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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Local News
7:22 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Police Justified in Delaware Courthouse Shooting

Thomas Matusiewicz
Credit mug shot

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware attorney general's office says a police officer was justified in shooting at a man who killed two people at the New Castle County courthouse in February 2013.

In a report released Wednesday, former deputy attorney general Tim Mullaney said Capitol Police Cpl. Steven Rinehart was justified in using deadly force after Thomas Matusiewicz opened fire in the courthouse lobby.

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Local News
7:18 am
Thu January 8, 2015

MD Board of Public Works Okays Budget Cuts

Governor Martin O'Malley (Md-D)
Credit official photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has approved a plan to address about $410 million of a budget shortfall for the current fiscal year to better position the state to tackle a deficit in the next fiscal year.

The Board of Public Works voted 3-0 Wednesday for the plan.

It includes about $206 million in cuts. Another $108 million will come from spending transfers. There also are some savings from early retirement offerings and cutting vacant positions.

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Local News
11:35 am
Wed January 7, 2015

New Office for Civil Rights and Public Trust in Delaware

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn
Credit official photo

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn says the state's Justice Department is being restructured to create a new office for civil rights and public trust.
 
Denn announced the move Wednesday, saying the new office will protect the rights of Delaware residents, enforce laws designed to hold government accountable, and conduct investigations in which the Justice Department's other responsibilities "might present the appearance of a conflict of interest." An example of that is police use-of-force investigations.
 

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Local News
8:54 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Wind Chill Advisory Tonight, Expect More Cold Through the Week

Credit all-free-download.com

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for Delmarva that begins at 9 p.m. tonight and runs through 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The wind chill values are expected to drop from minus 5 to minus 10.

Residents are encouraged to stay inside to reduce the danger of frost bite or hypothermia.

Code Purple

The Milford police department has issued a Code Purple alert that will run through January 11th.

Local officials say that morning leave will be in effect for each day at 7 a.m.

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Local News
8:35 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Two Department Heads Dismissed by New Wicomico County Executive

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver
Credit Don Rush

The directors of Wicomico County’s finance and public works departments have been fired.

The new county executive Bob Culver said the dismissal of the county’s Finance/Budget director Andrew Mackel was strictly his decision.

Culver told the Salisbury Daily Times that the two were on different paths although he praised Mackel for his service.

In addition, Public Works Director Lee Beauchamp was also dismissed.

Both were appointed by former County Executive Rick Pollitt who was defeated by Culver in last year’s election.

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Local News
8:24 am
Wed January 7, 2015

O'Malley Offers Budget Cuts to Close Deficit

Credit Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is bringing a proposal to the Board of Public Works to address more than $400 million of a budget shortfall.

The outgoing Democratic governor is planning to bring about $211 million in spending reductions to the board Wednesday morning. The plan also includes about $199 million in fund transfers and revenues to help fill the gap.

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Local News
8:22 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Shoplifting Down in Dover With On-Line Mug Shots

Credit Dover Police Department Website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Dover Police say shoplifting complains have dropped 19 percent in the four months since it started posting mug shots of people arrested for the crime online.

Officers also there were fewer than 1,000 shoplifting complaints made in 2014.

The department started posting mug shots of those arrested for shoplifting in August. The photos are posted weekly on the department's website and social media accounts.

Police had investigated an average of three shoplifting cases.

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Local News
8:16 am
Wed January 7, 2015

FEC Sues Tea Party Favorite Christine O'Donnell

Christine O'Donnell
Credit book cover amazon

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Federal Election Commission has filed a lawsuit against former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, accusing her of using at least $20,000 in campaign donations for rent and utility payments at a Delaware townhouse where she lived and worked.

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Local News
8:12 am
Wed January 7, 2015

2 Years in Prison for Former Virginia Governor

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked a judge for mercy for his wife, as well as himself, before being sentenced to two years in prison for public corruption.

It was a much lighter sentence than prosecutors wanted. And legal experts say it likely foreshadows similar treatment for Maureen McDonnell when she's sentenced next month for her role in the bribery scandal.

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Local News
8:09 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Delaware Governor Mulls Pardon for Abolitionists

Credit creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell's office is mulling a request to pardon three 19th-century Delawareans convicted of helping smuggle slaves.

Pennsylvania resident Robert Seeley has asked Markell to pardon his ancestor, Thomas Garrett, a prominent Quaker abolitionist credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves reach freedom. Seeley also is seeking pardons for John Hunn and his partner, Samuel Burris, a free black man. Hunn was convicted with Garrett in 1848 for aiding a slave family.

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Local News
7:55 am
Wed January 7, 2015

UD's Sexual Harassment and Assault Policies Reviewed

Credit University of Delaware logo

A commission has been convened by the faculty of the University of Delaware to make recommendations on improving the school system’s sexual harassment and assault policies.

The task force efforts range from looking at education and training programs and holding hearings to conducting an online climate survey to assess the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the initiative comes in the wake of a rally last September held by hundreds of students who called for changes in the school system’s policies.

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Local News
1:58 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

WBOC Twitter and Website Hacked by "CyberCaliphate" Group

Credit wboc twitter page

WBOC is reporting that their website and Twitter page this morning by an individual or group calling itself the "CyberCaliphate". Pro-Islamic State propaganda was posted on the sites. WBOC has been able to eliminate the material from its website but still has not gained control of its Twitter page. The television station has reached out to Twitter as well as contacting law enforcement authorities. The television station also reports that shortly after WBOC was hacked the Albuquerque Journal's Twitter account was also hacked.

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Local News
12:25 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Winter Weather Advisory as Two Schools Close Early

Credit all-free-download.com

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory f0r northern Delmarva that should be in effect until 4 p.m.

Today

This afternoon it should be cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow flurries. Otherwise expect the highs to reach the upper 30’s with southeast winds of 5 mph.

Tonight it should be partly cloudy with lows in the mid 20’s. Expect northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday

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Local News
11:52 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Judge Lowers Sentencing Guidelines for Ex-Virginia Governor

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit court photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A judge has lowered the sentencing guideline range for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to about 6  1/2 years to 8 years in federal prison for his public corruption convictions.
 
The U.S. Probation Office had calculated a range of 10 to 12 years, which prosecutors agreed with.
 
U.S. District Judge James Spencer said Tuesday that an "obstruction of justice" enhancement shouldn't count toward those guidelines, saying McDonnell shouldn't be punished for giving testimony that the jury did not believe.
 

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Local News
11:48 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Revenue Troubles for Maryland Casinos

Credit creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's casinos generated $85.6 million in December, down from last month's revenues.
 
State revenue totals released Monday show that excluding Horseshoe Casino Baltimore - which opened in August -  revenues at the state's other four casinos were down by 3.6 percent in December, compared to the same month in 2013.
 
Factoring in the opening of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, revenues increased by $20.6 million from December 2013 to last month. That's a 31.7 percent increase.
 

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Local News
9:23 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Wicomico Solder Buried at Arlington Cemetery

Credit TSgt. Michael Harbor-Hickman / creative commons

It was a sad occasion as Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery yesterday.

He was killed along with Ohio native Specialist Joseph Riley by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

His 19 year old son, Devin, looked on quietly dressed in full military garb.

Devin along with four other siblings and his mother Katherine and his grandmother were in attendance for the ceremony on a harsh January day.

The taps were played and three rifle volleys were heard as Wardell was to laid to rest.

 

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Local News
9:18 am
Tue January 6, 2015

MD Death Row Inmates to be Transferred After Commutation

Credit creative commons

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland's four remaining death-row inmates would become eligible for transfer to medium-security prisons after Gov. Martin O'Malley signs executive orders commuting their sentences to life without parole.

They would lose their guarantee of single-bed cells, however. State prison agency spokesman Gerard Shields says some inmates prefer to have no cell mate.

All four men are housed at the maximum-security North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland.

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Local News
9:14 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Harriet Tubman Sculpture Now in MD Governor's Mansion

Harriet Tubman
Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A sculpture of Harriet Tubman is now a part of the art collection at the Maryland governor's mansion.

Gov. Martin O'Malley unveiled a bust of the Maryland native on Monday evening in Annapolis.

Tubman was born in Dorchester County and spent nearly 30 years as a slave on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She escaped in 1849 and returned to Maryland's Dorchester and Caroline counties to help slaves escape through the Underground Railroad.

In 2013, President Barack Obama designated a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland.

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Local News
9:10 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Former VA Governor Faces Sentencing

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official photo

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will find out today what his sentence will be after being convicted of public corruption.

McDonnell was found guilty last September on 11 of 13 federal counts including trading access to the  governorship for more than $165-thousand in loans and expensive gifts.

Nearly 450 letters have been sent to the judge attesting to McDonnell’s integrity and asking for mercy.

His wife,  Maureen, who was tried along with him was also convicted on 9 of 13 counts filed against her.

One of those convictions was later dropped.

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Local News
9:06 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Tourism Up in Maryland, Delaware Has a New Slogan

Ocean City Boardwalk
Credit Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - A new report says tourism in Maryland rose by 3.2 percent in 2013.

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development released its annual tourism report Tuesday. The report attempts to measure the effectiveness of the state's tourism efforts, and the impact travel and tourism have on the state's economy.

Margot Amelia, the agency's executive director, says "tourism has been and continues to be a powerful economic engine for Maryland."

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Local News
8:57 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Pollution Not Found in Dover Air Force Base Drinking Water

Credit dover.af.mil

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AP) - Officials at Dover Air Force Base say chemical compounds used in firefighting foam have been found at four sites on base, but not in drinking water supply wells.

Officials said Monday that an investigation detected perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in shallow groundwater and some surface drainage ditches in levels above Environmental Protection Agency recommended limits. They noted that the base obtains drinking water from a deep confined groundwater aquifer that is isolated from the aquifer where the contaminants were found.

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Local News
8:54 am
Tue January 6, 2015

New Leaders, New Dispute After Election in Delaware

Attorney General-Elect Matt Denn
Credit Lt. Gov Website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - New leaders are set to take charge in two of Delaware's statewide elected offices.

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn will be sworn in Tuesday as Delaware's new attorney general. Denn entered the attorney general's race last year, just days after incumbent fellow Democrat Beau Biden said he would not seek re-election.

This will be Denn's third statewide office, following his tenures as lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner.

Also Tuesday, Republican Ken Simpler will be sworn in as state treasurer, replacing Democrat Chip Flowers.

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Local News
8:39 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Delaware Transportation Secretary Leaves for Colorado Job

Delaware Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt
Credit DelDOT website

Delaware Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt is leaving his post after nearly 4 years to head up the Colorado Department of Transportation.

He will take over the position in mid-February.

Bhatt told the Wilmington News Journal that he wanted to deal with the revenue package for DelDOT before he leaves the agency.

Governor Jack Markell has nominated Jennifer Cohan, head of the Division of Motor Vehicles, to take over the job.

Cohan has managed nearly all of the agency’s divisions when vacancies came up while still running the DMV.

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Local News
12:21 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Mixed Environmental Report on Chesapeake Bay

Credit CBF Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report says Chesapeake Bay water quality has improved, but there's been a decline in fisheries.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released its biennial State of the Bay report Monday. It gave the nation's largest estuary a D-plus grade overall. That's unchanged from 2012.

The report cites improvements in water clarity, oysters and underwater grasses. But declines were seen in scores for blue crabs and rockfish.

CBF President William Baker took special aim at the Eastern Shore where phosphorus levels have actually gone up in some areas.

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Local News
12:01 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Pardon Requests for Delaware Abolitionists

Credit creative commons

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A descendant of a Delaware man credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves reach freedom is asking Gov. Jack Markell to pardon his ancestor and two others.

Sixty-four-year-old Robert Seeley of Havertown, Pennsylvania, got the idea after outgoing Illinois' governor granted clemency on New Year's Eve to three abolitionists convicted for hiding and helping escaped slaves.

Seeley says he sent Markell his request on Facebook on New Year's Day, and then again in an email Monday.

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Local News
8:42 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Essay: The Mind Body Connection

Credit creative commons

With the New Year bringing a host of resolutions, Delmarva Public Essasyist George Merrill says we should pay particular attention to the mind-body connection.

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Local News
7:55 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Wicomico County Soldier to be Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Wardell Turner
Credit family photo

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A soldier from Wicomico County who was killed in Afghanistan will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports 48-year-old Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner of Nanticoke will be buried Monday at the cemetery outside Washington.

Turner's sister says most of Turner's family is making the trip to Arlington for the funeral.

Turner is survived by his wife, Katherine, five children - including a son who served in Afghanistan - and three grandchildren.

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Local News
7:44 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Make-A-Wish Foundation Gives Child Disney Cruise

Credit Disney Cruise website

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Allegiant Airlines are sending a western Maryland boy and his family on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Fourteen-year-old Arran Willock of Smithsburg and nine family members leave Monday on a flight to Orlando, Florida, for a four-day Disney cruise.

Arran was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a disorder that affects many parts of the body. It is characterized by delayed growth and development, intellectual disability, and seizures.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant donated all 10 flight tickets.

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Local News
7:40 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Gas Prices in Maryland Decline Again

Credit Don Rush

AAA Mid-Atlantic said in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Maryland was $2.41, down from $2.49 a week ago.

The price of gas in the state is 18 cents more than the national average of $2.23.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in cities around the state includes $2.38 in Baltimore, $2.46 in Cumberland, $2.47 in Hagerstown and $2.43 in Salisbury.

Motorists in the state are paying $1.06 less per gallon than at this time last year when the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.47 per gallon.

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Local News
7:38 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Autistic Inmate Supporters Urge Treatment Not Punishment

Credit creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Mental health and civil liberties advocates are urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to intervene in the case of a Virginia inmate with autism who faces trial Wednesday for allegedly assaulting a correctional officer.

Reginald Latson's supporters and lawyers say he needs treatment, not punishment, for the intellectual disabilities that have caused three clashes with law enforcement since 2010. They have asked McAuliffe to grant conditional clemency so the 23-year-old Latson can be moved to a secure treatment facility in Florida that has agreed to accept him.

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