or medical schools.
 
Additional safety tips may be found on the HFD website at www.houstonfire.org
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Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of June 29

Jun 29, 2020
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department and its agency partners are announcing the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of June 29, 2020.

Texas Division of Emergency Management
The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the department will open five drive-thru test sites:Hobby Elementary, 4021 Woodmont Dr.,NRG Park Green Lot, 1 Reliant Park,HCC-Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Dr.HCC – South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd., andDr.Askew Elementary, 11200 Wood LodgeTDEM sites require appointments, available by calling 512-883-2400 or visiting txcovidtest.org.

United Memorial Medical Center
United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will continue its weekday testing at a drive-thru and walk-up test site at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star, and a drive-thru site at Houston Community College-Southeast, 6815 Rustic, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The sites don’t require appointments and offer testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until reaching its daily capacity of 250 tests.
 
Other UMMC sites opening weekdays are:UMMC Tidwell, 510 W Tidwell Rd., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Forest Brook Middle School, 7525 Tidwell Rd, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Cullen Middle School, 6900 Scott St., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., andGriggs School, 801 Regional Park Dr., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com

Houston Health Department & Community-Based Sites
The department operates two free drive-thru COVID-19 community-based testing sites open to anyone, regardless of symptoms. Each site has capacity for 500 tests per day.

Days of operation for the sites are Monday through Saturday.

People can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive an access code and directions to the nearest community-based site.
 
Federally Qualified Health Centers
The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to four local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are: Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200 andCommunity Health Network, 281-816-3317.FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.
 
The department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston test sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.
 
Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

Houston COVID-19 Testing Site Flyer: Week of June 29, 2020
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