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.


      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says increasing fees on water use and limiting where developers can put new septic systems are essential to preserving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

     The Democratic governor spoke to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee Tuesday afternoon, advocating for change to the state's so-called "flush tax" that would charge residents and business based on how much water they use.

     The tax, created by former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, supports



            Delaware State Attorney General Beau Biden says he wants in on the reorganization of the $4.6 billion Florida Trust that funds AI du Pont Hospital for Children that is headed to court

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the trust has poured millions of dollars into Delaware…through Nemours Foundation to care for sick children and the elderly.

            Biden said that he wants to ensure that this flow of funds continues.

The reorganization is being carried out for tax purposes and administrative convenience.


            The President’s fiscal 2013 budget unveiled this week would increase spending on the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

            Under the spending plan the Environmental Protection Agency would see a $15 million increase in funding to assist watershed states in carrying out their plans to cut nutrients and sediments from farms, urban runoff and wastewater by 2025.


            Delaware’s largest school district is getting a new superintendent.

            Longtime Delaware educator and district employee Freeman Williams has been named to head the Christina School District.

            His appointment follows the departure of Marcia Lyles, who told the board last December…she did not want to renew her contract.

            Williams began as a social studies teacher in 1975 at a middle school near Newark and worked his way up to acting superintendent for Christina and Appoquinimink school districts.


       ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is elaborating on his

proposal to phase in the state's sales tax to apply to gasoline.

     The measure is expected to be introduced Tuesday. It would phase in a 2 percent increase each year for three years.

     Local governments would receive a significant portion of the new revenue for transportation.


     ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Members of the House of Delegates will consider a bill to legalize gay marriage.

     After passing through a panel of 45 lawmakers, legislation to allow same-sex unions is expected to be introduced to the full chamber on Wednesday.

     The bill moves to the House floor with the support of at least

one Republican, Delegate Robert Costa.

     Costa voted to move the bill out of committee Tuesday, a day after Gov. Martin O'Malley said the support of GOP lawmakers could be critical to passing the legislation.


             Officials and businesses in Sussex County say they oppose hiking the state’s minimum wage.

            A measure in Dover would increase the rate by a dollar to $8.25 an hour over two years.

            The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Carol Everhart, president of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, said her members oppose the hike noting that many of the local businesses now pay above the minimum wage.



            The Virginia based EcoCorp Incorporated is now contracting with Delmarva farmers for 8-thousand tons of chicken manure annually that will be used at the proposed ECI Biogas facility.

            The plant will convert chicken waste into electricity and custom blended fertilizer for market.

            The company will pay 1 cent per pound of chicken litter, which translates into $20 per ton.

            John Ingersoll, president of the company, says…that an average truck holds about $400 to $500 or around 25 tons.


     DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Dover City Council committee has agreed to

commit $6 million for the infrastructure around a proposed

natural-gas power plant.

     The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.

(, reports the money would cover half of

the estimated costs of improvements proposed by Calpine Corp.,

which plans to build a 300-megawatt plant. The action Monday must

be ratified by the council.

     Calpine and city officials are trying to obtain the rest of the


        ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Department of Natural Resources

says oysters are surviving at the highest rate since 1985.

     The department says results of its fall oyster survey show 92

percent of oysters were found alive in samples taken baywide. The

two-month survey sampled 263 oyster bars throughout the bay.

     While heavy rains last year caused high mortality in some areas,

the department says lower salt levels throughout the bay helped cut

diseases that have devastated oyster populations. DNR says the high


            Delaware appears to have been spared the budget axe in Washington.

            The President’s budget proposal does not suggest any cuts in aircraft or units…and calls for spending a modest amount for construction on Dover Air Force base family housing.

            In addition…the Wilmington News Journal reports…that there should be money for an Army National Guard training facility in Bethany beach.


      The Delaware Department of Transportation could be looking at cutting door-to-door para-transit service for disabled residents.

     Agency secretary Shailen Bhatt indicated that serious reductions were expected during a Joint Finance Committee briefing yesterday…on the agency’s proposed $346 million budget.

     In addition…the troubled ferry in western Sussex…that crosses Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford…could also see some cuts.



            There was a second day of sulfur dioxide gas emissions from the Delaware City Refinery…as the company carried out an emergency flare burnoff.

            Yesterday’s problems…hit the plant’s catalytic cracking unit…which produces more than 80-thosuand barrels-per-day of gasoline from partially refined crude oil.

            PBF Energy spokeswoman Lisa Lindsay…told the Wilmington News Journal…that the unit failed during maintenance preparations.

            Normal service resumed yesterday shortly after 4 pm.


             There’s a move in Annapolis to make the University of Maryland in Baltimore pay the legal expenses of the farm in Berlin…they are suing…even if the suit has not been settled by the court.

            Eastern Shore State Senate Richard Colburn has sponsored the legislation…that would require the university to use…its $500-thousand 2013 budget appropriation…to pay for the farm’s legal expenses.


     ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Department of Natural Resources

says oysters are surviving at the highest rate since 1985.

     The department says results of its fall oyster survey show 92

percent of oysters were found alive in samples taken baywide. The

two-month survey sampled 263 oyster bars throughout the bay.

     While heavy rains last year caused high mortality in some areas,

the department says lower salt levels throughout the bay helped cut

diseases that have devastated oyster populations. DNR says the high


      Ed Butler who has spent 25 years in City Hall in Seaford and is currently the town's mayor has announced that he is retiring.

     The Wilmington News Journal reports Butler, who is in his third term as mayor, will step down from his post this spring.

     Butler was elected to the city council in 1986, and had only one contested election during his seven terms.



     President Barack Obama’s budget proposal recommends spending $31 million to deepen the main shipping channel of the Delaware River and Bay.

     The Wilmington News Jouranal reports…that has been confirmed by the office Sen. Chris Coons.

     Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and the Delaware congressional delegation have lobbied hard for additional funds.

     Having the money in the budget proposal…could make it easier for lawmakers to protect funds for the 103-mile project during the appropriations process.


     Wicomico County has become a big hit for businesses settling in the local enterprise zones.

     The program rewards employers with property tax breaks in exchange for investment and job growth.

     Program manager Mark Vulcan told the Salisbury Daily Times that the city has seen $25.3 million in new investment with 704 additional jobs.


     The Camden-Wyoming Sewer and Water Authority filed legal documents arguing this week that it is not a public body as defined by state law, and therefore is not required to make its payroll information public.

     The Kent County sewer and water utility has refused to share detailed financial information with the public for the past two years, despite numerous requests from citizens.


During tonight’s City Council meeting, a number of departments will be asking for money.

              The Salisbury Police Department is requesting appropriation of $21,000 to pay for emergency repairs to a police tower on Marine Road that was damaged by a lightning strike on Aug. 2, as well as budget amendment to transfer $1,400 earned through their ammunition recycling program from the General Fund into the Fire Department budget.

President Harry Truman came to the oval office after the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, and went onto to upset the pundits in 1948 by winning a term in his own right. However, as Delmarva Public Radio's Dick Rosse recalls, his scrappiest moment had nothing to do with the affairs of state.

During his state of the state address, Governor Martin O'Malley asked for more revenue to shore up transportation and education in Maryland. However, Republicans responded by sharply criticizing the Governor's tax proposals as well as his executive order, PlanMaryland, that would coordinate state and local actions to control development.  

Governor Martin O'Malley issued an executive order, PlanMaryland, that calls for state and local governments to coordinate development.  However, rural legislators and local government officials are opposed with one calling it "a war on rural areas".  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush explores the issues with State Planning Secretary Richard Hall and Wicomico County Council member Gail Bartkovich during their appearances on Delmarva Today. 

As the Republican presidential race heads southward, front-runner Mitt Romney's religion could play a role in how evangelical Christians vote. Delmarva Public Radio's Dick Rosse has this look back at religion and American presidential politics. 

Delmarva Today 01-20-2012

Jan 20, 2012

This morning, we remember Madeline Perdue.


The first wife of Frank Perdue, she died at the age of 91 last month surrounded by her family at her home in Salisbury.

She met Frank Perdue when both were students at what was then the Salisbury Teacher's College- now Salisbury University.

She helped Frank to build what has become the hall mark poultry business on the Eastern Shore.


Jim Perdue, who now heads up his father's business

Missy Mclaughlin, a friend of some 38 years

The Annapolis Summit

Jan 19, 2012

Don Rush files this report from the recent 2011 Annapolis Summit.

Delmarva Today 01-13-2012

Jan 13, 2012

There some expansion going on at Deer's Head Hospital Center as the Delmarva peninsula works to provide for the local population's medical needs. 


Mary Beth Waide- CEO for Deer's Head Hospital Center

Maureen McNeill, Director of Development at Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care

Tess Iten,  RN- Deer's Head Chief Nursing Officer

Delmarva Today 12-30-2011

Jan 3, 2012

A look back in the year in politics.


Mike Pretl with the Wicomico County Democrats

John Barkovitch, former chair of the Wicomico County Republicans

During a poultry summit on the campus of Salisbury University, Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot said he would consider supporting a two year moratorium on new regulations. Looking ahead to his political future, the Maryland Democrat also said he would consider a run for the Governorship with an eye towards fiscal discipline during these recessionary times. 

For decades, the Salisbury City Council has been divided into two electoral districts. One is a minority majority district and the other is an at-large district that selects the other four members of the council.

But that could change under redistricting proposals presented by Mayor Jim Ireton.


Salisbury City Council Member Shanie Shields, who represents the minority-minority district.

Former Salisbury Mayor Barrie Tilghman.