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
8:35 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Crackdown on Alleged Electric Power Abusers Fails in Delaware Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Senate has rejected proposed revisions to a law protecting utility customers with medical needs from having their power disconnected.

Supporters of a bill that narrowly failed Tuesday said the current law is so broad that many Delmarva Power customers are using it to avoid paying their bills. They noted that some 930 Delmarva Power customers enrolled in the Delaware program owe an outstanding balance of $3.6 million, far more than what is owed by customers in similar programs in neighboring states.

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News
12:14 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Severe Storm Hits Delaware This Morning

A severe storm with winds up of 70 mph swept through Sussex County this morning knocking down electric poles and damaging at least two buildings under construction at the Inland Bays wastewater treatment facility. 

A deck also collapse at the Lighthouse restaurant in Dewey Beach.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there were downed trees and limbs…with emergency crews responding to a report of a large oak tree on a house.

The Delaware Electric Cooperative says 62-hundred customers lost power but that the number has dropped to around 4-thousand.

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News
12:11 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Supreme Court Lets Maryland Redistricting Plan Stand

(AP) The Supreme Court won't hear a complaint against Maryland's congressional redistricting map by voters unhappy with the state's new maps.

The high court affirmed Maryland judges' decision to throw the lawsuit out. Some voters had complained that the new maps passed by the state legislature last year discriminated against African-Americans by failing to create a third majority-black congressional district in the state.

The lower court judges also said the lawsuit didn't meet the burden of proof that the map is a partisan gerrymander.

News
8:44 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Delaware State Police Step Up Enforcement Against Panhandlers

Delaware state police are cracking down on panhandling along I-95 corridor from Prices Corner to Ogletown.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the campaign began last week and targets aggressive panhandlers.

There are reports that they block parked vehicles demanding money, knock on car doors that are stopped at red lights and in some cases falsely claim they are veterans or homeless.

Some collect as much as $150 a day.

The State Trooper 6 initiated the campaign after getting an escalating number of complaints in their areas.

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News
8:38 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Sea Level Rising Fast Along Mid Atlantic Coast

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new government study says sea levels are rising much faster along a stretch of the East Coast than they are around the globe.

The area covers the Atlantic Coast from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to just north of Boston.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists call the 600-mile swath a "hot spot" for climbing sea levels caused by global warming. Their study says that since 1990, sea levels in that region have been rising at an annual rate that's three to four times faster than the global average.

News
8:35 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Pony Swim Makes Top Ten List for Visitors

The annual Pony Swim to Chincoteague Island has made it on the top 10 list as a favorite event for traveling families in Virginia.

Coming in at 8th the Salisbury Daily Times reports that it beat out visits to the Historic Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg.

Assateague Island’s recreational beach and light house as well as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge made mention.

On the last Wednesday of July the Saltwater cowboys drive the ponies into the Assateague channel on their way to Chincoteague.

News
8:31 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Shakespeare Draws Citation in Henlopen Acres

Shakespeare in the park may not seem to be the thing to stir up a cauldron of controversy.

But a low key performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier this month at the Rehoboth Art League campus in Henlopen Acres has just one problem.

It was illegal.

The non-profit league was cited for its increasing nonconforming use and operation of the theater without a special use exception.

That came with a $200 fine.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that’s the second time the league has gotten a ticket.

News
8:28 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Work Release Program Shut Down in Sussex County

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — State corrections officials say they are investigating a program that allows offenders held at the Sussex Work Release Center to work as day laborers.

The Delaware Department of Correction says the Georgetown facility has virtually no documentation of the day-labor program over the past 23 years.

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News
8:26 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Sussex County Responds in Sheriff's Lawsuit Over Powers

In the fight over the powers of the County Sheriff in Delaware, Sussex County has responded to a lawsuit by its Sheriff Jeff Christopher who argues that he has the authority to make arrests and investigate crimes.

But the county countered in a four page filing that the Sheriff has not lined up the necessary parties behind his lawsuit to win noting that Christopher has not gotten the backing of federal state and local governments.

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News
12:56 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Salisbury Mayor Subject to a Hoax

It was a spoof.

That’s the word from Mayor Jim Ireton and Police Chief Barbara Duncan.

Salisbury police have identified David Gaudette as the person who called local blogger Joe Albero pretending to be a drunk Mayor Ireton conceding the upcoming mayoral election and asking him to meet with him the next day.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that when Ireton did not show up at the fictitious meeting Albero phoned City Council Vice President Debbie Campbell to tell her about the incident.

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News
12:53 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Senate Approved Farm Bill Keeps Bay Conservation Programs

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland senators say a farm bill passed by the Senate retains important bay conservation programs.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, meanwhile, says it is encouraged by the bill passed Thursday. The foundation says the Senate had originally eliminated $50 million a year in cost-share programs for farmers, which senators from bay states were able to save.

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News
12:06 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Dead Zones Down in Chesapeake Bay

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Chesapeake Bay dead zones are down this June from last spring when heavy rains pushed them to levels not seen in decades.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says samples collected in early June show 12 percent of the bay's main stem had low oxygen levels, down from the same period last spring when a third had levels too low for life. The long-term average is 17 percent.

DNR says warmer, drier conditions this winter, compared to the extremely wet spring last year may be the difference.

News
12:04 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Dead Turtles Found Along Mid-Atlantic Coast

LEWES, Del. (AP) — Dead turtles washing ashore along the mid-Atlantic coast have scientists looking for answers.

State and federal officials who track sea turtle populations say dead turtles have been found from New Jersey to Virginia. An unusually high amount of dead turtles was found in Virginia in May.

Suzanne Thurman, the head of Delaware's Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, says onshore winds might be bringing in dead and dying turtles that would otherwise stay at sea.

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News
12:00 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Door Cracks Open In Maryland for Special Session on Gambling Expansion

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch says the door is still open for further discussion on expanding gambling in the state.

Busch spoke to reporters on Thursday, a day after a workgroup looking at the issue announced it could not reach consensus at this time.

The speaker, who held two separate availabilities with reporters, said in the first gathering that House members on the panel had very strong feelings against lowering the state's 67 percent tax to accommodate a casino in Prince George's County.

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News
9:45 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Rocket Launch at Wallops Island Flight Facility

A NASA rocket carrying 17 "RockOn" experiments was launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility at 6:40 a.m.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility

A special rocket launch lifted off this at 6:39 a.m. this morning from the Wallops Island Flight Facility with 17 education experiments on board.

The sub-orbital Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket is carrying experiments built by university instructors and students from across the country through programs conducted with the Colorado and Virginia and Space Grant Consortia.

The programs are designed to give participants an introduction to building small experiments that can be found on sounding rockets.

News
9:43 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Heat Wave Hits Delmarva

A heat wave has hit the Delmarva Peninsula with temperatures expected to be in the upper 90’s.

Yesterday the Sussex County airport near Georgetown saw a record breaking 98 degrees.

Today’s forecasts are higher with New Castle County expected to see 99 degrees.

The Christina School District says that all school facilities hosting summer programs and camps will be closed today.

Recommendations from health officials on Delmarva range from drinking plenty of water and staying out of the sun to checking on elderly neighbors.

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News
9:40 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Special Session in Annapolis Not in the Cards for Gambling Expansion

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A workgroup has failed to reach a consensus on gambling expansion in Maryland, meaning there will be no special session on the issue, and a sixth casino will not be recommended for Prince George's County this year.

After a three-hour delay Wednesday afternoon on the start of the group's final public meeting, the group of lawmakers and advisers to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley admitted that a consensus of the 11 members could not be reached.

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News
9:37 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Online Gambling Measure Moves to Delaware Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill authorizing online betting in Delaware and more venues for sports wagering and other gambling is heading to a Senate vote.

The bill cleared a Senate committee Wednesday despite complaints from church leaders who say it is morally wrong. Delaware's harness racing industry also opposes the bill, saying its members wouldn't get a fair share of the gambling proceeds.

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News
9:34 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Maryland Board of Public Works Approves $37 Million for Sewage Grants

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland's Board of Public Works has approved more than $37 million in grants for upgrading septic systems and wastewater treatment plants.

The Department of the Environment says the approval Wednesday includes $14.9 million in grants from the Bay Restoration Fund for counties to upgrade septic systems statewide. The board also approved a $13 million grant for Baltimore's Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

News
8:56 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Delaware Support for Bloom Energy Draws Lawsuit from Connecticut

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Connecticut-based fuel cell manufacturer is suing over Delaware's efforts to help another company establish a fuel cell manufacturing industry in Delaware.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Wilmington by FuelCell Energy Inc. and Delaware resident John Nichols. It accuses Delaware officials of economic protectionism and discrimination in cozying up to California-based Bloom Energy.

Bloom Energy is building a manufacturing facility at a former Chrysler plant in Newark with $16 million in state incentives.

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News
8:53 am
Thu June 21, 2012

DelDOT Wants $471 Million For Toll Road

The Delaware Department of Transportation wants lawmakers to approve $471 million for a toll road to replace US 301 in southern New Castle.

The first 14 mile segment would connect the four-lane US 301 at the state line southwest of Middletown to Delaware Route 1 at the Roth Bridge.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt told the Bond Bill Committee yesterday there were a number of factors in the decision to move ahead with the project.

She pointed to lower bond interest rates and lower construction costs.

News
8:32 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Fireworks Return to Salisbury for July 4th

There will be fireworks in Salisbury on the 4th of July.
Anuj Biyani/ Creative Commons

The permits are in place.

The parking has been arranged.

And police as well as Public Works personnel are ready as the city of Salisbury gears up for the Red, White and Boom fireworks display set for July 4th.

Mike Dunn, former City Council President and the current interim manager at Delmarva Public Radio, led the effort to organize the event.

He noted this would be the first time since 2006 that the town has had a fireworks display.

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News
8:29 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Manufactured Home Advocates Fail to Get Cap on Rents in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state House has rejected a bill requiring mobile home park owners in Delaware to justify raising rents on homeowners beyond a certain level.

The measure was easily defeated Tuesday after narrowly winning Senate passage last month.

Under the bill, a park owner wanting to raise lot rents more than the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers would have had to seek approval of the Governor's Advisory Council on Manufactured Housing.

Opponents argued that the bill amounts to government rent control and will result in fewer mobile home parks.

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News
8:27 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Maryland Gambling Working Group Meets for One Last Time

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A work group studying whether to expand gambling in Maryland is holding its last scheduled meeting.

The group of lawmakers and advisers to Gov. Martin O'Malley is set to meet Wednesday. The governor has said he will call a special session next month, if lawmakers can reach a consensus on a variety of issues.

One is whether to allow table games like blackjack. The group is also weighing whether a casino should be allowed in Prince George's County.

News
8:25 am
Wed June 20, 2012

SPCA to Kent County: Take The Dogs Back

Negotiations have broken down in Kent County, Delaware over how much the local SPCA should be paid for dog control services.

After two years of talks the animal shelter is now demanding that the county take back the dogs by July that are covered under its contract no deal is reached.

The Kent County Levy Court rejected a proposal for a 45 percent increase in annual payments.

The SPCA said the sharp increase in costs were the result of new state standards.

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News
12:04 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Suspect Identified in Death of Woman at Dewey Beach Motel

Surveillance photo of Pawan Kumar. Delaware State Police officials have obtained arrest warrants for Kumar, who is a suspect in the homicide of 26-year-old Danielle Mehlman.
Delaware State Police

DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police have identified a suspect investigators are searching for in connection with the murder of a woman found in a Dewey Beach motel room.

Police announced Tuesday they have obtained arrest warrants for 26-year-old Pawan Kumar of Wilmington. Police say he is a suspect in the murder investigation. Police have also released surveillance photos of the suspect.

Police say a young woman was found dead in a ground-floor room at the Atlantic Oceanside Motel on Coastal Highway. A cleaning lady found the body Monday morning.

News
9:09 am
Tue June 19, 2012

"Sailabration" Wraps Up War of 1812 Festivities

BALTIMORE (AP) - After a week of festivities marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812, dozens of ships will depart Baltimore's harbor in a "parade of sail."

More than 40 tall ships and naval vessels from around the world have been docked around the harbor, but on Tuesday they will parade into the Chesapeake Bay, bringing the "Star-Spangled Sailabration" to a close.

Naval vessels will begin leaving at 6 a.m. The Pride of Baltimore will lead the tall ships' departure around 11 a.m.

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News
9:06 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Arrest Could Be Penalty for Open Alcohol Container In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Having an open container of alcohol in public in Ocean City is now an offense that can lead to an arrest.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Ocean City Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday that changes the punishment for having an open alcohol container in public from a municipal infraction to a misdemeanor offense. The new ordinance took effect immediately.

News
8:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

New Delaware Requirements Could Put Some Electricians Out of Job

Beginning June 30th an electrical contractor in Delaware must be a state licensed electrician.

This means that workers will have to complete an apprentice program.

Bryan Warren, a licensed electrician in Milford, told WBOC-TV that he has a couple of workers who have been in the field for 20 to 30 years.

But he said they could be facing unemployment because of the paperwork.

Delaware’s electrical contractors were first notified of the change in February.

News
8:54 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Wilmington Moves Towards Landfill-Gas Fueled Wastewater Plant

Under a deal negotiated with Honeywell International a Wilmington City Council panel moved to approve a $35 million plan for a landfill-gas-fueled plant that would generate power and dry sludge at the city’s regional wastewater plant.

The full council is expected to vote as early as Thursday on the plan for the 20-year construction and operation agreement with the company.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Honeywell projected that the new operation would save Wilmington a total of $16.7 million by 2034.

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