Three years of COVID-19 have put schools to the test; Seniors left homeless with few shelter options; Luana's cafe has closed

Behind clear partitions for COVID-19 concerns, sixth grade teacher Emily Reverman helps student, Charlie Rojo, 12, with math at Gateway Elementary School in Phoenix on March 18, 2021. Other than a brief return to in-person school in the fall, this was the first day the sixth graders were back in-person at the school since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
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A look at some of today's top stories, the weather forecast and a peek back in history.

The COVID-19 omicron variant has resulted in the highest number of COVID-19 cases Arizona has seen in months. This has some parents nervous about their children returning to class. This week's episode of The Gaggle dives into how schools are staying open and what that could mean for parents and students moving forward.

A spike in homelessness among elderly people has led to more people circulating between hospitals and homeless shelters in metro Phoenix.

A popular coffee shop and bar's building on McDowell was sold. Owners Aaron Schofield and Kylee Roberts plan to move Luana's to Thomas Road in Phoenix.

Today, you can expect it to be sunny, with a high near 68 degrees. Partly cloudy at night, with a low near 42 degrees. Get the full forecast here.

Today in history

  • On this date in 1878, the first newspaper in Phoenix — the Salt River Herald — began publication.

  • In 1912, Mrs. Julia Caldwell, an aged homesteader, was badly beaten and driven from her claim near Phoenix by a claim jumper who then hauled away her little cabin.

  • In 2005, a U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in western Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a Navy medic aboard. A man parked his SUV on railroad tracks in Glendale, California, setting off a crash of two commuter trains that killed 11 people. (The SUV’s driver, Juan Alvarez, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.)

  • In 2009, Nadya Suleman gave birth at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California to six boys and two girls; criticism came after the public learned that the unemployed, single mother had gotten pregnant with the octuplets and six elder children through in vitro fertilization.

  • In 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed when their helicopter plunged into a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California; the former Lakers star was 41.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: AZ Briefing: Three years of COVID-19 have put schools to the test

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