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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An Accomack woman has been stabbed to death after a domestic dispute in the parking lot outside the Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 58 year-old Winston Burton was arrested in the death of 43 year-old Sheli Crocket.

She was stabbed multiple times.

The paper reports that Crockett was employed as part of the hospital’s environmental services operation and has worked at the facility since 2005.

Burton is being held on First degree murder charges.

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A computer glitch is at the heart of a lawsuit by two Delaware men who say they won a total of $2 million on the bingo-style lottery game Keno.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that John Brookings and Richard Spence entered copies of the two winning tickets in their lawsuit.

The plaintiffs say that when they tried to get their winnings Delaware state officials turned them down.

Officials said that the tickets were the result of a computer glitch.

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There are now 13 confirmed cases of the flu in Delaware.

That’s above the figure in 2015 but still – what has been called – a relatively quiet start to the flu season.  

The Delaware Division of Public Health says that does not take into account those who have the flu but have not sought medical attention.

Authorities are recommending that local residents over the age of months get their flu shots.

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There were more than a dozen dogs rescued from a Millsboro property last week with one man facing animal cruelty charges.

WBOC reports that the state’s Division of Public Health got a tip about some abandoned dogs.   

They found 14 severely emaciated canines some of whom need medical attention.

Atwood Timmons of Millsboro…is facing 18 counts of animal cruelty and other charges.

The Brandywine SPCA says told the television station that many of injuries were suffered when the dogs tried to escape.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state's economy is improving and he won't have to cut as much from the state budget as previously thought.

McAuliffe told reporters Monday that he and other state officials are "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of the state's economy, in part because of an increase in state payroll tax revenues in recent months. The governor made the comments following a private meeting with state budget officials and business leaders.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's embattled economic development office has named a new chief executive.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership announced Monday it had hired Stephen Moret as its new CEO. Moret previously held a similar job in Louisiana.

The VEDP has come under fire recently for the lax vetting of a Chinese company's rosy pitch that secured $1.4 million in state funding for a deal that later unraveled.

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SALEM, Va. (AP) - Officials hope rain will extinguish immediate concerns about wildfires in southwestern Virginia.

Ed Stoots of Virginia's Forestry Department says most fires are out after weeks of work by fire crews. He said rain expected through Wednesday night could fully resolve current worries.

Since mid-October, fire crews have battled 160 blazes that have burned nearly 5,400 acres. More than 400 homes and structures were saved, although four homes and 22 structures suffered damage.

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This Thursday Rehoboth Beach will mark its annual World AIDS Day with a candlelight vigil.

This will be the 23rd time since the mid-1990’s that the resort has honored those who have been lost to the deadly disease.

CAMP Rehoboth, an organization that serves the LGBT community, has been organizing the event since the beginning.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the gathering is marked by the reading of the names of those who have died from the disease.

Included in the ceremony will be parts of the AIDS Quilt.

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - Maryland's medical marijuana panel is scheduled to choose finalists on the pathway for licenses to open marijuana dispensaries.

The commission is meeting Monday in Ellicott City.

There can be up to 109 dispensaries in Maryland. The law allows for up to two in each of the 47 state Senate districts. It also allows for each the state's 15 growers to apply for a license.

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FEDERALSBURG, Md. (AP) - Flags in Maryland are flying at half-staff in honor of a man who led the Maryland National Guard for 16 years.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff starting Monday at sunrise in honor of retired Lt. Gen. James F. Fretterd, who died Saturday at age 86. Flags will return to full-staff at sunset on Friday.

Fretterd served in the Maryland National Guard for 52 years starting in 1951. He led the Guard from 1987 until his retirement in 2003.

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) -- Rehoboth Beach and neighboring Dewey Beach are getting an $11 million infusion of sand as a part of a beach restoration project.

The sand infusion is a part of a long-term, federal beach restoration contract with the state. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Stephen Rochette says dredge crews are completing a beach restoration project at Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is flying high after regaining use of a helicopter for aerial surveillance.
    
The agency said in a statement Wednesday that it's using the chopper this fall to help enforce deer hunting and oyster-harvesting regulations.
    
The aviation unit was eliminated in 2009 in a cost-cutting move by the administration of former governor Martin O'Malley. The agency says the helicopter was transferred to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
    

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - The price motorists are paying for gas in Maryland is unchanged from a week ago.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said Friday in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Maryland was $2.17, the same as last week.

The price of gas in the state is 4 cents more than the national average of $2.13.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in cities around the state includes $2.15 in Baltimore, $2.34 in Cumberland, $2.25 in Hagerstown and $2.09 in Salisbury.

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ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Scientists are tracking a great white shark named Yeti that has been recorded swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off Assateague Island in Virginia.
 
OCEARCH, an organization that shares real-time data through its global shark tracker, says a tracking device attached to the female juvenile shark pinged off the lower Eastern Shore on Thursday
 
News outlets report Yeti was tagged Oct. 7 off Nantucket, Massachusetts. The shark weighs 960 pounds and is 11 feet long.
 

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(AP) The controversy over drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean has been reignited by the election of Donald Trump.
 
Environmentalists and coastal businesses say it could be the first major fault line that divides them from the new president.
 
The Obama administration has moved to restrict offshore oil drilling leases in the Atlantic, as well as off Alaska.
 
But President-elect Trump says he intends to use all available fuel reserves for energy self-sufficiency.
 

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Voters in the Indian River School District are set to go to the polls today to decide a $7.3 million referendum.

If approved it would raise property taxes by more than $95 a year and would providing funding for school security, technology and hiring among other needs.

But the vote comes just as a state audit found that there had been mismanagement of school funds over seen by the former CFO Patrick Miller.

WBOC reports that the audit said the district did not have adequate safeguards to control and detect financial improprieties.

Don

A third party report on the fire service to Wicomico County has issued ten recommendations to resolve the dispute with the city of Salisbury.

For years the city has said that it should be compensated for its fire department and EMS service to nearby county areas.

Among the ten recommendation one says that Wicomico County should pay the city $288 for each fire call into the suburban areas.

This would be in addition to the grant that the county pays to each fire station.

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The Science Channel will not broadcast its three hour special on Delaware’s Punkin Chunkin event set to air on November 26th.

The decision follows an accident that injured two people.

WBOC reports that the broadcast was to mark the event’s return after a two year hiatus.

On November 6th a woman was struck by something from the cannon as it exploded.

She is listed in critical condition.

The man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

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A ship that was found under the Vienna Bridge has been dated back to 1743 – at least – that’s when the wood was harvested between Annapolis and the Potomac River.

WBOC reports that’s the conclusion from the DNA sample taken by the Maryland Archeological Lab.

The vessel was discovered a year and a half ago when repair work was being done on one of bridge pilings.

Last August some of the wreckage was removed and taken to the lab for examination but they will now be returning to Vienna.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is now allowing anyone in the state to buy naloxone, an opioid overdose treatment drug, without a prescription.

Health Commissioner Marissa Levine issued the order Monday allowing the change, while also declaring the state's growing opioid addiction problem a public health emergency.

Some pharmacies in Virginia already provide naloxone without a prescription, but Levine says she wants to make sure the opioid overdose antidote is available throughout the state.

Several other states have recently enacted similar laws and policies.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lone Muslim state lawmaker has resigned from his Democratic leadership position, calling the presidential election a wake-up call for the party.

Media outlets report that Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke stepped down Friday from his post as secretary of the House of Delegates Democratic Caucus, calling for a "massive overhaul" to reconnect with working-class voters after Donald Trump's presidential victory.

In the post Rasoul held since last December, he was responsible for administrative tasks such as keeping records of meeting minutes.

Winter Weather is Coming

Nov 22, 2016
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MCHENRY, Md. (AP) - The season's first blast of wintry weather has left a light layer of snow on the mountains of far western Maryland.

The National Weather Service reports that two and a half inches of snow fell in the higher elevations of Garrett County from Sunday into Monday morning.

Maryland State Police in McHenry lifted a snow emergency plan Monday morning. The plan went into effect early Sunday.

A live video feed on the website of the Wisp Resort in McHenry shows snow covering the landscape.

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The chilly weather has caused Sussex County to declare a Code Purple and opens up its shelters through tomorrow night.

The facilities open up when the temperatures drop below freezing and provide beds and food.

WBOC reports that the shelters for men can be found in Milford at the United Methodist Church for men and in Georgetown at Shepherd’s Office House for men.

The shelter for women and children is located in Bridgeville at Gateway Fellowship.

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Vice President Joe Biden decided to celebrate his birthday in the state that made his political career.

This past Saturday he stopped by Rehoboth Beach and showed up at Broweabout Books.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the bookstore’s Facebook page showed the Vice President sitting outside with his dog in his classic aviator sunglasses.

He also stopped by to have lunch at The Pond Rehoboth restaurant.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have introduced a bill that would tighten rules involving voter registration drives.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the bill prefiled by Del. Mark Cole and Del. Hyland F. "Buddy" Fowler Jr. would add stricter requirements for nongovernment groups that register voters in the state.

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Susan Bunting, Superintendent of the Indian River School District, says that the district had no idea that their CFO had been mishandling its money.

The press conference by Bunting came a day after the state auditor found that there has been mishandling of funds.

The audit said that it created “an environment ripe with intimidation tactics, favoritism, and nepotism.

Bunting said that there had never been an audit that came back finding there was such an issue before.

Don Rush

If you’re one of the 14-hundred who are employed by New Castle County you’re more than likely in line for a raise over the next three years.

It will cost the county around $5.5 million.

The raises are the result of a contract with the unionized employees which make up around 87 percent the county’s workforce.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that non-union workers will also be receiving pay increases.

The paper reports that there will be a one percent increase this year and a two percent increase for each of the following two years.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The University of Delaware is seeking a modest increase in next year's operating budget from state lawmakers, pledging that any increase will go to scholarships for Delaware students.
     
UD president Dennis Assanis presented an operating budget request of $122.4 million on Friday. That's about $4 million more than the school's current general fund appropriation, which includes $10.3 million for scholarships.
    

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - Next year will mark 50 years since William & Mary welcomed its first black residential students.

The university says in a press release that it's planning to commemorate the event throughout the next academic year.

Karen Ely, Lynn Briley and Janet Brown arrived as freshmen in 1967. They graduated in 1971. 

A university committee plans to celebrate the women's role in the school's history at major events such as commencement. A possible symposium, speaker series and special programming are also being considered.

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We often pass each other with superficial greetings with a nod or a smile. Or just simply with hello. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill ponders whether we ever get beyond these simple gestures.

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