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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials will review old Virginia criminal cases that involved the testing of blood types, following the exoneration of a man who spent 33 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Virginia Department of Forensic Science Director Linda Jackson told the agency's board members Wednesday that they'll start reviewing 200 cases from 1982, 1986 and 1990 to look for any problems.

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For the first time in 43 years the Maryland congressional delegate could be absent any women in its ranks.

Senator Barbara Mikulski is retiring this year congressman Chris Van Hollen has won the Democratic nomination to succeed her in a heavily blue state.

Ironically, he defeated the only other woman in the delegation Representative Donna Edwards who sought the Democratic senatorial nomination.

In addition, Van Hollen will have competition from the Republican standard bearer Kathy Szeliga for the senate seat.  

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Democratic state senator running for Congress has withdrawn legislation that would have made Delaware a "sanctuary state."

Sen. Bryan Townsend of Newark withdrew the legislation Thursday amid recent criticism following the arrest of Richard Diaz-Garcia on federal charges of heroin possession and illegal re-entry. Court documents show Diaz-Garcia has been deported to the Dominican Republic five times and twice convicted of illegal re-entry.

BALTIMORE (AP) - The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has appointed its first female president in the institution's 127-year history.

News outlets report that 49-year-old Dr. Redonda Miller was named the hospital's president Thursday and will assume her role July 1.

Miller will replace Ronald R. Peterson, who has been the president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for 19 years.

Peterson says Miller's experience and knowledge make her well-suited to lead the institution.

Governor's Office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is cutting fees.

He announced that he would be slashing and in some cases eliminating 155 of them across the state.

WBOC reports that these would range from cutting replacement birth and death certificate and child support collection fees to the cost of E-ZPass transponders and admission to state parks for veterans.

In addition, $15 million would cut from the surcharge on phone bills.

Last year the governor cut tolls by $270 million and $50 million in other fees.

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DALEVILLE, Va. (AP) - Hungry bears have forced the closure of a shelter and campsite along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia

The Roanoke Times reports that the Lamberts Meadow Shelter and campsite near Daleville could remain closed for several weeks.

Diana Christopulos of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club tells the newspaper that there were numerous bear sightings at Lamberts Meadow last weekend. Hikers reported bears getting food that had been tied up in a tree and even entering the shelter in search of snacks.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

QUANTICO, Va. (AP) - A former Naval Academy instructor is facing a military hearing after a newspaper uncovered new evidence related to his convictions three years ago for indecent acts with female midshipmen.

The new charges - making false statements and conduct unbecoming an officer - stem from Maj. Mark Thompson's efforts to clear his name by taking his story to The Washington Post. Instead, a Post reporter found further evidence that Thompson lied about sexual encounters with students.

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's State Board of Elections has ordered Baltimore to rescind its certification of last month's primary results. But it's not yet clear if that could change the winners of any contests, including the bitterly fought mayor's race.

Linda Lamone, state administrator of elections, said in a phone interview Thursday that 80 unchecked provisional ballots were found in a supply closet in a warehouse.

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McLEAN, Va. (AP) - The director of a national association of music teachers is out of a job after he reportedly told a diversity forum that blacks and Latinos lack the "keyboard skills" needed for the profession.

The Reston-based National Association for Music Education said Wednesday it has parted ways with its executive director and CEO, Michael Butera.

Attendees at a forum in Washington last month sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts say Butera stormed out after questions about his organization's lack of diversity.

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During opening statements prosecutors told a Baltimore judge that the defendant, Officer Edward Nero, disregarded his police training when he chased Freddie Gray and arrested him without probable cause, and was callously indifferent to the 25-year-old man's wellbeing when he failed to secure him in a seatbelt.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials are urging doctors to follow more stringent regulations when they prescribe pain medications.

The Department of State announced three proposed changes Wednesday that are aimed at reducing the frequency with which painkillers are prescribed and subsequently abused.

Under the proposed guidelines, doctors would be able to provide an initial supply of opioid medication for  no longer than seven days for patients recovering from an injury or procedure.

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A Maryland state compliance panel has found that the Talbot County Council violated state law when it decided behind closed doors to keep the statue of a confederate soldier known as The Talbot Boys on the courthouse lawn.

Corey Pack, president of the council, says he disagreed with the ruling but read a statement aloud in a public meeting to inform residents of the letter sent by the board to comply with its decision.   

WBOC reports that Pack said he believes the process was open and noted that the council held its own public comments session before making the decision.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Division of Public Health has announced that three more people have died of flu-related complications.

This brings the total to six flu-related deaths during the 2015-2016 flu season. The DPH says the flu season is ongoing, so the number can still rise.

The deaths include two New Castle residents - a 69-year-old woman with swine flu and a 54-year-old man with influenza B - and a 42-year-old Sussex County woman.

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The man who was shot and killed at a Salisbury apartment complex has been identified as Keonte Gaskins by his grandmother Thelma Russell.

That’s according to the Salisbury Daily Times.

Police say that his body was found outside the Waterside apartment complex in a stairwell.

The paper reports that police were called around 7 a.m. yesterday about the discovery of a body.

Salisbury police also say that someone heard gunshots sometime after midnight.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A man facing a homicide by motor vehicle charge in connection with the death of a jogger has died in custody.

Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Department of Corrections says 44-year-old Brent Morgan Taylor died Wednesday of lung cancer. He had been hospitalized for more than a week.

Taylor was charged on April 8 in an Oct. 16 incident where 37-year-old Robert T. Schultheis was struck by a truck while jogging near Fruitland. Investigators say Taylor was driving the truck that struck Schultheis, who later died from his injuries.


BALTIMORE (AP) - One of six Baltimore officers who face charges stemming from the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray is going on trial Thursday.

Officer Edward Nero faces assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges. Nero, along with two other officers, arrested Gray after making eye contact with him and chasing him in West Baltimore last year.

Gray was placed in handcuffs and put in the back of a police transport van, where he suffered a critical spinal injury. He died a week later.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court in Virginia spent more than an hour vigorously questioning lawyers about the constitutionality of Maryland's ban on assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines.

Thirteen judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the ban Wednesday. The court typically takes several weeks to rule.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Governor Larry Hogan has hired former Anne Arundel County Executive Robert Neall to lead an effort to reorganize Maryland's government.

Neall, who has also served as a senator and a delegate in the General Assembly, will begin the new job on July 1. He's being tasked with reviewing the state government and recommending ways to make it more efficient. The state government hasn't been substantially revamped since the 1970s.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office says 80 percent of more than 200,000 convicted felons whose voting and other civil rights he recently restored were convicted of nonviolent crimes.

The governor's office said Wednesday that an analysis of the 200,000 convicted felons also shows that African-Americans accounted for 46 percent, while blacks make up only 19 percent of the state's population.

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GROTTOES, Va. (AP) - Cleanup is ongoing in Shenandoah National Park, more than a week after firefighters contained the second largest fire in the park's history.

Shenandoah's Fire Response Team spokeswoman Barb Stewart tells The News-Virginian  that she is unsure how long the cleanup and recovery process will take.

Although the Rocky Mountain fire was declared contained on April 29, crews still had to work on controlling and cooling down any remaining hot spots before the cleanup process could begin.

At its height, the fire stretched across more than 10,000 acres.

Dover Police Report Out

May 12, 2016

The Dover police released their March report which found it had seized a dramatic amount of heroin that month.

WBOC reports that the Dover PD took in 743 grams of heroin in March as well as 270 grams of cocaine and 563 grams of marijuana.

Meanwhile, the number of calls received had increased by 2-thousand over the same time last year standing at a total of 10-thousand.

The television station says the report also found that most of the burglaries have been solved this year while the number of car crashes remained steady.

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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) - A funeral is being held for a Maryland man who police say died while trying to help a woman being carjacked by a man now charged with three murders.

In a statement, the Catholic Church says a funeral Mass for Malcom Winffel is being held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg.

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One man is dead after being shot in Salisbury on Parsons Road this morning.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that police received a call around 7 a.m. about an incident at the Waterside Apartments.

Salisbury Police Captain Rich Kaiser told the paper that it has not been determined whether it was a homicide or a suicide.

As of mid-morning he told the paper there was no sign of a break in and no one was in custody.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The attorney for a 16-year-old girl charged in a high school restroom assault that left another girl dead says his client has maintained good grades and had no prior disciplinary history involving fighting or other disruptive behavior.

Attorney John Deckers also told The Associated Press in a statement Tuesday that his client had no way of knowing that the April 21 altercation at Wilmington's Howard High School of Technology would result in the death of 16-year-old Amy Joyner-Francis.

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The Lewes City Council approved a residential development that includes 34 single-family homes on 18-acres of land.

It’s a wooded area known as “The 4th Street Forest”.

WBOC reports that the conditions for the development range from a walkway from Highland Heights to Highland Acres and a contribution to the city of $10-thousand to plant trees to regulations on the style of the houses.

But it drew opposition from a local group called Save a Lewes Legacy.

Last night a large crowd watched the council approve the development on a 4-to-1 vote.

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The Worcester County authorities say over the last 8 months they have made or issued 61 arrests or arrest warrants for drug violations.

In addition, a new report says that the arrests prevented” common nuisance crimes” that result from illegal drug activity.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the investigative effort known as Operation Street Sweeper was aimed at stemming an escalating drug problem.

The report said this would not be the last such effort which was conducted in conjunction with the Ocean City Narcotics Division.

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The Salvation Army in Salisbury is in financial trouble.

And that could result in the loss of the Richard Hazel Youth Center whose operating costs run up to a $150-thousand a year.  

Major Vic Tidman with the Salvation Army Lower Eastern Shore told WBOC that closing the youth center is deeply distressing.

It was built around 15 years ago.

Tidman said unless there is an uptick in the amount of contributions to the organization the facility would have to close although he did not specify when that would be.

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Delaware State University will be welcoming those students known as Dreamers.

These are the children of undocumented immigrants who were not born in this country.

The university joined with TheDream.US that provides privately-funded scholarships after President Obama issued his executive order allowing these children to stay in the country.

His order authorized them to access to such things as documents for work and a drivers’ license.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved bill that removes homosexuality from the definition of misconduct that would serve as grounds for divorce.

The legislation passed the House on a 36-to-4 vote Tuesday and now goes to the Senate.  All four dissenting votes came from Republicans.

The legislation strikes both "homosexuality" and "lesbianism" from the definition of marital misconduct.

The law defines misconduct as behavior by a spouse so destructive that a person filing for divorce could not reasonably be expected to continue in the relationship.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Maryland's ban on assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines is back before a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond raised concerns about the constitutionality of the restrictions in February. The panel sent a lawsuit challenging those provisions back to a judge who upheld them and ordered her to take another look using a more rigorous legal standard.

The state appealed that 2-1 decision to the full 15-member appeals court, which will hear arguments Wednesday.