Voting ‘super centers’ promise social distancing and efficiency, but prepare for lines

Even as Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers this fall, state and local election officials are scrambling to stand up dozens of in-person voting “super centers” in major U.S. cities across at least 14 states.

Many of the biggest centers will be housed in professional sports arenas, stadiums, convention centers and major hotels capable of hosting tens of thousands of voters safely during a pandemic.

Use of the facilities represents an unprecedented expansion of a vote-center model that allows local residents from any precinct to cast a ballot in person at a single location.

“We will be able to accommodate more voters at a quicker pace,” said Alice Miller, executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections. “There will be more machines — and more space.”

PHOTO: Alice Miller, executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections, says voters who plan to cast ballots in person

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9 ways to prepare for the next COVID-19 lockdown

After giving up spring break and summer barbecues, cooped-up Americans are looking forward to the day when things go back to normal. But COVID-19 isn’t like a natural disaster that strikes once, then fades away.

Several states have paused or walked back their plans to reopen, as new hot spots emerge and the number of active cases remains high.

Now health experts are warning that a second round of lockdowns may be necessary as the fall flu season begins, classes resume and cool weather drives people into cramped indoor spaces.

still feeling drained after round one.” data-reactid=”35″Even a series of smaller, more localized lockdowns could spell trouble for Americans’ livelihoods, especially for those workers still feeling drained after round one.

But you still have time to prepare. Here are nine things you can do to protect your finances ahead of a second wave.

1. Keep saving

As the first

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Afraid of Losing Your Job? 26 Ways To Financially Prepare Now

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 40 million Americans have lost their jobs over the span of pandemic — and that number is expected to continue to grow, according to NBC News.

Losing a job can be traumatic and throw a major wrench into your financial well-being, but fortunately, there are things you can do now to be prepared in the event of a layoff.

Last updated: Aug. 7, 2020

Build an Emergency Fund

If you don’t have money saved in an emergency fund, now is the time to focus your efforts on building one.

“We typically recommend three to six months of expenses, but there isn’t a magic number to hit as that number is based on your needs,” said Lacey Cobb, CFA, CFP, director of advice solutions at Personal Capital.

Many people don’t have enough to cover living expenses for three months, and if that’s the case for

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Smart Ways You Can Prepare For Job Loss While You’re Still Employed

Approximately 44.2 million people have filed for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus shutdown in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If your employer is struggling to stay afloat in the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably concerned about your job.

Preparing for a possible pink slip in your not-so-distant future can help you find a new job faster and stay afloat financially in the interim. In order to brace yourself for job loss, take these steps now.

Last updated: July 30, 2020

Update Your Resume

If your resume is updated, you’ll be able to start applying for jobs the day you’re laid off. You’ll need to customize it for each position, but having a generic version ready to go will be a huge start.

This is the first impression you’ll make on potential employers, so take the time to create a polished and professional document. Most employers 

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After an online offseason, Bears face a new batch of complications as they prepare for training camp

CHICAGO — When Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano packed up his office at Halas Hall in March, he had no idea he would spend the next four months figuring out how to run a defense from his computer at home.

Like most of the rest of the world, the coronavirus pandemic forced Bears coaches to adapt to an online environment, connecting with and teaching their players from afar. Pagano will return to team facilities in late July with a new set of digital capabilities.

“From a tech standpoint, I’m off the charts for a guy that’s going to be 60 in October,” Pagano said. “I feel like I’m way more tech savvy than I’ve ever been.”

Now, as Matt Nagy, Pagano and the rest of the Bears coaches prepare for a training camp unlike any they’ve held before, adaptability still will be key.

A whole new batch of complications

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Bed Bath & Beyond closing stores, cruises prepare to sail

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.



— Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close about 200 stores over the next two years as its sales slid in the first quarter. The chain reported its quarterly sales dropped 49% due to temporary store closures amid the pandemic. Online sales soared 82%.

— The Buckle is seeing improving sales as more of its stores reopen. The fashion retailer said Thursday that sales for the five-week period ended July 4 rose 26.8% from a year ago. Buckle began temporarily closing stores in mid-March. Since then, it’s reopened 438 stores. It currently runs 446 retail stores in 42 states.

— Big 5 Sporting Goods is also seeing a resurgence in its business

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Bensalem Businesses Prepare For Green: What To Expect

BENSALEM, PA — Mall rats of Bensalem, rejoice! Neshaminy Mall is just one of the local spots that will be opening its doors Friday, when Bucks County moves into the more lenient green phase of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus plan.

“We’re opening Friday, June 26 and taking the necessary steps to ensure you have a safe and worry-free visit,” mall officials wrote in a social media post. “We’ve missed you!”

Get the latest news in Bucks County by signing up for Patch news alerts.

The mall is just one of many businesses in Bensalem gearing up for changes as the county takes a step toward normalcy. And, like other Bensalem businesses, they’ll be doing things a little bit differently than before.

Brookfield Properties, which owns Neshaminy Mall, said it will be limiting the number of customers allowed inside to aid social distancing, has added hand sanitizer stations and rearranged food court seating

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$600 bonus unemployment benefits end soon. Here’s how to prepare

Another 1.5 million Americans filed jobless claims last week to receive unemployment benefits, and the payments are currently going to about 19.5 million people, the government reported Thursday.

A weekly benefit boost has made unemployment a little easier for those who lost their jobs to the coronavirus, but soon they’ll have to survive without the bonus money.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — the CARES Act that also brought you those stimulus checks — provides an extra $600 per week of unemployment through July 31. Lawmakers haven’t committed to an extension.

Standard unemployment payouts vary from state to state, and depending on where you live you may have trouble making ends meet on regular benefits alone.

Here are nine things you can do to prepare to cope with a smaller weekly payout.

Pad your emergency fund while you still can

Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

While you

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