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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The state of Delaware has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

That’s according to a new federal study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the First State ranked 8th for chlamydia per capita and 10th for gonorrhea per capita.  

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state has ranked in the top 20 for chlamydia since 2009.

For gonorrhea Delaware has ranked 13th since 2015.

The CDC says the rise in gonorrhea is most troubling because it has become increasingly drug resistant.

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The Sussex County Council is not quite ready to offer $1.5 million to help pay for a new $4 million sports and park complex.

After getting a presentation from officials with the Sussex County Sports Center council members decided to get more input from the public.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Bobby Horsey with the leadership committee for the Sports Complex told the council that he believed the project would be “a great thing for the county.”

The facility would have eight regulation lacrosse and soccer fields as well as a cross country course.

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Dewey Beach will pay the legal fees for Town Manager Marc Appelbaum if it needed to do so.

The town commissioners voted unanimously but said it will wait two business days before providing the financial compensation.

Rick Cross the lawyer for those who have filed complaints that include sexual harassment and racial discrimination told WBOC that the town agreed to withhold payment until the issue has been decided by the courts.

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SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - Prosecutors say a former account clerk for a town near Maryland's Eastern Shore has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $169,000 from the town.

The Office of the State Prosecutor said in an email Tuesday that 32-year-old Erica Holland was indicted on one count of felony theft. A grand jury in Worcester County returned the indictment, which alleges that Holland stole the money while she was an account clerk for the town of Snow Hill.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state health actuary says health plan premiums are set to rise by an average of nearly 60 percent in Virginia's 2018 individual marketplace.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes David Shea as telling lawmakers on Monday that the increase is "unquestionably the highest we've ever seen." Shea said that next year, average monthly premiums will range from roughly $500 to $1,050 and the rise will come as many residents see their options for plans dwindle to one insurer.

Shea says this year's filing season was the most challenging of any previous one.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A new report has given Delaware an "F" grade for its fiscal health.

The analysis from Truth in Accounting claims the state had an $8.5 billion gap between assets and liabilities in 2016. The nonprofit group focuses on state budgets.

Truth in Accounting said the burden on Delaware taxpayers rose by $6,600 per person from 2015 to 2016.

The report said Delaware had assets of $2.9 billion and liabilities of $11.4 billion, with most of its bills coming from pension benefits and retiree health care.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama made an appearance at a reception for a charitable foundation named after the late son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

WDEL reports Obama visited Delaware to speak Monday at the Wilmington Country Club for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.

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Maryland State Police arrested 33-year-old Donte Sumpter of Princess Anne on Sunday for first and second degree murder among other charges.

He is accused of shooting to death 31-year-old Arthur Alford in Princess Anne.

Police were called to the scene Sunday afternoon and found Alford lying on the ground.

He was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he died.

Authorities said they found a long barrel .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun believed to have been used in the shooting.

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Perdue AgriBusiness is taking its soybean operation to Pennsylvania where it will process 17.5 million bushels a year at its new $60 million plant.

It’s the first in the Keystone state.

And it will be located in Conoy Township, Lancaster County.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the state of Pennsylvania is kicking in $8.7 million to develop the site and put in a grain elevator.

There will be an estimated 35 positions created as well as 150 construction jobs.

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No charges will be filed for the graffiti denouncing Confederate General John Winder on the sidewalks and steps around the Wicomico County Courthouse.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Salisbury police are reviewing video from surveillance cameras in the downtown area looking for the perpetrators.

But police say because the graffiti was done in colored chalk which can be washed off there was no permanent damage done to the property.

Phrases such as “Tear Down Winder and “Winder is Scum” were written on the sidewalk and steps.


Two parking lots remain closed on the Assateague Island National Seashore because of damage done by Hurricane Jose.

Those were lots 3 and 4.

But lot’s 1 and 2 were reopened shortly have the storm passed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that pounding surf hit the Virginia side of the island with the currents carrying so much sand that the two lots had to be closed along with a portion of a third.

Officials say they may not reopen until Memorial Day next year.

Clearing the lots on the south side of the island has become an offseason task.

Don Rush

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that $11.7 million will be allocated in federal highway funds to increase highway safety.

The funds will be handed out to 90 agencies and organizations across the state aimed at cutting down on crashes and related injuries and deaths.

WBOC reports that the money will be handed out by the state Highway Safety Office.

Among the local recipients are the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office which will get $10,500 while the Worcester County Sheriff’s office will receive $2-thousand.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney is urging Delawareans to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Carney is embarking on a statewide "Eco Tour" to meet with outdoor experts and small-business owners and promote outdoor recreational activities for Delawareans and visitors this fall.

Tuesday's first stop is Bellevue Mansion at Bellevue State Park in Wilmington.

Carney will then travel to Delaware City for a tour of the American Birding Association Headquarters and bike a portion of the Michael Castle Trail.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Charlottesville Police Department has released figures that show it spent nearly $70,000 on a white nationalist rally that left one person dead and dozens injured.

The money was spent on overtime for police officers, bottled water, food and batteries. The costs also included a consultation with a clinical psychologist to help prepare police for the rally.

The list of expenditures was provided to Richmond television station WRIC in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. It was also provided to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he spent the day in Delaware talking about emergency response for natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Zuckerberg said in a post Monday that Facebook is in a unique position to help with disaster response. He noted the safety check tool that asks people in a disaster area if they're safe and immediately notifies their friends and family. The post also mentioned community and fundraising tools as ways Facebook can help.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the mayor of Washington are headed to Canada together for a trade mission.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser are on a two-day trip to Toronto where they plan to promote tourism in the U.S. capital and surrounding area.

They plan to meet Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and U.S. Consul General Juan Alsace, among other meetings.

Canada is a major trade partner with all three jurisdictions. Hogan plans to extend his trip with a visit to Montreal.

Greg Bassett / Salisbury Independent

The historical marker commemorating Confederate General John Winder has drawn graffiti chalked on the steps and nearby sidewalk of the Wicomico County Courthouse.

The marker was removed from the courthouse lawn years ago and put on Main Street in Downtown Salisbury.

Phrases ranged from “Tear Down Winder” and Winder is Scum to “Lynching Happened Here”.

That last referred to the lynching of the 1931 lynching of Matthew Williams an African Americans accused of murder.

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - State police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man who was found lying in the middle of the street in Princess Anne.

A man believed to be in his 30s was found Sunday afternoon by emergency medical personnel after police received to a 911 call of a reported shooting in a residential community. The man was later pronounced dead at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. An autopsy will be performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

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BRIDGEVILLE, Del. (AP) - State police are investigating the death of a man who allegedly broke into a home just before midnight in the Coverdale area.

Police said a man called 911 late Sunday night and said a suspect had been shot inside his home. When troopers arrived, they found an unresponsive man with a gunshot wound to his upper torso in the kitchen area. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by Sussex County paramedics.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Summer may be over, but state environmental officials are reminding Delawareans that the bugs are still biting.

Officials say the recent detection of West Nile virus in caged chickens that are monitored for mosquito-borne diseases serves notice that mosquitoes remain active, especially during unseasonably warm weather.

William Meredith, Delaware's Mosquito Control Section administrator, says concerns about mosquito-borne diseases could continue for several more weeks, with the peak period for transmission lasting into mid-October.


NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A group of medical professionals from Delaware are planning a trip to a Caribbean island to provide care in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Dr. Reynold Agard, a Newark internist and president of the Delaware Medical Relief Team, tells The News Journal he hopes more than 100 doctors, surgeons, nurses and pharmacists will participate.

The medical workers will head to the hard-hit island of Dominica. It was one of the first Caribbean islands to be hit by the storm.

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The first African American to serve on the Salisbury city council could be honored with a small park or garden on land once owned by Gertrude Shockley.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that council member April Jackson who represents the district where it is located said she would like the land turned into a garden with benches and flowers.

Shockley was appointed to the council in 1987 to fill a vacancy after Norm Conway’s resignation.

She was later elected to the seat in May of 1990…and served until her death in March of 1991.

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Three fallen Wilmington firefighters were honored yesterday.

They were Captain Jerry Fickes, Lt. Chris Leach and Lt. Ardyth Hope who were killed during a blaze a year ago.

Three flags flew in a run from the Wilmington fire stations to the vacant lot where the fire took place at a home in the Canby Park neighborhood.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there were more than two dozen firefighters on hand to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Thousands of people have packed a stadium in Charlottesville for a concert intended to raise money for charity and promote unity in the aftermath of this summer's white nationalist rallies.

Dave Matthews, whose band got its start in the Virginia college town, hosted the Sunday show and thanked the attendees and performers for coming together on short notice.

He introduced Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a driver slammed into a crowd protesting the white nationalists on Aug. 12.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Local and international experts will gather at the University of Virginia to share ideas on how to tackle the opioid epidemic.

The conference on Tuesday will focus on solutions developed by community members and health care professionals.

The event will feature speakers from UVA, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Saskatchewan, Big River First Nation community, the Virginia Department of Health and others.

The conference is free and the public is invited to attend and participate.

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Officials are investigating after detecting influenza in 11 pigs recently exhibited at a fair in Frederick.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture said in a statement Sunday preliminary tests show the 11 pigs from The Great Frederick Fair are infected with influenza A. It isn't clear if that strain is potentially transmissible to humans, and additional testing is being conducted.

The statement says all swine at the fairgrounds are under a quarantine.

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The fate of former Forty-Niner quarterback Colin Kaepernick has roused a national movement with players in not just the professional leagues bending down on one knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans by police. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush took up the issue with East Coast sports writer and commentator Mike Lurie to examine the issue that has not hit the NFL.

The Salisbury Police will be looking at surveillance footage that may lead to the identities of seven people who physically assaulted four Salisbury University students.

WBOC reports that the incident took place last Saturday when the students were in the drive through.

The students say they were surrounded by seven men wearing white T-shirts.

The television station reports that three of the students were injured.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hospitals in Maryland have started trying to reduce the number of highly addictive opioid drugs that are prescribed.

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that Anne Arundel Health System hopes to cut such prescriptions in half by 2019. 

Anne Arundel joins hospitals across the region and state that are trying to fight against the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

Health systems officials recently conducted a review of opioid prescriptions among its doctors. It found wide disparities in how much was prescribed, even for the same health condition.

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Now that the municipal elections are over the Dewey Beach Town Commission will take up the case of Town Manager Marc Appelbaum.

It comes a week after an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, racial discrimination and improper conduct in office.

The probe found there was not enough evidence to immediately suspend or terminate Appelbaum.

The investigating attorney said that some of the most serious complaints occurred three or four years ago.