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.

creative commons

Rehoboth Beach is set to impose restrictions on vacation-home renter’s use of backyard pools today.

Under the ordinance beginning in 2018 people who rent vacation homes would not be allowed to use any pool or hot tub on the property.

Those pools and tubs would have to be covered by the owner.

But state Representative Ruth Briggs King says that she is concerned the town is overreaching their authority.

And, she says the General Assembly may look at approving some legislation to limit the resort actions.

creative commons

This week the Delaware state Senate approved a measure that would allow students to opt out of the new standardized tests. And, this, reports Delmarva Public Radio's Rachel Taylor a renewed debate over testing itself.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials placed four charter schools on probation, but decided not to close them after investigating enrollment and financial concerns.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the schools will still be open in the fall, including two new ones Thursday. Officials say two new charter schools - Freire Charter School and Delaware Design Lab High School - will open this fall as scheduled. The other two - Academy of Dover and Prestige Academy - will stay open, assuming they meet the terms of their probation.

Fisker Automotive logo

Hope springs eternal in Delaware.

With the announcement by the Fisker Automotive and Technology Group that it will open a U.S. manufacturing plant in California for its Karma hybrid electric car state officials say they hope that the car company will return to Delaware.

Delaware Economic Development Director Alan Levin told the Wilmington News Journal that the First State is going to play this out until Fisker says absolutely that it is not interested Delaware.

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There’s a shark drifting toward the Virginia coast line.

The name is Chessie and she is the largest tiger shark that has been tagged on the East Coast.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Chessie is 12 feet long and has been swimming for some 15-hundred miles.

She was tagged in South Carolina and weighs some 12-hundred pounds.

In the last couple of weeks two teens were bitten by a shark off the North Carolina coast.

But the paper notes that such incidents are rare.

state.delaware.gov

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The judge in a federal cyberstalking trial stemming from a fatal shooting at a Delaware courthouse is set to hear arguments over media objections to sealing the courtroom during testimony by the gunman's granddaughter.

Former optometrist David Matusiewicz; his mother, Lenore Matusiewicz; and his sister, Amy Gonzalez, are accused of conspiracy and cyberstalking of David's ex-wife, Christine Belford.

Mugshots

There was no evidence of any bi-polar or multiple-personality disorders by Christine Belford.

That was the testimony of a forensic psychologist who examined her during a 2006 custody battle with the Matusiewicz family.

That dispute eventually led to the shooting death of Belford and a friend by Thomas Matusiewicz who got into a gunfight with security at the Delaware courthouse where eventually took his own life.

The testimony of Samuel Romirowsky came amid allegations by the Matusiewicz that she was suffering from these and other mental illnesses.

Firefly Logo

It’s still 24 hours before the music begins but campers are already arriving for the Firefly Music Festival.

The festival opens today and there was a small contingent of campers who arrived in Dover by 8 a.m. yesterday.

They waited at a nearby parking lot until the campsites open at noon.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that they expect 65-thousand campers for this year’s festival for a total of over 90-thousand expected attendees.

An extra day of camping was added to the four day festival that runs through Sunday.

Wicomico County Sheriff's Badge

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says a 4 year old boy drowned last night in Delmar.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that deputies arrived on the scene and got the boy to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center to be with his family.

WBOC also reports that officials say the death appears to be accidental.

The death is still under investigation.           

Chesapeake Bay Trust

Green infrastructure in 15 communities is receiving new funding, as announced Tuesday in Baltimore. The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grants fund projects that create local jobs and improve stormwater runoff. Maryland News Connection reporter Deborah Smith prepared this report.

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The Salisbury Police Officer who has been the object of a number of federal lawsuits has quit the force.

Police Chief Barbara Duncan says that Officer Justin Aita has quit to pursue other opportunities.

She emphasized that it was his decision and that the department wishes him well.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it received a list of all the Salisbury Police Department members through a Freedom of Information Act and his name was not on it.

The paper notes that the officer has been named as the defendant in five federal lawsuits.

creative commons

The Delaware Senate has approved a measure that would allow parents to opt out of a new state assessment test.

But, it was expanded to allow parents to also keep their children from having to take district wide tests as well as the Smart Balanced Assessment tests.

In addition, the measure would allow high school juniors to opt out of the statewide test as well.

This means that the measure must return to the House for a final vote.

Senate Education Committee Chair David Sokola said that he believed the bill was better but still represented bad policy.

creative commons

The famed Amazon Company best known for ordering books and other things off online will be putting its name on a solar project in Accomack County.

It’s called the Amazon Solar Farm US East.

The web services company has joined the developer Community Energy Incorporated based in Pennsylvania under a long term power purchase agreement.

The $150 million project will provide 80-megawatts of power.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it will feed the electrical grids that power the current and future Amazon data centers.

Don Rush

There’s a sharp disagreement again over the fate of the West Salisbury Elementary School.

The Wicomico County Board of Education wants to expand the number of students from 350 to 650 and to include Pre-K through fifth grade.  

Currently, he school only goes up to second grade.

This comes after the school board successfully pushed for build a new facility rather than renovate the old structure.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Delaware is facing its final legislative hurdle.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on Thursday. It cleared the Democratic-controlled House earlier this month on a party-line vote.

Democratic Gov. Jack Markell has indicated that he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The bill would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of one ounce of marijuana or less for personal use. Instead, it would be a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Democratic proposal to raise income taxes for wealthy Delawareans has been released by a House committee for a vote by the full House.

The bill would hike the tax rate to 7.1 percent for income between $125,000 and $250,000. For taxable income above $250,000, the rate would be 7.85 percent.

The current top tax rate is 6.6 percent for income above $60,000.

Magnus Manske / creative commons

LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says a Pittsburgh man was arrested with a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The arrest occurred on Wednesday. The TSA says officers found the .25-caliber gun as the man went through airport security. The TSA says the gun was loaded with six bullets. The man was planning to board a flight to Miami.

Uber logo

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Ride-sharing provider Uber faces a $2 million lawsuit after authorities say a driver assaulted a teenager in Virginia Beach.

WVEC-TV reports Uber and Isagini Marin, the driver, are listed as defendants in a civil suit filed June 3 by the mother of a 13-year-old girl.

Marin pleaded guilty in April to assault and battery of the teen. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail, with time suspended on the condition of one year of good behavior.

Delaware Coastal Airport logo

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Sussex County Airport is getting a new name.

WDEL-FM reports that members of the Sussex County Council voted Tuesday to rename the Georgetown facility the Delaware Coastal Airport.

The name change comes as the airport undergoes a multi-year, $40 million modernization aimed at boosting economic activity.

County Administrator Todd Lawson says in a statement that the new name will better reflect the airport's recent changes.

ococean.gov

The Ocean City landscape could get a new landmark:

A giant blue and green beach ball structure with a splash pattern that will sit atop a tall water tower near the Route 50 bridge.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins told WBOC that the tower will be located on First Street and St. Louis Avenue.

And it is expected to be completed by September of next year.

Currently, there are a total of six elevated towers in the resort two of which are scheduled to be taken down after the new tower is completed.

Dover Police Dept

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A trial has been scheduled for November for a Delaware police corporal charged with assault.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a Nov. 30 trial has been set for Dover Cpl. Thomas Webster, who is charged with second-degree assault. Last month, police released a 2013 dashcam video showing Webster kicking Lateef Dickerson in the face when he was on his hands and knees. Police say Dickerson was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken jaw.

msnbc

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's police union is accusing city officials of stonewalling requests for information about what happened during riots in the city following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the police department responded by calling the union's claims baseless.

The union has requested all communications between City Hall and police officials during the riots. The union said in a statement Tuesday that the failure to release the information has prevented officers from preparing for any future unrest.

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In the Matusiewicz trial Christine Belford was cooperative with her ex-husband despite the kidnapping of their three children to Central America.

Belford and a friend were killed by Thomas Matusiewicz at a Delaware courthouse after which he exchanged gun fire with security before shooting himself.

His son David and wife Lenore along with his daughter Amy Gonzalez are charged with stalking Belford with the intent to kill her.

They could face life in prison if convicted.

The family says that they did not know that the father was planning on killing her.

creative commons

The Worcester County Commissioners slashed 32 positions in the county public school system.

But the district’s employees will be eligible for a raise.

The reductions in staffing include 17.5 teachers and 13 education assistants.

In addition, one and a half administrators will also be cut.

Meanwhile, there will be a 1 percent cost of living increase for employees.

The maintenance of effort budget will remain the same as last year.

The Worcester County Teachers Association voted 330 to 18 to approve the deal.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House committee is set to consider a Democratic proposal to raise income taxes for wealthy Delawareans.

The bill would hike the tax rate to 7.1 percent for families making between $125,000 and $250,000. For families making more than $250,000, the rate would be 7.85 percent.

The current top tax rate is 6.6 percent for income above $60,000.

dover.delaware.state.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have postponed a vote on a bill that would raise the limits for campaign contributions to Delaware political candidates.

Lawmakers removed the bill from the agenda after meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The legislation raises the individual contribution limit for candidates for statewide office from $1,200 to $2,000 per election period.

For non-statewide candidates, the contribution limit would increase from $600 to $1,000 per election period.

public domain clipart

The Sussex County Council has unanimously approved a $128.6 million budget for the 2016 fiscal year that begins July 1st.

That’s up by $11.3 million or 9.6 percent from the current year’s figure of $117.3 million.

That’s mostly due to the long-planned sewer construction projects.

The operational expenses in the general fund went up only 2.9 percent which is well below the 3.3 percent growth rate in the property tax assessments.

The new budget will keep the county’s property tax rate at 44.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Assateague Island National Seashore website

It’s going to get little more expensive to get into the Assateague Island National Seashore.  

The annual entrance fee will go up by $10 to $40 in January of next year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the park decided to delay the hike during the summer months even though the cost of running the park has gone up.

Meanwhile, entrance fees will go up from $15 per vehicle to $20 on July 15th while motorcycles will increase from $10 to $15.

Pedestrians will still get in for free.

Camping fees are also going up as well as ranger led kayak programs.

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The former Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck has pleaded to 4th degree rape after being charged with having sex involving a 15 year old boy.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the judge told her she would face up to 15 years in prison.

The 48-year old Shattuck was indicted on a number of charges including third-degree rape and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

The paper reports that she began the affair last summer through Instagram. 

Conserve Energy

Jun 16, 2015
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With the hot weather Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative as requesting their customers voluntarily conserve energy this afternoon.

High energy use is expected to peak between 3 and 6 p.m.

During that time the coops are buying power at premium prices.

So customers should turn off unnecessary lights and appliances as well as put off any usage until after those hours.

The coops also say that upping the thermostats a few degrees will help.

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