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.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Department of Agriculture says it wants to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops.

The agency said Thursday it will administer $340,000 in grant funds provided by the 2014 federal farm bill.

The department says it's seeking applications for projects that aim to promote or enhance production and access to Maryland specialty crops.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 8.

governor's office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has proposed a $5.2 million tax relief package for military and first responder pensions in his supplemental budget.

In addition, there is a $7.4 million proposal to eliminate personal property taxes on businesses that have less than $10-thousand in personal property.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the supplemental plan has drawn criticism from the Maryland State Education Association for not including the $70 million that was cut from Hogan’s original budget.

E-Cigarettes may be the new thing.

But a Delaware legislative committee has approved a measure that would ban the new nicotine delivery devices in from being used in restaurants bars or other indoor public places.

The vote was 9-3 in the House, Health and Human Development  Committee.

The vote came after vape shop owners said that it would hurt their business not to allow customers to smoke indoors.

Oscar Gonazalez is a disabled veteran who told the committee that vaping helped him kick a 12-year smoking habit.

creative commons

A “Right to Die” bill in the Maryland legislature has been shelved for more study.

The legislation that would allow certain terminally ill patients the right to end their lives with prescription drugs is expected to be examined this summer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the measure is sponsored by Delegate Shane Pendergrass who said she was not surprised by the resistance to the measure given the emotional testimony in Annapolis.

There are only five states that have right to die laws.

Maryland Democratic Party Facebook

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Democratic Party has elected an interim chair.

The party's executive committee on Thursday elected D. Bruce Poole as interim chairman. He succeeds Yvette Lewis, who announced last month that she was resigning to spend more time with family.

Poole, a lawyer, is a partner at Poole & Kane, P.A. in Hagerstown. From 1987 until 1999, he served as a member of the House of Delegates, including 3 years as House Majority Leader.

Delaware Republican Party

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create "right-to-work" zones in Delaware in an effort to spur economic development.

Under the legislation introduced Thursday, a person would not be required to be a member of a labor union or to pay for the maintenance of the contract as a condition of employment.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - One Delaware county is barring government-funded travel to Indiana over a new religious-objections law that has raised concerns that gays and lesbians could face discrimination.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon signed an executive order Wednesday, saying the county is reviewing travel plans for all employees. Gordon says he's not aware of any upcoming government trips to the state, but the order was meant to send a message.

creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland State Police are cracking down on distracted driving this month.

During April, the agency says that troopers from all 22 barracks statewide will conduct additional patrols to identify distracted drivers. They say they'll be on the lookout for people who are texting, talking on the phone, grooming, reading, watching videos, using navigation systems, or even adjusting the radio.

Don Rush

The Executive Director of the Maryland Public School Construction Program David Lever says simply renovating the West Salisbury Elementary school is not an option.

The Salisbury Daily Times obtained a letter from Lever under and Freedom of Information Request in which he says that the current situation does not represent a safe environment for students in case of fire.

In addition, the state official says that the design of the school also has problems if there is an active shooting as well as accessibility for the disabled.

punkin chunkin website

A measure aimed at ensuring Punkin Chunkin stays in Delaware has died in a state Senate Committee.

The bill would have put a $1 million liability cap on non-economic damages for personal injury or wrongful death at special events.

WBOC reports that Senator Brian Pettyjohn called "It a sad day" with an event that had a $15 million impact on the state.

He noted that the organization gave around $100-thousand to charities in the First State and $50-thousand in scholarships to local school children.

OC Convention Center Website

Phase three is about to begin in the expansion of the Ocean City Convention Center.

Officials said that a tentative plan has been discussed by the Town Council that would expand the north end of the center and add 28-thousand feet to the main exhibit hall.

The first two phases added a new bay front exhibit area and a 12-hundred seat, two-story auditorium at a cost of $23 million.

City engineer Terry McGean told WBOC that the third phase will begin with a marketing and feasibility study to assess the demand.    

official campaign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An email obtained by The Associated Press shows that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office rebuffed interview requests with a federal agent investigating the U.S. government's investor-visa program.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General twice asked McAuliffe for an interview in the summer of 2014 but said in a recent report that the efforts were "unsuccessful." 

all-free-download.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials have ordered the closing of a medical practice in Lewes following an inspection this week prompted by patient complaints.

Officials ordered the closure of Delaware Otolaryngology Consultants after being unable to confirm that proper sterilization processes were followed.

They encouraged people who may have been treated there to consider being evaluated for hepatitis and HIV. 

Dr. Beth R. Duncan, who runs the medical practice, said she wasn't aware of the order and that she thought it was premature.

delaware repeal project facebook

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is set to vote on a bill to abolish Delaware's death penalty.

The legislation, which cleared a Senate committee last week, mirrors a bill that passed the Senate in 2013 by only one vote before dying in a House committee.

The legislation removes execution as a possible punishment for first-degree murder, leaving life in prison without the possibility of parole as the only sentence.

The bill, which faces opposition from the law enforcement community, would not apply to inmates currently on death row.

Governor's Office

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is adding his voice to the growing rally against bullying.

On Thursday, Hogan is visiting Six Flags America in Prince George's County, where he will speak to about 200 local public school students on the importance of standing up to bullying.

Erin Montgomery, spokeswoman for the governor, said the severity of bullying has increased throughout the years, as social media have developed new ways for someone to be bullied.

unior libby / creative commons

GUMBORO, Del. (AP) - Fire investigators say a fire in a Gumboro poultry house has killed 21,000 6-week-old chickens.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says the fire broke out Wednesday evening in the poultry house on Jones Church Road.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio says investigators determined that the blaze in the 500-foot-long building was accidental. He says the fire started with an electrical malfunction at an outlet at one end of the building and spread, killing 21,000 chickens and destroying the building.

Don Rush

Street performers are coming out of their winter hibernation and will soon be plentiful in the resorts along the Delmarva coastline. However, Ocean City is trying to bring some order to the chaos. And the town council is set to take up the issue today.  Delmarva Public Radio's Melodi Gaus prepared this report.

official photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen is flexing his fundraising muscles.

The Democratic congressman reported Wednesday that he has raised more than $1 million in the four weeks since Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced she won't seek re-election in 2016. Maryland's primary is set for April of next year.

Van Hollen is reporting that he raised more than $1.15 million in the first quarter of 2015. That brings his cash-in-hand total to more than $2.5 million.

Van Hollen was quick to announce his candidacy for the Senate seat.

official photo

The son of Delaware congressman John Carney has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving a hazing incident that resulted in the death of a 19-year old Clemson University Student.

The incident occurred on September 22nd when Tucker Hipps tumbled off a bridge headfirst into the shallow waters of Lake Hartwell after a dispute with a fellow student.

The body was later found by authorities.  

The Wilmington News Journal reports that his parents have filed two lawsuits seeking $25 million.

They claim that Hipps was the victim of hazing.

Mugshote

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to dismiss an indictment against the widow and children of a man who killed two people at a Delaware courthouse.

David Matusiewicz, his mother and his sister are charged with conspiracy and stalking of his ex-wife, Christine Belford.

Belford and a friend were shot by Thomas Matusiewicz in 2013 at the New Castle County courthouse before he exchanged gunfire with police and killed himself.

Prosecutors claim the family spied on and harassed Belford for several years, including posting disparaging remarks about her online.

all-free-download.com

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - Two German sailors have been rescued after their sailboat lost its mast and was running low on fuel about 90 miles off Chincoteague.

The Coast Guard says the two were recovered from a life raft Tuesday morning. They were identified as 51-year-old Joerg Fleimming and 56-year-old Stefan Heising.

A distress call from Fleimming's sailboat Irene went out Monday and the cutter Shearwater arrived at Irene's location early Tuesday.

creative commons

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Some Chesapeake Bay beaches will be getting more sand later this year.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the $18.4 million federal government project is part of funding earmarked following the 2012 Hurricane Sandy disaster. Norfolk's share in the project is $5.5 million.

Norfolk assistant city engineer Chuck Joyner says that while the goal of the Ocean View beach project is storm protection, the additional sand will provide more room for beachgoers.

Phi Beta Sigma website

Salisbury University has suspended the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity for two years due to an alleged hazing incident that is now being investigated by the Salisbury police.

Valerie Randall-Lee, the dean of students, told the Salisbury Daily Times that a university board has found the fraternity violated the school code.

In addition, she said, that the university is working with the police investigation.

The school would not reveal any of the details or identify any punishment imposed on the student because of federal privacy protections.

Shark Tournament website

There won’t be another Ocean City Shark Tournament.

2014 was its last after 30 years.

There were three couples who organized the event.

And Mark Sampson told the Salisbury Daily Times that “it just felt that it was time.”

Among the struggles has been bad weather resulting in low attendance.

The paper reports that three couples had thought about making some dramatic changes but in the end decided that 2014 would be the last year.

At its peak there were more than 80 boats and it had become a tradition in Ocean City. 

creative commons

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon says he want to create a policy that will help many of the homeless who find themselves sleeping outdoors and often trespassing on private property.

Gordon said he does not want to simply clear them out.

He suggested the options would include working with the county’s community services agencies to help find housing for the homeless.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there is no firm way to know how many people are homeless or living in camps.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - Police in northern Virginia say one shot was fired as a guard wrestled with a prisoner, who then fled a hospital with a gun setting off a lockdown and search.
 
Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler says one shot was fired during the struggle around 3 a.m. Tuesday at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.
 

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan's appointee to head the Maryland Higher Educamission hasn't been confirmed by a Senate panel, which has held its last scheduled meeting this legislative session.
 
Sen. Jamie Raskin said Monday that serious questions were raised about how Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera would fit in to the post.
 

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - Motorists in Delaware are paying 3 cents less at the pump when compared with a week ago.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said Sunday in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Delaware was $2.25. That's compared to $2.28 a week ago.

Motorists in the region are paying $1.25 less per gallon than a year ago. At this time last year Delaware drivers were paying $3.50 per gallon.

The price of gas in the state is 17 cents below the national average of $2.42 per gallon.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has voted on some of Gov. Larry Hogan's tax relief proposals.

The budget panel approved a scaled-back version of the governor's reduction in the personal property tax. It will be limited to companies with $10,000 or less in taxable personal property. Implementation has been delayed for two years.

While the panel voted against eliminating automatic gas tax increases, it decided to lower a cap for inflationary indexing from 8 percent to 3 percent.

Don Rush

There’s a $780 million funding deficit over the next six years for repairing the roads and bridges in the state of Delaware.

Lawmakers are considering a number of options including hiking fees and taxes.

But Governor Jack Markell and legislators have not been able to see eye to eye on how to pay for new transportation projects.

WBOC reports that last year the governor had sought a 10-cent hike in the gas tax as well as seeking bonds to find money for the $500 million improvements over the next 5 years.

But, on a bipartisan basis that plan was rejected.

Pages