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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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A panel will be discussing how the popular "Pokemon Go" smartphone game presents challenges for local governments.

It will be a topic of discussion on Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City.

Participants will be talking about the positive and negative aspects of the game.

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Mark Shaeffer who is running for a seat on the Sussex County Council in the third district was charged with drunk driving on Monday.

Authorities say the incident occurred around 11 p.m. at Savannah Road and Gills Neck Road in downtown Lewes.

Police Chief Tom Spell told the Salisbury Daily Times that the 57 year old Shaeffer was believed to be impaired and given a breath test.

He was arrested and eventually released to his family.

The Daily Times reports that yesterday morning Schaeffer confirmed the charge in an email.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The city of Baltimore has terminated its contract with a lawyer after a published report says he supported Neo-Nazi groups.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office announced the termination of a one-year contract with Glen Keith Allen on Thursday. He had been a contract employee with the city's law department.

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - About 1,200 motorcycles are rumbling across western Maryland and northern Virginia in what organizers are calling their last ride honoring victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

The America's 911 Ride begins Friday morning at the Flight 93 crash site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and continues through Cumberland and Hagerstown, Maryland, before heading south through Leesburg, Virginia, to a hotel near the Pentagon.

The ride continues Saturday from the Pentagon to the Sept. 11 memorial in New York City.

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A biplane made an emergency landing on a beach in the Assateague National Park.

The Park Service says yesterday morning around 11:30 a.m. the pilot of an Ocean Aerials Ad reported something was wrong with his plane.

He decided to land his aircraft at the north end of the island.

WBOC reports that both the pilot and the passenger were uninjured in the incident and that it is not clear what caused the mechanical failure.

delaware stae court website

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A 22-year-old man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of another man.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that on Thursday, a Wicomico County jury convicted Delonte Bryant in the death of 21-year-old Dommeir Deshields.

Prosecutors say on Aug. 3, 2015, Deshields was found lying in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Authorities say Deshields was walking when someone approached and shot him.

Deshields died at a local hospital.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A nonprofit organization that tracks campaign funds has released data showing that state lawmakers are accepting fewer gifts than a year ago.

Data from the Virginia Public Access Project shows that 74 lawmakers reported taking a gift worth more than $50 between November 2015 and April. That number dropped by 15 percent compared to the same time frame a year ago, when 87 lawmakers reported taking gifts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is set to help raise money for Virginia GOP gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports  that Walker, who briefly ran for president, will attend a fundraiser for Gillespie next month at a private home in Northern Virginia.

Donations are expected to be as high as $25,000.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A juror who helped convict a former Portsmouth police officer of manslaughter says she regrets her decision.

The woman tells WTKR that she felt pressured during deliberations and didn't learn of the victim's criminal history until after the verdict. The information was inadmissible at this month's trial.

Former officer Stephen Rankin had shot to death 18-year-old William Chapman II after responding to a shoplifting call last year. Rankin is white. Chapman was black and unarmed.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Authorities in Maryland are identifying a 9-year-old New Jersey boy killed when he was hit by a boat's propeller.

Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson, speaking by telephone Thursday, identified the boy killed as Kaden Frederick of Howell, New Jersey.

Thomson says 17 people were on the rented pontoon boat in Sinepuxent Bay near Ocean City on Wednesday afternoon. She says Frederick was one of four people sitting with their legs dangling from the front of the boat as it moved, which is illegal in Maryland.

Don Rush

There’s an emergency ordinance in Ocean City that bans chumming and blood bait fishing by surf fishers.

The measure was approved earlier this week.

WBOC reports that Jessica Waters with the resort said that officials were concerned about attracting sharks that could endanger local swimmers.

The ordinance prohibits chumming or blood baiting 600 feet from the beach year round.

Those who violate the law could face a fine of up to $1-thousand.

Don Rush

Businesses in Newark are gearing up to meet new set of regulations as they brace for returning students at the University of Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there will be a new nuisance point system for bars and restaurants.

Infractions will be based on a 1 to 10 scale.

And with enough points they could lose their liquor license.

Officials tried to assure local businesses that if they are making good faith efforts they should “not have to worry”.

The new regulations come after the death of a student at a house party in the spring.

cnn governor's office

BALTIMORE (AP) - When Baltimore's streets erupted in the worst rioting in 40 years, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan pledged to help heal the city. Instead, critics say, some of his administration's policy decisions over the last 16 months undercut local efforts to address the deep-seated poverty and violence that triggered the unrest in the first place.

The Hogan administration counters that the state allocates more direct local aid to Baltimore than any other jurisdiction and the highest K-12 funding per pupil.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, who was elected in 2012 after promising to get tough on criminals, says his violence-ridden city can't arrest its way out of its crime problem.

Williams, who campaigned four years against a "hug a thug" approach to crime, said in a Democratic primary debate Wednesday that arresting more people won't solve Wilmington's crime problem, which he suggested was rooted in poverty.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says a new 20-megawatt solar facility will be built in Northampton County.

The Democratic governor says once the utility-scale facility in Cape Charles is completed, it will produce enough energy to power more than 3,000 homes in the area.

The governor's office says Hecate Energy LLC received a permit for the 185-acre "Cherrydale Project" on Wednesday.

McAuliffe, who has pushed for investments in renewable energy to cut carbon emissions, says the project is a "significant step forward for the Eastern Shore."

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A jury will be allowed to hear testimony that a police officer joked about shooting to death a mentally ill black man. 

The Virginian-Pilot reports that a judge is allowing the testimony at the officer's upcoming trial on manslaughter charges.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several members of Virginia's congressional delegation are asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch not to bring another case against former Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In a letter recently sent to the U.S. Justice Department, Republican Rep. Scott Rigell and others say it would be "unwise and unfair" to retry McDonnell after the Supreme Court unanimously overturned his corruption conviction in June. The letter says McDonnell's family has suffered financially and emotionally over the past three years.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Naval Academy has announced the death of its goat mascot, Bill 35.

The academy said Wednesday that the Angora goat had a history of medical problems, which manifested soon after the school acquired him last year. The school says the 2-and-a-half-year-old goat suffered from idiopathic edema and related disorders, which appeared to have been caused by chronic kidney weakness.

The academy says the goat was taken on Tuesday to a veterinary facility in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, for treatment and was euthanized.

Senator Ben Cardin Website

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is scheduled to host a town hall meeting at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.

The forum is set for Thursday afternoon in Ocean City.

The Democrat is scheduled to talk to county officials about priority legislation in Washington and hear directly from them about challenges of local concern.

He's also expected to talk about infrastructure investment, the opioid addiction crisis and international affairs.

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BRIDGEVILLE, Del. (AP) - The pumpkin-hurling competition in Sussex County will feature stricter alcohol regulations this year.

Punkin Chunkin President Frank Payton was quoted by WXDE-FM as saying that event organizers are asking spectators not to bring their own alcohol.

He says beer will be sold at the event, but says that if people want to bring their own alcohol, the event will feature designated camping sites where people will be allowed to drink.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint against the Baltimore Police Department's use of a portable technology that mimics cell towers to locate suspects and their cell phones.

A complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington says the Baltimore Police Department's use of the cellphone tracking "stingray" devices interferes with emergency calls and is racially discriminatory.

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SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Police in Maryland say a seventh body has been found in the debris of an explosion and fire in an apartment complex.
Montgomery County Police said in a news release that the body was found Tuesday in one of the buildings.
The explosion on Aug. 10 in Silver Spring sent debris hundreds of feet, and people more than a mile away reported the blast was strong enough to shake their homes. More than 30 people were injured, including three firefighters.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Regulators say they need to get a firmer handle on how many horseshoe crabs die as part of their harvest for biomedical use.

The crabs are harvested for their blue blood, which is used to make sure medical products aren't contaminated. Their blood contains coagulogen, a chemical that can be used to detect bacteria.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted this month to propose taking into account the death toll associated with medical harvesting when determining how many horseshoe crabs can be harvested from the Delaware Bay.

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The Delaware City Refinery could pay up to $20-thousand in fines for 6 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions two years ago and nearly 16 tons of other chemicals last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state regulators decided to issue a single notice of violation for the two incidents.

The Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control will now figure out just how large the fines will be against PBF which owns the facility.

Showell Elementary School website

The Worcester County Board of Education gave its approval yesterday to design a $35.8 million replacement for the Showell Elementary School.

The vote was unanimous.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that construction of the 99-thousand square foot structure is expected to begin in 2019.

There will be two committees made up of teachers, parents and school officials as well as County Commissioners to come up with a plan.

The Becker Morgan Group will move ahead with the next phase of the planning and construction is to be completed by July of 2021.

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) – There will be no trial in a legal dispute over the Ten Commandments in Western Maryland. The plaintiff has withdrawn his lawsuit.

Jeffrey Davis of Swanton voluntarily dropped the matter without explanation in a letter filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He declined to explain his decision when reached by telephone Tuesday.

Maryland Association of Counties website

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - An annual conference of Maryland counties is taking place in Ocean City this week.

The Maryland Association of Counties summer conference begins Wednesday.

The conference is focusing on technology trends in county government. That includes protecting financial data, employee telecommuting, e-commerce and other economic development measures.

An estimated 2,000 local government officials, state legislators and business representatives are scheduled to attend.

The conference is set to end Saturday with an address from Gov. Larry Hogan.

U.S. Army

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a $750 million class-action lawsuit alleging the Army's reckless handling of chemical and biological toxins caused death and illness among people living near Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The Frederick News-Post reports that U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake filed the dismissal notice Thursday in Baltimore.

She ruled that the plaintiffs had not met a threshold requirement of proving the Army lacked discretion over how to dispose of hazardous waste.

University of Virginia website

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - University of Virginia Rector William H. Goodwin has appointed a committee to review the school's disputed $2.2 billion Strategic Investment Fund

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Goodwin said Monday that he welcomed scrutiny of the fund, which he thinks has been unfairly criticized.

Former rector Helen Dragas characterized the $2.3 billion fund as a "slush fund" in a column in The Washington Post. UVA says the fund is not connected to tuition or public funding.

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