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.

From Virginia First Lady

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell has made her final written plea to a federal appeals court reviewing her public corruption convictions.

In a brief filed Thursday evening with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, McDonnell's lawyers restated their claims that the convictions were based on an overly broad interpretation of federal bribery law. Prosecutors have said in court filings that there is clearly enough evidence to support the convictions.

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Existing home sales in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties have gone up by nearly 14 percent.

That’s during the first 5 months of 2015 compared with the same period last year.

The Salisbury Daily Times analysis also found that they have risen by nearly 40 percent since 2011 according to stats form the Coastal Association of Realtors.

The paper reports that biggest hurdle is that prices have still been low with a typical house selling for around $147-thousand compared to $161-thousand five years ago.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The organizers of Delaware's Firefly Music Festival are expecting up to 90,000 attendees at this year's event.

The festival, scheduled from June 18-21, has 119 announced bands, including headliners Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon and The Killers. Last year about 80,000 people attended.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - After years of leadership changes and funding deficits, NPR's new president and CEO says the public radio network has turned a corner and is positioning itself to grow its already sizable audience and funding.
 
Jarl Mohn, a longtime radio and television executive who created E! Entertainment Television, helped launch MTV and VH1 and formed his own venture capital firm, is now nearing the end of his first year leading NPR.
 
His commercial media roots may prove critical in charting NPR's future.
 

Bridge Ride for Heroes Website

WASHINGTON (AP) - Transportation officials in Maryland say motorists should be prepared for Saturday traffic delays at the Bay Bridge as a result of a charity ride involving motorcyclists.

The Maryland Transportation Authority says motorists should be prepared for delays on Saturday from about 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Officials say the delays will be on Ritchie Highway and U.S. 50 eastbound from the Severn River Bridge to the Bay Bridge.

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The Ocean City Air Show returns to the resort this weekend featuring the famous Blue Angels.  Delmarva Public Radio's Steve Plotkin says the public could even a sneak preview of their act.

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The Eastern Shore is expected to see cutbacks in the Meals on Wheels program for the elderly. But, this is not the only program that could be affected by the shifting of money in the Maryland state budget. Delmarva Public Radio's Rachel Taylor talked with one organization that works extensively with seniors on the Eastern Shore.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Authorities say Delaware's former chief medical examiner has agreed to plead no contest to charges of official misconduct.

Richard Callery, who was fired last year amid an evidence-tampering scandal in Delaware's drug testing lab, will appear in court Thursday to enter the plea to two counts of official misconduct.

Authorities say Callery operated a private consulting business from within the medical examiner's office, using state resources.

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A legislative hearing exploded yesterday when Delaware lawmakers and parents found themselves in a shouting match over whether to allow students to opt-out of the statewide test.

It’s called the Smarter Balanced Assessment which students took for the first time this year.

The legislation before the lawmakers would allow students to opt out of taking the test.

A number of angry parents said they would keep their children from taking the test with one saying he didn’t care what the law said.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - University of Maryland has approved a trial plan for the school to sell beer at its football stadium and other athletic venues beginning this fall.

The student-initiated plan will be announced Thursday in an open letter to the campus. The Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners, which holds final approval authority, will address the proposal during a public hearing July 8.

If the plan is approved, Maryland would join several dozen universities that permit alcohol to be sold to the public at athletic events.

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A local boy from Parkside High now has a chance to play with the Cleveland Indians.

Hunter Parsons could follow his dream after he was drafted by the ball club in the 40th round in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

But the Salisbury right-handed pitcher had been planning on playing at the University of Maryland.

He must decide what to do by next month.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Parsons is just the latest in a number of other local names that include K.J Trader of Delmar and Daniel Cropper who was drafted out of college.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans want to continue blocking the District of Columbia from allowing legal marijuana sales.

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft spending bill on Wednesday that would maintain the ban on the District spending any money to liberalize its marijuana laws.

Mayor Muriel Bowser legalized pot possession in the District in February, despite a threat from Congress that doing so would violate federal law. Bowser and other District leaders argued that Congress acted too late to stop a voter-approved initiative from taking effect.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Navy says it plans to hire more than 400 people over the next six months to work for an engineering command at bases throughout Hampton Roads.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic says the positions range from engineers and contract specialists to skilled trades such as electricians and plumbers.

The bases the command is staffing include Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginians who take summer road trips can take advantage of the seventh-lowest gasoline prices in the nation.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, the average price of gasoline in Virginia is $2.54 per gallon. That's well below the national average of $2.75 per gallon.

South Carolina has the lowest gas prices at $2.46 per gallon.

The auto club says about six in 10 Americans say they're likely to take trips of 50 miles or more this summer if gas prices remain steady. Last year, travelers had to pay an average of $3.65 per gallon.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has been released from jury duty.

Hogan waited for more than two hours on Wednesday morning at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, where he had been summoned.

The 57-year-old Republican had been summoned to jury duty for his first time in January, but it was on the same day as his inauguration. Maryland's constitution required that he be sworn in as governor at noon that day, so the summons was deferred and he was called back.

Hogan says he was happy to be part of the process.

delaware.state.courts.gov

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A jury pool of hundreds of people has been winnowed down to 64 qualified potential jurors for the federal cyberstalking trial of the widow and children of a man who killed his former daughter-in-law at a Delaware courthouse.

Following more closed-door questioning of prospective jurors Wednesday, attorneys prepared to begin selecting a trial panel and present opening statements on Thursday.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Money remaining in Beau Biden's political accounts will help fund the new Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the charity, which will continue Beau Biden's work to protect children from abuse, has collected more than $250,000 in donations in its first week. Biden's political committees, Beau PAC and Biden for Delaware, reported balances of about $660,000 as of December 31.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The federal government says Virginia's economy was flat last year.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau for Economic Analysis said Wednesday that Virginia's real gross domestic product was $427.45 billion in 2014, compared with $427.35 billion in 2013.

Slight growth in retail trade, information, durable goods, and health care and social assistance were offset by small declines in construction, real estate and nondurable goods.

Virginia's economy grew by rates of 0.4 percent in 2013, 0.7 percent in 2012 and 0.6 percent in 2011.

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A Salisbury resident got the flight of a lifetime.

Jeff Merritt yesterday was one of three VIP’s who took a 45 minute flight with the No. 7 Blue Angels jet.

It was an F/A 18 Hornet flown by Captain Jeff Kuss who has over 15-hundred hours in the air with the Blue Angels.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the flight took the three VIP’s through the twists and turns that the Blue Angels use in their act.

The 56-year old Merritt told the paper that when he got the invited several months ago he could hardly contain his excitement.

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - Amazon is hiring more than 500 full-time workers at its Middletown fulfillment center.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the jobs will be created this month. Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso says the $12-an-hour jobs being added at the Middletown Fulfillment Center include positions that receive inventory, as well as pick, pack and ship customers' orders. Those hired will receive medical and other employee benefits immediately.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware nursery inspectors discovered imported red fire ants when they visited a Sussex County garden center for a routine check of palm trees trucked in from Florida in recent weeks.

The live ants were destroyed, but state agriculture officials are urging Delaware residents to inspect tropical plants carefully before buying them. The Delaware Department of Agriculture is advising other businesses and buyers of tropical nursery stock about the discovery.

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Despite a 2009 executive order by Governor Jack Markell to increase the diversity of the state workforce a new report says that it has declined over the years.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that black state officials and administrators have declined from 21 percent six years ago to 20 percent.

A group of African American leaders including those from the NAACP of Delaware and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council say they will organize an effort to confront discrimination in state government.

election.baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) - Attorneys for six Baltimore officers charged in Freddie Gray's death say prosecutors had asked police to target the intersection where the officers first encountered Gray.

That's according to a court filing Tuesday. The attorneys again asked a judge to remove State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby from the case, saying she has conflicts of interest. They argue the request from prosecutors, emailed a month before Gray died in police custody, is an indication Mosby is "an integral part of the story ... both as an advocate and a witness."

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Salisbury police say a city officer and a suspect in a domestic incident were hospitalized after their vehicles collided.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports police were sent to the scene of a reported domestic dispute Tuesday around 4 a.m.

Police said 27-year-old Michael Victor Rayne was reported to have been involved in a verbal argument with his live-in girlfriend. Police said Rayne broke a window of a neighbor's home.

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Ronald Willey has decided not to continue as president of the Wicomico County Board of Education for the rest of his term.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that he felt the board had become “voices crying in the wilderness.”

Willey has been sharply critical of the county’s fiscal 2016 budget that only failed to include a one-time $800-thousand increase in money for student literacy.

Willey said last year that he leave the presidency of the board this year while staying on to complete his term in 2017.

There will be a session to re-organize the board in July.

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Two public schools in Wicomico County are seeking to provide free school meals to students in a one-year pilot project next year.

They are the Chipman and Glen Avenue Elementary Schools.

If approved in the school system’s budget the program would be part of the federal program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Chipman and Glen Avenue would fall under the requirement that 40 percent of their students are certified to enroll in the free meals program.

change maryland website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has jury duty.

The governor is scheduled to report for jury duty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.

Hogan was an Anne Arundel County resident before he became governor.

Now he lives even closer to the courthouse. The governor's residence, which is called Government House, is a short walk from the circuit court in Annapolis.

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - State wildlife authorities have discovered the body of a missing swimmer in the Patapsco River.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says divers found the body of 22-year-old Bryan Estuardo Diaz in the waters below Bloede Dam Monday afternoon.

Police say Diaz went swimming in a prohibited area Sunday and disappeared shortly after 6 p.m. Maryland Natural Resources Police started searching the waters that evening, but police say attempts to recover his body before nightfall were unsuccessful.

Delaware Law Enforcement

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a prosecution request to keep the names of jurors secret in the cyberstalking trial of the widow and children of a man who killed his former daughter-in-law at a Delaware courthouse.
 
Tuesday's ruling came after an attorney representing The Associated Press and The News Journal of Wilmington objected to the prosecution's request, which also was opposed by attorneys representing David Matusiewicz; his mother, Lenore; and his sister, Amy Gonzalez.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A group of stranded jet skiers have been rescued from the water in Anne Arundel County.
 
WJZ-TV reports the rescue happened Monday evening at Sandy Point State Park after severe weather moved through the region.
 
Natural Resources Police say they found a man in the water yelling for help. After being pulled to safety, the man alerted police that four more people, two adults and two juveniles, were still in the water.
 

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