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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Delmarva Today
9:46 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Delmarva Today 06 08 2012

A horizontal axis machine wind turbine.
Wikimedia Commons

Wind Power debate in Somerset County, MD.

Guests:

Adam Cohen, Founder and Vice President of Pioneer Green Energy

Danny Thompson, with the Somerset County Economic Development Commission

Jim Martin, local resident

Steve Smethurst, an attorney representing local residents

News
8:31 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Special Olympics Gets Underway in Newark

 NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Hundreds of people are gathering in Newark this weekend for this year's edition of Special Olympics Delaware's Summer Games.

The annual two-day event will be held Friday and Saturday at the University of Delaware.

The Games offer athletes with intellectual disabilities the chance to compete in six different sports: aquatics, bocce, power lifting, softball, tennis and track & field.

The grand opening ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Bob Carpenter Center. It is free and open to the public.

News
8:28 am
Fri June 8, 2012

$10 Million Settlement in Salisbury Wastewater Dispute

There’s a $10 million settlement in the lawsuit filed by Salisbury against the engineering firm which designed the defective wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Jim Ireton and Council President Terry Cohen signed the agreement last night with the firm O’Brien & Gere.

The company says it is doing so without any admission of fault.  

The city spent over $60 million on the plant.

The new design by the national firm Brown & Caldwell is expected to run another $60 million.

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News
8:25 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Musician's Union Wants Say in Delaware Symphony Orchestra's Future

The musician’s union wants a voice on the board’s restructuring of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra with a promise to offer recommendations at the end of the year meeting this coming Monday.

More than 30 musicians met yesterday in Wilmington to review the symphony’s announcement that it is suspending its 2012-2013 season because of financial problems. 

No specifics have been released yet by the musicians about just what they would recommend to the board.

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News
8:17 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Dogs Found in Poor Living Conditions Up For Adoption

WILLARDS, Md. (AP) - More than 20 small dogs found living in poor conditions on a property in Wicomico County are being put up for adoption.

David Fitzgerald, executive director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County, says all of the dogs are terrier mixes. Fitzgerald says the dogs were found living in outdoor kennels with high grass and weeds, water bowls that had been turned over and mold and mildew.

The owners of the dogs agreed to give the dogs to the humane society in order to avoid any penalties or enforcement action.

News
8:15 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Free Fishing In Maryland This Saturday

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is offering free fishing days this summer to encourage residents to enjoy the state's waterways.

Saturday is the second of three free fishing days. The first was last Saturday and the third is July 4.

Fishing licenses, stamps or registration are not required Saturday, but anglers must still abide by catch and size limits.

News
8:13 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Pay Day Loan Bill Arrives on Governor's Desk in Delaware

Governor Jack Markell is set to sign legislation that would crackdown on the payday lending industry.

The Delaware state Senate passed the measure with just one dissenting vote.

The measure limits borrowers to five high-interest, short-term loans of $1-thosuand each in a 12 month period.

Greg Wilson with the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council told the Wilmington News Journal that this was a great day for a lot of people who have been subjected to predatory lending.

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News
12:15 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

State AG Asks Delaware High Court to Reinstate Death Sentence in Jermaine Wright Case

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The attorney general's office is asking the Delaware Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling throwing out the conviction of a man sentenced to death for killing a Wilmington liquor store clerk in 1991.

Prosecutors argued Thursday that the judge erred in ruling that Jermaine Wright's confession to police was defective because he had not been properly advised of his rights against self-incrimination and to have an attorney appointed to represent him.

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News
8:53 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Sheriff Powers Dispute in Sussex County Moves to Senate Floor

The Delaware Senate is now set to get legislation that could quell the fierce dispute over the powers of the Sheriff’s office in Sussex County.

The measure would clearly establish that the state’s Sheriffs do not have the authority to investigate crime or make arrests.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the House version of the bill easily got out of the Senate Executive Committee and should be heard on the Senate floor sometime next week.

Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher claims that he has those powers under the state Constitution.

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News
8:45 am
Thu June 7, 2012

First Property Tax Hike in Seven Years Voted by Worcester County Commissioners

For the first time in seven years the Worcester County Commissioners have voted to raise the property tax.

The $165.9 million operating budget for the 2013 fiscal year will see a 7 cent hike in the property tax for a rate of 77 cents of $100 of assessed property value.

In addition, there will be a 2 percent cost-of-living pay hike for county employees.

Commission President Bud church told the Salisbury Daily Times that much of the problem lies with the state passing along half the cost of teacher pension payments to the counties.

News
8:43 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Dewey Beach To Take Up First Property Tax In Its History

The Town Council of Dewey Beach will take up a proposal tomorrow night to impose its first property tax.

David King, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, said the resort was losing ground in finding revenue for its budget.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that like most coastal communities Dewey Beach benefited from the building boom and created a surplus of more than $2 million.

Most of the money for the resort’s local government comes from the transfer fee paid when real estate is sold, building permits and fines.

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News
8:40 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Crack Down on Campaign Finance Goes to Delaware Governor's Desk

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved two bills aimed to expand and strengthen Delaware's campaign finance laws.

One bill approved Wednesday requires third-party groups to disclose the source of funding for independent campaign ads that refer to clearly identified candidates, even if the ads don't urge a vote for or against any candidate.

The other bill increases the penalty for filing late or incomplete campaign finance reports from $50 a month to $50 a day.

News
8:34 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Hearings on New Regulations for Striped Bass and Black Drum

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is holding two hearings in Delaware on proposed management plans for Atlantic striped bass and black drum.

The striped bass hearing will be held Thursday night, followed by the black drum hearing next Tuesday.

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News
8:31 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Blow Back on Proposal to Speed Up Delaware City Refinery Expansion

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is getting some flack for trying to combine the public reviews for a proposed a $1 billion expansion at the Delaware City Refinery.

PBF Energy wants to begin building a 70-thousand barrel-per-day ultra-low sulfur refining unit for diesel and heating oil along with other construction by the third quarter of this year.

News
8:28 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Can't Tie Up Your Dog Too Long Under Delaware Legislation

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has passed a bill prohibiting dog owners from leaving their animals tied up all day.

The bill approved Wednesday on a 17-4 vote expands animal cruelty laws to include leaving a dog tethered for 18 hours or more in any 24-hour period. It also prohibits tethering any dog younger than four months old for any amount of time or tethering of a nursing mother in the presence of her offspring.

Bill supporters suggested that behavioral and physical problems of dogs left tied up all day may not be covered under existing animal cruelty laws.

News
1:12 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Proposed Commission to Tighten Lobbying Laws in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Five groups led by Common Cause are urging Gov. Jack Markell to support a bill that would create a commission to propose reforms to the state's lobbying laws.

A letter sent to Markell urges him to back such a proposal, saying a commission could consider all possible reforms in a "comprehensive way." It noted several reform proposals have died from inaction in the General Assembly in past years.

Critics have longed charged that Delaware's lobbying laws are among the nation's weakest.

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News
8:44 am
Wed June 6, 2012

New Casino Opens in Maryland

HANOVER, Md. (AP) - Maryland's largest casino is opening to the public.

Maryland Live! will open Wednesday night next to the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is advising drivers to expect a high volume of traffic along Maryland Route 100 and Route 295 through this weekend because of the opening.

The casino will have about 3,200 slot machines on opening night.

Another 1,550 slot machines are set to be added in a second phase between July and October.

The casino also has five restaurants that are set to open.

News
8:41 am
Wed June 6, 2012

New Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships Meets Today

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials are gathering in Dover for the organizational meeting of Delaware's new Council Of Faith-Based Partnerships.

Gov. Jack Markell created the council by executive order in January. Its purpose to improve communication and collaboration among faith-based organizations and government service providers.

Markell said at the time that faith-based organizations and government entities can work together to strengthen communities in areas such as education, social services, health, public safety and housing.

News
8:35 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Christine O'Donnel Wins Legal Battle Against Former Aide

Failed Senate Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell won her legal battle against a former political aide.

Jonathon Moseley had claimed she owed him $20-thousand for work on her campaign and political action committee in 2008 and 2010.

But the Court of Common Pleas Judge Andrea Rocanelli ruled that the invoices submitted by Moseley were unreliable.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that O’Donnell immediately lashed out at – what she called – her political enemies who sought to punish her with false claims because – in her words – she shattered the status quo.

News
8:33 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Fair Housing Laws for Disabled Under Fire From Sussex County Officials

Sussex County officials are expressing skepticism about requirements for landlords in accommodating disabled tenants under state and federal law.

During a briefing by state officials, County Council member George Cole said, “It makes us all madder and madder that we’re living under these terms.”

Many of the questions from the council members focused in on companion animals.

Landlords say that despite a no-pet policy in apartments they cannot deny a companion animal like a pitbull just because people feel threatened.

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News
8:28 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Education Budget Gets Public Backing at Wicomico County Council Meeting

Around 300 parents, teachers, principals and students showed up at the public meeting held by the Wicomico County Council at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center last night to give voice to their concerns over the 2012-13 fiscal budget.

Many wore school colors and some carried yellow signs with bright red apples in the middle with such phrases as “schools matter”, “our home” and “our future”.

Dave White, president of the Wicomico County Teachers Association, led off  long line speakers asking the County Council to approve the education budget as submitted.

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News
8:24 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Protection for Student Social Media Info Gets Backing in Dover

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has passed a bill prohibiting public and private schools in Delaware from requiring that students or applicants for enrollment provide their social networking login information.

House members on Tuesday voted unanimously for the bill, which also prohibits schools and universities from requesting that a student or applicant log onto a social networking site so that school officials can access the site profile or account.

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News
8:17 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Hopes for Winter Opening of MAC Center in Somerset County

Somerset County officials are hoping a new $1.3 million MAC center will be completed this winter that will provide an expanded space in Westover for senior citizens from Crisfield to Princess Anne.

The County Commissioners opened bids for the design work that ranged from $35-thosuand to $84-thousand for the 6-thousand-square-foot center…which will be located in a former elementary school building.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that it could be several weeks before a contract is awarded.

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News
1:42 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Wicomico County School Board President Reconsiders Departure Plans

Wicomico County School board President Ron Willey is thinking of leaving his position.

Last week he submitted a letter to Governor Martin O’Malley saying that he would not seek reappointment when his term ends this summer. 

But he has told the Salisbury Daily Times that after word of his letter got out he got calls and messages from friends in the education community asking him to stay through the ongoing turbulence in district budgets.

Willey says they have asked him me to reconsider the letter and serve another term adding that he has promised to do so.

News
1:39 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Greg Lavelle Makes State Senate Bid in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House minority leader Greg Lavelle has launched a state Senate bid.

Calling himself an independent reformer and advocate of open, accountable government, the Wilmington Republican announced his campaign for the Fourth Senate District in a telephone town hall meeting with district residents Monday night.

Lavelle was elected to the House in 2000. He opted to run for Senate after Democrats who control both chambers of the legislature passed a redistricting plan last year that left him in the same House district as fellow GOP incumbent Deborah Hudson.

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News
8:38 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Delaware Symphony Orchestra Suspends Season

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra in Wilmington has suspended its 2012-13 season.      

The reason: A search for new sources of funding as a result of the Great Recession.

Lee Williamson is the orchestra’s executive director.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that the orchestra is stepping  back and taking the summer to look for ways to restructure its $2 million business plan.

The board of director has already been reorganized.

News
8:35 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Protecting Student Social Media Information in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House is poised to vote on a bill that prohibits public and private schools in Delaware from requiring that a student or applicant provide their social networking login information.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday also prohibits schools and universities from requesting that a student or applicant log onto a social networking site so that school officials can access the site profile or account.

News
8:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Delaware Gov. & AG to Sort Out Mortgage Settlement Spending

 

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the legislature's Joint Finance Committee have set aside more than $10 million while the governor and attorney general wrestle over how to spend part of Delaware's share of the nationwide mortgage foreclosure settlement.

Delaware is slated to get about $46 million in the settlement, with roughly $35 million provided by banks in the form of credits to customers.

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News
8:23 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Top Delaware Legislative Committe Wraps Up Budget

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the General Assembly's budget writing committee have wrapped up their work on an operating budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

With only a few minor details remaining, members of the Joint Finance Committee closed the books Monday on a $3.58 billion budget for fiscal 2013, $78 million above this year's budget and slightly higher than Gov. Jack Markell's proposed 2013 budget.

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News
8:17 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Somerset County Spending Plan Has No Fee or Tax Hikes

Somerset County Commissioners are set to adopt a $35.9 million spending plan that keeps the property tax rate at 88.37 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Property taxes make up the largest portion of revenues to the county at 39 percent of the budget.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the spending plan also includes $480-thousand to cover teacher retirements for the first time.

But that amount has been offset by an increase in the State disparity grant to the county which will rise from $4.9 million this year to $5.2 million next year.

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