Don Rush

News Director

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
9:40 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Delmarva Power

Credit Don Rush

Delmarva Power is getting a $15.1 million rate increase from the Delaware Public Service Commission.

The vote was 4-to-0.

That gives the company a profit margin of 9.7 percent.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it is still not clear what the increase will mean for individual customers.

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Local News
2:38 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Delay in Somerset Wind Project Heads to MD Senate Floor

Credit cleanaircouncil.org

A measure that would delay a wind turbine project in Somerset County by 15 months has made it out of the Senate Finance Committee.

The delay would allow for the results of a $2 million study on the impact of the project on radar at U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

In addition, the measure would limit the height of wind turbines at varying distances at varying distances from the naval base.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Eastern Shore Democrat Jim Mathias voted no saying the issues could be dealt with through existing state and federal laws.

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Local News
2:26 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Prevailing Wage Expansion Approved by MD General Assembly

Credit all-free-download.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to expand Maryland's prevailing wage law has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The state Senate passed the bill 32-15 on Wednesday, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The bill lowers the share of total school construction project costs paid by the state from 50 percent to 25 percent for the prevailing wage law to apply.

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Local News
2:17 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pot Decriminalization May Have to Wait in Maryland

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's legislature apparently won't eliminate criminal policies for marijuana possession this year, but it will likely take a step in that direction.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to create a task force to study decriminalization policies. The task force would make a recommendation after two years.

This is a reworked version of a Senate bill that would decriminalize the drug right away. In the same situation last year, this committee let the bill die without reaching the House floor.

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Local News
2:07 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Education Funding Referendum Approved by Cape Henlopen District Voters

Credit clipart 101.com

A referendum to raise property taxes to build a new school in the Cape Henlopen District was approved by a thousand vote margin out of 6-thousand cast yesterday.

In addition to building a fifth elementary school that will hold 720-students that money will also pay for additional classrooms at Beacon Middle School and Mariner Middle School.

The referendum means that the average property tax will go up by $22 in the next fiscal year and $37 in the following year.

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Local News
1:57 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested in Salisbury Case

Edwin Fletcher
Credit police mugshot

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police say a man sought after three law enforcers were injured during when their cruiser was struck has been arrested in Delaware.

Troopers said that 32-year-old Edwin Fletcher of Salisbury was arrested about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Dover. Authorities say he is awaiting an extradition hearing.

Authorities say two state troopers and a sheriff's deputy were injured when Fletcher drove onto and over their vehicle on March 26 in Salisbury. Authorities were trying to arrest Fletcher on a drug felony warrant in Wicomico County.

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Local News
1:47 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Minimum Wage Bill Out of MD Committe, But With Changes

Credit Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has made some substantial changes to a measure to raise the state's minimum wage.

The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday.

In one of the biggest changes, community-based workers who work with the developmentally disabled would get paid more over several years in order to keep their pay above minimum wage.

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Local News
1:38 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Vote Set in Dover for Tightening Bail in Non-Capital Cases

Credit delaware state courts website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State House members are set to vote on a proposed amendment to Delaware's constitution allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes.

The proposed amendment, backed by Attorney General Beau Biden, is aimed at stopping violent offenders from getting released on bail, only to be charged with committing more violent crimes after being put back on the street.

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Local News
1:26 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Film Industry Vital to Maryland's Economic Health

Credit netflix

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. Edward Kasemeyer says Maryland should look to the film industry for jobs it has lost in manufacturing.

Kasemeyer, a Democrat who represents Howard and Baltimore counties, urged the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday to pass his bill aimed at keeping the show "House of Cards" filming in Maryland. The committee will likely vote on the bill later this week.

Kasemeyer wants to raise the cap on tax credits for film production companies to $18.5 million yearly, up from $7.5 million.

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Local News
12:04 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Audit Finds Credit Card Abuse By At Least 4 State Employees

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An audit has found that four Maryland workers used state-issued credit cards to buy $255,000 of inappropriate items in recent years.

The Department of Legislative Services audit found questionable purchases by at least four cardholders. The workers were prosecuted and some supervisors also faced repercussions.

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Local News
11:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Top Democratic Leader Returns to Annapolis to Back Delay of Somerset Wind Project

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md)
Credit official photo

Congressman Steny Hoyer made an appearance in Annapolis lobbying for a measure that would impose a 15 month delay on the Somerset County wind turbine project.

Speaking before a legislative panel the House minority Whip from Southern Maryland said the delay and study was needed to ensure that the wind turbines do not interference with the radar from the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Hoyer also provided a letter co-signed by Maryland’s two senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin supporting the legislation.

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Local News
10:37 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Property Tax Hike Up to Voters Today in Cape Henlopen School District

Credit all-free-download.com

In the Cape Henlopen School District voters will be casting their ballots for a referendum today.

The measure calls for a hike in the property tax which would cost the average property owner an extra $59 a year.

It would take effect over the next three years.

The measure would help pay for the construction of a new elementary school with enrollment having grown by nearly 1-thousand students over the last 12 years.

The new elementary school would be located in Rehoboth Beach along Route 24.

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Local News
10:25 am
Wed April 2, 2014

MD Panel Votes to Replace Health Exchange Website

Credit Maryland Health Connection logo

HANOVER, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has voted to replace technology in the state's badly flawed health exchange website with technology that has worked much better in Connecticut.

The board of directors of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange voted Tuesday night to adopt technology developed by Deloitte Consulting.

Maryland's website crashed shortly after it opened Oct. 1. The state has had one of the worst exchange websites of the 14 states that developed their own.

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Local News
10:04 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Mosquito Spraying to Begin in Delaware's Wooded Wetlands

Credit creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware is starting its annual spring woodland-pool spraying this week.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says its mosquito control section will treat wooded wetlands near select populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

Officials say about 4,000 to 7,000 forested acres that produce large numbers of early season mosquitoes will be strategically sprayed by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.

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Local News
9:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

OC Church To Be Demolished After Fire

St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
Credit Church website

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Leaders of St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church have decided to demolish its rectory, which was destroyed in a fire that killed the pastor.

According to a church newsletter, leaders decided last month to demolish rather than renovate the rectory, which was destroyed on Nov. 16.

The Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office has said that 56-year-old John Sterner purchased gasoline, poured it on himself and set himself ablaze. Authorities say Sterner then ran into the church, and the fire to spread from him to the structure.

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Local News
9:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Making Up Snow Days in Red Clay School District

Credit Don Rush

To make up for the  days lost to the snow storms the Red Clay School District will be converting four half-days into full days and add another half-day at the end of the school calendar.

May 9th and June 2nd though the 5th will be now be full days.

And the last day of school will now be June 6th.

Superintendent Merv Daugherty told the Wilmington News Journal that alternatives like reducing spring break or adding minutes to the school day was deemed too disruptive.

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Local News
8:44 am
Wed April 2, 2014

New Castle County Firefighters Seek Property Tax To Fund EMS

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon
Credit official photo

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County firefighters are calling for a new property tax to help pay for emergency medical services.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that County Executive Tom Gordon says he'll fight it. State legislation would be needed to allow the county to create a special assessment to pay for emergency medical services.

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Local News
8:26 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Delaware Panel Takes Up Cash Portfolio Board Issue

Treasurer Chip Flowers
Credit official photo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state legislative committee is reconvening to begin its review of the board that oversees Delaware's $2 billion cash portfolio.

Members of the Joint Sunset Committee were forced to postpone a hearing on the Cash Management Portfolio Board last month after the board chairman failed to appear.

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Local News
8:12 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Wicomico County Sheriff Could Get Raise

Sheriff Mike Lewis
Credit official photo

Wicomico County Sheriff  Mike Lewis could be getting a raise after all.

The County Council voted 4-to-2 yesterday to recommend giving Lewis the raise.

That recommendation now goes to County Executive Rick Pollitt where Lewis’s salary would rise by $10-thousand to $95-thousand a year.

The vote came after a change of heart by council member John Hall  who originally opposed the pay bump.

Opponents like Joe Holloway said they based their votes on the ailing economy when the proposal was defeated in February.

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Local News
7:51 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Another Justice Retires from the Delaware Supreme Court

Justice Jack Jacobs
Credit courts.delaware.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs says he is retiring from the bench later this year.

In a letter Monday to Gov. Jack Markell, the 71-year-old Jacobs said he plans to retire effective July 4, more than a year before his current term on the court is set to expire.

Jacobs was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003 after serving 18 years as in Delaware's Court of Chancery.

Jacobs' retirement gives Markell a second chance to nominate a justice to the state's five-member Supreme Court.

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Local News
10:56 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Standard Register Closes Salisbury Plant, 76 Without Jobs

Credit Standard Register Logo

The company, Standard Register, has told its 76 employees that they are shutting down their manufacturing plant and warehouse in Salisbury.

The rotary printing facility will close by mid-summer with separation packages provided to those losing their jobs.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the company said in a press release that the demand for printed forms and documents made at the plant dropped dramatically as electronic forms have taken their place.

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Local News
10:40 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Maryland Legislature Expected to Hike Penalties For Hazing

Credit stoneybrooke.medicine.edu

The Maryland state legislature is moving toward upping the penalties for hazing on college campuses. A suspension and incident at a Salisbury University spurred lawmakers to act. Delmarva Public Radio's Kyle Bean prepared this report.

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Local News
10:22 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Baltimore Museum Celebrates the History of the Banjo

Credit creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - A new museum exhibit explores the history of the banjo in Baltimore, home to the first U.S. banjo factory.

The exhibit is called "Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond." It opens Tuesday for about six months at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Co-curator Robert Winans says banjos evolved from stringed instruments originating in West Africa that were made from gourds. He says the slave trade brought the instruments to North America.

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Local News
10:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Road Work Causes Congestion in Ocean View and Princess Anne

Credit all-free-download.com

A major road widening project for Route 26 in Ocean View saw some congestion this week at the coroner of Atlantic Avenue and Central Avenue.

Construction crews had limited the roadway to just one lane as they began relocating a pipeline.  

It the first phase is expected to take up to six weeks and is part of a larger effort that will take three years to finish and will widen more than four miles of Route 26.

WBOC reports that the engineering firm says there will be no lane closures during the tourist season running from May 15th through September 30th.

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Local News
9:55 am
Tue April 1, 2014

New Home for Punkin Chunkin May Not Be Delaware

Credit Don Rush

Punkin Chunkin will not be returning to Dale Wheatley’s farm.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that he has shut the door on that.

He told the paper that he understands the town leaders in nearby Bridgeville are upset but added he cannot afford to be sued if anything goes wrong.

Wheatly is now a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a volunteer during the 2011 Punkin Chunkin when the volunteer was injured in a ATV accident during the event.

And unless another location is found it’s quite possible that this Delaware event may actually leave the state.

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Local News
9:43 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Conservatives Win Legal Victory Over Delaware's Election Law

Credit clipart 101.com

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has granted an injunction sought by a conservative group fighting a Delaware election campaign law.

The judge on Monday ruled in favor of Delaware Strong Families in its challenge to a 2012 law requiring disclosures by third-party groups working independently of political candidates to influence elections.

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Local News
9:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Easing Evidence for Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

Credit educ591w.elbarney.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two measures to help battle domestic violence have been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The state Senate gave final approval to the measures on Monday night on unanimous votes. The House of Delegates already passed the bills.

They are headed to Gov. Martin O'Malley, whose administration proposed the legislation.

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Local News
9:14 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Delaware Legislature Mulls Markell Tax Hike Plans

Governor Jack Markell (D-De)
Credit official photo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A package of tax increases upon which Gov. Jack Markell is relying to help pay for his spending plan for next fiscal year is up for a vote in the state House.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday increases the annual tax on limited liability companies and business partnerships from $250 to $300. It also increases the minimum annual corporation franchise tax by $100.  

The bill requires three-fifths votes in the House and Senate. House Democrats postponed a vote last week, when at least one Democrat was absent.

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Local News
9:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Revamping Maryland Health Insurance Exchange

Credit all-free-download.com

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Maryland board is scheduled to discuss what the state will do about its badly flawed health exchange website.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board of Trustees has a 5 p.m. meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday, when it could officially decide to use technology from another state that has had a more successful exchange rollout. Maryland is one of 14 states with its own exchange.

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Local News
8:54 am
Tue April 1, 2014

No Attorneys Needed for Bail Hearings Under MD Bill

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has approved a bill that would make courts rely on a data formula in determining whether or not to jail people after arrest.

The bill passed 37-9 Monday evening, with one senator abstaining. Several senators have predicted that the bill would face serious opposition in the House of Delegates.

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