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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We depend upon our ability to see almost to the exclusion of the rest of our senses. But, what happens if you become sightless? And, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill ponders what wisdom might flow from it.

Don Rush

There's a winter weather advisory in effect until 10 a.m.

Today -- Mostly cloudy. 80% chance of snow. Little or no accumulation. Highs in the upper 30's. Northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph. with gusts of up to 25 mph.

Tonight -- Partly cloudy. Lows in the Upper 20's. Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20's. West winds of 10 to 15 mph.

Tomorrow -- Partly Sunny and breezy. Highs in the lower 50's. Highs in the lower 50's. Southwest winds of 15 to 20 mph. with gusts of up to 30 mph.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hundreds gathered at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Sunday to protest an executive order banning refugees from entering the United States.

Protesters carrying signs chanted, "no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here."

On Sunday, social media reports said crowds were spilling out of the international terminal. Protesters held signs that read, "Welcome home," and "No Ban, No wall," among many others.

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Officials from Delaware also joined a protest against the executive order.

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The Princess Anne Town Commissioners have decided to keep Lionel Frederick’s seat open.

It has been on hold since his conviction more than a month ago on extortion charges.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the commissioners decided to hold his seat open until Frederick exhausts his appeals.

If Frederick is successful he would be reinstated.

Meanwhile, Daily Times reports that the town pulled the payment from his $6-thousand salary pending the outcome of the legal process.

Frederick has also been barred from participating in commission business. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are introducing legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use.

Supporters are scheduled to talk about the measure on Monday.

One measure would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol.

Another bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana.

The General Assembly decriminalized marijuana in 2014. People caught with less than 10 grams are now issued a $100 ticket. The fine increases to $500 for repeat offenses.

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Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons denounced President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees in fiercely worded statements.

Carper, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, questioned Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Delaware Democrat noted that as Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt eliminated the environmental protection unit and raised millions of dollar from the fossil fuel industry.

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Senator Ben Cardin says will not support the nomination of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education.

The Maryland Democrat said he was deeply troubled by – what he called her lack of support for the nation’s public schools.

Cardin said that the charter school programs supported by DeVos would drain revenue and resources from the public schools.

In addition, he said that he was concerned about her lack of ability to discuss the long-standing issues being debated in education community.

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There’s a coastal flood warning in effect for Kent and Sussex Counties until 11 a.m.

In Accomack County it will be in effect until 10 a.m.

While the ocean looked a little bit angry the Salisbury Daily Times reports that Ocean City officials say there was little flooding being reported.

Winds were expected to move north and northwest with speeds of up to 30 mph with some gusts as high as 35 mph.

Most of the damage from the high winds hit trees.

Don Rush

If you have questions about your Maryland state taxes you’ll be able to get some help from a new call center located on the Eastern Shore.

Yesterday Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot along with other officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

He said, “I am very excited to open this call center. It’s the very first one. And we’re doing it on the Shore. Because we care about the Shore. It’s a region that the state of Maryland is lucky to have.”

The center will create some 25 jobs and is located in Salisbury University’s Sea Gull Square complex.

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Senator Ben Cardin says he will vote no on the nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.

The Maryland Democrat said he believed Tillerson’s business orientation could compromise his ability to represent the United States.

He said that during the confirmation hearings the nominee prioritized narrow business interests over national security interests.

Cardin noted that Tillerson declined to characterize Russian and Syrian atrocities as war crimes or the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines as human rights violations.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A leading budget analyst for Maryland's legislature is telling lawmakers they need to do more to address future state spending, especially due to uncertainties about how federal spending decisions could affect the state.

Warren Deschenaux said Gov. Larry Hogan's budget plan makes hard decisions to balance the books for the next fiscal year. But he says the Republican governor's plan to address mandated spending in future years is "relatively weak tea."

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials are poised to set the date for a special election that will decide the balance of power in Delaware's state Senate.

The 10th District seat was formally vacated last week by Democrat Bethany Hall-Long, who was sworn in as lieutenant governor.

Now presiding officer of the Senate, Hall-Long says she plans file a writ to set a date for the election when the Senate reconvenes Tuesday.

Under state law, the election must be held not less than 30 nor more than 35 days after the writ is issued.

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - New research partly blames climate change on the loss of Virginia's saltwater marshland.

William & Mary says in a press release that these environmentally important areas support various birds and reptiles.

Researchers from the university's Virginia Institute of Marine Science say the combination of storms and sea-level rise have pushed Virginia's barrier islands further inland. In turn, salt marshes are buried.

Since 1870, Virginia has lost about 8,000 acres and 10 percent of its back-barrier saltmarsh habitat.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry website

CAPE MAY, N.J. (AP) - Rough weather is keeping the Cape May-Lewes ferry at its dock.

Officials canceled all trips on Monday because of high winds and rough seas.

The boats ply the waters between Cape May in New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware.

Hayden Donnelly

Local officials have plans to remake Crossroads of Delmarva.

Mayor Jake Day has presented plans to develop a nine mile pathway cutting through the heart of Salisbury.

The price tag is over $14 million and the city council members appear to be on board.  

Delmarva Public Radio’s Hayden Donnelly prepared this report.

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Concord High School is in mourning today after the death over the weekend of Thom LaBarbera.

The school is closed today after students, faculty and family members met in the high school’s cafeteria on Sunday night.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are few details of the tragic death from school officials except to say that the social sciences teacher will be sorely missed.

He taught at the school for 20 years.

At the cafeteria last night many shared stories about the beloved instructor.

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Two boaters were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard yesterday morning when they ran aground on an island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The Coast Guard picked up the two leaving the boat behind in the face of deteriorating weather conditions.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports there is a small craft advisory around the bridge until 1 p.m. with waves as high as 3 to 5 feet.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - New figures from Maryland transportation officials say Gov. Larry Hogan's decision to slash toll rates didn't have much impact on the state's bottom line.

The Maryland Department of Transportation says the state collected just $5.1 million less from tolls in 2016 than it did the previous year.

Hogan, a Republican, cut toll rates around the state in 2015, calling it needed tax relief.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Bay Bridge had the biggest drop in toll revenue, collecting $28.1 million less in 2016 than in 2015.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Although possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in Maryland, the state's highest court has ruled that police can still search a car without a warrant if they smell pot.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Court of Appeals issued the unanimous opinion on Friday. Judge Shirley Watts wrote that "decriminalization is not synonymous with legalization, and possession of marijuana remains unlawful."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A General Assembly ethics committee has hired outside counsel to help with its review of a lawmaker who was a leading advocate for medical marijuana while working as a consultant for an aspiring medical marijuana business.

Media outlets report that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller disclosed the hiring of the special counsel on Friday. He told The Baltimore Sun that the unusual move "means we take the case very seriously."

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SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Hampton Roads region now has six police departments with liaisons to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Suffolk is one of the latest cities to join in. The liaisons who started there in January are detectives Tiffany Whitten, who is gay, and Sean Rowan, who is heterosexual. The city of Hampton recently created similar positions, as well.

The Suffolk detectives say it's important to maintain a line of communication with the community, whose members might not always feel comfortable talking to police.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A judge has granted the Justice Department's request to postpone a hearing on a proposed consent decree involving Baltimore's police department to give officials time to brief the new administration of President Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar noted Friday that the city didn't object to the delay. He put off the hearing from Tuesday to Feb. 1.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen says he will vote against three of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations.

The Maryland Democrat says he will oppose Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General saying that he is trouble by his record on voting rights and the rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community.

He also said he did not believe that Sessions would provide an independent check on Trump’s push to bar Muslims from coming into the country.

Maryland’s Junior Senator said he opposed Chris Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A former death row inmate has been acquitted of all charges after being retried for a drug-related killing.

Twenty-nine-year-old Isaiah McCoy, who waived his right to a jury trial, bowed his head and wept after a Kent County judge declared him not guilty in the 2010 killing of 30-year-old James Mumford.

Don Rush

As Donald Trump is about to take the oath of office around thirty-two organizations yesterday joined together to form the new Delaware Civil Rights Coalition.

The aim of the organization is to bring together civil rights and religious groups from all three counties.

And they will deal with issues involving women, Muslims, African Americans and the LGBT community.

But formation of the group comes in the wake of the contentious presidential campaign in which charges of sexism and racism permeated the political battle.

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Congressman Andy Harris will probably stay in his current position.

The Eastern Shore Republican told the Salisbury Daily Times that he would probably turn down an offer to head the National Institutes of Health.

The journal Nature reported yesterday that the current NIH director Francis Collins was asked to stay in his job for the time being.

Harris has pushed for reforming NIH as a member of a House Appropriations subcommittee.

He told the paper that he was in a better position get reforms those reforms as a member of congress.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. John Carney is showing a spirt of bipartisanship as Republican Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office as president.

Carney's office says he will attend Trump's inauguration on Friday with his guest, Republican state senator Colin Bonini of Dover.

Bonini and Carney squared off in last year's gubernatorial contest in Delaware, but maintained a civil tone toward each other during the campaign.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Joe Biden, who rode the rails between Delaware and Washington almost daily as a senator before becoming vice president, is taking a final train ride to a welcome-home ceremony after attending the presidential inauguration.

Biden and his wife, Jill, were scheduled to board an Amtrak train bound for Wilmington on Friday after attending the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore police officials say the department cut its use of stun guns nearly in half in 2016.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the department reported 181 stun gun incidents in 2016, a 46 percent decline from the record high of 347 the agency recorded in 2015.

Commissioner Kevin Davis enacted a new policy in July that required officers to use stun guns only when suspects display "active aggression." Previously, officers could stun suspects for failing to follow orders.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The federal judge presiding over a settlement between the Baltimore Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department has asked the city's mayor to appear in court to discuss the costs of the agreement.

In a letter sent Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Bredar said he wants Mayor Catherine Pugh to appear at a hearing next week to address whether he can accept the terms of the proposed agreement without an estimate of how much it would cost to execute.

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