Bryan Russo | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Bryan Russo

Host, Coastal Connection

Russo is WAMU's "guy on the coast", serving as both the Coastal Reporter and the host of Coastal Connection, a weekly public affairs program which airs on WRAU 88.3 in Ocean City on Fridays at noon and 8 p.m.

Russo is an award winning journalist and an entertaining storyteller who is known for not only his hard news sensibility, but also his sensitivity in dealing with complex subject matters that impact the lives of people in the region. Russo strives to make Coastal Connection a weekly conversation about the issues that effect life on the coast, for both the locals and tourists, even if it means chasing a massive hurricane. In addition, Russo is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter and composer, whose music has been heard all over the world on radio, TV, and film.


Articles Written by Bryan Russo

WAMU 88.5
A woman who endured life-threatening burns on more than 20 percent of her body has been released from the hospital, more than a month after a homeless man set himself on fire and ran into the Ocean City church at which she was volunteering. Gauze and bandages cover most of 41 year old Dana Truitt's face She was volunteering at St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal Church on ...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, Salisbury University officials are returning from winter break to a fraternity hazing scandal after a former student came forward with new and alarming claims of brutality during fraternity initiation ceremonies. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Salisbury University has been suspended since October 2012 after an investigation by police and the university's boar...
WAMU 88.5
Eighty-six percent of the real estate in Ocean City, Md. belongs to out-of-towners, but recent assessments show the value of your typical beach house has tanked by as much as nine percent. The State Department of Assessments says property values declined for 82 percent of the more than 10,000 homes and condominiums analyzed in Worcester County over a three-year real estate ass...
WAMU 88.5
For years, environmentalists have been searching for a breakthrough in their efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. And now, they think they’ve found that breakthrough — in the form of the humble woodchip. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy in Easton, Md. is working with several farmers on the Eastern Shore to install “woodchip bio-reactors” on their farms. These...
WAMU 88.5
The producers of a movie shot in Ocean City, Md., have announced it will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this January. Ping Pong Summer is a coming-of-age story set in the summer of 1985, about a ping pong and hip hop music obsessed teenage boy on a family vacation to Ocean City. The film wrapped production in the resort one day before Superstorm Sandy...
WAMU 88.5
Rich Bloch started working in a magic shop at the age of seven, and has been hooked ever since. But that’s not his only gig. When not pulling rabbits out of hats, he can be found working as an attorney in Washington, where he's sorted out labor disputes for the likes of the National Football League and Major League Baseball. He now owns his own theater, in coast...
WAMU 88.5
Ocean City officials say the church fire that killed a local pastor and critically injured a female volunteer was caused by a man who set himself on fire and ran into the church. Police concede they may never know why the man did so. Investigators say they have no idea what caused 56-year-old John Raymond Sterner to ...
WAMU 88.5
A British Royal Navy ship known as the DeBraak capsized off the Delaware coast during a freak storm on May 25th, 1798. It held its secrets at the bottom of the sea for two centuries before being pulled to the surface in the late 1980s. Archaeologists have been toiling on the wreck for years, and now the remains of this ship are open to the public. Bryan Russo takes us on a tour....
WAMU 88.5
A three-alarm fire in a historic church in downtown Ocean City has claimed the life of two people, including the church's rector. Investigators won't say for now whether the fire was accidental or criminal, but they're all in agreement that what happened yesterday in Ocean City was unspeakably tragic. Multiple sources and witnesses say a man on fire walked into the rec...
WAMU 88.5
A civil dispute between Ocean City, Md., and one of its boardwalk performers over the noise ordinance settled out of court this week for $137,000. Bill Hassey Jr. believes his win is also a win for many buskers who have long felt the city was creating laws to get rid of them. And while Hassey Jr, will walk away with $21,000 in damages, he says this case is as much abou...
WAMU 88.5
We've all pulled up to a red light before, and while fiddling around with our blue tooth or our ear buds connected to our trusty smart phones, we catch a peripheral glimpse of a police officer chatting away on a cellphone just a car way. That burning sense of frustration is often called a double standard by many folks in the realm of public opinion. But the Ocean City Police...
WAMU 88.5
We've all pulled up to a red light before, and while fiddling around with our blue tooth or our ear buds connected to our trusty smart phones, we catch a peripheral glimpse of a police officer chatting away on a cellphone just a car way. That burning sense of frustration is often called a double standard by many folks in the realm of public opinion. But the Ocean City Police...
WAMU 88.5
Last November, a 60-year-old man named Kenny was living in a tent in the woods near Ocean City, Md., just a few miles from the resort's beaches and boardwalk. Kenny, a painter and Vietnam veteran, lost his home when the housing bubble burst. And when we first met him, he told us he'd been living in the woods for a while; he even weathered much of Super Storm Sandy in his tent....
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland the recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, are impacting more than 787,000 people. The cuts are also putting a strain on many local food banks, pantries and homeless shelters. Claudia Nagle is the executive director of Diakonia, a homeless shelter located just outside Ocean City. She says that since the SNAP cuts took effe...
WAMU 88.5
Police in Accomack County, Va., released video that could explain the motive behind a five-month long arson spree that became one of the most notorious and puzzling crimes in the region's history. Former volunteer firefighter Charles R. Smith III pled guilty to 66 counts of arson. Until this point, he had been portrayed as the criminal mastermind behind the string of intention...
WAMU 88.5
One year ago this week, Superstorm Sandy pounded the eastern seaboard, causing billions of dollars in damages. Officials in Ocean City, Md., have applied the lessons learned from near-miss storms into formulating a better plan for dealing with the storm that someday, may hit the resort head on. A year ago, it was impossible to stand at the end of the iconic fishing pier in Oce...
WAMU 88.5
The Pentagon has given military display jet teams the green light to fly again after sequestration grounded them, but one of the premiere acts will be flying right by this year’s air show in Ocean City, Md. When the U.S. Navy Blue Angels announced their 2014 schedule this week, there was a collective gasp from many jet enthusiasts here on the coast when they realized the O...
WAMU 88.5
There's a brisk chill in the air on this pitch-black night in Pocomoke City, Md. The ancient cypress trees look like people moving in the darkness. Author and historian Mindie Burgoyne is carrying a lone flashlight to guide us through Maryland's reportedly most haunted forest. She says historically, the scariest and best places to find ghosts are swamps and forests. "And in ...
WAMU 88.5
The Eastern Shore businessman and presumed ringleader of a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling ring with alleged ties to terrorist groups, has been indicted again after a murder-for-hire plot was uncovered by New York state authorities. Basel Ramadan, 42, was once a successful businessman in Ocean City, Md., but now he's being charged with 2nd degree conspiracy and 3rd ...
WAMU 88.5
Last November, Jessica and Richard Johnson set sail on a yearlong sailing expedition. They brought their daughters Emma and Molly, and together they traveled down the East Coast, through the Caribbean, and across the Panama Canal. They then set sail across the Pacific Ocean, visiting exotic locales such as Tahiti, Pitcairn Island, and Fiji. Before they left, we gave the Johnso...