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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October has come and gone.

The pink ribbons and T-Shirts that marks Breast Cancer awareness month have disappeared.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Savanah Hatch reports that too often the awareness fades.

It's Election Day

Nov 8, 2016
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Maryland residents are flocking to the polls today.

And along with the presidential race voters also will pick the replacement for one of the state's most popular politicians: Senator Barbara Mikulski.

She who is retiring this year after 30 years on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen is aiming to succeed his Democratic colleague holding a commanding lead in the public opinion polls over Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga with 58% to 29%.

Punkin Chunkin Website

The woman injured when a Punkin Chunkin machine came apart on Sunday is still in critical condition at the Christiana Medical Center.

Some of those at the event told WBOC that the 39 year old woman worked for a production company that was filming Punkin Chunkin.

Police say that she was hit in the head and face.

Meanwhile, a 56 year old man injured in the incident was treated and released from the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

The incident took place at 2:45 on Sunday afternoon when the trapdoor of the device separated as the pumpkin was launched into the air.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A federal jury has awarded $3 million to a University of Virginia administrator who they concluded was defamed by a now-discredited Rolling Stone magazine article about a gang rape at a fraternity house.

Nicole Eramo claimed the 2014 article "A Rape on Campus" portrayed her as a villain who sought only to protect the university. Eramo had sued for $7.5 million.

The jury concluded Friday that the magazine, its publisher and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely were responsible for libel, with actual malice.

Ocean City Police badge

The Ocean City police say they want more officers living in the resort to take their patrol cars home during the off-season.

The department wants to add at least five more car for program.

Currently six are allowed to do so.

Lindsay Richard with the Ocean City police said that this would provide an added sense of security for residents.

WBOC reports that each patrol car costs nearly $48-thousand including equipment for a total additional cost of $241-thousand

The program is now in its 20th year.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has again declined to hear the death row case of a man who was convicted of killing a Richmond family of four.

The high court denied Ricky Gray's petition for a rehearing Monday after declining last month to hear his appeal.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Regardless of the winners, Tuesday's election promises to significantly alter Delaware's political landscape.

Voters will elect a new congressional representative, a new governor, and new leaders of the state's two largest local governments.

Balloting in House and Senate races also will define the balance of power in the General Assembly, where Republicans are hoping to end years of Democratic rule and regain control of the Senate.

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Punkin Chunkin yesterday left two injured when one of the pumpkin machines broke apart.

When the Punkin Reaper fired off it load at around 2:40 p.m. on Sunday sending large pieces of material flew in all directions forcing many to flee from the cannon.

A man and a woman were injured in the incident.

Initially, authorities reported that she had died but are now reporting that she survived and is listed in critical condition.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that she was seen lying motionless on the ground when paramedics came to her aid.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump is accusing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe of acting "illegally" to return voting rights to convicted felons who've served their sentences.

The GOP nominee tells supporters at a midnight rally in the state that the governor is "letting criminals cancel out the votes of law-abiding citizens."

He's imploring his supporters to get out to vote.

He says, "We are going to have one of the great victories of all time," comparing it to the "Brexit" vote by The UK to leave the European Union "times 50."

National Transportation Safety Board website

BALTIMORE (AP) - An accident report shows the driver of the school bus that crashed in Baltimore this week, killing six people including himself, may have lost consciousness during an earlier crash two years ago.

According to the report released to The Associated Press on Friday, police in suburban Howard County said Glenn Chappell's spouse told them at the time that he took medication for seizures.

The accident report from Feb. 9, 2014, says Chappell was driving in Ellicott City, Maryland, when he apparently "suffered a medical condition" and lost consciousness.

Maryland Republican Party logo

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A county Republican headquarters in Maryland has been vandalized with language bashing Donald Trump.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that messages in spray paint appeared on the Wicomico Republican headquarters early Saturday morning. Someone disparaged the Republican nominee for president with foul language.

The vandal or vandals also drew Xs through campaign signs for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga.

Shawn Jester, president of the Wicomico County Republicans, said the vandalism was "cleaned up pretty quickly."

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Some parents are raising concerns about a school administering breathalyzer tests to students attending a homecoming dance.

The Wilmington News Journal that some parents were annoyed by the practice at Smyrna High School and even felt it bordered on infringing on students' rights. But parents were most concerned about being unaware of the alcohol breath tests in the first place. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials say the state saw a record number of voters casting ballots early.

Media outlets report more than 800,000 people had turned out at polls by the time early voting ended Thursday evening. That's more than the 430,500 Marylanders who voted early during the 2012 presidential election.

The record turnout means more than 20 percent of the state's registered voters will have cast ballots before Election Day on Tuesday.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - A Sussex County jury has acquitted a former Milford assistant principal of three counts of unlawful sexual contact with three girls.

Local news organizations report that the jury found 46-year-old Edward Scott Husbands not guilty on Thursday after he had been accused of molesting three of his daughter's friends at sleepovers held at his home.

During the trial, Husbands' daughter said that she had been told by her mother and aunt to lie to detectives about her father sleeping on an air mattress with the three accusers.

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How much time do we really have in life. And how much do we want to spend to extend it. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill pondered this question one day with the crow of a rooster.

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With the closing days of the presidential election coming next week, little has been said by the Democratic or Republican candidates about the health of the Chesapeake Bay. And climate change has barely come to the surface. John Lee prepared this report for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

Don Rush

Voters on the Eastern Shore flocked to the polls during the early voting period that ended yesterday.

Anthony Gutierrez, Election Director for Wicomico County, told WBOC that the goal had been to hit at least 10-thousand.

In Worcester County just over 63-hundred had gone to the polls while in Dorchester County the number was just over 32-hundred.

In Somerset County it was just over 23-hundred.

WBOC reports that election officials say early voting was up 18 percent from four years ago.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - School students from across Delaware are getting a jumpstart on next week's election.

Gov. Jack Markell, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, and state Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove planned to join student delegates Friday in Dover for  the 2016 Student Mock Elections.

The mock election is conducted each election year by teachers in partnership with state agencies, the University of Delaware Democracy Project, and the League of Women Voters.

National Transportation Safety Board website

BALTIMORE (AP) - State officials say the driver of a Baltimore school bus involved in a deadly crash with a commuter bus shouldn't have been driving because his commercial license had been suspended two months earlier.

Glenn Chappell also could have been kept from driving because he pleaded guilty in 2012 to second-degree assault. A State Board of Education regulation says a school system "may not" permit someone convicted of a violent crime to operate a school vehicle.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware environmental officials say rebates have been increased for residents and businesses that own or lease battery electric vehicles.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said in a news release Thursday that vehicles which run solely on batteries using no other fuels can get up to $3,500 rebates.

DNREC also says up to $1,500 in rebates is available for plug-in hybrid electric, propane and natural gas vehicles.

The new rebate amounts apply to vehicles and equipment purchased on or after Nov. 1.

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There were over 350 people who gathered in Georgetown for the 3rd Annual Latino Summit.

The theme was aimed at developing young Hispanic leaders under the banner, ”Connecting through Civic Engagement.”

The summit was held at Del Tech by the Delaware Hispanic Commission put together by Governor Jack Markell.

Commission member Maria Matos said it was important for the community to speak with one.

The summit discussions ranged from health and education to networking opportunities.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP)- In a switch, the majority leader of the Virginia state Senate says he supports studying the decriminalization of marijuana.
Media outlets report that Tommy Norment, one of the most powerful political leaders in the Commonwealth, announced his position Tuesday while speaking before a Norfolk City Council dinner at the Slover Library.
Norment said the issue should be studied by the Virginia State Crime Commission, which makes recommendations to the legislature.

He emphasized that he is for decriminalization and not legalization.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia's Medicaid program will need an additional $281 million in the current two-year budget.
Local news organizations report that the cost projection was disclosed to legislative budget leaders on Tuesday, two months after Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed a $1.48 billion revenue shortfall.
The McAuliffe administration says the forecast is driven primarily by higher costs for services to the elderly and disabled.

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Maryland's First Congressional District will see incumbent Republican Andy Harris seek a fourth term in this year's election after being swept into office during the Tea Party wave of 2010. His rival is Harford County Democrat Joe Werner who won a surprising victory over former Salisbury Mayor and now council member Jim Ireton. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the congressman to talk about the issues and the possibility that Washington could once again see divided government.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - It's the last day for early voting in Maryland.

Thursday is the last day voters in the state can cast their ballots ahead of Election Day. Early voting polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any person who is eligible to register to vote can vote early.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in Maryland. There are about 2.1 million registered Democrats and 1 million Republicans. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is expected to win easily in the state.

Don Rush

The Wicomico County School Board is seeking input from residents on starting the school year after Labor Day among issues.

And they have until the Friday deadline.

Earlier this year Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order directing school districts to do just that and to end the year on June 15th.

The governor said he believed that a longer summer recess would provide more time for families to be together as well more business for the tourist industry.

The school board can seek a waiver from the early start date.

National Transportation Safety Board website

BALTIMORE (AP) - Investigators in Baltimore are focusing on speed as they delve into the collision between a school bus and a commuter bus that killed both drivers and four mass-transit riders.

City police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday that both vehicles were moving "at a pretty good rate of speed" when the school bus crossed the center line and smashed into the Maryland Transit Administration bus early Tuesday morning. But he says investigators haven't determined how fast they were going.

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There will be a new psychiatric hospital in Sussex County bringing 133 new jobs.

The 93-thousand square foot facility is expected to be completed by May of 2018 spread over some six acres in Georgetown.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it will have 90 inpatient and outpatient beds and will cost up to $25 million to build.

There will also be at state grant of just over $700-thousand to support 133 full-time jobs.

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STAUNTON, Va. (AP) - The superintendent of Staunton City Schools says no one has complained directly to her office about a high school secretary dressing up as Hillary Clinton in an orange prison jumpsuit for Halloween.

However, several people have taken to social media to express concern about the costume after a picture of the secretary appeared on Robert E. Lee High School's website. The photo also showed the school principal, who was dressed as Donald Trump.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Superior Court judge has rejected the latest appeal from a man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in a jealous rage.

Clifford Wright was convicted in 2009 of beating to death his former girlfriend, Tammy Gardner, and her new boyfriend, Gabriel Gabrielli, as they slept at Gardner's home in 2006.

The bodies were found four days later in Gardner's minivan, which had been abandoned in a park in Hockessin and set on fire.