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Plan calls for housing homeless in transformed Kansas hotel

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A proposal to transform a hotel near downtown Wichita into housing for the homeless goes before the city council next week.

The owner of the 316 Hotel has agreed to sell the building for $2.6 million, according to Wichita spokesperson Megan Lovely. Renovations for the studio apartments are estimated to cost another $1.6 million, The Wichita Eagle reports.

The project is expected to be funded with $2 million in city funds, nearly $2.3 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act dollars and another $200,000 in private donations, she said.

HumanKind Ministries, which was previously Inter-Faith Ministries, would own and operate the location.

“The 316 Hotel Project is a rare opportunity,” city of Wichita Housing and Community Services director Sally Stang said in a news release, adding that it would help slow the spread of COVID-19 and “provide much needed supportive housing for our community.”

The 2019 Point-In-Time Homeless Count in Sedgwick County reported 593 people that met the definition of being homeless. That’s 20 more people than reported in 2018 report and the highest number back to 2014.

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US air travel sets a pandemic-era record despite calls to stay home for Thanksgiving

The number of travelers passing through airport security checkpoints in the United States reached its highest level since mid-March on Wednesday despite urging from federal health officials for Americans to spend Thanksgiving at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the past week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the past week, according to the TSA.

In a pandemic-era record, 1,070,967 people passed through security at America’s airports on the day before Thanksgiving. That number is just 40% of last year’s passenger volume on the same day, when 2,602,631 people were screened.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, but since that warning was issued nearly 6 million travelers have passed through airport security.

The TSA receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats departing US airports was down nearly 50% compared to the same timeframe last year. Due to increased demand, that number is only down 39% for the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Airlines for America, a trade association that represents major North American airlines.

While Wednesday was busy, industry groups expect the Sunday after the holiday to be even busier.

The number of travelers passing through airport security amid the coronavirus surge is concerning, but many Americans are heeding the warnings from officials and health experts.

Sixty-one percent of Americans said they changed their Thanksgiving plans, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. More surprising is that nearly one in 10 Americans that were polled say they do not plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

The country added 181,490 new Covid-19 cases and had 2,297 reported deaths on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US has posted over 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the 23rd consecutive day.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the percentage of available seats departing US airports. It is down 50% compared to the same timeframe last year.

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Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to set a pandemic-era record despite calls to stay home

Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to remain strong enough to set a pandemic-era record despite urging from federal health officials to spend the holiday at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving last week — but that didn’t stop more than 1 million travelers from passing through US airport security on Sunday and more than 900,000 on Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Since the CDC issued that warning, nearly 5 million people have boarded airplanes. The agency receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats departing US airports was down nearly 50% compared to the same timeframe last year. Due to increased demand, that number is only down 39% for the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Airlines for America, a trade association that represents major North American airlines.

Still, officials still expect Sunday — when everyone heads home from their holiday travels — to be the busiest day of travel since the pandemic began.

While the number of travelers passing through airport security on Sunday is concerning, many Americans are heeding the warnings from officials and health experts. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they changed their Thanksgiving plans, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. More surprising is that nearly one in 10 Americans that were polled say they do not plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

The country added 172,935 new Covid-19 cases and had 2,146 reported deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Tuesday also marks the fifth highest single day for new cases during the pandemic, and the US has posted over 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the 22nd consecutive day. The US is now averaging 174,225 new cases per day, which is up 11% from last week.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the percentage of available seats departing US airports. It is down 50% compared to the same timeframe last year.

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Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to set a pandemic era-record despite officials calls to stay home

Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to remain strong enough to set a pandemic era-record despite urging from federal health officials to spend the holiday at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving last week — but that didn’t stop more than 1 million travelers from passing through US airport security on Sunday and more than 900,000 on Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Since the CDC issued that warning, nearly 5 million people have boarded airplanes. The agency receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats departing US airports was up nearly 50% compared to the same timeframe last year. That number dropped down to nearly 39% for the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Airlines for America, a trade association that represents major North American airlines.

Still, officials still expect Sunday — when everyone heads home from their holiday travels — to be the busiest day of travel since the pandemic began.

While the number of travelers passing through airport security on Sunday is concerning, many Americans are heeding the warnings from officials and health experts. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they changed their Thanksgiving plans, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. More surprising is that nearly one in 10 Americans that were polled say they do not plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

The country added 172,935 new Covid-19 cases and had 2,146 reported deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Tuesday also marks the fifth highest single day for new cases during the pandemic, and the US has posted over 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the 22nd consecutive day. The US is now averaging 174,225 new cases per day, which is up 11% from last week.

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Millions of Americans move forward with travel plans despite calls for safety

Despite pleas from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and public health experts, millions took the skies to continue with their Thanksgiving travel plans.

What should have been a slow travel time for this holiday became one of the busiest this past weekend, as 3 million went through U.S. airports across the country. Data indicates these are the biggest traveling crowds since mid-March, according to Dee-Ann Durbin and David Koenig with AP News.

DANGEROUS LUNCH: A birthday lunch left 15 Texas relatives battling COVID-19 

Mayor Sylvester Turner had pleaded with Houstonians. “Don’t invite COVID for Thanksgiving dinner,” Turner said during a press conference last week on growing case numbers in Harris County.


In spite of warnings and recommendations from the CDC to reconsider holiday gatherings, travelers have not stayed home.

“One-third of parents believe the benefits of gathering the family together for Thanksgiving is worth the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19, according to a new poll published Monday,” wrote CNN’s Sandee LaMotte.

A poll from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at Michigan Medicine highlights “pandemic fatigue” as the culprit for families opting to move forward with gathering together.

According to the 1,500-plus participant poll, over half of parents stated it was important to continue with traditional family celebrations and that their children spend time with extended family.

“What is at stake is the increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick and then being hospitalized and dying around the holidays,” said Dr. Henry Walke, director of CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections to CNN.

In the coming week, the forecast for traveling is expected to increase even further, according to Chris Isidore with CNN Business.

United Airlines did report seeing a slight increase in flight cancellations as the number of COVID-19 cases rose around the nation.

“Do we want to see them travel? Yes, but only if it’s safe for them,” Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America said, according to Isidore. “There’s a variety of factors involved in that for each individual traveler.”

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Plan calls for three apartment buildings and hotel at Moorestown Mall

MOORESTOWN – Three apartment buildings and a hotel could be developed at Moorestown Mall under a proposed agreement between the township and the shopping center’s owner.

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The four-story apartment buildings would hold up to 1,065 homes, with 213 units to be affordable housing, according to a court filing.

The buildings would rise, along with a 112,000-square-foot hotel, in a three-phase development at the 84-acre mall property, the filing says.

The first phase calls for a 375-unit apartment building in a parking lot between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive, according to a concept plan that accompanies the proposed order. The 412,500-square-foot building would hold 75 affordable homes and a parking structure.



diagram: A concept plan for Moorestown Mall's redevelopment shows an apartment building, left, between Boscov's and Nixon Drive. A hotel would rise off Lenola Road.


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A concept plan for Moorestown Mall’s redevelopment shows an apartment building, left, between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive. A hotel would rise off Lenola Road.

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The initial phase also envisions the hotel in a parking lot off Lenola Road, near the rear of the shopping center.

Those projects would require no demolition of the mall, according to the concept plan.

But the second phase would put a 345-unit apartment building on an area that includes the former Lord + Taylor department store and an adjacent parking lot.

The third phase calls for development of a similar building at a site that includes the former Sears store and a parking lot off Route 38.

The plans are outlined in a proposed consent order filed Friday before Superior Court Judge Paula Dow in Mount Holly.

The proposal was reached after mediation between the township, mall owner PREIT and Fair Share Housing Center, a Cherry Hill-based nonprofit that advocates for low-income residents.

Dow ordered the talks earlier this year after PREIT objected to a township plan to provide affordable housing there.



a tree in front of a building: The former Lord + Taylor store at Moorestown Mall would make way for an apartment building under a proposed agreement to bring affordable housing to the shopping center.


© Jim Walsh, Courier-Post
The former Lord + Taylor store at Moorestown Mall would make way for an apartment building under a proposed agreement to bring affordable housing to the shopping center.

A proposed zoning overlay that received initial approval from township council in January would have required the mall’s demolition, according to PREIT.

The proposed agreement would “address a significant portion of the township’s ‘unmet need’ for affordable housing,” according to the filing.

It says the apartment buildings in the second and third phases would hold a total of 137 affordable units. Those buildings “may or may not” have parking structures.

“Phase One can stand on its own without the need for future development of Phase Two and Three,” it notes.

It adds the later phases are “more conceptual at this point” and “shall proceed at developer’s sole discretion.”

The proposed “affordable housing settlement agreement” also says the parties have recognized “at least initially, the existing portion of the mall identified for Phase Three … may be

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Nikhil Dwivedi Slams Celebs For Posting Pictures From Maldives Vacation | Calls Them Plain Stupid

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Actor and produced Nikhil Dwivedi slammed Bollywood celebrities who are posting pictures of their Maldives vacation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He agreed with a tweet by journalist Barkha Dutt and said that celebrities are oblivious to the crises across the country and that they are not heartless, but just stupid to be sharing pictures of themselves holidaying.

Nikhil Dwivedi Slams Celebs Posting Pictures From Maldives

“Absolutely. Then we r surprised at the suddenness of the backlash the movie industry receives for unrelated reasons. We r so self-absorbed &so oblivious to what’s around us tht we appear unempathatic. Let me also assure it’s not like they r heartless, none are.. just plain stupid,” Nikhil wrote in a tweet, responding to Barkha Dutt’s tweet.

Barkha had written, “With apology to #Maldives but I just cant bear to see one more sun-kissed, rippled water image from there while our COVID numbers surge & jobs plummet. Its sort of the November version of Banana Bread & Celebrities would be be well advised on the tone-deafness of it.”

In the past few weeks, many celebrities have taken to their social media handles to share glimpses of their Maldives vacation. These include Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Mouni Roy, Neha Dhupia, Angad Bedi, Sonakshi Sinha, Rakul Preet Singh, Aadar Jain, Tara Sutaria, Taapsee Pannu and Kajal Aggarwal.

Nikhil tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus last week. In an interview with ETimes, he told that he underwent the test as a precautionary measure. He said that he was asymptomatic and that he is under home quarantine, resting.

Talking about work, Nikhil recently announced his next production, which is going to be a Naagin trilogy starring Shraddha Kapoor.

ALSO READ: Kajal Aggarwal And Gautam Kitchlu’s Maldives Honeymoon: Pictures Win The Internet

ALSO READ: Neha Dhupia, Angad Bedi Take Daughter Mehr For A Stroll On The Beach In Maldives; Share Lovely Pics

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NSW calls for third of Covid-19 hotel spots to go to international students to boost economy | 1 NEWS

Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham is sympathetic to NSW’s call to be able to open up a third of the states’ hotel quarantine capability to international students to boost the economy.

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It’s the only Australian territory without restrictions on travellers from within the country and New Zealand.

Source: Breakfast


But he insists the priority has to remain on returning Australians.

“Getting those Australians, particularly those who might be in challenging or distressed circumstances home is a genuine priority,” he told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“But if we can see fast enough movement in terms of the bringing down of that list of returning Australians then I would like nothing more than to see international students able to safely come through proven processes.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian understands the federal government’s position, but points out her state welcomes back 3000 Australians every week and more than all the other states combined.

“So all I’m suggesting is next year after Christmas and New Year’s, let’s consider … having a proportion out of that 3000 to international students,” she told reporters in Albury.

“A lot of our universities will actually have to axe jobs if we don’t, especially regional universities. I don’t want to see that happen.”

She said since the pandemic started, NSW has seen in excess of 100,000 Australians returned, whereas other states combined have only done a small fraction of that.

More broadly, Senator Birmingham says it’s “not impossible” that international travel could be back on the cards next year, but to do it in the first half of 2021 would be challenging.

Such travel will depend on the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

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South Australia virus cluster raises questions over allowing quarantine workers to have second jobs

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been logging into the virtual G20 Leaders Summit while in isolation in The Lodge after his trip to Japan last week.

There was some optimism among the leaders of the world’s biggest economies about vaccines given the encouraging results of some candidates.

But the leaders also said a vaccine and treatment had to be safe, affordable and available to all, especially in developing countries, saying “no one is safe until we are all safe”.

Meanwhile, South Australians are enjoying easier restrictions earlier than initially envisaged after a pizza shop worker was found to have lied about how he contacted the virus.

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The police commissioner said the state wouldn’t have gone into lockdown if a pizza bar worker had been honest.
Source: 1 NEWS


Even so, SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said she had no regrets about ordering the the lockdown after modelling showed her state had a 99 per cent chance of enduring a “significant wave”.

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews announced compulsory face mask-wearing will come to an end for Melbourne along with a further easing of other restrictions.

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South Australia’s opposition calls for end to hotel quarantine as state exits lockdown

South Australia’s opposition leader has called for a halt on putting returned travellers in hotel quarantine until a safer system can be put in place, as the state emerged from its temporary lockdown on Sunday.



a car parked on a city street: Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock


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Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

Labor opposition leader Peter Malinauskas wrote to premier Steven Marshall on Sunday and said the outbreak from hotel quarantine in Adelaide and the second wave experienced in Victoria as a result of its hotel quarantine issues showed that putting returned travellers in CBD hotels “with subcontracted private security simply does not work”.



a car parked on a city street: One of the quarantine hotels in Adelaide. The state’s Labor opposition wants hotel quarantine for returned travellers stopped until there’s a safer system in place.


© Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock
One of the quarantine hotels in Adelaide. The state’s Labor opposition wants hotel quarantine for returned travellers stopped until there’s a safer system in place.

“The only way to alleviate this risk is to immediately end the international arrival and medi-hotel system in its current format, until a safer solution is found,” he said.

Malinauskas suggested in a Facebook post that there could be purpose-built facilities outside the CBD staffed by a non-casual workforce.

Related: South Australia to end Covid lockdown early as premier ‘fuming’ over pizza lie

Marshall said on Sunday the suggestion would not work, and was a break in bipartisanship.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” he said. “We don’t have 1,200 rooms in Woomera or Christmas Island to pop up with a quarantine hotel let alone the staff, let alone building the hospital alongside it.”

The Parafield outbreak from the Peppers medi-hotel still stands at 26 cases. The state recorded just one new case overnight – a woman in her 20s in a medi-hotel who returned to South Australia from overseas before the state stopped accepting returned travellers.

The lockdown ended in South Australia at midnight on Sunday, three days earlier than planned, after a 36-year-old kitchen worker at the Stamford medi-hotel who initially said he had contracted the virus while picking up a pizza at an Adelaide pizza bar later admitted to working in the kitchen alongside an infected security guard from the Peppers hotel.

The man is on a temporary graduate visa which expires next month. A taskforce of 20 police detectives are investigating the false report.

Federal Labor’s shadow employment minister, Brendan O’Connor, told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday that while people should not lie to contact tracers, the man might have been forced to lie about his work situation because he did not have access to jobseeker or jobkeeper support on a temporary visa.

“We have had hundreds of thousands of temporary visa applicants who don’t have any support in a recession where obviously employers won’t choose to employ them necessarily if they are not going to get the subsidy,” he said.

“I’m just making the point, so you make decisions at the federal level, they can have consequences down the track.

“We did say there should be modest support for people on temporary visas. You can’t give them nothing because they will end up being in a difficult situation as clearly is the case

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South Australia officials reject calls to stop Covid medi-hotel staff working multiple jobs | Australia news

South Australia’s police commissioner has said it would not be possible to run the state’s hotel quarantine program without allowing staff to work multiple jobs, despite the Victorian inquiry into the failures of its program specifically recommending staff hold only one posting.

South Australia has entered the first day of a six-day lockdown to prevent the further spread of a Covid-19 outbreak out of the Peppers quarantine hotel in Adelaide. There are now 23 cases associated with the outbreak after the virus transferred from a returned traveller from the UK to a cleaner, on to two security guards and then into the community.

Contact tracers in the state are now attempting to track down people who attended the Woodville Pizza Bar between 6 and 16 November, after it was revealed on Wednesday one of the two security guards also worked at the venue.

The path the virus took through casual workers in two high-risk settings echoes how the virus spread in Victoria at the start of its second wave, with the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry hearing of a security guard who continued to work both at the hotel and as an Uber driver while infectious.

The spread was partly put down to casual workers fearing they would not be paid if they needed to isolate. Eventually the Victorian and federal governments made payments to those needing to isolate while waiting for test results, or for the two-week infectious period.

A key recommendation of the interim report delivered by the head of Victoria’s inquiry, Jennifer Coate, earlier this month stipulated that “every effort must be made to ensure that all personnel working at the facility are not working across multiple quarantine sites and not working in other forms of employment”.

“Every effort should be made to have personnel working at quarantine facilities salaried employees with terms and conditions that address the possible need to self-isolate in the event of an infection or possible infection, or close contact exposure, together with all necessary supports, including the need to relocate if necessary and have a managed return to work,” the report recommended.

Under South Australia’s model for hotel quarantine, known as medi-hotels, the state has police at hotels, but also uses private security.

On Thursday, the South Australian health minister, Stephen Wade, said the health department and the SA police commissioner, Grant Stevens, had reviewed the findings in Victoria, but Stevens said it was an “unreasonable” expectation.

“They have mortgages to pay, they have other bills to pay, and this is simply a necessity in order for us to fulfil our obligations,” he said.

“They have lives beyond their responsibilities in any hotel, and we need to find that balance and it’s simply not possible for us to bring in the total number of people required to run this function in South Australia, and have them not participate in other activities that they consider necessary for their personal circumstances.”

Stevens argued it would mean people working in the system would need to isolate

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