Trouble with contact tracing in Southwest Va., Fredericksburg regional transportation agency descends into chaos, illicit canaries, crabapples and quince, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• After the resignation of VMI’s superintendent, Gov. Ralph Northam says he expects the board to “listen and be open-minded” about allegations of widespread racism at the school.—Roanoke Times

• Amid the VMI turmoil, cadets have been venting their thoughts on an anonymous social media app, where the conversations “often descend into denigrating minorities, women and gay people.”—Washington Post

• With COVID-19 cases rising in Southwest Virginia, health officials say they’re having trouble getting people to participate in contact tracing efforts.—Roanoke Times

• Registrars say they’re seeing an influx of late applications for mail-in absentee ballots because the online system wasn’t turned off when the deadline passed.—Virginian-Pilot

• The Democratic Party of Virginia sued the Richmond registrar’s office for access to a list of voters who filled out absentee ballots incorrectly. The party says it wants to use the info to help people fix the errors.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Republican Party of Virginia is suing state election officials over a new rule allowing ballots coming in after Election Day to be counted even if they’re missing a postmark.—VPM

• In the Fredericksburg area, a transportation planning agency can’t get anything done because regional tensions have led Fredericksburg officials to boycott its meetings, a stance derided as “childish” by neighboring counties.—Free Lance-Star 

• The Fairfax Education Association is asking teachers to call out sick today as part of a “mental health day” tied to their concerns about returning to in-person learning. “We are drawing a line by protecting our members,” said the leader of the union, which wants to stay virtual for the rest of the school year.—Associated Press

• A CNU poll found Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump 53%-41% among likely Virginia voters, matching other recent polls that saw Democrats with double-digit leads statewide.—Wason Center

• Paramedics had to spend two nights in a row on Old Rag Mountain after “a series of poor decisions” left hikers stranded. The Shenandoah National Park superintendent  “described a typical offender as somebody who sets out on a Shenandoah Park trail wearing nothing but ‘flip flops’ and carrying bottles of ‘DASANI water.'”—Rappahannock News

• A detector dog sniffed out two live canaries smuggled in a traveler’s luggage at Dulles International Airport. Officials also discovered nine pounds of illicit crabapples and quince.—Inside NoVA

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