Don Rush

Assoc. Program Director- Sr. Producer News and Public Affairs

Don Rush is the News Director at Public Radio Delmarva (WSCL/WSDL) in Salisbury, Maryland on the campus of Salisbury University. He has spent the last 35 years in broadcast journalism specializing in national politics. Before coming to Salisbury he spent 12 years in Washington DC with the Pacifica Network News bureau. During the 1980’s he was News Director at KFPK in his home town of Los Angeles. He also worked for the Los Angeles based wire and audio news service CNS/RNW. Locally, he has become an award winning journalist covering everything from development and environmental issues to local politics.

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News
9:33 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Georgetown Pediatrician Accused of Waterboarding Daughter

Delaware State Police

A Georgetown pediatrician has been charged with waterboarding his 11 year old daughter while his wife looked on.

Among the charges against Dr. Melvin Morse and his wife Pauline are first-degree reckless endangerment and felony conspiracy.

They have two daughters ages 5 and 11.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the investigation began in early July when state troops got a 911 call from a neighbor about a domestic dispute. 

On Monday the 11 year old was questioned by authorities.

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News
9:01 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Senator Mikulski Asks For Loosening of Ethanol Requirements

fotosearch.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says she is among a group of senators asking the Environmental Protection Agency to relax renewable fuel standards to require less corn. Mikulski says that will help ease corn supply shortages caused by drought conditions this year.

Mikulski says other senators signing the letter include Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, and Delaware Sens. Chris Coons and Thomas Carper.  

News
8:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

MD Mortality Holds Record Low Since 2010

inmagine.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's infant mortality rate has been at a record low for two years straight.

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced on Wednesday that the infant mortality rate was 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010 and 2011.

O'Malley attributes the decline to an expansion of health care access to young women and parents. He also says safer sleep practices have played a role.

News
8:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Exemption From State Fire Sprinker Mandate Extended in Wicomico County

123rf.com

The Wicomico County Council has extended the exemption for new one-and-two family dwellings from the state fire sprinkler mandate through 2015.

Council members have expressed concern about houses that are dependent on wells.

The Council voted 6-to-1 this week even though the modular housing industry says this would continue an uneven playing field.

In addition the Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard urged the council members to require the fire sprinklers because fires attack a home in a more dangerous way than in the past.

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News
8:37 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Medical Complex Rezoning Property Near Ocean Pines Okayed

medicalbol4.gif

By a 4-3 vote the Worcester County Commissioners approved a rezoning a parcel of agricultural land on Route 589 to commercial use by developer Jack Burbage.

This will make the way for a new medical complex on 30 acres of land just south of Ocean Pines.

Commissioner Jim Purnell said that the development would create needed jobs.

Despite the endorsement by the hospital the project drew a number of Ocean Pines residents who spoke out against the rezoning.

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News
8:33 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Federal Probe Into Recent Teen Suicides in Delaware

123rf.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Federal health officials have completed a preliminary report regarding a recent rash of suicides of teenagers in Delaware.

A medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was expected to join state officials on a media conference call on Thursday to discuss the findings.

The state Department of Health and Social Services asked the CDC in March to conduct an epidemiological investigation into the suicide deaths of several teens and young adults in Kent and Sussex counties.

News
2:23 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Eastern Shore: Just Shy of Emergency Drought Level

fotosearch.com

With a state drought warning in effect the Maryland Eastern Shore is just one level below a full blown emergency that would lead to mandatory water restrictions.

Salisbury is 10 inches below normal with the 95 degree temperatures hitting the corn crop hard.

Worcester County Commissioner Virgil Shockley told the Salisbury Daily Times that he believes that half of his country's corn crop is doomed.

The Worcester county farmer says some his corn just hasn’t pollinated because of the heat.

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News
2:14 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Delaware State Supreme Court Hears Death Sentence Case

google.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Lawyers for a taxi driver sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing of a 78-year-old Sussex County woman are asking the state Supreme Court to grant him a new penalty hearing.

An attorney for 54-year-old Leslie Small argued Wednesday that prosecutors improperly suggested at his trial that defense lawyers were simply making excuses for his behavior. Small's attorneys presented mitigating factors about his troubled childhood and substance abuse.

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News
2:07 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Record Tiger Muskie Caught in Delaware

google.com

A new record has been set for the largest tiger muskie caught in Delaware topping the previous catch in 1991 of 15 pounds , 2 ounces. 

The record was confirmed by Fish and Wildlife Enforcement biologists and was initially recorded by agent Sr. Cpl. Jeff Howell.

The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife says James Stewart used 6-pound test line with an artificial minnow to reel in the record fish.

Stewart plans to have his record tiger muskie mounted.  

News
12:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Online Voter Registration Up and Running in MD

google.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Online voter registration is up and running in Maryland.

The State Board of Elections began promoting its new system on Tuesday. Voters can register for the first time online and also use the Internet to check the status of their registration.

To use the online system, eligible residents must have a valid state driver's license or identification card.

Mary Cramer Wagner, director of voter registration for the state board, says she thinks the system will be very popular. She says more than 200 people had registered online as of Tuesday morning.

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News
9:55 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Essays on Aging

fotosearch.com

Even as the baby boom generation gets on in years, every once in a while they are reminded of their youth and the years that have passed.  In our essays on aging local writer John Reisinger writes it was an old car that popped into view.

News
9:23 am
Wed August 8, 2012

First Sign of West Nile Virus in Delaware

The West Nile Virus has returned to Delaware.

Tests this week confirmed its presence when four birds turned up positive for the virus in July.

Three tested positive in New Castle County and one in Kent County according to the US Interior Department. 

US officials also found that in Maryland the virus was confirmed in mosquitos last month in Montgomery County.

The Interior Department said that no mosquitos turned up positive in either Virginia or Delaware for the West Nile virus.

News
9:16 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Heat Wave Deaths Top Last Year

123RF

BALTIMORE (AP) - Public health officials say Maryland's heat-related deaths have surpassed last year's total.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says four more heat-related deaths, which occurred earlier this summer but only recently were found to be heat related, raises the total to 38 deaths.

That compares with 34 in 2011.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler tells The Baltimore Sun that some of the deaths involved victims who were without air-conditioning after a derecho storm in June.

News
9:10 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Gambling Expansion Details Released by MD Governor

Governor's Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration has released details in gambling legislation for a special session this week.

The provisions made public Tuesday touch on a variety of changes that would come with the addition of table games like blackjack and a new casino site in Prince George's County.

A key part of the bill relates to how much money casino operators will keep.

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News
8:57 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Delaware Symphony Orchestra Returns In October

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Two months after announcing that it was suspending its 2012-2013 season, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra now plans to keep on playing.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that starting in October, the orchestra will perform a four-concert chamber series at the Hotel du Pont. And beginning in January, it will stage at least four additional concerts.

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News
8:52 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Proposed Cat Ordinance In Somerset County

digitalphotos.net

Local humane society and public health officials are now backing a new ordinance in Somerset County that would require all cat owners to vaccinate their felines for rabies.

The current ordinance only dealt with dogs.

The draft ordinance includes a trap, neuter and release policy for dealing with feral cat colonies rather than euthanasia.

The measure also details how the county will handle cats that could have rabies and allows Animal Control the right to make sure cats are vaccinated.

News
8:46 am
Wed August 8, 2012

A Maryland Kennedy Backs Gay Marriage Law

Over The Rainbow Shop

Former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has joined backers of the same-sex marriage law that residents will be voting on this November.

Townsend is also the eldest child of Robert F. Kennedy.

She told a news conference in Baltimore yesterday that her uncle President John F. Kennedy emphasized the separation of church and state.

Townsend, who comes from one of the most famous Catholic families in the nation, has joined fellow Catholic Governor Martin O’Malley who pushed for the same-sex marriage law this year.

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News
8:43 am
Wed August 8, 2012

New Rules in Delaware to Make Bail Fair

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware is implementing new rules aimed at ensuring that decisions regarding bail for criminal offenders are made in a fair and reasonable manner.

Legislation being signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday calls for informed decision-making in the criminal justice system by using evidenced-based practices in decisions concerning bail, rehabilitation and probation supervision.

The law also will help ensure that scarce criminal justice resources are focused on higher-risk offenders.

News
2:42 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

NASCAR Dates In Dover Set

NASCAR Website

Dover International Speedway will keep its two traditional Sprint Cup Series race dates in 2013.

Track officials said that NASCAR's top racing series will return to the track on May 31-June 2 and Sept. 27-29 next season.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there will be a change next year.

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News
2:37 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Eastern Shore Communities Celebrate National Night Out

Salisbury Police Website

It’s National Night Out.

And cities across the county are celebrating the event that marks the fight against crime.

It’s sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

On the Lower Eastern Shore there are a number of cities participating this year ranging from Salisbury and Crisfield to Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Ocean City.

Col. Ivan Barkley with the Salisbury Police Department says this is a way for the community and law enforcement to get together.

News
12:18 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Baltimore Music Label Removes Alleged Sikh Shooter From Website

MySpace/End/Apathy

erBALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore label that distributed music by the gunman in the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting says it has removed all of the band's music from its website.

Label 56 also issued a statement saying it does not seek attention through "shock value" and has worked to encourage people to take a positive path. The label also asks people not take what the gunman did as honorable or respectable, or think that "we are all like that."

News
12:14 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Delaware Legislator Pleads Not Guilty to DUI Charge

Brad Bennett Reelection Campaign

State Representative Brad Bennett pleaded not guilty in court last Friday in his arrest on drunken driving charges in Wilmington.

The Delaware Democrat is facing four criminal counts including leaving the scene of an accident in April.

Police alleged that he was drunk behind the wheel and sideswiped a patrol car.

He could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 days in jail.

This is the second time he has been arrested for a DUI.

Two years ago he pleaded guilty and completed a probation program.

News
9:16 am
Tue August 7, 2012

House Drought Relief Measure Slammed by CBF

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

The House of Representatives has approved a drought relief measure that environmentalists say will take money away from restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush interviewed John Siglin, lobbyist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

News
9:06 am
Tue August 7, 2012

State Drought Warning for Eastern Shore

Department for the Environment

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's Department of the Environment says a drought warning has been issued for most of the Eastern Shore.

The warning issued Monday covers all of the Eastern Shore except for Cecil County. MDE says during a drought warning local water systems should implement conservation measures and residents and businesses should look to cut non-essential water use. MDE says rainfall has been about 70 percent of normal since the end of January, and it isn't aware of any jurisdictions implementing voluntary or mandatory restrictions.

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News
9:01 am
Tue August 7, 2012

MD Casino Revenue UP

Hollywood Casino Website

Overall the state's three casinos collectively had a record month in July as the Maryland legislature is holding a special session to add table games and a sixth casino in Prince Georges County.

The Maryland Lottery announced yesterday that Perryville, Maryland Live and the Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County took in just over $48 million last month.

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News
8:54 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Eleven Boats Out On the Waters For the White Marlin Open

Ocean City Website

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Ocean City's annual White Marlin tournament is under way.

Tournament officials say 11 boats went out Monday, the first day of the tournament, which runs through Friday. Organizers say the open is the world's largest billfish tournament and anglers are competing for a projected $2 million in prize money.

In addition to white marlin, competitors are fishing for blue marlin, tuna, dolphin, wahoo and shark.

News
8:47 am
Tue August 7, 2012

MD Boat Excise Tax Could Be Hurting State Sales

The Maryland’s vessel excise tax of 5 percent of a boat’s value could be driving owners to other states like Delaware.

Brokers say that purchases lag in the state because residents go to tax-free Delaware or Virginia where the rate is only 2 percent with a $2-thousand cap.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the excise tax is becoming a key issue for the boating industry with some saying that it’s why Maryland did not enjoy a rebound in boat sales last year.

Maryland sales fell from $183 million in 2010 to $162 million last year.

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News
8:45 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Woman Charged With Death of Daughter in Traffic Accident

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A Pennsylvania woman has been charged in the death of her 11-year-old daughter after police say she ran her vehicle off the Salisbury bypass while impaired by drugs.

State police tell The Daily Times of Salisbury that the girl was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, which overturned on the southbound Route 13 Bypass Sunday afternoon.

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News
2:21 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Perryville Casino Bows to Competition

Casino Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The casino in Perryville has notified Maryland officials that it plans to return 400 to 500 slot machines to the state because of declining revenues.

Bill Hayles, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino, sent a letter on Friday to state Sen. Nancy Jacobs to let her know the casino plans to return about one-third of its 1,500 machines. The state leases slot machines to its casinos.

News
11:27 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Beebe Medical Center Could Pay Millions in Bradley Case

The Beebe Medical Center could pay millions to settle a class action lawsuit in the Earl Bradley child molestation case.

The Wilmington News Journal is reporting that the financial details are still being kept confidential.

An attorney for the child victims told the paper that it means once an agreement is reached with all defendants, monetary terms will be disclosed publicly.

The Beebe Medical Center is where Bradley once worked as a pediatrician. 

In 1996 a nurse at the medical facility reported that he had conducted inappropriate exams.

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