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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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's attorney general says the state will appeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to deny the state's efforts to reduce emissions from 36 power plants in five upwind states.

Brian Frosh said Monday he plans to appeal the EPA decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The EPA signed a final agency decision denying Maryland's petition for relief under the Clean Air Act late Friday.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland police say a "Black Lives Matter" sign has been stolen from a church.

Anne Arundel police spokesman Marc Limansky tells The Capital the sign was reported stolen Sunday by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Annapolis. Limansky says the sign was last seen Saturday afternoon. It was hung outside the church in 2015 to support the national "Black Lives Matter" movement, which calls for the end of systemic violence and racism against black people.

Don Rush

What remains of Hurricane Florence is expected to hit Delaware today and tomorrow.

The National Weather Service says that there are likely to be showers and thunderstorms with some localized flooding.

But heavy winds are not expected keeping below 20 mph.

That means utility companies do not expect any power outages in the region from the remnants of the storm.

By Wednesday the rains should have moved out of the area.

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Forty-one Delaware firefighters are in North Carolina to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

WBOC reports that on Sunday personnel from Dagsboro and Frankford volunteer fire companies were in the Fayetteville area.

Meanwhile, firefighters from Lewes were in Morehead City and went door to door checking on evacuated homes and those residents who stayed behind.

The television station reports that photos from the Lewes contingent showed downed trees and fences as well as boats that had run aground.

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Ellendale voters approved a measure on Saturday that would shift its water supply from private wells to a public system.

The referendum was approved by a vote of 81 to 21.

WBOC reports that many residents have complained of brown and orange residue in their water.

In some private wells there have been positive tests for bacteria.

The television station reports that the Ellendale Community and Civic Improvement Association estimated that if the measure was approved it would cost a user around $400 more a year for a new system.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland officials are holding a hearing on proposed premium rates for next year's health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act that are sold directly to individuals.

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer is holding the hearing Monday in Baltimore.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A woman has been killed and two men have been critically injured after being struck by a train in Delaware.

Police in Georgetown say the three were hit by a Carload Express train early Sunday morning as they walked on railroad tracks.

The woman was pronounced dead and the two men were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Detective Joseph Melvin said police were dispatched to the railroad tracks behind the 600 block of North Bedford Street after the train engineer reported the incident.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Anne Arundel County is considering a resolution that would prohibit boaters from letting treated waste flow into area waterways.

The resolution would turn prominent rivers and creeks into "no-discharge zones."

Boaters are already prohibited from releasing raw sewage into U.S. waters.

Most boats equipped with toilets hold their sewage in tanks and pump it out at designated locations on shore. But some vessels have systems that treat and then discharge the waste.

Don Rush

Mayor Jake Day hailed last weekend’s National Folk Festival held in Salisbury a success.

He says that up to 63-thousand people showed up for the event.

WBOC reports that the mayor said the estimate was based on the city’s Wi-Fi system which can track how many devices were in the area.

The actual total was 97-thousand but was rounded down to take into account a number of variables.

Day noted this was despite the inclement weather which saw on and off rain during the event.

The exact amount of money raised by the festival is still be determined.

Don Rush

Ellendale area residents will go to the polls tomorrow to determine whether a small area along North and South Old State road west of the city limits will turn to Artesian Resources for their water.

The move is part of an effort to deal with the high nitrate problem they have with their shallow wells.

Sussex County Engineer Hans Medlarz told the Wilmington News Journal that the referendum is for a far smaller district than the one that was sought last year.

That plan was defeated by a 13 vote margin and would have provided central water to about 200 residences.

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A box has been found containing DNA samples of around 16-hundred Delaware convicted criminals which were never entered into the national data base.

That database allows authorities to connect criminals with crime scene evidence.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the samples are from 2001 through 2012.

The paper reports that the discovery was kept a secret for years despite assurances that the transfer to the new Division of Forensic Science would be transparent.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration for efforts he says are intended to undercut the nation's health care law.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday is the latest in a broad effort by attorneys general in various U.S. states pushing back against a "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act following years of failed GOP attempts to fully repeal the Obama-era law.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Some families and placement agencies in Maryland say they struggle to find and place in-home nurses as the state underpays them.

The Baltimore Sun reports in-home licensed professional nurses make significantly less in Maryland when working in someone's house instead of a hospital or nursing home. Placement firm BAYADA Home Health Care says Medicaid covers about $35 per hour for those nurses in Maryland, compared with $46 in Delaware and $50 in Washington.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware is moving closer to adopting new electronic voting machines that incorporate a paper trail, ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The Delaware State News reports the task force charged with approving a contract to replace the current machine unanimously approved the new ExpressVote XL machines Tuesday. The Joint Committee on Capital Improvement will meet Monday to review and vote on selecting Election Systems & Software as the vendor.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - An amended class-action lawsuit has been filed seeking to end Virginia's enforcement of its law suspending driver's licenses for people with unpaid criminal or traffic court debt.

News outlets report the Legal Aid Justice Center filed the complaint Tuesday in federal court. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the lawsuit to the lower court in a May ruling to allow the plaintiffs to revise it after it had been dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Police say an off-duty Delaware police officer is the person who sparked a fatal highway crash that killed one person.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports state police say Dover police Officer Frederick Pierce rear-ended a car last week when he didn't notice slowed traffic. That crash caused a series of other cars to crash.

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Delmarva may be able to avoid the heavy damage of Hurricane Florence as the storm has shifted southward more towards the Carolinas.

Scott Schuman with the National Weather Service told the Salisbury Daily Times that the region appears to have been spared major problems.

A moderate storm surge is expect along the Maryland and Virginia coasts.

But expect high winds of up to 35 mph as the storm approaches the coastline.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware health official say they have confirmed another human case of West Nile virus, marking the state's fifth case this year.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports this case involving a 57-year-old New Castle County man makes this Delaware's highest number of confirmed cases since 2015.

Officials says the man's case still is awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials confirmed this year's first Delawarean case of the virus in early August.

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There were three more resignations from the Sussex Technical School District board this week.

They were Teresa Carey, Judy Emory and George Torbert.

This leaves four active members.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the board is reviewing some of its financial procedures including large purchases and change orders.

One of the issues has been the 2012 decision to buy property from local develop Michael Horsey for nearly twice what he bought it for just two weeks earlier.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wants to further expand a program that encourages students to study math, science and technology.

Hogan is meeting Thursday with senior executives from IBM and Maryland businesses leaders to advocate for further expansion of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program. It's known as P-TECH for short.

The program enables students to graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost, two-year associate degree in a STEM field in six years or less. 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's House speaker has scheduled a meeting later this month to continue work on a court-ordered legislative map.

GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox announced Wednesday that a House committee will meet Sept. 27.

Republicans also filed a motion Wednesday asking a federal court to reject Democrats' request that federal judges redraw 11 state House districts found to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

A federal court ruled in June that lawmakers illegally packed black voters into 11 districts and ordered lawmakers to draw a new map by Oct. 30.

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As Hurricane Florence approaches the mid-Atlantic region the president of Somerset County Commissioners is recommending that Smith Island resident should leave the island.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that who want to depart the U.S. Coast Guard is sending a vessel that will arrive at Tylerton dock at 12:30 p.m. today.

It will leave a 1:30 p.m.

In addition, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be at Ewell at 12:30 p.m. to pick up those who want to leave.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware public health officials are reporting a record number of deaths from suspected drug overdoses in August.

Officials said Tuesday that the 39 deaths reported last month is the highest since they began tracking deaths from suspected overdoses in late 2013. The previous monthly high was 27 deaths in April.

Officials suspect many of the overdoses involved fentanyl, a highly toxic synthetic opioid far more potent than heroin.

Last year, about 60 percent of the state's 345 overdose deaths involved fentanyl, while 40 percent involved heroin.

Don Rush

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Police say there doesn't appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding a body found in a Maryland river.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports a body was found floating in the Wicomico River Tuesday afternoon and was later removed. The Salisbury Police Department tweeted there appears to be "nothing suspicious at this time."

An investigation is ongoing. The newspaper says no additional information was released as of late Tuesday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court is being asked to overturn a judge's decision terminating the disability benefits of a woman who is in the country illegally and was injured at work.

Justices are to hear arguments Wednesday regarding the judge's ruling, which upheld a decision by the state Industrial Accident Board.

Magdalena Guardado's attorneys say the board erred in terminating her total disability benefits, and that the judge erred in upholding that decision.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -Virginia's governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a press conference Monday that the evacuation order set to begin Tuesday at 8 a.m. applies to parts of the Hampton Roads area and Eastern Shore. State officials say 245,000 people live in the affected area.

Northam says the evacuation zone includes the most flood-prone coastal areas.

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The Republican nominee for Delaware’s lone House of Representatives seat has found himself hit with “a fat-shaming” video.

It’s a video that Scott Walker shared on Facebook back in February of this year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that his 41-second video features shot from a cell phone that focuses on an ad with a plus-size model in the window of a Forever 21 store.

On the video Walker is heard calling the model very obese and telling the viewer that this is unhealthy.

He then goes on to say, “To me, that’s discrimination against women.”

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Liberty University and Hampton University will each host a U.S. Senate Town Hall featuring Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Stewart.

The first Town Hall will be held at Liberty's Center for Music and the Worship Arts on Sept. 20. The second event will be held at Hampton's Convocation Center on Oct. 3. Each event will be produced for television and broadcast live through a partnership with the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An independent congressional candidate in Virginia is appealing a court's decision to remove her from the race.

Shaun Brown filed an appeal Monday with Virginia's Supreme Court. She says a Circuit Court judge in Richmond lacked the authority to remove her from the ballot because election officials had already certified her candidacy.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Brown can't run because petitions to place her on the ballot contained forged signatures.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia legislative watchdog agency says the state's elections systems have a number of problems, including an unreliable IT system and a leadership structure susceptible to undue political influence.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission issued a report Monday saying it found no large scale voter fraud in Virginia, but several areas of possible improvement.

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