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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Delaware lawmakers have moved to make Naloxone available to school nurses throughout the state to fight the rising use of heroin.

The drug reverses the effects of an overdose.

The state House of Representatives approved the measure yesterday afternoon.

Representative Mike Barbieri said the legislation would not require schools to keep the drug on hand.

Last year Governor Jack Markell signed a law that made the drug available without a prescription.

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Parents and teachers are demanding to know why a popular principal at the East Elementary School in the Lake Forest School District won’t be coming back next year.

They confronted the school board last night after the school board unanimously decided not to renew principal Susan Plavis’s contract. Elementary School Teacher Bridgett Shea told WBOC that she thought Plavis had displayed strong leadership qualities.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The head of the State Highway Administration has resigned to spend more time with her family.

Forty-one-year-old Melinda Peters said Thursday she was leaving the job. She tells The Baltimore Sun that it's time to make her personal life her first priority.

Peters, the first woman administrator of the SHA, was appointed to the post in 2011 by Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat. She tells the Sun that her resignation wasn't related the continuing transition under Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who took office in January.

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Charles Smith has been sentenced to 15 year in prison for string of arson fires that hit Accomack County in 2012 and 2013.

He had pled guilty to 65 counts of arson late last year and had testified against his ex-fiance Tonya Bundick.

She has entered an Alford plea to 61 counts for the string of blazes.

Bundick will be serving 17 and a-half years in prison for the crime.

The vast majority of the fires were set in Accomack County but there were no injuries from the blazes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The National Park Service says its Virginia attractions saw nearly 23 million visitors in 2014.

A report released Thursday by the park service shows that those visitors spent nearly $1 billion in the state, resulting in 14,753 jobs.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War was marked at many national parks in Virginia, including Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Richmond National Battlefield Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park.

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MONTEBELLO, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has acquired 317 acres in Nelson County long-coveted for its scenic view from the Appalachian Trail.

The Roanoke Times reports that the acquisition was made with $760,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program was established by Congress in 1965. It is due to expire in September and its fate rests with Congress.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have passed a bill allowing the Sussex Technical School District to temporarily raise tax rates on residents.

The legislation approved Thursday and sent to the Senate is aimed at shoring up the finances of Sussex Technical High School, which has seen enrollment increase sharply in recent years.

Republican House Minority Leader Danny Short says the district has been spending $1 million in cash reserves annually to offset growth-related expenses

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An employee in the Somerset School system has been suspended with pay resulting from complaints by parents.

The employee has not been named but was asked to leave the school grounds immediately.

The nature of the allegations have not yet been made public but Superintendent Dr. John Gaddis says there is an investigation by law-enforcement to see if there is a need for criminal charges.

In addition, to the Maryland State Police the Somerset County Department of Social Services has been brought into the investigation.

 

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration plans to identify and conserve at least 1,000 properties across Virginia by the end of the governor's term.

McAuliffe announced the Virginia Treasures initiative on Wednesday during a visit to Pocahontas State Park.

Properties considered as treasures include agricultural lands, habitat for rare or threatened plants and animals, trails, scenic byways, rivers and public gardens.

McAuliffe says the goal is conserve land and expand access to public outdoor recreation.

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Senator Ben Cardin has weighed in with other Senators along the Eastern Seaboard to block offshore drilling along the Atlantic coastline.

Introduction of the legislation comes five years after the BP oil spill in the gulf.

The Maryland Democrat and others believe that offshore drilling could threaten the local economies and environment along the coastline.

Other colleagues joining Cardin included the two Senators from New Jersey -- Robert Menendez and Cory Booker.

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Amid tears and cries for justice protesters walked the streets of Baltimore this week carrying signs emblazoned with the name of Freddie Gray who died from a spinal injury he suffered apparently while he was in custody.

There are two local investigations in addition to a probe by the Justice Department.

25 year-old Gray suffered a fatal spinal-cord injury under mysterious circumstances after he was handcuffed and put into the back of a police van. 

Relatives and friends recall Gray as being kind, funny and generous.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are launching a new campaign aimed at reducing underage and binge drinking in Delaware.

Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell planned to join public health officials and educators at Concord High School in Wilmington on Thursday for the launch of the campaign, which is aimed at young people from ages 12 to 25. 

The new campaign is an extension of an existing program targeting underage drinking but will feature separate messaging for prevention.

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In Somerset County residents can receive free training on how to administer the drug Narcan for an overdose from an opioid.

It is part of a partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to help people if emergency medical services are not immediately at hand.

Narcon can be used to quickly restore the breathing of someone who has overdosed on heroin or certain prescriptions medications such as oxycodone.

WBOC reports that those taking the training would probably be family members or friends of people with a drug problem.

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Parents could soon opt out of standardized testing in the state of Delaware.

A legislative panel has sent to the full state House of Representatives a measure even though education officials warned that it could undermine the integrity of the school system.

The debate turned into a shouting match at one point.

State Representative John Kowalko tried to talk over the chairman of the committee Representative Earl Jaques.

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Christopher Floyd now sits in an Accomack County jail for shooting a man who was trespassing on his property.

The 54 year Floyd was arraigned yesterday.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that court documents say he has lived in Pungoteague for around eight years and is currently unemployed.

He was arrested for malicious wounding, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm.

Floyd shot and wounded 41 year old Louis Lillston of Greenbush.

He has been charged with trespassing.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police are identifying the man killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 near Newark last week.

Police announced Wednesday that 30-year-old Nathaniel Guerrier of Bear was killed in the crash on April 16. Police say the crash remains under investigation.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - After the winter forced schools to miss class days, Delaware's school districts are working to make up the lost time.

Some districts built enough time into the school year and no makeup days will be needed. Alexis Andrianopoulos, spokeswoman for the Brandywine School District, tells The Wilmington News Journal  that four full days were missed, and there were two delayed openings and two early dismissals during the winter.

But no makeup days will be needed, she said.

Don Rush

Currently when Delaware drivers see emergency vehicles on the road they are required to move over.

Now the Delaware legislature is looking at doing the same for utility workers with a measure that a House committee sent to the floor yesterday afternoon.

In Maryland drivers have to move over one lane for tow trucks as well as emergency vehicles.

Virginia requires a motorist to move over for any vehicle that has “a flashing, blinking, or alternating blue, red or amber light.

The District of Colombia has no such rule.

 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hundreds of people at a Baltimore marched over the death of a black man who suffered a fatal spinal-cord injury involving a police arrest.

The crowd outside the Western District Police Station on Tuesday included 53-year-old Pricilla Jackson, carrying a sign reading, "Convict Freddie's killers."

The sign lists the names of six officers who've been suspended with pay while local authorities and the U.S. Justice Department investigate the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

At least one person was detained - an activist who jumped past police barriers.

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Today is Earth Day.

It was first celebrated in 1970 and turns 45 years old.

On Delmarva much of the attention of environmentalists has centered around restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

This year began with a new Republican Governor Larry Hogan and some concern by environmentalists about what the future may hold.

Eastern Shore Director Alan Girard with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation told Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush that he is pleased with the compromises reached with the state's new chief executive.

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Mayor Robin Christiansen has been re-elected in Dover with nearly 14-hundred votes outdistancing his closest rival former mayor Carleton Carey who registered 622 votes.

Christiansen won a special election 10 months ago after Carey stepped down in April of last year following allegations that he violated employment and affirmative action policies as well as abusing his authority.

Meanwhile, voters ousted incumbent council members and picked five new people to fill the five open seats on the nine-seat council.

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QUEEN ANNE, Md. (AP) - Two tractor-trailers collided head-on on Maryland's Eastern Shore, killing three people.

Maryland State Police say a tractor-trailer driven by 38-year-old Brian Hutcheson of Ramer, Tennessee, was traveling on Maryland Route 404 in Queen Anne Tuesday morning when it crossed the center line.

Troopers said the rig side-swiped a second tractor-trailer operated by 52-year-old Terry Coward of Culpepper, Virginia, before colliding head-on with a third semi.

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The best way to deal with providing fire and EMS service in Salisbury and the surrounding area is for Wicomico County to agree to some form of tax relief.

That’s was the opinion of the Salisbury Fire Chief Rick Hoppes.

Mayor Jim Ireton has laid down a deadline for later this year for the county to come to some agreement with the city or fire and EMS service will be restricted to the city limits of Salisbury.

The comments by the chief came during a roundtable discussion yesterday looking at options to resolve the issue.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are set to announce the first round of grants in a new program aimed to given Delaware high schools specialized training in high-demand career fields.

Gov. Jack Markell was scheduled to join education officials at Appoquinimink High School in Middletown and Polytech High School in Woodside on Wednesday to announce the state's first Pathways to Prosperity grants.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The lawyer for the family of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of spinal injuries during an arrest in Baltimore, said he believes the police had no reason to stop the man in the first place.
    
Authorities say that 25-year old Gray was arrested on April 12 after police "made eye contact" with him and another man and the two started running.

Gray was placed in a transport van, and roughly 30 minutes later was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two Delaware men have pleaded guilty to arson charges after fires at three churches in the Felton area in December.
 
The Delaware State News reports that 27-year-old Alex Harrington Jr. of Frederica and 26-year-old Joseph Skochelak of Felton entered the pleas Monday in Kent County Superior Court. They pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree arson, second-degree conspiracy and third-degree burglary.
 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore police have released videos showing the arrest of a man who died after his spine was nearly severed.

But none of them captured what happened inside the van where an arresting officer said he suffered a "medical emergency."

Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez says the officers involved have been suspended, and the autopsy shows that Freddie Gray "did suffer a significant spinal injury that led to his death."

Rodriguez said that a week later, investigators don't yet have any evidence showing what caused that injury.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A woman faces 17 years in prison for participating in a string of fires set on the Eastern Shore.

Media outlets report that Tonya Bundick entered Alford pleas on Monday to all 61 arson counts remaining against her. She previously was convicted of setting two fires on the Eastern Shore.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgement the state has enough evidence to convict.

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A new poll finds that 63 percent of Delawareans still support the death penalty.

The survey was carried out in mid-April by Public Policy Polling of just under 600 Delaware residents.

The company was hired by the Delaware Center for Justice which is seeking to end the death penalty in the First State.

The survey found that 34 percent opposed or were somewhat opposed to capital punishment.

Delaware Revenues Down

Apr 21, 2015
Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Members of the Delaware legislature's budget-writing committee will have to sharpen their pencils again following another decline in projected revenues for the upcoming fiscal year.

The panel that sets the official revenue forecast on Monday lowered its estimate of revenue available for fiscal 2016 by $21.7 million compared to last month, when the estimate fell by $45 million.

The latest revision means revenue estimates have fallen about $67 million since Democratic Gov. Jack Markell proposed a $3.9 billion budget in January.

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