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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SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Authorities have identified a sixth person killed in an explosion and fire at a Maryland apartment complex.

Montgomery County police identified the man in a news release Thursday as 34-year-old Aseged Mekonen.

Seven people were killed in the Aug. 10 explosion at the Flower Branch apartments in Silver Spring. Police say investigators are still trying to identify the seventh victim.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said last week that a buildup of natural gas caused the explosion.

Delaware Coastal Cleanup website

KITTS HUMMOCK, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are kicking off this year's edition of the annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup.

This year's cleanup, the 30th in the program, will be held Sept. 17 at 53 sites up and down the state.

Officials are encouraging volunteers to preregister to ensure that each site has enough gloves, trash bags and other supplies. Preregistration closes Monday, Sept. 5.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's medical marijuana commission has released how top applicants ranked to grow and dispense marijuana in the state.

The rankings released Wednesday show that Holistic Industries in Prince George's County and Shore Naturals in Worcester County initially didn't make it into the top 15 now in line to be licensed to grow marijuana. But they were moved up into the top 15 in order to meet geographic representation outlined in the law.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - NASA says it's simulating a splashdown of its Orion spacecraft, this time with crash test dummies, as it prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. 

A pendulum will swing a test capsule into a pool of water at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday. Inside will be dummies in spacesuits that represent a 105-pound woman and a 220-pound man. 

The agency will evaluate the effects of landing at different velocities and in various conditions. For instance, one of its parachutes could fail as it returns from space or it could hit rough seas. 

Gaint Food Logo

On September 9th the Giant Food supermarket will change names in Salisbury.

It’s being taken over by ACME and comes around a month and a half after the parent company Albertson’s announced its purchase of the Giant chain.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the store will be shut down for a few days during the transition.

The parent company of Giant which owns Food Lion was forced to divest itself during a merger since it would have had a virtual monopoly in the Salisbury market.  

Creative Commons

BEAR, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police are investigating the death of a 59-year-old woman who fell from a zip line ride at Lums Pond State Park in Bear.

Authorities say the woman fell about 40 feet from the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure attraction Wednesday afternoon.

The woman was treated at the scene by New Castle County paramedics before being taken by ambulance to the Christiana Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The victim's name was being withheld pending the notification of her next of kin.

Authorities say no one else was injured.

Maryland State Police

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Prosecutors say the trials of two men accused of fatally stabbing a Baltimore stylist have been moved after new evidence indicates the crime took place in a different county.

Somerset County deputy state's attorney Wess Garner tells the Salisbury Daily Times on Wednesday that the trials of the men accused of killing 22-year-old Damon Jennings will take place in Baltimore County.

ShotSpotter

It’s something that might be out of a science fiction novel.

The technology is called ShotSpotter and can detect and locate the sound of a gunshot within a few feet.

It then sends a signal to authorities.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that the Dover police department says at a price tag of nearly $200-thousand a year it’s just not worth it.

Instead, Police Major Marvin Maily told the city council the funds would be better spent on its officers, cameras, equipment and training.

Park website

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) - The C&O Canal National Historical Park is offering free mule-drawn boat rides to mark the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.

The park says in a statement that the canal boat rides at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in Potomac are free on Thursday. The rides normally cost $5 to $8 per person.

Other centennial events Thursday in the Mid-Atlantic region include naturalization ceremonies at Fort McHenry in Baltimore and at the World War II Memorial in Washington.

public domain

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae says Japan has authorized $2 million to support a feasibility study of building a high-speed train between Baltimore and Washington.

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae made the announcement Wednesday after signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between Maryland and Japan with Gov. Larry Hogan. The agreement formalizes trade relations between Maryland and Japan.

Maryland Delaware Railroad website

Cambridge has lost its link to the nation’s railway system.  

But the tracks that been deteriorating over the years will no longer see the great trains rumbling through the town.

Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers told WBOC that the tracks were suddenly shutdown in May.

They were part of the 120 miles that the Maryland Delaware Railroad that used for its route.

The television station reports that the inspection this spring found that the wooden ties were not in good shape and that the ballast underneath was not up to snuff.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The tourism bureau for the nation's capital says Washington set a record for overseas tourism in 2015, with more than 2 million foreign visitors.

Destination DC released the visitation data on Wednesday. The tourism bureau announced in May that the city also saw a record number of domestic visitors in 2015, with more than 19 million Americans traveling to Washington.

White Marlin Open website

The winner of the White Marlin Open in Ocean City is now an open question.

James Motsko, president of the tournament, issued a statements saying that the information given by the winner presented a potential violation of the rules.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports the subsequent investigation was required by the rules and regulations.

But tournament officials did not disclose any further details including what the violations may have been.

msnbc

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is defending her decision to return to the city of Baltimore a nearly $50,000 reimbursement for assisting with riot control in 2015 after the death of a young black man whose neck was broken in a police van.
 
The Democratic official told The Frederick News-Post Tuesday that the county has a "social contract" to help other jurisdictions in times of need such as the riots after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray.
 

Don Rush

The prospect of big chicken house operations in Wicomico county drew a large audience at the Youth and Civic Center last night.

It was last chance for many of the residents who are concerned about the impact of these large operations on local developments to speak to the County Council before they make their decision on the proposed regulations.

Residents have been critical of two proposed projects including one just north of Salisbury along Naylor Mill Road.

Eddie Johnson got up to the microphone to call on the county to keep these projects from moving forward.

Don

Local residents packed a public hearing held by the Sussex County Council yesterday over the controversial Gills Neck Village Center near Lewes.

The developer JG Townsend Jr. and Company has proposed a 75-thousand square foot shopping center at the Gills Neck Road and Kings Highway intersection.

Despite downsizing the project from 521-thousand square feet the city of Lewes as well as a citizens group have lodged their opposition to the center.

Gene Bayard with the developers got some tough questions from council member George Cole.

Maryland State Fair Website

TIMONIUM, Md. (AP) - The Maryland State Fair is embracing Pokemon Go.

Fair officials said in a statement Tuesday that Sunday will be Pokemon Go Day at the fairgrounds in Timonium. They're inviting players to spend the afternoon using smartphones to capture Pocket Monsters at five fairground locations, and doing battle in two virtual gyms.

Spokeswoman Becky Brashear says there will be Pokemon contests Sunday through Sept. 1, featuring prizes such as day passes, ride vouchers and gift certificates to a sponsoring restaurant.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate president says a senior state transportation official should be relieved of his leadership role.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller wrote Tuesday that James Ports, a deputy transportation secretary, has shown an "appalling lack of professionalism and substantive understanding" about a law that creates a scoring system to rank transportation projects in the state's funding process.

The bill was a point of contention between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democrat-controlled legislature.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Students across Maryland generally improved their math scores from last year on the state's annual standardized test, but once again fewer than half of the test-takers were able to pass.

The Maryland State Department of Education on Tuesday released the scores for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam.

The tests, which debuted during the 2014-15 school year, were given in grades three through eight, and in two subjects in high school.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials say Virginia's Medicaid program has begun covering the cost of mosquito repellent to prevent people from being infected by the Zika virus.

The Washington Post reports that the program began covering repellent on Monday.

The state health department says prescriptions are required for people to obtain the payment. One refill is allowed per month.

Bay Bridge and Tunnel Website

Officials have identified 20 year old Maurice Wright of Norfolk as an apparent drowning victim who was last seen on Sunday afternoon near the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he was wading from the beach to a pontoon when he disappeared under the surface of the water.

He was not wearing a life jacket.

The paper reports that the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search last night.

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Led by the Reverend Aaron Appling around 75 to a hundred homeless advocates yesterday urged the Dover City Council to get them help.

Appling urged the council members to use their resources and power to assist them as the weather begins to turn cold this fall.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Sue Harris, co-founder of Port of Hope Delaware Incorporated, said the homeless populations is beginning to overwhelm the area.

She said that homeless organizations serving in Kent County were not able to cope with problem.

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) - Baltimore County officials narrowly voted to keep schools open on Muslim holidays, prompting shouts of "Injustice!" from some members of the public.

The Baltimore County Board of Education on Tuesday voted 6-5 against closing schools for the two most important Muslim holidays when they fall on school days.

The vote followed an emotional discussion among school board members, while dozens of Muslims stood in the audience.

If the policy had passed, the school system would have been the first in Maryland to close on Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

Delaware Council Facebook Page

The Delaware Council on Global and Muslim Affairs has made its endorsement in the upcoming primary elections.

They include New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon state Senators Bryan Townsend -- a candidates for congress and Bethany Hall-Long – a candidate for Lt. Governor.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Dr. Muqtedar Kahn, president of the Delaware Council, said that in the age of Islamophobia his community would not stay silent or be marginalized.

Townsend was thanked for his support for closing the loophole for background checks to buy firearms.

marriage equality virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia man has filed a federal lawsuit against a Catholic diocese-owned assisted living home that he says fired him because he's gay.

John Murphy served as executive director of the Saint Francis Home for about a week before he says two Catholic Diocese of Richmond officials told him he was fired because his same-sex marriage goes against church doctrine.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Two Baltimore police officers are getting back pay after being cleared of criminal charges in the death of a young black man whose neck was broken in a police van.

Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter will receive $96,855 and $70,523 respectively after being suspended without pay after being charged with manslaughter, assault and other charges in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray.

White and Porter were among six officers charged in Gray's death. Prosecutors dropped their cases after three other officers were acquitted.

msa.maryland.gov

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - A portion of Ellicott City's Main Street is re-opening after flooding last month.

Howard County officials said in a statement that beginning Wednesday a portion of the western end of Main Street that sustained minor or no damage in the July 30 flooding will be re-opened. Businesses at the western end of the street and along Tonge Row will be able to to re-open.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot, franchot.com

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says Governor Larry Hogan is popular for such a Blue state. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the state official after last week's summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties.

official campaign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has again restored the voting rights of about 13,000 felons after his previous attempt was blocked by the state's Supreme Court.

McAuliffe's announcement Monday came nearly a month after the court ruled that governors cannot restore rights en masse, but must handle them on a case-by-case basis. That ruling invalidated a previous executive order that had restored the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons who had completed their sentences.

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CROWNSVILLE, Md. (AP) - A state panel is reviewing a proposal to remove from the grounds of Frederick City Hall a statue of the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery.

It's on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the Maryland Historical Trust's Easement Committee in Crownsville. The committee makes recommendations to the trust's director. Its meetings are closed to the public.

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