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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There is a battle brewing over how charter schools are audited in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state Representative Kim Williams (D-Wilmington) would like the state auditor to choose and oversee the companies that do the financial reports.

But state Senator Dave Sokola (D-Wilmington) wants a measure that would tighten the current practice of allowing the charter schools to work out their individual contracts with the auditing companies.

The measures come on the heels of a number of scandals that have hit the charter schools in the First State.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate president says he is planning to hold votes to override some of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes this week.
 
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced Tuesday that he is scheduling votes for Thursday.
 
The legislature controlled by Democrats is looking at trying to override a veto of a bill that would ensure third-party websites pay all of the state's sales tax. Lawmakers also are considering trying to override a veto of a measure to decriminalize the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
 

More Snow on the Way

Jan 19, 2016
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The snow may be melting from the weekend but the National Weather Service says to expect the snow to return by Thursday night.

The outlook calls for hazardous weather conditions in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties and the Eastern Shore of Virginia from Thursday through Saturday.

Sussex County is also expected to be under hazardous weather conditions northward.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Friday afternoon is expected to turn into a mix of snow and rain.

Snow Lingers in Region

Jan 19, 2016
Don Rush

There was a blanket of snow on the ground for the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.

Shovels and scrapers were out in force as people swept off driveways and cleaned windshields.

Despite the few inches the region received the frigid temperatures eased with the day’s sunlight.

WBOC reports that the road conditions were manageable with crews salting Salisbury’s seven snow emergency routes on Sunday afternoon.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A new poll shows that U.S. Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are very close in the number of people likely to vote in Maryland's Democratic primary in April.

Van Hollen, who represents Maryland's 8th District, got was favored by 38 percent of likely voters in the primary. Edwards, who represents the 4th District, got 36 percent. Twenty-four percent were undecided, according to the Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies poll released early Tuesday.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Following an increase in babies born with drug or alcohol dependencies in Delaware, officials are working to ensure that when a "high-risk" baby is discharged, it'll be going home to a safe environment in which the mother has a necessary support system in place.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Taxation says its individual income tax filing season is open.

Tuesday's starting date coordinates with the start of the federal tax filing season. The deadline to file 2015 Virginia tax returns is May 2.

Virginia tax officials say they are more carefully reviewing all returns to protect against identity theft and tax refund fraud, so it may take longer to receive refunds than in past years. They recommend that taxpayers file electronically and choose to receive refunds by direct deposit rather than by check.

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Delaware marked Martin Luther King Junior day with parades and ceremonies.

In Wilmington seven high schools held a contest that included speeches, poetry and rap on how King had affected their hopes and dreams.

One 15-year old told the Wilmington News Journal that King was the foundation for a better future.

The event was sponsored by the YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred.

Meanwhile, the Wilmington Riverside neighborhood saw around a 100 volunteers create a 882 square-foot mural at the Kingswood Community Center depicting their experiences.

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Rehoboth Beach says no to off shore oil drilling.

The resort’s city commission voted 6 to 1 for resolution and that makes it yet another coastal municipality to express it opposition.

Those who favored the resolution said that they were concerned about the impact of the seismic techniques on the local marine life.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that only Mayor Samuel Cooper voted against the resolution.

He expressed his concern that the process had been rushed.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gun groups are squaring off at the Virginia General Assembly.

Pro-gun rights groups held a morning rally at the Capitol Monday, and gun control advocates held one a few hours later.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A legislative panel has rejected a bill to decriminalize adultery in Virginia.

Media outlets report that the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the measure on a voice vote Monday.

State law classifies marital infidelity as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax County proposed keeping the $250 penalty but making adultery a civil offense.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says the state will begin a new partnership with Pride of Baltimore II, using the schooner to promote economic development opportunities for Maryland.

Hogan, a Republican, said in a news release Monday that the state will commit $1.5 million to the nonprofit that owns and operates the Pride over the next three years.

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In this fast paced market place, competition is the prize. But, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that we should think more about that other human trait: cooperation.

Don Rush

Mayor Jake Day is getting into efforts to bring a Cracker Barrel to the Centre at Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he wants to meet with Centre officials and a mall anchor store that has been keeping the restaurant chain out of the mall.

Day told the Daily Times that the delay is only “a snag”.

The Cracker Barrel got the okay from local government officials for the location.

The paper reports there had been efforts six years ago to put the restaurant at the old Zia’s site near the mall but that did not materialize.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A fire that heavily damaged an oceanfront condominium building in Ocean City has been ruled accidental.
 
The Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire started in an open parking area on the ground floor of the Pelican Beach condominiums on 140th Street on Wednesday morning.
 
Fire officials said in a news release that the fire quickly engulfed a pickup truck that was carrying a running generator and spread to the ceiling.
 

news.delaware.gov

The new Labor Secretary in Delaware has gotten high praise from a coalition of ministers and the NAACP after accusations have swirled around agency of racist atmosphere in the agency.

Patrice Gilliam-Johnson is African American and has known Governor Jack Markell for decades.

She is chairwoman of the Organizational Dynamics program at Wilmington University.

The appointment comes after 73 year-old John McMahon announced his retirement as his agency faced accusations of racism in a report by the coalition of ministers.

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There is a suspect in the bomb threat phoned into Stephen Decatur High School this week.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it is a student who is charged with the threat of arson and disturbing school activities and personnel.

He is being charged as a juvenile.

On Wednesday a bomb threat was phoned in causing the high school to be evacuated.

The student was taken into custody yesterday and sent to the Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center in Salisbury. 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved a resolution apologizing for Delaware's role in slavery and wrongs committed against blacks during the Jim Crow era.

The resolution passed on a 38-1 vote Thursday and now goes to the Senate.  Gov. Jack Markell has said he supports the measure.

Chief House sponsor Rep. Stephanie Bolden acknowledged that the resolution is a symbolic measure aimed at promoting "reconciliation and healing."

The resolution states that it is the General Assembly's intent that it not be used in, or be the basis for, any litigation.

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The effort to override Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s veto of a measure that would have allow students to opt out of the state’s standardized test has failed.

Representative John Kowalko tried to get a resolution to suspend the House rules in order to get a vote on opt out legislation.

But it failed by a vote of 13 to 26.

The Newark Democrat told the Wilmington News Journal that he will try to get the legislation onto the regular agenda but he said he was not optimistic.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a bid by Donald Trump supporters to block the use of a party affiliation statement in Virginia's Republican presidential primary.

U.S. District Judge Hannah Lauck declined to issue a preliminary injunction Thursday.

GOP leaders last month persuaded the Virginia State Board of Elections to require voters in the party's March 1 primary to sign a statement affirming that they are Republicans. Three black pastors are sued, arguing that the "loyalty oath" violates their civil and free-speech rights.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have approved proposed changes to Delaware's corporate income tax system to eliminate disincentives for multistate firms to hire workers and invest in property in the state.

The legislation, supported by Gov. Jack Markell, was approved Thursday on a 36-to-2 vote and sent to the Senate.

The bill revises a formula that equally factors the Delaware-based percentages of a company's total payroll, property and sales in calculating the state income tax due.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA is adding a third company to its short list of space station suppliers.

On Thursday, NASA announced Sierra Nevada Corp. will join SpaceX and Orbital ATK in launching cargo to the International Space Station. These flights, yet to be finalized, will  run through 2024.

Sierra Nevada competed for NASA's commercial crew contract, but lost out in 2014 to SpaceX and Boeing. This marks a second chance for the Nevada-based company, which is developing a mini shuttle. The other companies use standard-shaped capsules.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorneys general from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are getting together to talk about ways they can reduce gun violence in the region.

Friday's first-of-its kind meeting in Washington will focus on illegal guns and ways the jurisdictions can work together to cut down on gun trafficking.

All three attorneys general are Democrats who support gun control. Brian Frosh of Maryland, Mark Herring of Virginia and Karl Racine of the District will speak to reporters following their meeting.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore judge has scheduled a hearing on a state motion asking the court to force an officer whose trial ended in mistrial to testify against other officers charged in Freddie Gray's death.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams will hear from attorneys for Sgt. Alicia White asking to strike down an order to force Officer William Porter to testify against White and Officer Caesar Goodson at trial.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A commission appointed by Baltimore's mayor is recommending that the city remove two of four Confederate monuments on public property.

The seven-member panel voted on Thursday to urge removal of Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place and the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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The Cape Henlopen School District wants a $154.5 million referendum to go before the voters.

The funding request comes after the state of Delaware offered $106 million for renovating and rebuilding five elementary schools.

WBOC reports that school officials say the request is based on need not want pointing out that the average elementary school in the district is 70 years old.

The referendum proposal is set to come up before the Board of Education at 6 p.m. at Beacon Middle School.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore officials have approved spending $200,000 for equipment police say will improve the safety of the department's vans.
 
The Board of Estimates voted Wednesday to authorize the funds for new compartments in 13 existing vans and 10 more the police department is purchasing.
 
The issue of safety in police transport vans gained wide attention after the death of Freddie Gray a week after his neck was broken during a van ride.
 

Don Rush

There was another bomb threat yesterday.

This time at Stephen Decatur High School.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Worcester County school district officials said the high school got a live call at around 9:30 a.m.

The school’s 13-hundred students were quickly evacuated.

Law enforcement officials found no explosives and the students went back to class at around 11:25 a.m.

Meanwhile, there was a rumor of a bomb threat at Richard A. Shields Elementary School.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Ocean City officials say a fire heavily damaged a condominium building, sending black smoke over the ocean.

Town communications manager Jessica Waters says the fire at the Pelican Beach condominiums on 140th Street was reported about 11 a.m. Wednesday. She says there no injuries; the building was not occupied, and three maintenance workers escaped safely.

Photos show the front of the four-story building was charred. Waters say the blaze spread to vegetation in dune area on the side of the building.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republicans are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to put a new congressional map for Virginia on hold and allow the 2016 elections to proceed under the old boundaries.

A three-judge panel last week ordered the state to impose a new redistricting plan crafted by a court-appointed expert. The panel had previously ruled that lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed black voters into the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bobby Scott, to make surrounding districts safer for GOP incumbents.

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