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.

Don Rush (File Photo)

Salisbury has imposed new restrictions on local businesses as the nation struggles with the coronavirus. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talks with Mayor Jake Day about the impact of pandemic in the first of a three part series. 

Don Rush

With the coronavirus forcing small businesses to close down and residents to stay at home Maryland is struggling to soften the blow. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with state Comptroller Peter Franchot about the economic impact.

webmd.com

Maryland now has 20 new confirmed case of the coronavirus an increase of 54 percent.

It’s biggest increase in the number of cases in a single day with a total now 57 in 11 counties.

That includes Talbot county which has reported one confirmed case.

Montgomery County has the most with 24.

Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases in Delaware has doubled following a drive-thru testing event by the state's largest hospital system.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered restaurants, gyms and theaters to serve no more than 10 customers at a time in response to the coronavirus.

Northam also urged Virginians on Tuesday to comply with new federal guidelines not to gather in groups of more than 10 and for people older than 65 to self-quarantine.

The state also announced that there are now 67 Virginians who have tested positive for the virus, including the first known instance at a long-term care facility. 

Comptroller's Office

Maryland businesses and residents will get a 90-day extension to file their income tax.

There will be no interest or penalty payments if tax forms are filed by July 15th.

WBOC reports that Comptroller Peter Franchot said it was time for residents and businesses to focus on their health and keeping the lights on.

He said that this will keep the cash flowing through the economy and into employee’s bank accounts.

The move follows a similar action announced by the White House.

Don Rush

The Peninsula Regional Medical Center has set up a triage tent for the coronavirus.

It’s located near the walk-in entrance for the Emergency Trauma Center.

The Salisbury Daily Times report that it will be staffed by a nurse 24-hours a day seven days a week.

The medical center says the tent is not for general screening of the virus.

Patients will be questioned about any symptoms such as a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath.

They will also be asked if they have come into recent contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

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Delaware will be providing cash assistance to many of the workers whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus but would not ordinarily qualify for benefits.

The requirements for the benefits range from those who have been laid off because an employer has temporarily shutdown due to the virus to a worker who has been ordered by a medical doctor to self-quarantine.

In addition, those who are either a parent or guardian who must take care of children due to the state ordered shutdown of the school will also qualify.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has postponed the state's April 28 primary to June 2.

But Hogan said Tuesday the state is moving forward with a vote-by-mail April 28 special general election to fill the congressional seat left vacant by the death of Elijah Cummings.

As the coronavirus spreads worldwide, Hogan says it would endanger public health to allow thousands of people to assemble in places like schools and senior centers, which are already closed.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers are convening for the last day of a shortened legislative session due to the coronavirus.

They are gathering Wednesday to finish work on priority legislation before adjourning.

Legislative leaders say they plan to reconvene in a special session in the last week of May.

The General Assembly will be wrapping up 19 days before its annual legislative session was scheduled end on April 6.

The Senate is expected to take a final vote on the state's $48 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia have charged a second former congressional campaign staffer with election fraud in a case that clouded the race for Virginia's 2nd District in 2018.

A special prosecutor overseeing the case in Virginia Beach confirmed Tuesday that Roberta Marciano faces two counts of election fraud.

Marciano worked on the re-election campaign for freshman Republican Scott Taylor in the district along Virginia's coast.

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man is facing charges after shooting at an occupied home before barricading himself inside his house for several hours.

Delaware State Police arrested 42-year-old Richard P. Money II of Middletown on Tuesday morning after a standoff that lasted about five hours.

Authorities say the incident began shortly before 10 p.m. Monday when troopers were called about shots being fired at a house in Smyrna.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters across the state in response to coronavirus.

Hogan announced his order would go into effect Monday at 5 p.m.

Hogan says drive-thru, carryout and delivery service will still be allowed.

Hogan also announced a prohibition on social, community, recreational or religious gatherings of more than 50 people in close proximity.

He also says the state is planning to make up to 6,000 more hospital beds available.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) — Gov. John Carney had directed that restaurants and bars in Delaware restrict their operations to take-out, drive-thru and delivery services in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Monday's directive is included in a modification of an emergency declaration that Carney issued last week.

The revised declaration also gives Delaware's Secretary of Labor authorization to develop emergency rules to ensure that unemployment benefits are available for Delawareans whose jobs are affected by the outbreak.

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The Delmarva school districts have set up a number of sites to provide lunches to students with the closure of the state’s schools due to the coronavirus.

WBOC reports that Cape Henlopen School District is providing lunches at its H. O. Brittingham Elementary School in Milton during the eleven o’clock hour.

Meanwhile, the Indian River School District has a number of locations that will provide free lunches begging Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington, D.C., is shutting down all movie theaters and gyms, and ordering all restaurants and bars to serve only takeout, as the nation's capital continues to ramp up its social distancing measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor Muriel Bowser says she is also placing local National Guard units on standby, but not actively deploying them yet.

All restaurants and bars will be able to offer to offer carry-out to customers or to food delivery services, but all dining or drinking in the establishments is prohibited, starting at 10 p.m. Monday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginians have begun adjusting to living with the threat of the new coronavirus, as elected officials and business owners struggled to decide what should stay open and what should close.

The state said Monday the total number of people in Virginia who tested positive for the virus was 51.

The state also reported the second virus-related death.

With schools across the state closed, large gatherings banned and much of the state's workforce encouraged to work at home, many businesses opted to close down too.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers will be working to put finishing touches on priority legislation before an early adjournment due to coronavirus.

The General Assembly will be in session on Tuesday. Lawmakers could take final votes to pass the state's roughly $48 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Passing a balanced budget to pay for the state's operations is something lawmakers are required to do during their annual legislative session. Legislators are aiming to adjourn Wednesday.

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With the first reports of the Coronavirus now hitting the Maryland Eastern Shore as well as Delaware Delmarva Public Radio's Steve Plotkin takes a look at the disease that resulted in school closings and limits on crowd sizes.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning to expect a decline in economic activity in the state over the coming months due to the impact of the coronavirus. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with the Comptroller about the outlook.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia health officials on Saturday reported the state's first death from the coronavirus, a man in his 70s who died of respiratory failure after acquiring the virus through an unknown source.

In a news release, the Virginia Department of Health and the Peninsula Health District reported the death of the man, who had been hospitalized.

U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman says the death occurred in James City County.

delaware electric cooperative

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Environmental advocates notched one win after another this legislative session as the new Democratic majority passed their top-priority legislation, including measures long opposed by Republicans who used to be in charge.

Legislators sent bills to Gov. Ralph Northam that will remake how Virginia's utilities generate electricity, remove barriers to rooftop solar, ban offshore drilling and fracking in much of the state and mandate more coal ash cleanup.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A public interest law firm is asking the Supreme Court to consider whether police officers and other government agents should have broad immunity from civil lawsuits.

The court is expected to decide as soon as this month whether to take the cases.

In one, a college student was restricted from suing officers who beat him up in a case of mistaken identity.

Another involves a woman whose home was destroyed by agents looking for her ex-boyfriend.

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As the Coronavirus spreads many are raising questions about the outbreak. Delmarva Public Radio Essay Steve Plotkin raises some of them.

Essay: A Good Marriage

Feb 28, 2020
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What makes a good marriage? Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes it is a combination of being one and yet a part.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he is submitting a $10 million supplemental budget to help make preparations for the new coronavirus disease.

The governor outlined steps the state is taking in preparation for the outbreak during a news conference Thursday.

Hogan says the $10 million is just precautionary because it's believed the state will need additional money to pay for preparations.

The governor says all levels of government are working together to take precautions to respond to potential threats.

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Racist graffiti has been found again in Salisbury.

WBOC reports that Maryland State Police are investigating the incident which occurred in a restroom at Hopper’s Tap-House.

Police say there were a number of racial epithets scratched into the doors and walls of the stalls.

The authorities say they were placed so that they could be easily seen when entering the restroom.

In an interview with the television station the owner Glenn Aines called the perpetrators “cowards hiding in the dark.”

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have given final approval to a measure that would make the state a full participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate carbon cap-and-trade program.

The House and Senate both held final votes late Wednesday night on two companion measures, sending them to Gov. Ralph Northam, whose administration supports joining the program as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the electric power sector.

The bills largely advanced along party lines. Supporters said joining the program will help address climate change.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has passed a measure to ban discrimination based on a person's natural hair or hair styles.

The Senate voted 46-0 on Thursday for the measure. It now goes to the House, where a similar measure has been introduced.

The bill expands the definition of race to include hair texture, afro hairstyles and protective hairstyles, which are designed to protect the ends of hair.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats are in the spotlight as they argue over how legislative and congressional boundaries should be drawn.

Redistricting reform has been a top priority for Democrats both in Virginia and around the country after a tea party wave a decade ago helped Republicans convert big electoral wins into favorable congressional and state legislative maps.

Democrats have said those maps were political gerrymanders that helped accelerate polarization and entrench minority rule.

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