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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It was during a training exercise last night when a Delaware firefighter fell to his death.

WBOC reports that Delaware State Police say a Delaware State Police Aviation Unit had been carrying out a training run at around 6:45 p.m.

The exercise was being carried out in conjunction with the Delaware Air Rescue Team.  

Authorities say the firefighter fell from a helicopter when he stepped onto the skid above the Coastal Airport in Georgetown.

The identity of the firefighter has been not been released.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A 9-year-old girl has set a new Maryland fishing record after catching a 94.6-pound cobia.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Emma Zajdel caught the fish on June 30 while fishing with family and friends near Assateague Island.

Zajdel says she struggled for about 20 minutes to reel in the fish, which she originally thought was a shark.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has struck down a Virginia law that binds the states' national political party delegates to a winner-take-all format, a ruling one GOP delegate hopes will embolden Republicans to vote for someone other than Donald Trump as their presidential nominee.

Judge Robert E. Payne ruled Monday that a law requiring the state to award all its delegates to the winners of the presidential primaries - and proscribes potential criminal penalties for those who disobey - is unconstitutional.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - A special three-judge panel is hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging Maryland's congressional districts map.

The case being heard Tuesday was filed in June 2015 and argues that Maryland's map violates the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit seeks to have the maps, which were redrawn in 2011, declared unconstitutional.

The hearing in federal court in Baltimore is a result of a U.S. Supreme Court case decided late last year. The case said that certain cases can't be thrown out by a single judge but must first be heard by a three-judge panel.

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GIBSON ISLAND, Md. (AP) - Authorities say eight people have been rescued from a burning boat near the mouth of the Magothy River.

Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson says the incident happened Sunday afternoon. Officials received a call at 4 p.m. about a fire aboard a boat located about a half-mile upstream from the mouth of the river. No injuries were reported.

Thomson says good Samaritans in two boats arrived and were able to save the eight passengers from the 28-foot vessel, which was towed in.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say the death of a 31-year-old woman whose body was found in her Delaware City home has been ruled a homicide.
Police said in a statement Sunday that officers were called to a home on Adams Street on Saturday afternoon after a friend called 911 to report finding Heather Stamper unconscious in the bedroom of her home. Stamper was pronounced dead on the scene.
Delaware State Police homicide detectives took on the investigation at the request of Delaware City police since foul play was suspected.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Republican nominee for Baltimore mayor says he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and will undergo surgery next week.
Alan Walden announced over the weekend in an email to supporters that he will undergo surgery Tuesday. The 80-year-old former WBAL-AM anchor says he is encouraged by doctors' prognosis for a full recovery, but he will be off the campaign trail for about a month.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A 120-foot-tall light tower located 14 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach is up for sale.
The Virginian-Pilot reports the Chesapeake Light Tower hit the auction block last month. Built in 1965, it's one of six towers - called "Texas Towers" - along the East Coast.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is holding President Barak Obama responsible for the tragedy that took place in Dallas that five police officers dead and at least 7 other wounded.

Appearing on the Hannity Show on Fox he said that, ”It’s his attitude to law enforcement, he clearly does not like law enforcement.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Lewis has been highly critical of the President’s sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement that has brought attention to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Proceedings are set to continue for the fourth Baltimore police officer being tried on charges arising from the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man severely injured last year in police custody.

The bench trial of Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, was scheduled to resume Monday. Rice is facing manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Donald Trump is speaking in Virginia Beach, but the speech isn't open to the public.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the speech is at 1 p.m. Monday at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee says on his website that the speech is not open to the public. Trump's campaign says he will speak about reforms to aid veterans.

The speech comes a week before the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - For the first time since a state law took effect earlier this month, Virginia State Police were providing voluntary background checks for gun sales between private parties at a gun show in Richmond.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports State Police say three private background checks were conducted during the Richmond Gun Show on Saturday at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police in Newark have arrested a homeless man they say attempted to abduct two women over the Fourth of July weekend.

Newark Police Department spokesman Bill Hargrove tells local news outlets that police arrested 35-year-old Joseph Rudge on Sunday on charges of attempted kidnapping, attempted carjacking, attempted theft, failure to re-register as a sex offender and other related offenses.

Don Rush

There is a proposal backed by the Delaware Department of Transportation to substitute a mileage tax for the current gas tax to fund road construction and repair.

Delaware along with four other states on the East Coast have suggested that motorist pay a fee based on the distance that they drive.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the proposal is a response to a request by federal transportation authorities to come up with alternative ways to pay for road construction.

The request comes in the wake of stagnant funding form the current gas and diesel tax.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are recommending probation for a former state Senate candidate and local Republican Party official who pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges.

Matthew Opaliski faces sentencing next week after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful dealing in firearms. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other firearms counts.

WINDHAM, Conn. (AP) - The first 85 students are slated to start classes this fall under a new scholarship program that assists immigrants in states where they face hurdles in attending public universities.

Eastern Connecticut State University and Delaware State University are partnering with TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund, to host the selected students. Forty-six have been accepted at Eastern, 39 at Delaware State.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delmarva Power says it is anticipating increased demand for electricity throughout the area Friday as hot weather continues to scorch the mid-Atlantic region.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Friday that includes northern Delaware, with temperatures near 95 degrees and a heat index of up to 101 degrees.

Delmarva Power says the region's power supply should be sufficient to meet high demand, but that customers can help conserve energy and save money through incentive programs during the period from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents of Lewes gathered at the city hall this week as local officials heard them speak out about the proposed Gills Neck Village Center as the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission takes up the issue next week. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Lewes Mayor Ted Becker about the issues that concern the town.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Medical Examiner Carol Allan testified that she determined Freddie Gray's death in police custody was a homicide in part because he lacked the "extreme force" required to snap his own neck.

As the first prosecution witness in the manslaughter trial of Police Lt. Brian Rice, Allan said that "if a seat belt had been used, then the type of injury Mr. Gray sustained would not have occurred."

She did clarify that her homicide determination "is a definition that has no standing, legally," and that it simply means "death at the hands of another."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Police say the manager of a Baltimore rapper killed in a "targeted attack" has been gunned down as well just days later.

Police announced Thursday that 24-year-old Trayvon Lee died at a hospital after being found shot in the upper body Wednesday night on the block where he lived in Baltimore.

Police say Lee managed the career of Tyriece Watson, a local rapper known as Lor Scoota, who was killed June 25. Lee is listed in state records as the resident agent of YBS Records.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia delegate to the Republican National Committee national convention who opposes Donald Trump's bid for the presidency is hopeful an upcoming federal ruling on state election law will serve as a spark for the GOP to pick a different candidate.

Carroll Correll Jr. said outside a federal courthouse in Richmond on Thursday that Republicans can do better than Trump.

Don Rush

The Port of Salisbury could be getting a new look.

The Salisbury City Council okayed the development of two pieces of property for commercial and residential use.

The vacant lots are wedged between a city park and a residential complex and encompasses around 15-thousand square feet.

WBOC reports that it would include retail along with apartments, a boat house and an outdoor recreation area.  

Completion is expected over the next three years.

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Democratic candidates running for office in Delaware may be getting a signal to reconsider their chances in the September primary.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a letter has been sent out by state Democratic Party urging all of their candidates running for state and local office to give “a second and third thought” to their candidacy.

The state chairman John Daniello told the paper that the letter was not meant to single out anyone candidate but was sent out to all 63 candidates vying for office in the primary.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel has been formed to study ways to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution that comes by way of the Conowingo Dam.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the multi-agency work group Thursday.

The Hogan administration announced it will be looking to determine whether dredging the dam and re-use of dredged materials can be done efficiently.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are trying to make it easier to sign residents up to vote.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that starting this month residents will be able to apply electronically for voter registration at Department of Motor Vehicle service centers and mobile offices.

Residents have been able to apply to register to vote at DMV locations since 1996. They currently have to fill out a paper application, which is then sent to the Department of Elections.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has picked a new secretary of agriculture and forestry for Virginia.

The Democratic governor said Thursday that Dr. Basil I. Gooden will take over for current Secretary Todd Haymore. Haymore is leaving to become secretary of commerce and trade.

Gooden has been serving as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2014.

Prior to that, the Virginia native worked as chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

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SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot is taking a walking tour of Sykesville.

The comptroller's visit on Friday comes after the town was named "Coolest Small Town in America" by Budget Travel magazine.

Franchot will visit several local businesses.

Mayor Ian Shaw, Town Manager Dawn Ashbacher and Economic Development Director Steven Colella will join Franchot at all stops.

It's the second time in three years that a Maryland town has won the magazine's "Coolest Small Town" contest. Berlin on the Eastern Shore won in 2014.

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Prosecutors said in opening statements that the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray was criminally negligent when he failed to buckle him into a seat belt or direct other officers to ensure the man's safety.

Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice faces manslaughter, assault and other charges stemming from the Gray’s death, whose broken neck in the back of the police van last year sparked riots and upheaval.

A heat wave is spreading across Delmarva with hot air that is expected to bring the temperatures up into the 90’s.

The heat index values are expected to reach over a hundred over the next three days.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that so far the emergency services in Salisbury have not gotten any heat-related calls.

But residents are urged to take precautions with Code Orange warnings.

Among the recommendations are to keep inside a cool place and drink lots of liquids, particularly water.

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A fiery crash along Route 50 in West Ocean City killed a driver late last night.

The accident occurred around 9 p.m. in the Grays Corner Road area and involved a single vehicle.

WBOC reports that authorities say 19 year old Nicholas Quental from Manassas, Virginia was driving his 2004 Infiniti west bound.

It then veered off into the center divider hitting a tree.

Quental was thrown from the car before it went up in flames.

There was no one else in the car and he was pronounced dead at the scene.