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Online School can mean Unique Challenges for ELL Students

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Credit: dcJohn via Flickr.com / CC

Even though schools are closed for the rest of the year, teachers are trying to keep their students engaged through distance learning.

Many districts are going online. But, as Cat Modlin-Jackson found, the shift might be especially challenging for English learners.

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Va. News: Election officials in Abington want Absentee voting, COVID-19 hampers Roanoke Democrats

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The Covid-19 outbreak is disrupting elections at every level as governments and political parties adjust.

Stories about the political process have been among the most read over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Museums Try to Reach Visitors and Stay Afloat

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  A sign informs visitors of the closure of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It also includes recommendations for social distancing in the museum’s outdoor areas.
(Credit Cat Modlin-Jackson)

Hundreds of museums across Virginia have closed, just as droves of field trippers and after-hours crowds were set to gather for spring events.

So what happens now that the lights are out and would-be visitors are stuck at home?

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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What a 2018 Pandemic Simulation by UVA Discovered

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(Credit: CDC)

During the COVID-19 crisis world leaders might do well to consult a professor of public policy at the University of Virginia.  In 2018, he developed a complex game called Pandemic.

Sandy Hausman reports on what that simulation showed.

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Deadlines Loom for Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly

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Under normal circumstances, lawmakers would be preparing to head back to Richmond in a few weeks to consider actions taken by the governor on all the legislation they passed this year.

But, as Michael Pope reports, this year may end up being different.

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Inmates Worry as Prisons See First COVID-19 Cases

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Three inmates at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women have tested positive for the novel coronavirus along with a contractor at the prison in Goochland.

A guard at the Indian Creek Correctional Center also has the disease, and prisoners around the state are terrified as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Making Sure Kids Get Counted

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(Credit: U. S. Census Bureau)

Now that schools and many offices are closed due to coronavirus, families have more time for other activities, like filling out the Census.

And though door knockers are on hiatus, advocates want every resident counted, especially the little ones with a big impact.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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No Coal Industry Tax Break in COVID-19 Relief Bill

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(Credit: Alexander G via flickr.com / CC)

Many industries are having a hard time right now, and many are seeking help from the federal government.

As Michael Pope reports, the coal industry is no exception.

 

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Lacking Support, Home Health Workers are on the Frontlines Of a Pandemic

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  Karen Acree with her patient Tyrone Jones.
(Credit: Karen Acree)

Many people with disabilities, or who are elderly, rely on home health care workers to come to their houses and help them stay safe and healthy.

Tens of thousands of people in Virginia work as a home health or personal care aide.

Now those low wage workers are on the front lines of a pandemic. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Coping with Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19

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(Credit: CDC)

In just a matter of weeks, life as we have known it has dramatically changed with the arrival of COVID-19.

And while the requirements to self-isolate or stay away from people is challenging our social fabric, people are finding ways to cope.

Robbie Harris has more.

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Increased Restrictions on Businesses, Gatherings go into Effect

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Virginia’s new restrictions on people and businesses begin at midnight Tuesday.

Restaurants can only serve carry out or delivery, gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and any recreational or entertainment business must close.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Libraries Try to Keep People Connected During Crisis

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Kara Goodrow, a circulation clerk at Northumberland Public Library, disinfects a returned book. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Communities are rolling up their sleeves and coming up with ways to deal with the consequences of social distancing and business closings due to the coronavirus.

Public libraries are at the heart of rural communities. They’re a gathering spot, a portal for internet access and a safe place for teens and neighbors to meet up. But the coronavirus has changed all that.

Pamela D’Angelo reports from one rural library in Virginia’s Northern Neck.

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Va. News: Small town objects to Post Office, a Northern VA Water Tower plan is held up – over ravens

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Supervisors in one county are testing the question of whether a locality can overrule the U. S. Postal Service. And a Virginia town must choose between the quality of its mobile phone service and the welfare of two raven hatchlings.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Friday: 114 COVID-19 Cases in Virginia

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Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at Friday’s COVID-19 briefing.

COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed in every region of Virginia, with at least 114 reported statewide Friday.

David Seidel reports state officials are praising residents and businesses that are respecting limits on gatherings.

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Public Transit Adjusts to COVID-19, Sees Ridership Drop

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Authorities have been urging people to stay home in the coronavirus outbreak.

But many Virginians rely on public transport, including commuting to critical jobs.

Jahd Khalil has more.

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COVID-19 and Pets

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Dr. Cassidy Rist teaches at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Science at Virginia Tech (Credit: Virginia Tech)

 

By now, most people are aware of the importance of taking precautions to avoid spreading the Coronavirus to other people.

But what about our pets?  Robbie Harris reports.

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Virginia Unemployment Claims Spike as Businesses Temporarily Shut Down

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Unemployment claims are skyrocketing in Virginia, doubling every day this week.

Michael Pope reports.

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State Working on COVID-19 Guidance for Daycares, No Decision to Extend School Closure Right Now

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As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in Virginia, officials are, for the first time, releasing guidelines for daycare centers.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest on the virus’ impact to schools and children.

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With Schools Closed, Communities Pitch In to Feed Kids

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(Credit dcJohn via flickr.com / CC)

Now that Governor Northam has shut down schools to stem the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s a push across the state to make sure children who rely on subsidized meals don’t go hungry.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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The Show Will Not Go On at American Shakespeare Center in Staunton

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  The plague forced Shakespeare’s theater company to close several times, but it always recovered. The American Shakespeare Center says it will also be back.
(Credit American Shakespeare Center)

There’s a saying in the theater world – the show must go on, but the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton has announced that its curtain will come down for more than two months.  Many other theatres have temporarily closed

As Sandy Hausman reports, the goal is to protect audiences and about 70 employees from the new coronavirus.

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Virginia Health Officials: Concerned About Community Spread of COVID-19

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(Credit: CDC)

As of mid-day Tuesday, Virginia is now up to 67 cases of COVID-19.

Officials say there’s been community spread of the virus and the state’s first case inside a nursing facility.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest.

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“Late Night with Trump” and Scorched Earth Humor

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(Credit: Routledge)

Donald Trump is a frequent target for comedians in this country – more so than any other politician, and that intrigued two Virginia scholars.

They’ve now written a book after reviewing more than 100,000 jokes about the president.

Sandy Hausman reports on what they’ve learned.

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Sentara Offers Drive Through Coronavirus Testing in Eastern Virginia

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(Credit: Sentara Health)

The first drive-through screenings and testing for COVID-19 in the state began Monday in Hampton Roads.

Sentara Healthcare has set up three sites.

They’re in Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Chesapeake. And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, officials with the health system say they’re prepared to roll it out at other facilities statewide.

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Va. News: Dupont speeds production of High-Density material, Colleges boost online classes

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College campuses are deserted as students and faculty adjust to new educational realities because of COVID-19.  And while the virus has hurt many businesses there’s at least one factory in Virginia that has all the work it can handle.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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45 Positive COVID-19 Cases, Gatherings of more than 100 People Banned Statewide

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(Credit: CDC)

State officials are urging people to stay home when possible, especially in parts of Virginia with known cases of COVID-19.

That includes Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun counties in Northern Virginia plus James City County.  The state’s total number of cases stands at 45, with one death, reported Saturday in the Peninsula Health District, a man in his 70’s.

Mallory Noe-Payne has an update:

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Bringing the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission into Action

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Ava Gabrielle Wise stands at what she hopes one day will become an innovation park for her community in Northampton. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Every year since 2008, Congress has authorized more than $30 million in funding to spur economic development in a region referred to as the “Black Belt.”

The region extends through seven states from Virginia to Mississippi and includes the largest concentration of historically black communities in the rural South. Most are economically deprived, a result of slavery and Jim Crow laws.

There are more than 50 Virginia counties that could benefit. But the money never came. Now, one Eastern Shore woman is on a crusade to get it.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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UVA Professor Pleads for Dark Skies

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UVA Professor Kelsey Johnson is crusading against light pollution — hoping to preserve dark skies for star gazing. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Climate change has fed awareness of air pollution – the problems caused by greenhouse gases. But there’s another source of pollution that’s taking a toll on humans and wildlife.

As Sandy Hausman reports, a professor at the University of Virginia is calling on local, state and national leaders to act against light pollution.

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COVID-19 Has Tourism Industry Bracing for a Hit

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(Credit: CDC)

With so many unknowns regarding COVID-19, the travel industry has been hit hard by the constantly changing scenario.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Stalled for Years, Immigration Issues Finally Advance in General Assembly

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Immigration was one of the issues that helped Donald Trump win the presidency. But it’s also an issue that helped Democrats take control of the General Assembly.

Michael Pope reports on what they were able to accomplish with that power.

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Lawmakers Decriminalize, Don’t Legalize, Marijuana in Virginia

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Virginia lawmakers have voted to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

If the Governor signs the bill, then beginning in July it will no longer be a crime to have up to an ounce of weed.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Lawmakers Agree on $12 Minimum Wage by 2023

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Credit: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr.com / CC

If the Governor signs a bill sent to him by lawmakers, Virginia’s minimum wage will go up next year. It’s been set at $7.25 for more than a decade.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, lawmakers approved a jump to $9.50 starting next year.

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Va. News: Doorbell video helps Albemarle County investigations, new Area Code for Western VA

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Albemarle County Police will soon be using residents’ doorbell video in criminal investigations.  And western Virginia will be getting a new area code.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va, News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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General Assembly Approves Insulin CoPay Cap

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Vials of insulin (Credit: Alan Levine via flickr.com / CC)

Lawmakers have approved a bill to put a cap on how much people will have to pay for insulin.

Michael Pope reports.

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Omnibus Environmental Bill Squeaks by in Virginia’s House

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Virginia environmental advocates are celebrating a big win at the statehouse. The House of Delegates has passed the Clean Economy Act.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the omnibus bill sets the stage for Virginia to get to zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

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Minority Voting Rights Take Center Stage in Final Days of General Assembly Session

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Lawmakers are considering an effort to create new safeguards to prevent minority voters from being disenfranchised.

Michael Pope reports.

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Celebrating Women as Agents of Change

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Women march in a suffragist parade in New York in 1912. (Credit: American Press Association/Library of Congress)

Communities across the world will celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday.

In Richmond, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture will open an exhibition that pays tribute to those who’ve led the fight for women’s rights.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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House and Senate Must Move Quickly to Hammer Out Differences in Monument Legislation

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Richmond’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee along the city’s Monument Avenue. (Credit: Ron Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

As lawmakers finish out the General Assembly session this week, they are making final touches on an effort to allow local governments to remove Confederate statues.

Michael Pope reports.

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Redistricting Fight Heads to Dramatic Conclusion

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Democrats are divided over how to handle redistricting next year after the Census. And the final few days of the General Assembly session will see a dramatic vote on that issue.

Michael Pope reports.

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As Historic Legislative Session Draws to a Close, Just How Progressive Were Democrats?

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Virginia’s legislative session is scheduled to end this weekend. And it was a historic one.

For the first time in decades Democrats were in power, not just of the Governor’s mansion but of both chambers of the legislature.

Now that things are wrapping up, Mallory Noe-Payne has a look at just what Democrats were able to accomplish.

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No Cases Confirmed, But Virginia Officials Say They’re Prepared for COVID-19

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (Credit: CDC)

No one in Virginia has tested positive for the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as of midday Wednesday.

But officials are assuring Virginians they’re prepared for if or when the disease comes to the state.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Biden Wins Virginia Primary Handily

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Joe Biden during his time as Vice President (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Joe Biden was the big winner in Virginia last night. Unofficial results show more than half of Virginia Democratic primary voters cast a ballot in his favor.

Mallory Noe-Payne has reaction from some of his supporters.

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Voters Turn Out for Democratic Presidential Primary… And Say They’ll be Back in November

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It’s Virginia’s turn. Voters in the Commonwealth get to register their voices in the Democratic Presidential primary.

Mallory Noe-Payne chatted with some of those voters at a polling place in downtown Richmond.

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With Northam’s Signature, Virginia Joins List of States Banning Conversion Therapy

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Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill making it illegal to practice so-called “conversion therapy” on children in Virginia.

Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Weighs Exemptions to Paid Sick Days

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Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam is considering how to handle a bill mandating paid sick days.

As Michael Pope reports, he’s considering a change that advocates say could undermine the purpose of the bill.

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House Says “I Do” But Senate Panel Says “I Don’t”

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Democrats in the more conservative state Senate are taking the edges off a lot of the more progressive bills passed by the House of Delegates.

As Michael Pope reports, one of those bills changes who is authorized to perform weddings.

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With Time Running Out, Redistricting Amendment Headed to House Floor

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Members of the Virginia House of Delegate will vote on a constitutional amendment that could dramatically change how legislative districts are drawn.

Michael Pope reports.

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Senate Committee Kills Dominion Energy Oversight Bill

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A bipartisan measure that would have given state regulators more oversight over Dominion’s utility rates has died in a Senate committee.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details on Monday evening’s vote.

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Sec of Public Safety: Experience With Previous Outbreaks Provides Insight For COVID-19

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Sec. of Public Safety Brian Moran

So far, Virginia has seen no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus – COVID-19.

But state agencies are gearing up and keeping track of people at increased risk for contracting the disease.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Young Voters Feel Primary Excitement

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Voters between the ages of 18 and 23 make up about 10% of the electorate this year, according to the Pew Research Center.

That could be a make-or-break margin for the list of candidates on Tuesday’s ballot.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Absentee Voting Points to Lower Super Tuesday Turnout

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The Virginia Board of Elections says about 80,000 people asked for an absentee ballot for the Democratic presidential primary tomorrow.

About 55,000 ballots have been returned. And that’s pointing to a low turnout on Super Tuesday.

Joe Staniunas has more.

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