Texas Headlines: 3 deputies wounded, COVID-19 numbers remain high, a historical sign vandalized

HOUSTON (AP) - A woman has been fatally shot and three deputies wounded in a shooting early Sunday outside a nightclub in Houston. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the three deputies from his department were working an extra job when they responded to the shooting. He says the deputies are expected to survive. Harris County includes Houston. A spokesman for the city's police department says the shooting suspect sought treatment for a gunshot wound at a hospital in Sugarland. The suspect is now in custody. The shooting comes less than a day after a Harris County sergeant died following a crash on his patrol motorcycle.
DALLAS (AP) - Coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen slightly in Texas but remain near their record high. Health officials say there are 626 intensive-care beds available across the state of nearly 29 million people. Texas reported 12,319 COVID-19 patients in hospitals Saturday, ending five consecutive days of record-breaking hospitalizations. But even with the decrease of more than 160 patients from Friday, the virus continues to strain medical resources. The Texas Department of State Health Services says intensive care units in several parts of Texas are full or nearly full. It reports 96 new fatalities, 3,995 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 487 probable cases. 

WASHINGTON (AP) - A growing number of Republican lawmakers have joined President Donald Trump's extraordinary effort to overturn the election, pledging to reject the results when Congress meets next week to count the Electoral College votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden's win. On Saturday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced a coalition of 11 senators and senators-elect who will vote against certain state electors unless Congress appoints an electoral commission to immediately conduct an audit of the election results. They acknowledge they are unlikely to change the results of the election, which state and federal officials say ran smoothly. Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

WAXAHACHIE, Texas (AP) - Controversy over a segregation-era "Negroes" sign in a Texas courthouse has taken an unusual turn after a top county official was identified as a suspect in a criminal investigation into the historical sign being vandalized. The sign in a courthouse in Waxahachie, a city of 36,000 about 30 miles south of Dallas. It drew attention in November when a Black county official spoke out over being moved to a shared office near it. Now, The Dallas Morning News reports Ellis County Judge Todd Little is a suspect in the sign being vandalized. He has not been charged.

DALLAS (AP) - The editorial board of The Dallas Morning News has picked philanthropist Melinda Gates as its "Texan of the Year," in part for her work to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The 54-year-old Dallas native is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has spent decades working to help people lead healthy lives, including through investments in vaccine development programs and other efforts to combat infectious diseases. The paper on Saturday cited the Gates Foundation's $1.75 billion in donations to fight COVID-19 in 2020. Gates joined the Microsoft Corporation in 1987. She and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates were married in 1994. They live near Seattle.