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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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hundreds of Baltimore residents are expected to show up to offer commentary, critiques and recommendations regarding a proposed agreement to overhaul the city's troubled police force.

A judge on Wednesday denied a request to delay the hearing, calling the request by President Donald Trump's administration a "burden and inconvenience."

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A reading from the Quran as the opening prayer for a Delaware state Senate session drew a sharp rebuke from a Republican lawmaker, who said the Muslim holy book calls for the death of Americans.

Two representatives from the Tarbiyah Mosque in Newark were invited to Wednesday's session to deliver the prayer, beginning with a chant in Arabic before a reading a prayer in English that was based on a Quranic verse but deleted references to Allah.

Republican senators Dave Lawson and Colin Bonini walked out of the chamber before the prayer was given.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has voted to require five paid sick leave days at businesses with 15 or more employees.

The House voted 87-53 on Wednesday to agree with changes made by the Senate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of a plan approved by Maryland lawmakers to identify and assist struggling schools in Maryland are speaking out against Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of the measure.

Lawmakers and representatives of the state's teachers union are gathering Thursday morning in Annapolis.

The Republican governor vetoed the bill on Wednesday. He says it's too lax on academic performance standards, caves in to special interests and makes it "nearly impossible" for the state to fix struggling schools.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Crime Commission plans to study whether marijuana should be decriminalized in the Old Dominion.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the commission's executive committee agreed Wednesday to study the issue this year.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment requested the study last year.

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana have failed in past legislative sessions.

Candidates running for governor this year in both parties have called for decriminalizing the drug.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A moratorium on fishing for cownose rays has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The legislature voted Wednesday to send the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan.

It creates a moratorium on contests that involve killing the rays until July 1, 2019. It also requires the Department of Natural Resources to prepare a fisheries management plan by Dec. 31, 2018.

The Humane Society of the United States has condemned the contests. The organization is calling the bill a major step in protecting Chesapeake Bay wildlife.

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CLINTON, Md. (AP) - The Air Force says a pilot is safe after an F-16 crashed in Maryland.

The Air Force said Wednesday that the pilot was on a training mission in an F-16 from the Joint Base Andrews-based 113th Wing. Officials say the pilot ejected and is safe. The plane went down a few miles from Joint Base Andrews.

Prince George's County fire department spokesman Mark Brady tells WRC-TV that one pilot parachuted out of the aircraft and was picked up by a military helicopter. He says the pilot was found in the same general area as the plane.

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A vote on the PJM power line project is set for this Thursday.

If approved Delaware electricity customers will be facing an extra $2 to $4 a month over the next 40 years on their bill.

The plan is to build a transmission line that would tie the Artificial Island nuclear power plant in New Jersey to a Red Lion substation.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the vote by the PJM board of directors will take place behind closed doors in Audobon, Pennsylvania.

The results will be made public afterward.

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BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers say they have written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and asked him to rescind a request the Justice Department made to delay police reforms.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, who said they object to the Justice Department's request.

The agency asked a Baltimore judge to postpone a hearing on a proposed agreement to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department.

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The second day of the trial for three juveniles in the death of Amy Joyner-Francis saw testimony from faculty members who said they heard screams from the second-floor bathroom of the Howard High School of Technology.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that one teacher Ursula McCoy said she held the teenager as she struggled to breathe in the final moments of life.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Transportation officials in Maryland plan to move flammable materials stored under bridges after a raging fire caused part of a busy interstate to collapse in downtown Atlanta.

The Maryland Department of Transportation said in a news release Tuesday that the agency is identifying any similar material stored under a state-owned bridge for relocation.

Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn says in a statement that officials are determined to prevent what happened in Atlanta last week from happening in Maryland.

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Margaret Mason has quit the Christina School Board effective immediately.

Her term is not due to expire until 2021.

She was first elected to the board last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Department of Education said it is extending the filing deadline for the next school board election in May.

There is a 20 day-candidate filing period for election to the school board.

The paper had no word on why Mason suddenly decided to step down. 

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have approved a bill moving the date for primary elections for statewide and local offices.

The legislation approved Tuesday moves the primary election date from the second Tuesday after the first Monday in September to the fourth Tuesday in April.

The April date would coincide with the date of Delaware's presidential primary in presidential election years.

Supporters of the bill, which now goes to the Senate, say it will reduce the cost of holding elections and could improve voter participation.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe's vetoes and amendments to legislation they passed earlier this year.

Lawmakers will also consider the governor's tweaks to the state budget at the so-called "veto session" on Wednesday.

The governor, a Democrat, vetoed 40 pieces of legislation on hot-button social issues like guns, abortion and immigration. The Republicans who control the General Assembly do not have the super majorities required in both chambers to overturn a veto.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to rejuvenate the role of cash bail for people who are arrested is scheduled for a hearing in a Maryland House committee.

The bill is set for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Maryland's highest court approved a rule change in February aimed at preventing people from being held in jail simply because they are poor. The rules would be effective July 1, unless legislation is approved to modify them.

The bill, which has passed the Senate, has the support of the bail bond industry.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a bill to ban the hydraulic fracturing drilling process known as fracking in Maryland.

The Republican governor signed the measure Tuesday about a week after the bill was passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature.

Fracking for oil and gas isn't being done in Maryland now, but a moratorium was set to end in October.

Fracking opponents cited health and environmental concerns. The technique forces pressurized water and chemicals underground to break up the rock and release the gas.

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

The House voted 93-47 on Tuesday for a Senate resolution.

Maryland's legislature has approved four calls for a convention since the 1930s to amend the constitution. The last one in the 1970s called for an amendment that requires a federal balanced budget.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Sen. Bernie Sanders is endorsing Democrat Tom Perriello in Virginia governor's race.
 
Sanders announced the endorsement in a statement Tuesday morning, saying progressives must be elected "at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump administration and its Republican allies."
 
The former congressman faces Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the June Democratic primary.
 

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BEAR, Del. (AP) - Authorities say they're searching for three suspects after a man was shot and wounded at a New Castle County motel.
 
Delaware State Police said in statement that an unidentified 55-year-old man was shot in the head Monday in his room at the Glen Motel in Bear.
 
The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
 
Police say two men and a female suspect knocked on the victim's door. When the man opened the door the two men, who were wearing masks, rushed into the room.
 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The trial of three girls charged in a fatal school bathroom fight in Delaware began Monday with a prosecutor playing a cell phone video of the altercation.

A 17-year-old girl is charged with criminally negligent homicide, and the two other girls are charged with conspiracy. All three are being tried as juveniles.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department is requesting a 90-day continuance of a hearing this week on its proposed court-enforceable consent decree with the Baltimore police department.

The request was made Monday evening, three days before a scheduled hearing before a federal judge.

The department is citing several reasons for the request, including new Justice Department policies that federal officials say are aimed at reducing crime as well as a new memo that seeks a review of existing or proposed consent decrees.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland supporters of a bill they say would increase trust between immigrants and local law enforcement are pushing to move the measure to passage in the last week of the legislative session. Opponents, meanwhile, are working to stop it.

Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler came to Annapolis Monday to underscore their concerns. They say the measure will impede local jails from holding people on immigration detainers and make the state "a magnet" for people in the country illegally with criminal records.

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Senator Ben Cardin says he will support the filibuster against the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cardin said he held Republicans responsible for making the confirmation process untenable and for the consequences.

He also took aim at the failure of the Republicans to allow the consideration of Merrick Garland President Obama’s nominee to fill the same seat.

The Maryland Democrat made the announcement on Twitter and it came shortly after it was announced that the Democrats had the 41 votes needed to sustain a filibuster.

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Delaware lawmakers are looking at legislation that would keep auto insurance companies from using information like age and credit score to raise someone’s rates.

The measure would only allow issues such as prior at-fault accidents and the number of years the person has been driving.

In addition, there is a Good Driver provision that would reduce a person’s rate by 10 percent.

But one insurer told WBOC that this could result in the elimination of other discounts to make up the difference as a result of lower rates.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has fallen short in an effort to introduce an Internet privacy bill late in the session.

The House voted 90-45 Monday to allow the bill to be introduced with only a week left. Supporters needed 94 votes, or two-thirds, to file the bill this late in the session.

Del. Bill Frick, a Montgomery County Democrat, led the effort to file the legislation to stop an Internet service provider from selling or transferring a consumer's personally identifying information.

But Republicans contended it's too late in the session.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are poised to vote on legislation aimed at ensuring that people struggling with drug addiction get the help they need.

Supporters of the bill say denial of insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment is a major source of failed treatment efforts by people seeking help, and also a cause of the shortage of adequate treatment facilities in Delaware.

The legislation to be voted upon Tuesday is aimed at ensuring that people with private and public insurance coverage get treatment.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has sent its bill on requiring paid sick leave over to the House of Delegates.

The Senate voted 29-18 for the measure. That's a crucial vote, because 29 are how many votes the Senate would need to override a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan, who opposes the bill.

The measure as approved by the Senate doesn't go quite as far as the House initially intended.

For one thing, it would require five paid sick days instead of seven for Maryland businesses with 15 or more employees.

POTOMAC FALLS, Va. (AP) - Authorities say someone spray-painted the words "RESIST" in red on a Virginia golf course owned by President Donald Trump.

Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kraig Troxell says deputies received a call on Saturday about the vandalism at the Trump National golf course. Trump played golf with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul at the course on Sunday.

Troxell said the Secret Service is the lead investigator on the case.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a measure to allocate $28 million in additional school funding, including $23.7 million for Baltimore city.

Hogan signed the bill on Monday morning at a ceremony with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh standing behind him in Annapolis.

The money goes to Baltimore city and 10 Maryland counties that have lost funding in the state's school funding formula due to declining enrollment.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has withdrawn the nomination of Dennis Schrader to be Maryland's health secretary without a Senate confirmation vote with a week left in the state's legislative session, but he plans to keep him on the job.

Doug Mayer, Hogan's spokesman, confirmed Monday the nomination has been withdrawn.

Mayer says Schrader will continue to serve in the position and will be reappointed to the post, with the hope that he can receive a confirmation vote by the Senate next year.

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