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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia higher education officials are trying to figure out why 1.5 percent fewer students enrolled in the state's public and private colleges and universities this academic year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Maryland is being introduced.

Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo is expected to introduce the measure on Thursday with more than 50 co-sponsors.

Sen. Robert Zirkin also has introduced a measure to ban the drilling technique known as fracking in the state.

A moratorium is set to expire in October.

Proponents say fracking will create jobs, but opponents say the pollution risks are too great.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello says if elected he'll work to block construction of two proposed natural gas pipelines.

Perriello announced his opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline at a Richmond news conference Wednesday.

The former congressman said the proposed pipelines, which have drawn opposition from environmentalists and property owners, are a bad investment and Virginia should instead focus on energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.

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HANCOCK, Md. (AP) - A Potomac River protection group is organizing a demonstration against plans for a pipeline beneath the river that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Brent Walls of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network says demonstrators plan a silent protest Thursday night at an open house that TransCanada officials are holding in Hancock to discuss the plan.

The company says the project would increase supply options and system reliability.

msa.maryland.gov

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - A Howard County leader says he will veto a controversial bill declaring the county a safe place for undocumented immigrants.

Media outlets report the county council passed the bill Monday. It would also limit county employees' involvement in enforcing federal immigration law.

The bill originally had a "sanctuary county" label, but it was removed to allay fears the federal government might pull funding from the county.

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Maryland’s two Senators were among the 50 votes against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin told Capital News Service that he believes even his Republican colleagues would have wanted a more traditional nominee with experience in education.

Cardin and Senator Chris Van Hollen said they were concerned about DeVos’s lack of support for public schools as she pushed for private and charter schools.

DeVos was confirmed when Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie breaking vote.

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Governor John Carney is ordering an independent review of the hostage standoff at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in which one officer was killed.

The Delaware Democrat said that he was determined to find out how this happened.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the review will follow the criminal investigation by Delaware state police into the death of Lt. Steven Floyd.

In addition, an internal investigation is also being conducted by the Department of Correction.

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Hockey on the Eastern Shore took a hit this week.

A study commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority says that that Worcester County should take “an extremely cautious approach” in pursuing an arena.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the study found there is relatively limited market demand for such an area with a limited corporate base.

Rather it said there was a demand for an outdoor sports complex.  

But hockey fans should not give up quite yet.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's environmental secretary has halted commercial and recreational harvesting of shellfish in the Delaware Bay after a sewage spill in Kent County.

Officials say the spill from a sewage pump station in Dover discharged hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater into the St. Jones River, which empties into the bay.

The harvest closure for oysters, clams and mussels will be in effect for 21 days after the county's wastewater discharge has been halted.

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A Maryland lawsuit is challenging President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and National Immigration Law Center.

The groups argue that the executive order violates federal laws and the Constitution, saying it was "substantially motivated" by an intent to discriminate against Muslims. Plaintiffs include U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from countries named by the ban.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court has approved changes to the state's pretrial system so people are not held in jail simply because they can't afford bail.

The court's seven judges unanimously approved the changes on Tuesday. They will be effective July 1.

The change comes after the court heard hours of testimony last month on rule changes proposed by the Standing Committee on Rules and Practice and Procedure.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Civil rights advocates will be speaking in favor of a measure in Maryland designed to increase transparency in police misconduct investigations.

The American Civil Liberties of Maryland will gather Wednesday in Annapolis, along with several other groups.

They will be joined by Del. Erek Barron and Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who are sponsoring the legislation.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The city council in Charlottesville, Va., has voted 3-2 to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park.

The motion, which passed Monday, gives city management staff two months to recommend how to move the imposing equestrian monument. The council also voted Monday to re-name the park.

Councilor Wes Bellamy said community members feel the statue is culturally offensive and a symbol of white supremacy. Councilor Bob Fenwick provided the swing vote after both praising Lee and saying his record of fighting to preserve slavery is undeniable.

Delaware Tourism Office

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are touting a record-breaking year for Delaware's tourism industry.

The Delaware Tourism Office released a report Tuesday showing 8.5 million visitors came to Delaware in 2015.

In January 2015, began using a new slogan: "Delaware: Endless Discoveries."

Officials say tourism accounted for $3.1 billion of Delaware's gross domestic product and is responsible for 42,000 jobs.

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WEST OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Authorities investigating a bank robbery say the thief had thousands of dollars hidden in her underwear when troopers found her later in the day.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 56-year-old Bonnie Gay Bosman Taylor was arrested Monday in connection with a bank robbery in West Ocean City earlier that morning.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - DuPont expects to contribute another $230 million to its U.S. pension plan in 2017.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the Delaware-based chemicals company also added $230 million last year. That's the first year it contributed since 2012.

DuPont will also add $95 million into its overseas pension plans, which account for about 20 percent of its pension debt. The company committed $121 million to those funds in 2016.

Joe biden, us.gov

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Now that he's left the White House, former Vice President Joe Biden will split his time between programs at the University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania.

Officials announced Tuesday that Biden will establish a new domestic policy institute at the University of Delaware and will head a foreign policy institute for the University of Pennsylvania. The foreign policy center will be located in Washington, D.C., but Biden also will have an office on the Penn campus in Philadelphia.

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A measure to tighten up environmental regulations on large chicken operations has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly.

State Senator Richard Madaleno (D) has authored a bill that would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to identify and monitor all air pollution emitted from these facilities.

They’re known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO’s.

And, they have stirred up strong opposition on the Eastern Shore where longtime residents have complained about the new facilities that have arrived in their backyard.

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Around 30 people showed up at the Bel Air office of Congressman Andy Harris yesterday afternoon worried about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The Eastern Shore Republican supports the repeal of Obamacare and says he is favors replacing it.

The group led by the organization Together We Will-Harford County/Upper Chesapeake carried signs and shouting slogans including one suggesting that the congressman was “missing in action” on the issue.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - For the second time in a week, a dead whale has been spotted in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Media outlets report that the whale was spotted over the weekend near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center spokesman Matt Klepeisz says a team is working to determine the exact location and how to bring the body to shore.

Klepeisz says early estimates put the whale at about 30 feet, which is "consistent with the size animal we would expect to see in this area."

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There's a new report that finds the health benefits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative between 2009-2014 added up to $5.7 billion. The initiative covers the northeast states with the exception of Pennsylvania. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke about the new report with Professor Sara Via who is with the University of Maryland, College Park biology department and co-lead on the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility's Climate Health Action Team .

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two Maryland companies say the state is wrongly refusing to explain why they were abruptly bumped off a list of 15 finalists to be licensed to grow medical marijuana in the state.
    
Green Thumb Industries and Maryland Cultivation and Processing have asked a Baltimore judge to decide whether the state is abusing right to keep internal deliberations secret.   

Assistant Attorney General Heather Nelson cited that rule in more than 80 objections to attorneys' questions during the January deposition of Deborah Miran.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia communities that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities could be sued for crimes committed by people living in the country illegally under a measure approved by the state Senate.

The chamber voted 21-19 Monday on the measure from Republican Sen. Dick Black designed to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities.

Black says victims of crimes committed by people in the country illegally often have little recourse, and the bill would fix that.

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The man known as the founder of Dover Downs that brought horse and auto racing to Delaware has died at the age of 96.

David Buckson also served at Delaware’s Governor, Lt. Governor state Attorney General and a Delaware Family Court judge.

One of his sons David told WBOC that his father had a full life and was never satisfied with simply existing.

Ed Sutor, president and CEO of Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, told the televisions station that Buckson could be seen with a hat that noted he was the founder of the establishment.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Police and a mental health organization are launching a pilot program to offer some drug offenders treatment instead of jail.

Police and Behavioral Health System Baltimore announced Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, at a news conference Monday.

Through the program, police officers can refer people suspected of low-level drug or prostitution crimes to case managers, who will help them get services, including drug treatment, mental health services and housing assistance.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young is joining a coalition of council members pushing for a $15 hourly minimum wage in Baltimore.

Media outlets report that legislation is expected to be introduced Monday evening.

Maryland's current minimum wage is $8.75 and the city would follow the state's minimum wage schedule until 2018, when it reaches $10.10.

Under the proposal, hourly pay in Baltimore would continue to increase incrementally to $15 in 2022. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would have until 2026 to reach that level.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Democrats are scheduled to discuss a plan they say is aimed at protecting the state's schools from privatization.

They will be joined by representatives of the Maryland State Education Association on Tuesday.

The news conference in Annapolis comes as Betsy DeVos is up for a close vote in the U.S. Senate to become the head of the U.S. Department of Education.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is voicing his fierce opposition to an executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States and halting the refugee program, calling it "against America."
 
The Maryland Democrat spoke at a news conference at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore on Monday.
 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware wildlife officials will again allow hunters to pursue snow geese due to the high population.

WXDE-FM reports that the DNREC's Division of Fish & Wildlife is implementing a federal Snow Goose Conservation Order, beginning Monday. People will be able to hunt snow geese every day except Sunday, with no daily bag or possession limits.

It will remain in effect through Friday and then reopen Feb. 13 and run through April 7.

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Organizers of the Special Olympics Lewes Polar Bear Plunge raised $900,000, the largest amount in the event's 26-year history.

Media outlets report about 3,600 people participated in the event Sunday, plunging into 41-degree water at Rehoboth Beach.

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