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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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says one man is dead after a fire broke out at a Newark home.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 400 block of Feather Drive on Thursday night and found smoke pouring from the home. The fire marshal says firefighters found a 61-year-old man unconscious on the second floor. He was taken to Christiana Hospital, where officials say he died a short time later.

Deputy fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.  Damage is estimated at $50,000.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Transportation officials in Maryland are warning of higher than normal volume on the Bay Bridge because of Springfest in Ocean City, a celebration that includes food, arts and craft displays and free entertainment.

Officials say motorists should expect higher than normal traffic from Thursday through Sunday. Officials say that they will monitor traffic conditions throughout the weekend and, weather permitting, open an additional lane to eastbound traffic to help ease congestion.

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After the withdrawal of National Guard units and the extra law enforcement, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has lifted the state of emergency imposed after a night of rioting followed by a curfew last week.

Over 3,000 Maryland National Guard and 1,000 law enforcement officers were called in to restore order.

The governor said it was not time to rebuild the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called in the Justice Department to examine police practices that might have led to the unrest.

CVS to Rebuild

University of Maryland College Park Website

ADELPHI, Md. (AP) - Students at University System of Maryland schools will be paying more next year.

The Board of Regents approved an increase in tuition rates and student fees Wednesday. The increases are expected to boost the system's revenue by $50 million.

Most undergraduates who are Maryland residents will see a 5 percent increase. But University of Maryland, Baltimore County students will see a 7 percent increase since the school deferred a mid-year 2 percent tuition hike.

Tuition for in-state graduate students could rise as much as 13 percent.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware has filed a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring high-risk sex offenders on probation to wear a GPS monitor and pay a daily charge.
 
The News Journal of Wilmington reports the ACLU filed the suit this week on behalf of three unidentified sex offenders. The ACLU says the three plaintiffs were convicted before the 2007 law was enacted. The organization says the rule is unconstitutional when applied to those who convicted crimes before 2007.
 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has decided to maintain a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.
 
Hogan said Wednesday that $68 million will be made available for the increase in the next fiscal year.
 
The Republican governor says he saw firsthand how committed state employees are to Maryland citizens during last week's handling of unrest in Baltimore. He says state employees need and deserve the pay increase.
 

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that allows public school students to opt out of state standardized testing.

The bill, which was the subject of a contentious committee hearing last month, was scheduled for a House vote on Thursday.

The legislation allows parents and guardians to have their children skip the annual assessment without any academic or disciplinary repercussions for the students.

Sussex Tech High School Logo

A bill that will give the Sussex Tech High School some financial breathing room while bringing down its enrollment is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The measure was approved by the state Senate on a 16-to-4 vote with the three Sussex County Republicans opposed.

The measure would temporarily increase the property tax rate cap from 23.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 30 cents next year.

The school district had hoped the cap would go up to 50 cents.

In addition, the district must begin to reduce its enrollment.

 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana has cleared a Delaware legislative panel and is headed to the House floor for a vote.

House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee members voted 5-to-4 Wednesday to release the bill after its chief sponsor said she would make several revisions to address concerns of police officials.

Law enforcement groups, including the Delaware State Police, nevertheless remain opposed to the bill.

Wilmington Trust logo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The former chief credit officer and former controller of Wilmington Trust have been indicted on charges of making false statements to government officials about the troubled loan portfolio that led to the bank's demise.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday's indictments involve statements made by 55-year-old William North and 61-year-old Kevyn Rakowski to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve. Authorities say the charges involve concealing the amount of past due loans on the bank's books in the fall of 2009.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The family of an American captive killed in a drone strike would welcome the creation of a hostage czar to coordinate government efforts to free those held.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., introduced legislation last week to create a "czar," soon after President Barack Obama apologized for a drone strike in January that accidentally killed Warren Weinstein of Maryland and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian citizen.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say a chicken truck has crashed and overturned in Georgetown.
 
Police say the truck crashed early Wednesday on Gravel Hill Road between Milton Ellendale Highway and Sand Hill Road. Police are urging commuters to find alternate routes because wires are down. Delaware Electric Cooperative tweets that the truck took down one of the utility's poles.
 
Police have not said what caused the crash or whether anyone was injured.
 

baltimorecity.gov

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's mayor is asking federal investigators to look into whether the city's police department uses a pattern of excessive force or discriminatory policing.
 
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that the community has a "fractured" relationship with police. Her request came a day after new Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited the city. The mayor says Lynch understands the urgency of her request.
 

dover police

There is a war being waged in and on the black community in Dover.

That was the charge by La Mar Gunn, president of the Central Delaware Branch of the NAACP yesterday.

After an indictment city police officer Cpl. Thomas Webster was arrested for assault for allegedly kicking suspect Lateef Dickerson in August of last year.

During a press conference in front of City Hall the NAACP official stood with other local leaders and said that the incident had hit a nerve in the community.

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ASSATEAGUE, Va. (AP) - A 16-foot-long, 3,456-pound great white shark named Mary Lee has emitted a signal, or "pinged" of the Virginia-Maryland coast.

Multiple news outlets report the shark, which is being tracked by OCEARCH, pinged off Assateague Island around 5:20 a.m. Tuesday and again in or near Chincoteague Bay at 8:12 a.m.

OCEARCH is a non-profit group that researches great white sharks and other large predators. The group has been tracking Mary Lee since September 2012.

Don Rush

In the wake of the deaths of a family of 8 earlier Princess Anne last month Somerset County resident and former NAACP leader Kirkland Hall says it’s time to change the way utilities turnoff power.

He wants them to be required to get in touch with law enforcement before cutting off power when it is found that a resident has been using a stolen or illegal meter.

The Todd family died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a portable heater after their power was shut off by Delmarva Power.

Wilmington Flower Market website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's annual Wilmington Flower Market will kick off its 95th year this weekend.

The News Journal reports the three-day festival, featuring flower sales, live music, carnival rides and food vendors, begins at 10 a.m. Thursday. Los Angeles rock band Lifehouse will headline the event in a performance Friday at 6:30 p.m. Other live music acts include The Veronicas, Katy Tiz and Oh Honey.

About 75 vendors will sell crafts, food, donated flowers and plants. Master gardeners from the University of Delaware will be on hand to answer questions.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House of Representatives has approved legislation adding electronic cigarettes to Delaware's indoor smoking ban.

The bill passed 29-to-11 Tuesday and now goes to the Senate. It adds electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or digital cigarettes, to the existing prohibition on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

The bill was amended to exempt businesses that sell electronic cigarettes if 80 percent of revenue comes from such products and the business meets certain other conditions.

Don Rush

The Indian River District Schools have been placed on lockdown.

The East Millsboro Elementary School got a phone call from an unknown person at around 9:50 a.m. who threatened to do harm to the students.                         

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that all of the students were called back to their schools while police looked into the situation.

The lockdown was a precautionary measure with an automated alert sent out by the school officials, which said that the students were secure and that teaching had resumed.  

 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Department of Justice leaders are visiting Baltimore.

The new attorney general's visit Tuesday comes after protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody, and riots that prompted the governor to bring in the National Guard.

La Quinta Hotel Website

The great recession may not be completely over but in Ocean City there’s some building going on.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Diamond Holton prepared a report.

Don Rush

It’s another day at the polls for residents of the Milford School District.

The polls open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to help deal with overcrowding in the district as well as reductions in spending by the state and federal governments.

The money would go toward a new 14-hundred student high school spread out across 190 acres.

It would sit along Route 113 near Redners.

The old high school site will be used as a new Junior High School for seventh and eighth graders.

Salisbury University website

The Phi Beta Sigma fraternity was suspended on the campus of Salisbury University after the school’s Community Hearing Board found it guilty of “forced drinking”, “physical abuse” and “acts of coercion”.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the board found the fraternity was involved in a series of hazing incidents that ranged from paddling and drinking to severe verbal abuse and physical acts against the pledges.

Much of the evidence came from a series of group messages among fraternity members and nearly all of the fraternity brothers were present for the incidents.  

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Mayor Jim Ireton says that he will table his July 1st deadline to withhold fire and emergency services in Wicomico County.

He said that he was taking – what he has called – the nuclear option off the table because he believes that the county leaders are negotiating in good faith to resolve their tax dispute.

Ireton made the threat in his effort to get an agreement to resolve the problem of many county residents not paying for these services provided by the city.

The city and county met on April 28th to begin discussions and that led Ireton to withdraw his deadline.

doverpolice.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The attorney for a Dover police officer is blasting prosecutors' efforts to continue to pursue assault charges against him after a grand jury declined last year to indict him.

Cpl. Thomas Webster was arrested and released on bond Monday after a second grand jury indicted him on assault.

Webster was placed on leave in 2013 after reportedly kicking Lateef Dickerson, a suspect in a fight, breaking his jaw and rendering him unconscious.

Center Website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A 38-year-old inmate has died at a Delaware corrections center.

A Department of Corrections spokesman told The Wilmington News Journal other offenders found Charles Williams unresponsive in bed Saturday morning at Plummer Community Corrections Center in Wilmington.

Correction staff called 911 but Williams was declared dead. His body has been turned over to the state to determine cause of death.

Williams arrived at Plummer Center April 22 after violating probation on a 2013 firearm conviction.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of a Delaware law that requires GPS monitoring of certain convicted sex offenders on probation.

The complaint filed Monday targets a 2007 law that requires GPS monitoring of Tier 3, or high-risk, sex offenders who have been released from custody and are on probation.

The ACLU says the law is unconstitutional on its face, and as applied by the Department of Correction to people convicted of offenses that occurred before July 2007.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring says new strict building standards should not be applied retroactively to existing abortion clinics, contradicting advice given by his Republican predecessor.

Herring issued an opinion Monday to the state health commissioner. The standards would treat abortion clinics as hospitals and cover issues such as hallway widths and closet sizes. Herring says applying them would essentially shut down abortion services in the state.

Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office said the opposite in 2012.

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - Motorists in Delaware are paying 13 cents more at the pump when compared with a week ago.
 

AAA Mid-Atlantic said Sunday in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Delaware was $2.60. That's compared to $2.47 a week ago.
 
Motorists in the region are paying $1.06 less per gallon than a year ago. At this time last year Delaware drivers were paying $3.66 per gallon.
 
The price of gas in the state is 2 cents below the national average of $2.62 per gallon.
 

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CURTIS BAY, Md. (AP) - Anne Arundel County fire officials say two people were rescued from Curtis Creek after their boat struck a bridge.
 
The Capital reports that a 47-year-old man and 24-year-old woman were rescued near the U.S. Coast Guard yard on Sunday night.
 

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