The Bulletin

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

By: - October 28, 2020 8:02 am

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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Graham Moomaw
Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Contact him at [email protected]