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.

Snow Is Coming

Jan 5, 2017
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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials in Delaware and pre-treating the roads in advance of possible snow.

The Delaware Department of Transportation says that crews began spraying roads and bridges with a salt and water mixture Wednesday and will continue Thursday.

Officials said in a statement that the solution, called brine, can be effective up to five days after being applied. Officials say the salt minimizes and delays the accumulation of snow or ice on roads and bridges.

Officials say snowfall of up to three inches is possible Thursday night into Friday morning.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden plans to partner with the University of Delaware on an economic and domestic policy initiative after leaving the White House.

That's according to an aide to Biden who requested anonymity because the partnership hasn't yet been publicly announced.

Biden also plans an affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania centered on foreign policy issues. Biden appeared to reference that project Tuesday when he was heard on a hot microphone discussing his plans while swearing in new senators at the U.S. Capitol.

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There’s legislation in the Delaware General Assembly that would allow convicted drug felons to get help from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program after they are released.

Currently they are barred from the program which provides funding for such items as utility bills and groceries as they search for work.

State Representative David Bentz told WBOC that this was an effort to eliminate one of the obstacles that makes it difficult for those with a drug conviction to get back into society.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Federal officials say the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge public use area will be closed later this month to allow for a deer hunt.

Officials say the public use area, which includes the visitor contact station, will be closed all day on Jan. 21.

Officials also are reminding outdoorsmen that only lottery selected and permitted hunters will have access to the headquarters area.

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A Maryland Delegate has been found guilty of driving while impaired.

The arrest occurred last August in Ocean City when Delegate Richard Impallaria was pulled over by Ocean City police.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Republican lawmaker has been in the General Assembly for the last 14 years.

He represents the Baltimore and Harford counties and has been the minority whip since 2015.

Don Rush

The Ocean City Public Works department got the okay for another $28-thousand from the resort’s Town Council to repair portions of the boardwalk.

Town officials said that some areas have splintered and cracked.

$10-thousand was allotted for repairs in the fiscal year budget for 2017.

WBOC reports that Kade Construction got the job but it is not clear when the repairs will begin.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is participating in an effort aimed at reducing the use of segregation and restrictive housing in its prisons.

The Virginia Department of Corrections says Virginia is one of five states that have recently joined the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative of the Vera Institute of Justice.

The department says Virginia will be assessed on how it uses restrictive housing and then will work with Vera to come up with ways to reduce its use.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker has introduced legislation similar to North Carolina's transgender bathroom law, which has consumed that state for months and scared off businesses and sporting events.

Republican Del. Bob Marshall introduced the legislation Tuesday, sparking a strong pushback from civil rights groups who say the bill is discriminatory.

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Delaware’s prison union says many officers are leaving the correctional system due to burnout and competition from other local law enforcement.

WBOC reports that Geoff Klopp, head of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, says this has left many positions unfilled.

He added that it has also meant that 35 percent of the staffing involves overtime which he warns is not safe for his members.

Klopp said that between 9 and 11 officers a month have left over the last 6 years.

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Somerset county officials have taken out a loan of $177-thousand in an effort to keep local residents from having to face a 50 percent increase in their sewer bills.

Those fees were set to rise from $564 to $832 a year.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that there was an outcry by local residents at the potential hike so for now the county decided to take out the loan.

The county will not have to pay the loan for up to three years nor will it face any interest on the financial obligation.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys of a condemned Virginia inmate are asking a federal judge to halt his scheduled execution so they can challenge the state's plan to use drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for Ricky Gray, who are seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in his case. Hudson also heard from attorneys for the state, who say the execution should proceed.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia to be more forgiving when it comes to lower-level crimes while making it easier for new DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

The governor, a Democrat, announced several legislative priorities Tuesday aimed at overhauling the state's criminal justice system.

They include raising the threshold for felony theft from $200 to $500 and restricting the state's ability to suspend driver's licenses for certain crimes or unpaid court debts.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Dover City Council meetings will temporarily not be televised as the city makes a transition into taking over the broadcasts of the meetings itself.

Dover City Council President Timothy Slavin tells the Delaware State News the city council meetings will likely resume broadcast in March.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says he hasn't spoken to President-elect Donald Trump, and he doesn't plan to before the inauguration later this month.
 
The Republican governor who didn't support the president elect was asked during a news conference on Tuesday about how he believes his relationship with the new administration will be. Hogan says he thinks it's "going to be great."
 
Hogan says he has spoken to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He says he's had a "longstanding relationship" with Pence, a fellow Republican governor.
 

Governor's office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Facing a likely veto override on a bill to boost Maryland's renewable energy use, Gov. Larry Hogan is outlining some environmental proposals of his own.
 
Hogan announced plans for millions of dollars of initiatives Tuesday.
 
They include increasing funding for tax credits for people who buy electric cars and charging stations. Hogan says he plans to invest another $7.5 million to create a Clean Energy Institute to help develop and attract private investment for clean energy innovations.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a proposal hurts the state's image.
 
McAuliffe, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to send a clear message to the Republican-controlled General Assembly not to "waste time" with "socially divisive bills," such as the 20-week abortion ban.
 
The legislation was prefilled by a Republican delegate, and the General Assembly's 2017 legislative session starts next week.
 

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GREENVILLE, Del. (AP) - A Delaware man wounded in an attack at a New Year's Eve celebration in Istanbul says he survived the attack by playing dead.

William Jacob Raak told NBC News he survived the attack by playing dead and staying silent and motionless, even after being shot.

WCAU-TV  reports that Raak's brother says the 35-year-old, a small business owner from Greenville, Delaware, called around 7:30 p.m. ET on New Year's Eve to say he'd been shot in the leg. Michael Raak says his brother was visiting friends in Istanbul.

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CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) - An Eastern Shore deputy who was critically wounded last week in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect in a domestic disturbance is recuperating at a hospital.

Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Warren Hogan was taken to a Baltimore hospital after the shooting Thursday. On Monday, the department posted a photo of Hogan on Facebook and said the deputy was able to stand up with assistance.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Chris Van Hollen will be sworn in as Maryland's new U.S. senator.

The Democrat will be sworn in with other members of the new Congress on Tuesday.

Van Hollen, who served seven terms in the House, won the seat that opened from the departure of Barbara Mikulski, who retired after serving 30 years in the Senate.

Maryland also will have two new House members who will be sworn in on Tuesday. They are Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Wilmington's new mayor, council president and other elected officials will take their oaths of office Tuesday.

Mike Purzycki, who was elected mayor in November, will be sworn in at an inauguration event downtown, along with the city's new council president Hanifa Shabazz and treasurer, Velda Jones Potter. Shabazz and Potter will become the first women and first African Americans to hold their offices.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place in the evening, during the organizational meeting of the Wilmington City Council.

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - Classmates are mourning the death of a Maryland teenager who authorities say was fatally shot by a 15-year-old who then tried to kill himself.

WMAR-TV reports students at Howard High School in Ellicott City wore black on Monday in honor of 16-year-old Charlotte Zaremba, who was slain a day earlier.

School district spokesman John White says Charlotte was "a great spirit" with lots of friends. He says the district is providing counseling for students.

The Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association says it wants the state legislature to create a manufactured housing commission this year.

Bill Kinnick, the organization’s president, told WBOC that there is little oversight of such homes with landowners deciding the values of the land as a justification to hike rents.

In short Kinnick noted that they have a captive audience with few options.

He said that the majority of the people who live in the 191 manufactured homes live on fix incomes either as retirees or veterans.

Salvation Army

The bells are ringing and the little red buckets are standing by for holiday shoppers to drop in a donation or two.

But the Salvation Army of the Lower Eastern Shore is falling short this year with donations down about $8-thousand from the figures for 2015.

Major Vic Tidman told WBOC that people may be buying more on line and have less cash in their pockets.

But he said he was hopeful that the donations will pick up so that they Army can meet its fundraising goal of $260-thosuand.

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It’s time for presents and celebration.

Yes, Christmas is not far off and New Year's Day is not too far behind.

But all of the holiday cheer can lead to some stressful times.

Still there are things you can do to handle that stress.

Maryland News Connection’s Veronica Carter prepared this report.

Dover Police Department

Dover’s Police Chief Paul Bernat is stepping down next year after two and a half years in office.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he will retire as of January 17th.

Before then Mayor Robin Christiansen plans to appoint an interim replacement by January 10th.

The Mayor told the News Journal that the town was going to miss Chief Bernatbnoting that there have been significant accomplishments.

He successfully added 10 more officers bringing the total number to 103.

He also reinstituted the department’s cadet program.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Smyrna High School student used CPR to save the life of an 18-month-old child at a Dover Chick-fil-A.

Theresa'lyn Outten tells local media she was having lunch with her sister Monday at the Chick-fil-A when she "heard a commotion" and saw a toddler struggling to breathe.

Outten, an 18-year-old high school senior, sprang to action and performed CPR on the child as others called 911. She then began performing chest compressions.

Outten says the toddler was awake and alert when medics arrived. The child was taken to Ken General Hospital.

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Voters in the Appoquinimink School district will be getting $268 million for capital expenditures.

Voters gave their overwhelming approval to two referendum questions by a 5000 to 2000 vote margin.

The school board president Richard Forsten hailed the vote as evidence of getting the word out to voters.

School superintendent Matt Burrows noted that the district is the fastest growing in the state of Virginia.

The Daily Times reports that the district has grown from around 3-thousand students ten years ago to around 10-thousand this year.

pbfenergy.com

Shipments of crude oil have been sent from Delaware City Refinery to third-party destinations in 2014.

That admission comes from the facility’s owner PBF Energy after claiming in 2013 that it had only sent one shipment to a destination in New Jersey which was authorized by the Delaware Department Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state decided not to issue a sanction against PBF for a shipment of crude oil to a Philadelphia refinery that same year.

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The poultry industry on Delmarva is watching cautiously with reports of the avian flu in more than a dozen countries.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the last major outbreak in this country occurred in 2015 when some 50 million birds were slaughtered primarily in the Midwest.

There was an outbreak on the peninsula at two Delaware farms and one near Pocomoke City in 2004.

That resulted in the slaughter of just over 200-thousand birds.

The Daily Times reports that outbreak was less contagious than the one in 2015 and the current outbreaks.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore man has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for leaving his daughter in a hot car for 16 hours, causing her death.

The Baltimore Sun reports that a jury also convicted 32-year-old Wilbert Carter on Tuesday of reckless endangerment and confining an unattended child. Circuit Judge Jeannie Hong revoked bail for Carter and ordered him held pending sentencing.

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