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) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to head to Cuba later this year as part of an economic development and trade mission.

McAuliffe made the announcement on Tuesday at the Governor's Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond following remarks by Cuba's top diplomat in the U.S.

Media outlets report that the governor has five other economic development trips planned by the end of the year. He's looking to head to Cuba by the middle of the year, possibly in late spring.

"Let Summer Be Summer"

Mar 12, 2015
Don Rush

Could students begin to start the school term a little later in the year?

Yes, says Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot who backs the initiative known as Let Summer Be Summer.

The state official was up before a state Senate committee hearing yesterday for legislation that would have all Maryland school begins the fall semester after Labor Day.

The petition has more than 13-thousand signatures including Governor Larry Hogan.

Backers hope that the later date would help generate an additional $74 million in revenue.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - New revenue estimates for the state of Maryland won't require a downward adjustment of projections, but there aren't any extra dollars, either.

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates released unchanged revenue estimates on Wednesday.

Board members say that's positive compared to the last two revisions last year, which required them to note Maryland didn't bring in as much revenue as they had projected.

General fund revenues are expected to be about $15.7 billion for fiscal year 2015 and $16.2 billion for fiscal year 2016.

Rocky Gap Casino website

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The owner of western Maryland's only casino is reporting its annual earnings and discussing its disputed plan to merge with another casino operator.

Lakes Entertainment Inc., based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, is releasing financial data Thursday. Executives will discuss the results in a conference call with reporters and analysts later in the day.

Financial progress is being made on developing the Kent County Regional Sports Complex to be located on 84 acres of farm land owned by the county.

Supporters of the complex say they are near to getting a $20 million bond deal from M&T Bank.

Another $4 million is slated to come in the form of state infrastructure funds for a total cost of $24 million.

The Kent County Levy Court is set to vote on the deal shortly.

The facility will include 12 synthetic turf fields would provide venues for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Delaware's abandoned property collection system, raising questions about the constitutional validity of one of the state's largest revenue sources.

Wednesday's ruling involves a lawsuit filed last year by Temple-Inland Inc., a packaging company that is incorporated in Delaware but has operations in several states.

The company challenged Delaware's claim to almost $1.4 million in purported uncashed accounts payable and payroll checks.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker has completed his sentence for a misdemeanor stemming from a sex scandal.

Media outlets report that Del. Joe Morrissey was released from Henrico Jail East in New Kent County on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old Henrico County lawmaker was on a work-release program that allowed him to spend his nights in the jail and days at the General Assembly. He was convicted last December of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl.

delaware state fair website

The Delaware State Fair will be featuring New Kids On The Block and Bryan Adams for the event slated July 23rd through August 1st.

In addition the contemporary Christian group Casting Crowns as well as singer Josh Turner and the group Little Big Town will also be on stage this year.

Other events include Manlove Auto Parts' Demolition Derby and the volunteer Firefighter’s Pro Rodeo Roundup.

In 2014 an estimated 282-thousand people attended the fair.

That was up by 25 percent over the previous year which saw a decline to 228-thousand.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to increase the responsibilities and scope of the state's Commission on Climate Change.

Senators voted 32-14 on Tuesday for the bill, with support and opposition for the legislation falling on Democratic and Republican party lines, respectively.

The bill puts into law the requirements of a 2014 executive order signed by then-Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Within the order is the expansion of the commission's membership, as well as the development of a plan for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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LAUREL, Del. (AP) - The Division of Fish & Wildlife says it has expanded the Robert L. Graham Nanticoke Wildlife Area with the acquisition of 14 acres of woodlands and wildlife habitat.

Officials said in an email on Tuesday that the new land surrounds Wrights Creek off Ellis Mill Road near Laurel. The acquisition will preserve more than 2,500 feet of mature woodland buffer along the creek.

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Maryland’s oyster season could be extended until mid-April after this winter’s icy waters kept many watermen from their harvest.

Watermen are seeking an extension of 10 days until April 14th.

Johnny Shockley of Hooper’s Island told the Salisbury Daily Times that it had been a particularly brutal winter and that the watermen could not get those days back.

Most of the harvesting is done before the New Year but the freeze could have affected many who come to the bay to harvest oysters.

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There was a marathon session yesterday in a Maryland General Assembly panel on the question of the right to die.

The legislation considered by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee would allow those with six months or less to live due to a terminal illness to end their own lives.

Carroll Republican Justin Ready said he was concerned about those with marginal cases who might be pushed into ending their lives through subtle means.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate committee is giving an unfavorable vote to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's bill to repeal stormwater management fees.

The bill was voted down Tuesday 6-4 by the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs, along with two other bills that proposed the repeal of the fees.

Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller also has proposed a bill that would end a state mandate for fees. On Tuesday he testified before the same Senate committee, touting the bill's bipartisan support and cooperation among counties and environmentalists.

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The Christina School District got a year’s delay for three inner-city Wilmington facilities.

The state says the three Priority Schools can retain their principals and teachers.

Meanwhile, state leaders are still deal with the redistricting plan that would put the district schools into the Red Clay School District.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Christina School Board voted last night to keep the Bancroft and Stubbs elementary schools as well as the Bayard Middle School in its district for another year.

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OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Real-estate brokers in far western Maryland are supporting a proposal in the Maryland General Assembly for an eight-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas pending further study.

The Garrett County Board of Realtors expressed concern Tuesday about the possible impact of fracking on public health. They say fears of health problems from well-water contamination can reduce home values by at least 20 percent.

Garrett County contains most of Maryland's share of the gas-rich Marcellus shale.

LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) - More than 200 new jobs are coming to Maryland over the next three years as the result of a solar power company's expansion.

Officials with Astrum Solar on Tuesday announced plans to triple its 14,400 square-foot facility in Howard County, and add 240 new jobs by 2017.

Astrum Solar Vice President Cory Byzewski said the company was committed to helping the state through job creation as well as through the environmental and financial benefits of solar power.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a defense request to transfer the stalking trial of relatives of a man who killed two people at a Delaware courthouse in 2013 to another state.

Tuesday's ruling comes from a Pennsylvania judge who was assigned to the Matusiewicz family case after Judge Gregory Sleet of Delaware recused himself last year.

Sleet and all other Delaware judges were recused after prosecutors disclosed the discovery of a purported "hit list" in courthouse gunman Thomas Matusiewicz's car that included Sleet's name.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - The director of Maryland's lottery and gaming agency is cashing in his chips.

Stephen Martino, who heads the state's Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told staff in an email that he was resigning and his last day would be March 27. He plans on taking a job as a partner in the Baltimore office of law firm Duane Morris.

Martino was appointed to his position by former Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as the executive director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A divided federal appeals court has upheld Virginia's policy of automatically holding death row inmates in solitary confinement.

In a 2-1 ruling Tuesday, a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a judge's finding that the policy violates inmates' due process rights.

The policy was challenged by Alfredo Prieto, who was sentenced to death for the 1988 murders of two George Washington University students in Reston. He has spent most of the last six years alone in a 71-square-foot cell.

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The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office is looking into a shooting near the Salisbury Middle School last night.

Lt. Tim Robinson told WBOC one person suffered non-life threatening injuries after being shot.

He said that while the shooting occurred near the Salisbury Middle School it was not believed to be related to the school.

Police say there are no suspects at this time.

rubber soul brewing company website

It’s called Rubber Soul.

But it’s not the Beatles album.

No, it’s a brewing company which is moving into Salisbury on Northwood Drive and it wants be in business by mid-April.

Jesse Prall is the co-founder of the company after serving as the brewing supervisor at Dogfish Head over the last decade.

Before that he was head brewer at Appalachian Brewing Company in Pennsylvania.

The types of beer will range from amber ales to heavy stouts.

Don Rush

Sixty Foot Road and Route 50 have not been a good combination.

Just last Sunday night 71 year old Margaret Anne Joiner of Rehoboth was killed in a car crash.

The Pittsville Fire Department told WBOC that’s the 14th accident at the intersection this year.

The most famous death at the intersection was that of Deputy States Attorney Sam Vincent in 2010 who was looking at running for State’s Attorney.

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They showed up in costumes, some as an Atlantic sturgeon, others in biohazard suits and some even carrying tiny wind mills in their hands.  

The protesters were expressing their opposition to opening up the Atlantic coast for oil and gas drilling.

The demonstration took place at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management informational meeting in Annapolis yesterday.

Jim Rapp, who works on the Eastern Shore, told the Bureau that as one who loves the Assateague and Ocean City the idea of offshore oil drilling makes him “ nervous”.

Who Controls the Drones?

Mar 10, 2015
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure in Maryland would establish that only the state may enact a law or take other actions to prohibit or restrict the use of unmanned aircrafts, not local governments.

A hearing on the bill about drones is set for Tuesday in Annapolis.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. James Rosapepe, a Prince George's County Democrat.

The measure would require the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to study potential uses of drones for state activities.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Forty-four former state attorneys general from across the country have urged a federal appeals court to toss out former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's public corruption convictions.

They say a jury convicted McDonnell "based on ingratiation and access and nothing more," blurring the line between common political courtesy and corruption.

The bipartisan friend-of-the court brief was filed Monday in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is scheduled to hear arguments in McDonnell's case in May.

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The mayor of Dover may be getting more involved in the day-to-day activities of the city.  

During a Monday meeting of city officials council member Bill Hare proposed requiring that the city departments report to the city manager who would then report to the Mayor’s office.

But the city manager’s job would still be under the city council.

The vote for the plan was 5-to-2.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is siding with the Washington Redskins in a court battle over the team's name.

The ACLU filed papers last week supporting the team's position that canceling the Redskins trademark violates the team's free-speech rights.

A federal panel ruled last year the trademark should be canceled, but the team is challenging that decision in federal court in Alexandria.

Don Rush

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials want to hear how Hampton Roads should prepare for rising seas.

The region is considered among the most vulnerable in the United States.

Virginia is attempting to get a portion of the $800 million available through the National Disaster Resiliency Competition sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

Specific projects could include elevating structures, building flood walls and tide gates and improving infrastructure and transportation.

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FRIENDSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Frostburg State University students are recording public comments about prospects for natural gas drilling in western Maryland.

They're holding a "listening event" Tuesday in Friendsville as part of a project to document local opinions about the drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) - A national solar power company is announcing a major expansion in Maryland.

Officials with Astrum Solar, which is headquartered in Howard County, will detail the project on Tuesday during a news conference.

Representatives from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and the Howard County Economic Development Authority will also be on hand to talk about the hundreds of new local job opportunities created by the expansion.