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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Some cancer patients and survivors showed up outside the Salisbury office of Representative Andy Harris (R-Md).

Their message: Any changes in the Affordable Care Act must maintain adequate and affordable coverage.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the group chanted, ”Keep us covered. Don’t cut our lifeline.”

Of special concern was keeping the provision that would not allow insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of a pre-existing condition.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney is more than halfway through a series of community meetings he's holding up and down the state to discuss Delaware's budget challenges and receive feedback from members of the public.

The latest in Carney's "Budget Reset" community meetings was scheduled for Wednesday night at the Carlisle Fire Hall in Milford.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's minimum wage would rise to $15 over several years under a measure before state lawmakers.

Del. Jeffrey Waldstreicher, a Montgomery County Democrat, outlined the bill Tuesday before a House committee.

Maryland's minimum wage is now set to reach $9.25 an hour in July and increase to $10.10 in July of 2018. The bill would raise it to $12 in July 2019. It would go up a dollar each year after that, until it reaches $15 in July 2022.

The measure would phase in the increases by a dollar less a year for businesses with 25 employees or fewer.

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AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) - The newly designated Harriet Tubman national historic site in central New York has launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy a rare photograph of the 19-th century abolitionist.

Swann Galleries in New York City said earlier this year it would offer the photo for sale at its Manhattan auction house on March 30. Experts say the newly discovered photo of the Maryland-born Underground Railroad hero was taken in Auburn, New York, in the late 1860s.

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LA PLATA, Md. (AP) - A former Charles County judge who ordered a deputy to shock a defendant in his courtroom has been sued in federal court.

The Daily Record reports that Delvon King, a defendant who was shocked in court in July 2014, filed suit Monday against Robert Nalley, the judge who ordered a deputy to activate his stun cuff.

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A four hour barricade situation has ended in Willards ending with a round fired by the Maryland State Police wounding the suspect.

WBOC reports that police say 25 year old Alex Bartell barricaded himself in a house owned by his firlfriend's mother after reports of shots being fired.

He was treated at the R. Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center for injuries.

Bartell's girlfriend was inside the home with her three year old son and tried to call 911.

But the call was hung up.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Industry officials are urging poultry growers on the Delmarva peninsula to take extra precautions following a bird flu outbreak in a commercial breeder flock in Tennessee.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 73,500 chickens were destroyed at a Tennessee farm because of H7 avian influenza, and that 30 other farms within a six-mile radius have been quarantined.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

A proposed budget by the Trump administration would slash funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration by 93 percent. But environmentalists a confident that the proposal by the Office of Management and Budget will not stand. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Kim Coble, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, about the the push back against such a spending cut. 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - An attorney for the family of a prison guard killed in an inmate uprising is promising to sue state officials in federal court unless the family gets some answers.

Thomas Neuberger says Steven Floyd's family especially wants to know how he died in the Feb. 1 uprising at Vaughn Correctional Center.

In a letter delivered Monday to Gov. John Carney's Wilmington office, Neuberger said state officials have neglected a broken prison system, plagued by chronic understaffing and overcrowding, putting Floyd and other workers at risk.

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A proposed waterpark on Chincoteague Island has been given a local okay.

The Chincoteague town council approved a conditional use permit for the project yesterday on a 5 to 1 vote.

The facility will be located on the 2-and a half acre site that was the former Maddox Family Campground.

There was so much public interest in the issue that the meeting was moved to the municipal center across the street from the council chambers.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 13 people spoke during the public hearing with 10 against the project.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The family of the chief justice who presided over the Supreme Court 160 years ago apologized to the family of a slave who sued for his freedom.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A nominee to the Maryland State Board of Education is facing questions about a record of traffic offenses and debt.

Brandon Cooper appeared Monday before a state Senate panel that is considering his nomination by Gov. Larry Hogan.

Cooper, who is 28, says he has learned from his mistakes. His record includes a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to appear in court and liens for failing to pay state taxes.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are celebrating a new film that documents the important ecological relationship between horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds.

Gov. John Carney is among those scheduled to get a preview of the film Tuesday at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington.  The film will premiere to the general public on Saturday as part of a Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs day at the museum.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The 17-year-old at the center of a high-profile lawsuit over transgender students' bathroom access says the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to back out of his case is a disappointment that will keep other students like him in limbo.

Gavin Grimm, a high school senior in Gloucester, Virginia, spoke to reporters Monday, hours after the justices handed his case back to a lower court without reaching a decision.

Grimm said that while he hoped for a different outcome, he's "just as empowered" as ever and ready to stick with it.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to nullify four previous calls to the U.S. Congress to hold a constitutional convention.

The Senate voted 34-13 Monday night for the resolution. One Republican joined 33 Democrats to support the resolution. Thirteen Republicans opposed it.

The Maryland General Assembly has passed four calls for a convention since the 1930s to amend the U.S. Constitution. The last one in the 1970s called for an amendment that requires a balanced federal budget.

Don Rush

The unemployment rate in Delaware inched up slightly to 4.4 percent in January – the first change since July when it was 4.3 percent.

That’s according to the Labor Department.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the increase appears to be the result of people returning to the workforce faster than its expansion.

The labor force had grown by 600 people while the number employed rose by 400.

The paper reports that the figures are based on the latest monthly surveys of around 13-hundred businesses and 850 households in the First State.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The state of Maryland has processed more than one million tax returns so far this tax season.

The office of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said in a statement Monday that the one millionth return was submitted by a tax filer in Calvert County.

The office says that last year it processed 3.2 million personal income tax returns. About 84 percent of those filings were filed electronically.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is handing a transgender teen's case back to a lower court without reaching a decision.
 
The justices said Monday they have opted not to decide whether federal anti-discrimination law gives high school senior Gavin Grimm the right to use the boys' bathroom in his Virginia school.
 
The case had been scheduled for argument in late March. Instead, a lower court in Virginia will be tasked with evaluating the federal law known as title IX and the extent to which it applies to transgender students.
 

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - An 18-year-old man accused of firing several shots at an apartment building in Laurel has now been charged with first-degree murder.

Stephon Jackson was initially arrested last month and charged with firearm offenses in the shooting that led to the death of another 18-year-old man in January. He was released on Saturday after posting bail.

Police say after his release, he was charged in a warrant with first-degree murder. Officers found him in Georgetown and arrested him again. He's now being held on $540,000 bond.

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The Salvation Army has a new Chapel in Sussex County.

Lt. Oscar Rolon told WBOC that that he wants the facility to become an integral part of the community with involvement by churches in the area.

As part of that effort the facility will have a number of programs including music for children and arts for the developmentally disabled.

In addition, there will be a kitchen and a program to provide food for needy families.

In short Rolon told the television station the building will be there for the community.

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CLAYMONT, Del. (AP) - Authorities say three people were left homeless after a fire at a house in Claymont.

The State Fire Marshal's office says in a news release that the fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the home on Ridgeway Square. The office says three people lived in the house and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Deputy fire marshals are investigating to determine where and how the fire started.

Damage to the home is estimated at $75,000. Firefighters from the Claymont Fire Company were first on the scene and put out the fire.

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - A William & Mary professor says there's no compelling evidence to show that immigration leads to more crime.

Sociology department chair Graham Ousey says in a university press release that some studies show immigrants are less likely to be criminals.

Ousey is the co-author of a recent analysis of 50 studies on the subject. He co-authored the paper with Charis Kubrin of the University of California-Irvine.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to vote on repealing previous calls to the U.S. Congress to hold a constitutional convention.

The joint resolution is on the agenda for Monday night's session.

The Maryland General Assembly has passed four calls for a convention since the 1930s to amend the U.S. Constitution. The last one in the 1970s called for an amendment that requires a balanced federal budget.

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Delaware Governor John Carney has re-appointed William Witham Jr. as Resident Judge on the Superior Court in Kent County.

WBOC reports that in his announcement the governor said he was pleased that Witham had decided to serve another term.

In 1999 Witham joined the bench as an Associate Judge and was appointed Kent County Resident Judge 11 years ago.

His re-appointment must still get Delaware Senate approval. 

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A suspect has been charged in two of the three shootings that hit Salisbury this week.

The police say that they have taken 27-year old Jermel Moss into custody for allegedly shooting a 28 year old man near Middleneck Drive on February 28th.

He has also been charged in the shooting of Troy Smiley around 11:30 p.m. – an hour and a half earlier.

The shooting at 1 p.m. occurred when the victim’s car was flagged down by the suspect.

WBOC reports that police say when the victim stopped the car the suspect asked for a ride.

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Voters in the Indian River School District gave the thumbs up to a referendum that would raise $7.3 million.

It was approved an overwhelming margin of around 17-hundred votes – that is 7-thousand to 53-hundred.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the district argued that the funds were needed given that its student pollution had grown over 22 percent over the last decade.

The district says it is projected to hit over 10-thousand students by 2026.

The district said that this would save up to 200 jobs.

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Members of the volunteer fire company at Station 1 in Salisbury crammed into the chambers of the Wicomico County Council.

During the special session they heard Corey Polidore with the volunteer fire company describe the frustration his members felt in its negotiations with the city to resolve staffing differences.

He said, “Due to issues that occurred that went unaddressed for a year, two years now, the meeting with the city and the city fire chief – things just never seemed to get addressed.”

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland legislative panel is recommending the House of Delegates reprimand a lawmaker for his roles in shaping medical marijuana legislation and working as a consultant for a company seeking a license to grow marijuana.

A copy of the ethics committee's report on Del. Dan Morhaim was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

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There was a town hall style meeting yesterday held by the Delaware correctional officers and the department’s Commissioner Perry Phelps.

It comes a month after the inmate uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in which officer Steve Floyd was killed.

WBOC reports that the media was barred from the meeting.

But the television station reports that the correctional officers’ union president Geoff Klopp said that Phelps had the support of his organization.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is making another push for legislative redistricting reform.

The Republican governor held a news conference Friday before hearings on legislation he is backing. The measure aims to take politics out of the process of drawing legislative districts by putting the task in the hands of an independent board.

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