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
10:13 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Cut in Capacity Fees To Be Considered By Salisbury City Council

google.com

The Salisbury City Council tonight will be looking at a cut in the city’s water and sewer connection fees by 60 percent for those buildings which are not connected to the city’s system.

This would mean a reduction from $8500 to just under $3400.

The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce says the fee reduction will stimulate growth.

The revenue from the capacity fees has dropped dramatically from $1.6 million four years ago to $114,000 this year.  

News
10:06 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Ballot Measures Facing Wicomico County Voters

123rf.com

Wicomico County voters will be facing some charter changes this fall.

Among the measures on the ballot is one dealing with petitions filed with the election board.

It would require residents to gather 20 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election or 10-thousand people whichever is fewer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that currently the number is 15 percent of registered voters in the county.

News
10:01 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Newcomers Impact Sixth District Senate Seat in Delaware

State of Delaware

The explosion in the come-here population could be the key to who wins the 6th state Senate seat in Delaware.

The district covers the coastal resorts like Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes as well as inland towns like Milton and Harbeson.

A Wilmington News Journal analysis finds that voters are far different than the rest of Sussex County.

It has more retires, fewer farmers and mostly wealthier households.

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News
3:26 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

MD Senate Begins Debate on Gambling Expansion

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is debating amendments to a measure to permit table games like craps at Maryland casinos and to allow a casino in Prince George's County.

The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Nancy Jacobs that would have raised impact grants in Allegany, Cecil and Worcester counties from $200,000 to $400,000.

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News
3:20 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Maryland Has Highest Foreclosure Rate in Nation

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The rate of new foreclosure filings in Maryland topped that of any other state this spring.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the spike can be attributed in large part to a national settlement with the country's five largest mortgage servicers that led to a flood of new cases.

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News
3:13 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Pediatrician Loses License After Waterboarding Accusation

Delaware State Police

Delaware state officials have pulled the medical license for pediatrician Melvin Morse who has been accused of waterboarding his 11 year old daughter.

It comes two days after the 58-year old Milton man was arrested on felony charges of reckless endangerment and conspiracy.

Court documents say that he grabbed his daughter by the ankle and dragged her across a gravel drive way after which he took her inside their home and spanked her. 

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News
3:03 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Corn, Soy USDA Forecast Down

USDA Logo

It’s bad news from the US Department of Agriculture who said that they are forecasting a 13 percent drop in corn production from last year – expected to come in at 10.8 billion bushels.

It’s the first official USDA assessment on the impact of the drought that has swept across the heart of the Corn belt.

The government says the price of a bushel last month was $8 and could reach as high as $8.90.

Soybeans are expected to be hit a bit less hard with production expected to be down by 12 percent over last year at 2.6 billion bushels.  

News
11:41 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Gambling Expansion Out of Senate Committee in Annapolis

freevector.com

The Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved expansion of gambling in the state yesterday on an 11 to 1 vote.

It came on the first day of a special legislative session in Annapolis to allow table games and a sixth casino in Prince George’s County.

The measure now goes to the full Senate.

Owners of the Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel county testified against the measure…fearing that the sixth casino would damage their business.

Meanwhile, William Rickman, the owner of Ocean Downs casino on the Eastern Shore, supported the bill.

News
11:35 am
Fri August 10, 2012

DE & MD Governors: Loosen Ethanol Requirements

google.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The governors of Delaware and Maryland are joining an effort to persuade federal officials to ease renewable fuel standards because of a severe drought that has led to a drop in corn supplies and a corresponding increase in corn prices.

Govs. Jack Markell of Delaware and Martin O'Malley of Maryland sent a letter Thursday to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to relax rules requiring that a percentage of the corn crop go to making ethanol.

Similar pleas have been made by the two states' congressional delegations.

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News
11:26 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Atlantic Sturgeon: An Endangered Species

google.com

The Atlantic Sturgeon, once plentiful in Delmara waters, has been put on the Endangered Species Act.  But for some researchers this may backfire. Delmarva Public Radio's Jake Ryan prepared this report.

News
11:18 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Fisker Gets Taxpayer Money For Utility Bills

google.com

Despite Fisker Automotive suspending work at its Newport-area factory in April Delaware taxpayers have shelled out $400-thousand to pay for the plant’s utility bills.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Markell administration says it must make payments under the $9 million deal with the California based hybrid car maker.

The auto company says even though it has laid off dozens of workers and keeps only a small maintenance team the power is necessary to ensure the valuable equipment inside is in good shape.

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News
11:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Delaware High Court Upholds Death Penalty For Derrick Powell

Officer Down Memorial Page

DOVER, Del. (AP) Delaware's highest court has unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence of a man who killed a police officer in Georgetown in 2009.

Derrick Powell's lawyers had claimed that ordering him to be executed was a cruel punishment because other men involved in a vehicle pursuit that lead to Officer Chad Spicer's death received light sentences.

But on Thursday, justices on the Delaware Supreme Court disagreed.

News
10:36 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Police Depositions Add Fuel To Lawsuit Against Leopold

123rf.com

BALTIMORE (AP) — Anne Arundel County police officers have said in sworn depositions that County Executive John Leopold personally ordered the firing of a county employee who had complained about his behavior.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the depositions were filed Thursday in U.S. District Court as part of Karla Hamner's harassment lawsuit against the county. According to the papers, officers said Leopold told the county's police chief that Hamner was being transferred to the police department but should not receive a permanent job.

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News
10:27 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Wilmington Mayoral Hopeful Vows to Raise Taxes

Mayoral Campaign Website

Mayoral hopeful Bill Montgomery pledged to raise taxes during his first year in office if elected to the top job in Wilmington.

The former chief of staff to the current Mayor James Baker predicted there would be a 15 percent hike on property taxes to stave off future rate increases.

The city is facing budget deficits of around $4 million in the next two years.

Montgomery noted that the city has made cuts totaling $11 million with a proposal to eliminate 20 positions over the next 4 years through attrition.

News
10:16 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Fenwick Island Looks To Ban Smoking On The Beach

123rf.com

Fenwick Island is considering banning smoking on the town’s beaches.

Its Environmental Committee chair Marry Langan called smoking the number one polluter of the world’s beaches.

She noted that it has produced unwanted litter and second hand smoke.

Committee member Patti Breger told the Wilmington News Journal that she wants to get a ban in place and put up signs asking that people not smoke.

Meanwhile, committee member Buzz Henifin predicted it would take four to five months to get an ordinance in place.   

Delmarva Today
9:46 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Delmarva Today 08-10-2012

The ongoing heat wave and drought on the Eastern Shore.

Guests:

Jay Apperson Maryland Department of the Environment

Matt Likovich, Delmarva Power

Jennifer Johnson, Wicomico County Health Dept.

News
3:03 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Maryland Senate Takes Up Gambling Bill

fotosearch.com

The Maryland State Senate took up legislation this afternoon that would expand gambling by adding table games and a sixth casino in Prince George’s County.

The measure is expected to be taken up by the Senate Budget and Taxation committee.

It will eventually go to the House of Delegates where it faces a much tougher road to passage.

A majority of the Lower shore’s delegates and senator favor legalizing table games and allowing Ocean downs to stay open 24 hour a day.

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News
3:00 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wilmington Red Light Cameras Rake In the Revenue

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Wilmington officials say the number of citations issued by the city's red light camera program jumped 83 percent between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012.

City officials tell The News Journal of Wilmington that enhanced enforcement of illegal right turns on red is partially responsible for the spike.

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News
12:26 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Delaware & Maryland: In Top 20 States for Power Pollution

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland and Delaware are among the nation's top 20 power plant polluters, according to new rankings by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Maryland ranked 19th in the rankings released Thursday, an improvement from fifth place the year before. Delaware rose one spot from 21st the year before to make it onto the top 20 list.

The new rankings are based on 2010 figures, and the NRDC says new standards imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency mean power plant pollution should drop over the next few years.

News
12:21 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

MAPP Power Project Ends

inmagine.com

The Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway is dead.

PJM Interconnection says that its staff will recommend the MAPP project should be removed from its regional transmission plans along with the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline.

The power transmission company said that updated analysis has found there is no longer a need for the projects citing a slowing economy.

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News
9:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

MD Special Session on Gambling Expansion Opens Today

fotosearch.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers and casino owners are reviewing Gov. Martin O'Malley's 55-page measure to expand gambling on the eve of a special session.

O'Malley, for his part, said Wednesday the bill will increase state revenue and jobs. He also says he's "so sick of this issue" and wants to settle it. The Senate wil convene the special session Thursday.

The gambling proposals would allow table games like blackjack and a new casino site in Prince George's County that could open in 2016.

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News
9:40 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Delaware Officials Keep Eye On MD Gambling Expansion

fotosearch.com

As Maryland legislators begin the special session on proposals to expand gambling Delaware officials are keeping a close eye on the outcome.

Governor Jack Markell says that it’s clear the industry is becoming more competitive.

Markell has expanded gambling ranging from sports betting and table games to online gaming and Keno games at sites outside of the casinos. 

The license fees for the state’s casinos have also been slashed.

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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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