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) - A judge says she will rule Thursday on a bid by Donald Trump supporters to immediately block the use of a party affiliation statement in Virginia's Republican primary.

U.S. District Judge Hannah Lauck made the statement Wednesday at the end of a three-hour hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction.

GOP leaders last month persuaded the Virginia State Board of Elections to require voters in the March 1 primary to sign a statement affirming they are Republicans. Trump has criticized the requirement, saying it would scare off new GOP voters.

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave a warning to Republican lawmakers that he would veto any legislation he thought would curb abortion rights or expand gun rights in a way he thinks is unsafe.

McAuliffe issued the warning during his State of the Commonwealth address to the legislature last night.

The governor has been an outspoken advocate for abortion rights and signed an executive order last year banning the open carry of guns in some state-owned buildings.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland Lottery officials say three Powerball tickets sold in the state are worth $1 million.

Officials say Maryland didn't have a big jackpot winner after Wednesday night's drawing, but three second-tier winning tickets were sold in the state. Those tickets were sold at a Wawa on Urbana Pike in Frederick, an Amoco on Walker Mill Road in Capitol Heights and a 7-Eleven on Annapolis Road in Bladensburg.

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Time may be running out for 15 developments in Sussex County.

They have until July 1st to demonstrate that they have begun major work at the site.

Otherwise their land use permits will expire.

This would affect nearly 16-hundred homes.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the County Council issued extensions this week for these projects -- many of which -- were begun in the mid-2-thousands just before the Great Recession decimated the housing market.

The council denied extension for five projects.

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Sharp criticism is coming from civil rights groups for new disciplinary rules for public schools in Delaware.

The new regulations by the Department of Education, they said, would make it too easy for administrators to suspend or expel students rather than seek alternatives.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware believes the new regulations would remove safe guards against suspensions or expulsions for minor infractions.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of putting ignition interlocks in the vehicles of all drunk drivers in Maryland are moving quickly to underscore how it could save lives.

Del. Ben Kramer and Sen. Jamie Raskin held a news conference Wednesday with Lisa Spicknall, the state program director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

They were joined by Capt. Tom Didone, a Montgomery County police officer and a colleague of Officer Noah Leotta, who was killed in December while working on a driving under the influence assignment.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are poised to challenge Gov. Jack Markell's veto of a bill allowing Delaware students to opt out of standardized tests.

The legislation would allow students to opt out of tests without repercussions. It is aimed in particular at the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is tied to Common Core standards championed by Markell.

Rep. John Kowalko, a Newark Democrat, was expected to seek an override vote Thursday, following a rally by supporters of the legislation.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers are mulling legislation changing Delaware's corporate income tax system in an effort to eliminate disincentives for multi-state firms to hire workers and invest in property in Delaware.

The legislation was to be heard in the appropriations committee Thursday after clearing the revenue and finance committee Wednesday.

Don Rush

There was a second day of automated bomb threats against Delmarva schools yesterday.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Delmar Elementary School received threats and that calls went out to parents. Eventually the facility was declared safe.

The paper also reports that police said bomb threats were also made to Millsboro Middle School and Beacon Middle School in Lewes which prompted evacuations.

In addition, Ocean City Elementary School got a phone call that was not automated at around 9:15 a.m.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are gathering for their annual 90-day legislative session.

The General Assembly convenes at noon on Wednesday.

Democratic leaders who have majorities in the Senate and House say they will be working to maintain funding priorities, particularly in education.

Gov. Larry Hogan battled with Democrats over the state budget last year, the governor's first session after winning office in 2014. Hogan wanted more tax relief, and Democrats pushed for more education funding.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawmakers are returning to Richmond to kick off the 2016 legislative session and to hear Gov. Terry McAuliffe's State of the Commonwealth speech.

The Democratic governor is entering his third year in office and will be seeking support from state lawmakers to support his $109 billion proposed budget that includes a billion-dollar increase in education spending, small corporate and individual tax cuts, and a 2 percent raise for state employees.

He delivers his third State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

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Delaware Labor Secretary John McMahon is stepping down amidst allegations of workplace racism in his agency.

He announced yesterday that he will be retiring at the age of 73.

The issue of racism in Delaware state government has gotten the attention of Governor Jack Markell who recently received a report by African American leaders that found state employees complaining of a racially hostile environment.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Markell is expected to name a replacement in the coming days and he praised him for his work during the Great Recession.

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New County Council Executive Tom Gordon has restored funding for a start-up stock exchange in Wilmington.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the county leader is using tax reserves for the project.

But County Council member Penrose Hollins called the move “money laundering” and it is expected to set off another fight over how the county invests its funds.

The council has already authorized $10-thousand to explore the legality of Gordon’s action.

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A videotaped confession in the murder case of freed former death row inmate Jermaine Wright will be allowed to be used by prosecutors in the retrial.

Delaware’s Supreme Court unanimously overturned a lower court ruling that threw out the confession in the 1991 death of Phillip Seifert.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the confession was a key element in the state’s death penalty case when Wright was tried twenty years ago.

The paper reports that this means Wright will be taken into custody to await his trial.

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The Wicomico County Education Association has released the results of a new survey.

The two top concerns of 70 percent of those polled revolve around safety and disrespect in the classroom.

Gary Hammer, president of the Association, said that his members have noticed a significant change that lead him to sound the alarm.

But WBOC reports that Superintendent John Fredericksen responded by saying that disciplinary actions in schools have actually declined in the school this year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Police say a gun was fired in the restroom of a middle school in Delaware but no one was injured. Two male students, ages 12 and 13, are in custody.

A police news release says officers were called to Central Middle School in Dover about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday after staff heard a gunshot in a boys restroom. Officers say officials reviewed video footage and identified a 13-year-old student as the only person in the restroom.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's state auditor says there's no proof that a multimillion-dollar energy efficiency project involving legislative mall buildings will ever pay off for taxpayers.

The project is part of a $67.4 million energy savings initiative by the Sustainable Energy Utility involving a variety of state facilities. The SEU is a state-created nonprofit closely tied to Sen. Harris McDowell III, D-Wilmington, its co-founder and chairman.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House panel is set to consider a bill that could make the workings of Delaware's Family Court system more transparent.

The bill, which passed the state Senate unanimously in June, was scheduled to be discussed Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation includes recommendations from a task force formed to consider the feasibility of opening more Family Court proceedings, which often are conducted in secret, to the public.

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ANNAPOLIS (AP) - Maryland's second-highest court has scheduled a March hearing on a dispute that has stalled the murder trial of a Baltimore police officer in the death of Freddie Gray.

The Court of Special Appeals said Tuesday that it will hear oral arguments March 4 on whether Officer William Porter must testify against Officer Caesar Goodson.

Goodson drove the van in which Gray suffered a fatal neck injury. Porter testified at his own trial that he told Goodson that Gray had asked for medical help. Porter's trial ended in a hung jury. He's awaiting retrial.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland law enforcement leaders are urging lawmakers not to override two of Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes relating to marijuana and the seizure of assets in criminal cases.

Groups representing states attorneys, police chiefs and sheriffs spoke against the measures Tuesday, a day before the legislative session begins.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Newly released figures show Virginia State Police arrested more people than ever in 2015 for illegally attempting to buy firearms at state gun shows.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports state troopers arrested 91 people last year at 75 gun shows on charges related to someone being prohibited from possessing a firearm. That's a 54 percent increase over 2014 and the most since 71 people were arrested in 2013.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police are investigating after multiple bomb threats were made at schools around the state.

Police say several Delaware schools were evacuated Monday after receiving computer-generated phone calls issuing bomb threats.

Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier says schools that received threats included Henry B. du Pont Middle School, Caesar Rodney High School, Indian River High School and Seaford Middle School.

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There will be no open carry for guns in Newark municipal buildings.

The decision by the City Council would also bar open carry in buildings leased by the resort.

Concealed licensed weapons would still be allowed.

There is also an exception for law enforcement and those who carry guns as part of their employment.

In addition, to banning open carry of firearms and gun components it would also bar explosives.

Those who opposed the ban argued that it would keep people who can’t afford a concealed weapon license from protecting themselves.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel is recommending the state extend the time residents can file a complaint against police from 90 days to a year and a day.

The recommendation was one of about 20 approved Monday by a workgroup of state lawmakers.

The panel was created by legislative leaders in May, days after rioting in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death in police custody.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - There's no timetable for the next steps in the trial of a police van driver accused of killing Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Maryland courts spokesman Terri Charles said Monday that Officer Caesar Goodson's trial is postponed indefinitely, pending further proceedings before the state Court of Special Appeals.

Those are expected to include more written filings from both sides, followed by oral arguments.

Goodson's trial was expected to begin Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court before the appeals court issued a stay.

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The federal government has given the green light for the comprehensive conservation plan for Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the 15 year plan was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The paper reports that the current recreational beach area will be moved north and shortened to one mile.

In addition, there will be a new parking lot that will be protected by dunes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker in Virginia is pushing legislation that would allow clerks to refuse to issue licenses for marriages they object to on moral or religious grounds.

Republican Sen. Charles Carrico of Galax said many of his constituents were concerned about what happened to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail last year for denying licenses to same-sex couples.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is handing out nearly $200,000 to five projects in an effort to spur economic development and job creation in areas that are struggling economically.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said $196,000 is being made available through the Building Collaborative Communities program, which seeks to encourage communities to forge regional partnerships in an effort to build new economic opportunities for residents.

Among the regions that will benefit from the funds is Northern Neck, which is getting $70,000 for a high-tech center.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has scheduled a news conference a day before Maryland's legislative session begins.

Hogan's news conference is set for Tuesday afternoon in Annapolis.

Doug Mayer, the governor's spokesman, declined to elaborate Monday on specifics about what the governor will discuss.

Last week, Hogan said he plans to propose about $400 million in tax cuts over five years to benefit working families, retirees and small businesses. The Republican said he would elaborate on the proposals this week.

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Senator Chris Coons says he wants a tougher responses to Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles and chided the Obama administration for its “hesitation”.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Democrat called for the administration to impose sanctions after the two missile tests.

Coons is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he told reporters that he would continue to push for sanctions this year.  

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