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.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order Wednesday to start Maryland public schools after Labor Day.

As he stood on the boardwalk in Ocean City Hogan said that this would help extend the tourist season for Marylanders and local businesses.

In addition, he said that it would help schools avoid the hot weather of August – especially for those without air conditioning and would save on energy costs.

The change is set to take effect next year. It requires public schools to complete the 180 days required under state law.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware prison officials have reached a tentative settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging that mentally ill prisoners have been subjected to solitary confinement without proper evaluation, monitoring and treatment.

As part of the settlement, the Department of Correction has agreed to undertake steps to better classify, track and care for prisoners with mental health issues and in restrictive housing. Prison officials also have agreed to create a special needs unit at the women's prison in New Castle.

Don Rush

DENTON, Md. (AP) - The mayor of a tiny Eastern Shore town has been accused of stealing more than $61,000 in town funds.

The office of the state prosecutor said in a news release that Marydel Mayor Deborah Rowe was indicted by a Caroline County grand jury Wednesday on charges of theft, misconduct in office and forgery.

Census records show Marydel has a population of about 150.

The Easton Star Democrat reports that Rowe is accused of using the money to pay taxes on personal property in North Carolina, cable and cellphone bills, and rooms at an Ocean City hotel.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking his administration's agency heads to suggest where to cut state spending to help bridge an estimated $1.5 billion budget gap.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that McAuliffe's chief of staff, Paul Reagan, sent a memo to agency heads asking them to submit proposal of how to cut spending by 5 percent.

The proposals are due Sept. 20.

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BERLIN, Md. (AP) - The National Park Service says a Pennsylvania man has drowned off the Maryland coast of Assateague Island National Seashore.

Park Service spokeswoman Liz Davis tells local media that 45-year-old Charles Poole of Trappe, Pennsylvania, was swimming with his teenage son at an unguarded part of the beach on Tuesday afternoon.

Davis says surfers found Poole unresponsive in the water and brought him ashore. Lifeguards performed CPR, but Davis says Poole was pronounced dead at a hospital in Berlin, Maryland. His son was not injured.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has denied an imprisoned former Virginia lawmaker's bid to file a new appeal in light of the Supreme Court ruling in ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell's case.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals didn't say in its order why it was rejecting Phil Hamilton's request for permission to file a new application for relief.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans are trying to block Gov. Terry McAuliffe's latest effort to restore voting rights to thousands of felons who've completed their sentences.

Top Republican lawmakers say in a contempt motion filed Wednesday that McAuliffe is violating the Virginia Supreme Court's order that he restore the rights on a case-by-case basis.

The court in July invalidated McAuliffe's sweeping executive order to restore the rights of more than 200,000 felons who completed their sentences.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several gun rights advocates are criticizing Gov. Terry McAuliffe's move to ban concealed handguns in state-owned office buildings.

Advocates a public hearing Wednesday in Richmond said the governor's executive order is making the state less safe and more vulnerable to a mass shooting.

McAuliffe issued an executive order last year banning the open carry and concealed carry of guns in most state-owned office buildings, saying the move was necessary to prevent gun-related violence.

Don Rush

Large poultry houses have been appearing of the Delmarva Peninsula in recent years often creating a backlash  by local residents. In part one of our series Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at why there has been a change in industry.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot will be in Ocean City to make an announcement about the starting date of Maryland schools in future years.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday. The governor declined to discuss details about the announcement when asked Tuesday, and a spokesman for the comptroller also wouldn't elaborate. However, both officials have supported starting school after Labor Day.

Franchot released a YouTube video on Monday with Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan talking about the positive aspects of a later school start.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has announced a $5 million study to explore a potential new Chesapeake Bay crossing.

Hogan said Tuesday the Maryland Transportation Authority Board voted last week for the Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act study.

The study will begin this fall and take up to four years to finish. It will identify the location of a crossing and possible funding options.

The study will involve issues ranging from traffic and engineering to environmental questions and potential costs.

Cambridge Police Website

The mystery of the brief suspension of the Cambridge Police chief has finally come to light.

Chief Daniel Dvorak was placed on administrative leave last Thursday and then reinstated the following Tuesday.

WBOC reports that the chief issued a statement in which he said there had been some question about equipment in his possession.

After being placed on administrative leave the chief was able to get a statement from the Newport Police Department that he was authorized to have the equipment.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Texting or otherwise using a hand-held phone while driving is not only dangerous, but it's also about to become more expensive if you get caught.

A bill being signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell increases the penalty for a first offense of texting behind the wheel from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Department of Transportation has received a $1.49 million federal grant for a pilot study regarding the feasibility of charging drivers a mileage-based user fee to help pay for road projects.

The Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday announced $14.2 million in grants for several states to explore alternative revenue mechanisms to help sustain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded $800,000 to Maryland to help restore the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population.

Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin announced the award in a news release Tuesday.

The award to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will go to producing and planting 1.5 billion hatchery seeds in three years.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A church outside Dover wants to build a village of 15 tiny houses in an effort to help Dover's homeless population.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the houses would be rented for $200 to $300 a month to people who have jobs but can't afford a home. The project is being led by Victory Church and a nonprofit called Port Hope of Delaware.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia prosecutor says she has asked Virginia State Police for additional investigative work into the death of a mentally ill inmate at a Portsmouth jail last year.

Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales' office says it received a preliminary report Tuesday from Virginia State Police, which is conducting a criminal investigation into Jamycheal Mitchell's death.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A consumer group wants electric utility Dominion Virginia Power to get explicit approval from state regulators before it spends any more money prepping for a potential new $19 billion nuclear plant.

The Virginia Citizens Consumer Council filed a motion Tuesday arguing that Dominion is currently in violation of state law because it's started doing preliminary construction on a new nuclear plant, known as North Anna 3, without permission from state regulators.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A battlefield preservation group is raising funds to protect 84 acres at three Civil War sites in western Maryland and West Virginia.

Spokeswoman Meg Martin said Monday the Civil War Trust aims to raise about $413,000 by year's end to match about $1.1 million in mostly public funds.

The targets are nine acres at the Antietam National Battlefield, 65 at Maryland's South Mountain State Battlefield and 10 acres near Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The Antietam parcel is near the Dunker Church landmark.

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore County Board of Education has amended a policy that required dozens of schools without air conditioning to close for two days already this school year.

Local media outlets report that the board voted Tuesday night to close schools without air conditioning if the heat index is forecast to reach 90 degrees by 11 a.m.

The former policy required the district to close the non-air-conditioned schools if the heat index was forecast to reach 90 at any time during the school day.

White Marlin Open website

The disputed outcome of the White Marlin Open goes to court with 13 men up for the potential prize of $2.8 million.

After tournament officials concluded that the captain of the winning boat had been found deceptive by a polygraph test they withheld the money.

Instead, the Salisbury Daily Times reports that they have asked a circuit court judge to examine the evidence and determine who should get what.

Among determinations the judge will decide whether Captain Philip Heasly indeed did lie about violating the tournament rules.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's public defender's office is asking the police department to suspend its use of a private plane that had until last week been flying above the city streets recording aerial surveillance without the public's knowledge.

Baltimore Deputy Public Defender Natalie Finegar sent Commissioner Kevin Davis and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby a copy of the written request Monday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police are investigating the death of a Sussex County prison inmate being held on drunken-driving charges.
Authorities say 54-year-old Lloyd Lindner of Bridgeville arrived at Sussex Correctional Institution shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday. An ambulance was called shortly after 6:30 p.m. that evening after he fell from a second floor railing.
Police are investigating the death as an apparent suicide.

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There will be a $3 million cut in discretionary spending for the Indian River School District budget next year.

WBOC reports that the money will allow for funding more teachers to meet the growth in the district.

Superintendent Dr. Susan Bunting told the station that this was an effort to maintain a safe level of the district’s eroding reserves.

She described the cuts as a short-term fix as the district grapples with student population growth that has jumped by 25 percent over the last ten years.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The nearly 13,000 Virginia felons whose voting rights were restored, stripped, then restored again are more likely to live in areas that voted for Democrats than Republicans.

Data from the Virginia Public Access Project showed that nearly one-third of the felons with restored voting rights live in a precinct where President Barack Obama received more than 75 percent of the vote in 2012.

Less than 2 percent of the felons live in a precinct where 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received three-quarters of the vote.

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The Frederick County Council is considering a disputed proposal to allow medical marijuana cultivation on land zoned for agriculture.

County land-use regulations currently allow medical marijuana cultivation only in industrial zones. The Frederick County Farm Bureau opposes the bill, which is scheduled for a vote Tuesday evening.

Opponents say they consider medical marijuana cultivation a form of drug production. Critics also have raised security concerns.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A judge is holding a status conference with attorneys regarding a murder suspect whose case led to Delaware's death penalty being overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Tuesday's court conference involves Benjamin Rauf, charged with first-degree murder in last year's drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin, a fellow Temple University law school graduate. Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The owners that operate two power plants in Maryland have agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to resolve allegations over polluting in the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.

The Maryland Department of the Environment announced the federal court agreement Monday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia school board is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on whether a transgender male must be allowed to use the boys' bathroom at his high school.

The Gloucester County School Board formally asked the high court on Monday to overturn an appeals court ruling that said the board's policy barring Gavin Grimm from the boys' restroom violates federal law.

spirit cruise website

BALTIMORE (AP) - Spirit Cruises says the captain of a cruise ship that crashed into a dock in Baltimore has been suspended from duty.

The Spirit of Baltimore was returning from a cruise when it ran into a dock early Sunday morning. A statement released by Spirit Cruises says two of the 412 passengers on board suffered minor injuries. They were taken to a hospital and have since been released.

The dock was damaged and two small boats were scratched by the bigger ship.

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