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.

Don Rush

The Sussex County Council gave the okay to rezone land near Lewes for the Gills Neck Village Center that was first put forward in 2008.

It has been scaled back from over 500-thousand square feet to 75-thousand square feet.

It sits just across from Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes and near the wellheads for the town’s water.

The vote was unanimous.

But council member Bob Arlett conceded that the traffic and environmental concerns by the public were legitimate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A legislative task force reviewing juvenile justice issues is recommending limiting the situations in which juveniles accused of crimes can be shackled.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the task force recommended some changes Thursday, but voted against a proposal to drastically overhaul shackling practices.

The panel agreed that the Department of Juvenile Services shouldn't detain youths under 13 and should be required to share more information about shackling.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to force certain internet retailers to collect sales taxes to help close a more than $1 billion state budget shortfall.

McAuliffe's proposals to plug the budget gap outlined Friday include requiring out-of-state retailers with facilities in the state to collect taxes for online purchases from Virginia residents.

McAuliffe also wants to slow the rollback of a budget-balancing gimmick that requires some merchants to pay early estimated sales taxes.

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With our self-absorbed world of high tech devices we may have lost our sense of connection with the world around us. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that we could take a lesson from the tree.

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With the promise by a new congress and President-elect Donald Trump to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act some fear many will be left without health insurance in Maryland. Maryland News Connection Veronica Carter prepared this report.

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The Cape Henlopen School Board voted 6-to-1 to offer students contraceptives and HIV testing next year.

WBOC reports that currently the wellness center provides such services as immunizations, STI and & pregnancy tests.

The contraceptives to be offered next fall will involve condoms, oral contraceptives, birth control implants and Depo-Provera.

The television station reports that a major issue has been parental consent.

That is now required for students to use the wellness center.

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Doug White was a runner.

He ran 43 straight Boston Marathons and the last 44 Caesar Rodney Half-Marathons.

And he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

This week he died at the age of 74.

Dave Pie, co-founder of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club, remembered not as much for his running as for his generosity and enjoyment of life.

He said, “God put him on this earth to make people laugh.”

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The work on improving Main Street in downtown Salisbury has been suspended.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the area between Route 13 and Poplar Hill Avenue will need a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environments because workers have come across some contaminated soil.

The city will be required to remove and dispose of the soil and ensure that the ground water is property taken care of.

The Daily Times reports that at one time there were four service stations in the area.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with few exceptions, has been introduced to the Virginia House of Delegates.

The Staunton News Leader reports the bill is known as the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," or HB 1473, and will make its way to the House floor in January.

The law allows for an exception if the life of the mother is at risk, or if there is "serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to lay out his proposed amendments to Virginia's two-year state budget.

The Democratic governor will address a joint meeting of the General Assembly's money committees on Friday.

McAuliffe announced a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this summer, which forced him to scrap planned raises for state employees and ask agency directors to plan for cuts.

The governor said late last month that the economy is improving enough to avoid some of the toughest budget cuts being considered, but didn't discuss specifics.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch says it's possible that the Justice Department and the city of Baltimore could reach a deal in the next month to overhaul the city's police practices.

She says the "ball is in the city's court" and that she'll return to Baltimore in January for an update on the progress in reaching a court-enforceable consent decree.

The city and the federal government have been working for months on a plan to improve police practices and procedures following a Justice Department report in August that found pervasive civil rights violations.

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CLARKSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Howard County police have arrested a man they say vandalized 15 properties in Clarksville.

The department said in a news release that 24-year-old Taylor Richard Allen was charged with 42 offenses, including destruction of property, malicious burning and committing a hate crime.

Police say between April and December, they responded to numerous vandalism incidents, including swastikas and other graffiti being written or painted on sidewalks, footpaths, playgrounds, mailboxes, cars and other property.

Cold Winds Blow

Dec 15, 2016
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BLACKSGURG, Va. (AP) - An arctic cold front is set to sweep into Virginia, bringing dangerously cold wind chills.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind child advisory through tomorrow morning in parts of southwest Virginia.

Temperatures are expected to be in the teens to lower 20's and then drop into the single digits tonight. Wind chill values could be 5 -to-10 degrees below zero.

Meanwhile, here on Delmarva expect the temperatures to drop down into the mid-teens tonight with some gusty winds. By tomorrow night expect freezing rain for the weekend.

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Some 50 employees in Delaware got a new lease on life.

DuPont has sold its food safety diagnostics business to Hygiena a California based life sciences firm.

The jobs range from sales and research to development and production.

They are located at the 150-acre Experimental Station near Wilmington.

Hygiena has signed a two-year lease with the right to renew.

The Wilmington News Journal reports there is a possibility that the site could wind up being the primary location for its operations.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware health officials are announcing the state's first influenza-related death of the season.

Officials from the Delaware Division of Public Health said in an advisory Tuesday that they will provide more details on the death and flu cases on Thursday. Health officials will also discuss Zika virus cases.

Flu cases were confirmed in Delaware's three counties in mid-November. Without treatment, influenza can lead to respiratory complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis as well as sinus and ear infections.

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The Indian River School Board is going give it another try.

Yesterday the board decided to present another referendum next March that would ask for a hike of 49 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

The vote was 8-to-2.

Despite the rejection last month of a referendum board member James Fritz said he was optimistic since that one lost by only 30 votes.

Superintendent Susan Bunting noted that there was some work to do in the Long Neck area where the referendum lost by a significant margin.

American Vanguard website

Some white supremacist fliers have shown up on a University of Maryland campus.

They were found at the College Park facility and put out under the American Vanguard logo which is associated with white supremacy.

The Washington Post reports that the flyer read, “We have a right to exist.”

It claims that – what it calls – whiteness is under attack with fears about becoming a minority by mid-century in the United States.  

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Delaware’s DUI checkpoints have racked up 59 arrests for impaired driving since July.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that more than 37-hundred people have been arrested for driving under the influence this year along with 39 deaths that have been attributed to alcohol.

The paper reports that on after Saturday 12 more people face DUI charges.

Other charges from the weekend checkpoint ranged from drug, child seatbelt and cell phone violations to those wanted by the law.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys for a Virginia inmate scheduled to be executed next month are challenging the state's plan to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy.

Attorneys for Ricky Gray said in a federal complaint filed Wednesday that there is a risk that Virginia "will chemically torture" the man to death when it uses compounded drugs to execute him on Jan. 18.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing $31.7 million in new funds to improve mental health care and substance abuse treatment in Virginia.

The governor announced Wednesday his proposed amendments to the state's two-year budget will include funding to pay for more same-day mental health assessments and improve mental health treatment in jails, among other things.

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Mardela Springs and Vienna are set to get help from the state of Maryland.

They have been designated as Sustainable Communities which helps local government work out a plan for responsible growth.

Stanford Robinson, president of the Mardela Springs Town Council, told WBOC that right now the city needs to deal with infrastructure such as sidewalks and problem housing.

The television station reports that Mardela Springs has already been the beneficiary of financial assistance from the state and federal government for Barren Creek.

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Ocean City is booming.

That was word from the Worcester Economic Summit.       

Andy Malis with MGH Advertising Agency told the gathering that interest in Ocean City has risen dramatically over the last few years with just under 900-thousand visitors to resort’s website.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he said he believed the greater interest was the result of billboards, TV ads and advertising at Oriole Park.

Flying Dog Brewery

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Frederick officials are moving to finalize a sale of 31 acres of city land to Flying Dog Brewery that would enable the company to vastly increase its output.

The agenda for Thursday's meeting of the Mayor and Board of Alderman includes a public hearing on contingencies of a $2.6 million transaction the city agreed to in September.

Flying Dog says the new plant would create 150 jobs and be capable of producing 700,000 barrels a year, compared with 100,000 at its existing plant in a business park south of Frederick.

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To say the least Senator Chris Coons has a lot of differences with president-elect Donald Trump.

But when the Republican shows up for National Prayer Breakfast in February the Delaware Democrat told reporters the only thing he will be offering up is prayer.

Coons and Arkansas Republican Senator John Boozman co-chair the event for next year and thus extended the invitation to the president-elect.

Attendance reaches back to President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.

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The Sussex County Council gave the green light to the Arbor-Lyn development near Rehoboth Beach

But it going to be smaller.

WBOC reports the council cut the density to four units per acre.

That means there will only 142 units – down from the initial proposal of 202.

They will include single family homes, townhouses and apartment buildings.  

There had been opposition from local residents who feared the impact of the density and the traffic congestion.

The development is located between, Route 24 and Old Landing Road.

Don Rush

Some 40 water systems across Delmarva have high levels of lead.

While the systems that serve 50-thousand people or more treat their water the risk is for the smaller systems.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the largest system affected is Tidewater Utilities which provides water to some 26-thousand people in Bethany Bay and Ocean View.

After Tidewater began treating its water the lead concentration quickly dropped to below the federal standard.

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Wicomico County and the city of Salisbury have cut a deal to extend the municipal water lines to the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport.

It was just one of a number of agreements signed this week by County Executive Bob Culver and Mayor Jake Day.

Other agreements ranged from deeding six acres near Naylor Mill Park to the County to easements including one for the county-owned Scenic Drive to allow Salisbury access to its Naylor Mill Park.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Culver declared that this was a whole new era for the city and county.

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Snow Hill has a new police chief.

Former State Trooper Tom Davis was sworn in this week after the decision by former James Pichard to step down.

Mayor Charlie Dorman told the Salisbury Daily Times that Davis had some big shoes to fill but that he believed he was a good fit for the position.

Davis also got the strong backing of Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis who praised decision to hire him.

Meanwhile, Pichard who served only a year and a half, will be going to the State’s Attorney’s office in Snow Hill.

He handed in his resignation in October.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a Virginia law requiring voters to show photo identification.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a challenge from Democrats, who argued that the law suppresses voting by blacks, Latinos and young people.

The same court recently struck down a North Carolina law that required voters to produce a photo ID.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his budget proposal will include a 1.5 percent one-time bonus for state workers next year.

McAuliffe said Tuesday during a regular appearance on WRVA-AM's "Ask the Governor" that the bonus would be paid in December 2017. He says he's setting aside $130.6 million for the pay boost, career development and money to reduce salary compression among law enforcement.

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