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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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Results of a Wilmington police investigation into a high school restroom fight that left a 16-year-old girl dead have been turned over to state prosecutors, who will decide whether criminal charges should be filed.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Dennis Williams confirmed that findings of the police investigation into the death of Amy Joyner-Francis were submitted to the attorney general's office Thursday.

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Voters in Delaware City yesterday decided to annex some 325 acres of land for a residential and retail development.

The project surrounds the old Fort DuPont built in 1899.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the development includes a 150-slip marina, a restaurant and hotel as well as 500 residential units.

City officials say the annexation will increase tax revenues and would nearly double the size of the city population.

There have been concerns about the strain on the town’s finances along with a need for more police and code enforcement officers.

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BELTSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Police have identified the suspect in a fatal shooting in a suburban Washington high school parking lot.

The Prince George's County Police Department says in a Thursday night news release that officers are working to find 62-year-old Eulalio Tordil of Adelphi in connection with the killing of his estranged wife earlier in the day.

The news release says Tordil is an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal buildings and properties.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland casino revenue was $103.9 million in April, a new monthly high.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency reported Thursday that last month's revenue beat the previous high of about $99 million in July of 2015.

Of last month's revenue, about $36 million goes to the state's Education Trust Fund. About $5 million goes to support the state's horse racing industry, and about $3.5 million goes to local impact grants. Another $950,00 goes to support small- and minority-owned businesses

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A convicted drug dealer from Delaware is one of 58 people whose prison sentences are being commuted by President Barack Obama.

Leonard Mason of Claymont was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2011 after being convicted in Pennsylvania federal court of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy.

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Brandon Haynes a 20 year-old firefighter in Onley is facing arson charges.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he was seen being taken out of the fire station in handcuffs yesterday.

He has since been released on his own personal recognizance.

The arrest arises from a 1993 Freightliner that was set ablaze on February 2nd.

The paper reports that initially Haynes denied any knowledge of the fire but admitted to it after being told by authorities that they knew he was the person who made the 911 call about the blaze.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A man convicted of killing a teenager when he shot into a crowd in a hotel parking lot has been sentenced to life in prison.

Nineteen-year-old Jarrett Stokes had been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Rakim Russell of Fruitland. Stokes was sentenced Thursday in Wicomico County Circuit Court.

WMDT-TV reports  that on Aug. 2, three men got into a fight with another group at a party at Americas Best Value Inn in Salisbury. Prosecutors say the men left, picked up Stokes, and drove back to the parking lot.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal of a Virginia death row inmate who killed two people during an escape.

William Morva's attorney argued before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in March that he was improperly denied a chance to show that he wouldn't do it again if spared the death penalty.

But a three-judge panel of the court rejected his claims Thursday and affirmed the lower court's ruling.

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Voters in Delaware City will go to the polls today to decide whether to expand the city limits to incorporate a major residential and retail project near a former military base.

At stake is 325 acres that would include a 150-slip marina along with a restaurant and hotel.

In addition there would be nearly 500 residential units.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the annexation would allow the city to diversify it tax base and bring in more revenue.

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The Accomack County Board of Supervisors has been charged with creating a negative business climate.

That led Thomas Young chair of the Wallops Research Park Leadership Council to quit his job.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he wrote his letter of resignation on April 19th.

Young said he still saw the Wallops complex as playing a significant role in the economic development of the region.

Young also quit is position as the county representative on the council.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Police in Annapolis are launching a new program to combat drunk driving.

The first event of the "Know Your Limit" program is scheduled for Thursday, which is Cinco de Mayo. Police say officers will be located near the Annapolis Market House to offer free breathalyzer tests and distribute literature about drunk driving.

The police department says drivers can show signs of impairment even when they are under the legal level limit for blood alcohol content.

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The death of Jeremy McDole who was shot and killed  by Wilmington Police while in a wheelchair has the NAACP calling on state officials to shed more light on the case.

Police recently announced that they have finished their investigation into the shooting but have not released the results.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that police did reveal there was gunshot residue found on McDole’s hand and clothing when he was shot.

Police say that they only shot McDole when he reached for a gun after declining to raise his hands.

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - The state has approved a $7.5 million public grant to build a proposed data center and natural gas power plant in Middletown.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the state Infrastructure Investment Committee voted Wednesday to give taxpayer dollars to Cirrus Delaware LLC, on the condition that the company receive an approved environmental permit and provides information to the state about who will be behind the funding and operation of the facility.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police have charged three people in the shooting death of a man whose body was found on the Port Mahon Pier in Dover.

Troopers said in a news release that 19-year-old Chelsea Braunskill of Camden-Wyoming and 22-year-old Daiquan Bordley of Dover were arrested last week. Twenty-two-year-old Zhyhee Harmon of Dover was arrested Wednesday.

Police say all three are charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the death of 24-year-old Dontray Hendricks of Dover.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Chancery Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Delaware State Police by a woman who runs a towing company.

Katharine Morris of First State Towing claimed in the lawsuit that state officials unlawfully excluded her in selecting companies for towing assignments, favoring male-owned businesses instead.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court is weighing whether to overturn a judge's order transferring a former death row inmate who is awaiting retrial from maximum security to the general prison population.

The judge ordered Isaiah McCoy transferred last year after his lawyer said McCoy was being denied access to the law library and was unable to meet privately with his lawyer outside the presence of prison guards.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Chris Coons is taking a break from politics to do a little preaching.

Coons was scheduled to the give keynote address Thursday at the 56th annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast in Dover.

Gov. Jack Markell will join a host of other officials at the event, including state lawmakers, local elected officials, clerics and representatives of charitable organizations.

The theme of this year's breakfast is "Faith and Family."

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) - Baltimore County officials say a 20-year-old man assaulted a friend with a chemical spray at Towson Town Center.

County officials said in a release Wednesday that police and fire personnel were called to the mall on Tuesday night for a report of a possible chemical irritant in the mall. Officials say the spray appears to be Mace or pepper spray.

Officials say one man told police that a friend confronted him, then quickly pulled out a small canister and sprayed him. Officials say assault charges are pending against the man.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has died after being struck by a marked patrol vehicle in Ocean City.

The Ocean City Police Department says that the incident occurred Tuesday morning as the 67-year-old Jeffrey Delong attempted to cross the street against the pedestrian signal near an intersection.

He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The patrol car was driven by Xeniya Patterson who was on routine patrol at the time. He has since been placed on paid administrative leave, pending an internal investigation.

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Law enforcement took stock of those who lost their lives in the line of duty as officers across Delaware observed Police Memorial Day.

This morning the sound of the traditional Taps was heard as hundreds of officers stood outside the New Castle County Public Safety building.

The First State has been lucky in not suffering any losses over the last year.

But the ceremony did honor the 9 who have died in the line of duty in New Castle County over the years.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Wilmington police say they have finished an internal investigation into the fatal police shooting of a black man in a wheelchair.

Authorities said in a statement Tuesday that the Wilmington Police department's Office of Professional Standards had completed an investigation to determine whether officers involved in the September shooting of Jeremy McDole acted in accordance with departmental rules and regulations governing the use of deadly force. 

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) - Fire officials say a lightning strike may have sparked a fire that heavily damaged an American Legion post in Cambridge.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a news release that the fire was reported about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday at Dorchester Post 91 by a passer-by. Officials say everyone in the building got out safely.

Some 50 firefighters battled the blaze in the 12,000-square-foot building. The fire was brought under control after about two hours.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has died after being struck by a marked patrol vehicle in Ocean City, Maryland.

The Ocean City Police Department says that the incident occurred Tuesday morning as the 67-year-old man attempted to cross the street against the pedestrian signal near an intersection.

The man was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities have not released his name.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon says she wants to get a final vote count from last week's mayoral primary and isn't conceding an election that was held about a year after Freddie Gray's death and unrest in the city.

Dixon told WBAL-AM in Baltimore on Tuesday she believes "there's still a chance" she could win. Provisional and absentee votes are still being counted.

The Maryland State Board of Elections website showed state Sen. Catherine Pugh leading by 3,020 votes on Tuesday. That's about 36.8 percent of the vote, compared to 34.4 percent for Dixon.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is pledging his support for a bill to toughen penalties for texting or otherwise using a handheld phone while driving.

After experiencing a virtual reality demonstration Tuesday of the potentially fatal consequences of texting while driving, a somber Markell said he would sign the bill no matter how high the penalty is increased.

As currently written, the bill increases the penalty for a first offense from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

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The Salisbury and Fruitland police departments are getting some armored vehicles from the Defense Department.

The Salisbury City Council is expected to give its blessing for a request at its Monday night meeting with the assurance from the department that it would only be used when it was needed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the department says the vehicle would only be involved in high risk situations such as barricades with hostages.

Meanwhile, Fruitland got its armored vehicle around two months ago but it is still not in service.

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Senator Barbara Mikulski marked a final chapter in her political career yesterday by a visit to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility for which the Maryland Democrat has gotten more than $160 million in federal funds during the Obama years.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she ended her address with a flourish similar to that of President Obama at last weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Urging that the force be with them Maryland’s senior senator dropped the microphone and put two fingers to her lips to say good-bye.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are considering legislation to shorten the terms of local school board members.

The bill, which was to be discussed in the House Education Committee on Wednesday, changes the term of a school board member from five years to three years.

According to the bill,  longer terms that can enable school boards to have more years of experience among their members must be weighed against the goal of providing other community members with sufficient opportunities to seek election to school boards.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Annapolis officials are marking the opening of the city's newly renovated City Dock.

Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton will join city officials on Wednesday for the official grand opening.

The department helped secure a $1.5 million federal grant to assist the city with the renovation. The Sport Fish Restoration Boating Infrastructure Grant is the largest of its kind Maryland has ever received and the maximum amount allowed under the program.

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Groundbreaking for the expansion of the Bayhealth Medical Center is set for late spring with plans to be open by 2019.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the $277 million Milford project got the okay from the Delaware Health Resources Board yesterday.

The new structure is located around 3 miles from Milford Memorial Hospital.

Among the features are single-patient rooms, an emergency room with easier access, outpatient services and a diagnostic facility.

The expansion covers 165 acres which far out does the current campus of 22.

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