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
The federal government shutdown has forced national parks all over the country to close. Shutting down a massive national park like Assateague Island isn't quite as easy as locking a door or throwing up a few barricades at the gate. It's a beautiful day at...
WAMU 88.5
Bob Arthur has a large shed behind his home on the Eastern Shore. It sits right next to his chicken coop and the American flag that's flying high on a pole over an old swing set. But inside, the shed is filled with dozens and dozens of weapons --everything from pistols and hunting rifles to sawed off shotguns, AK 47s and AR 15s. Arthur is a licensed gun dealer, and he says ...
WAMU 88.5
Metal kegs and oak barrels are stacked two heads high in the main brewing room at the Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin, Md. Owner Bryan Brushmiller and his small team of brew masters are doing what they do best this morning: making beer — lots of it. Brushmiller was out of work and making beer for fun in his garage just two years ago when he decided to take out a loan and crea...
WAMU 88.5
Voters in Maryland may not be thinking about the 2014 election just yet, but some politicians have already announced plans to join the race. Mike McDermott is the current Republican delegate on the lower eastern shore of Maryland. He’s a longtime police officer, and the former mayor of Pocomoke City. McDermott announced this week that he will be running for s...
WAMU 88.5
If you drive down any street in Crisfield, Md., you are likely to see at least one construction company vigorously working on a home, and another two or three homeowners adding to huge piles of rubble in their front yards. This slow cleanup and rebuilding has become the new normal in Crisfield. Deborah Howard Sorenson had to fix the foundation and entire roof, and gut much of ...
WAMU 88.5
On a sunny summer morning in late July, a man in a red ball cap, polo shirt and dark sunglasses casually strolled out of the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street in Ocean City with an undisclosed amount of money he had just heisted. He then got in his car, and disappeared off the island without a trace, leaving local police completely baffled. FBI officials believe this man was 1...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, months of public criticism and more than 1,600 signatures have convinced the Ocean City Council to remove paid parking meters put up earlier this summer. They say small towns are very slow to embrace change—even when they need the change. At least one type of it, anyways. The 1,648 citizen signatures were enough to move the parking meter issue to a refer...
WAMU 88.5
Ocean City officials plan to abolish new metered parking installed earlier this summer. The Daily Times of Salisbury says the council voted 5-2 to repeal the law that created the new paid parking spots and will consider an emergency ordinance at its next meeting to formally get rid of the meters. The move come...
WAMU 88.5
The two dolphins that washed ashore in Ocean City bring the total count from the mid-Atlantic region to 291. The historical average for the summer months is 26. Jennifer Dittmar with the National Aquarium in Baltimore says a similar dolphin die-off happened 25 years ago, which cut the number of coastal migratory dolphins in half. The presumed culprit in this die-of...
WAMU 88.5
The first day of school — that special time when kids meet their new teacher, their new classmates, and this year, for kids in Worcester County, Md., their school's new gun-toting deputy. Worcester County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Wilson says in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting last December, he realized that it's harder to gain access into most corporate or gove...
WAMU 88.5
How would you respond if your child were being bullied at school? That's the question one Maryland mom says she's been grappling with for years. Bryan Russo talks with that mom and with one of her sons about the line between rowdy behavior and harassment, and why they feel schools aren't doing enough to prevent bullying....
WAMU 88.5
When the last nail was hammered in on the new Ocean City Boardwalk last April, one of the things that was a bit hush-hush as far as amenities go was the fact that underneath the city's most famous wooden walkway now sits miles and miles of fiber-optic cable, which gives Ocean City the capability of installing surveillance cameras anywhere on the boardwalk. Mayor Rick Meehan ...
WAMU 88.5
The world's largest billfish tournament wrapped up yesterday evening in Ocean City, as more than 262 boats competed for more than $2.4 million in prize money. For 40 years, people have flocked to the docks in a small bay front neighborhood to watch as anglers competing in the White Marlin Open bring their catch to the scales in hopes of earning big money and an unrivaled fis...
WAMU 88.5
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved Maryland's plan to use federal funding to help Lower Shore communities, such as Crisfield, Md., to recover from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Somerset County, alone, will receive $8.6 million, according to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski. The county is one of the poorest in Maryland, and since the storm, some resid...
WAMU 88.5
As health and law enforcement officials try to get a handle on a recent uptick in heroin use on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Bryan Russo speaks with a local man who used the drug for years, and finally beat his addiction. He'll tell his story, explain why he's not surprised the problem is reaching "epidemic" proportions on the shore, and what he thinks should be done about it....
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, U.S. Coast Guard officials say two men died after their catamaran capsized northeast of Ocean City. Two other men survived after being rescued by nearby fishing vessels. A helicopter air crew from the Coast Guard Station in Atlantic City, New Jersey recovered the bodies of two men, ages 53 and 65, who died when their 28-foot catamaran capsized in rough seas a litt...
WAMU 88.5
Ocean City, Md. branded this summer the lucky summer of 13 in its ad campaign, but it's been anything but lucky. To be frank, this summer has been a PR nightmare for Ocean City with weekly local headlines that read more like a metropolitan newspaper than a coastal one — stabbings on the boardwalk, the attempted stabbings of two local business owners, two bank robberies, pe...
WAMU 88.5
The busy summer season in Ocean City is apparently a little less busy this year. Smith Travel Research's June data shows Maryland and Delaware's beach hotel occupancy rates dipping 3 percent from last year. And while the news isn't great, it's merely just a snapshot of the overall tourism picture, and not nearly as concerning as the huge decline in numbers New Jersey beaches are seei...
WAMU 88.5
More than 25 years ago, Terry Bliss launched a new theater, the North Street Playhouse, from her kitchen table. For years, the fledgling theater struggled to survive in the small town of Onancock on Virginia's Eastern Shore. But Bliss gradually built the theater's reputation, and now it's become a source of robust, challenging plays that consistently attract loyal audiences to this rur...
WAMU 88.5
Josh Dolan remembers well the moment he was first drawn to skydiving. It was 1991, when the movie Point Break was released. "Patrick Swayze was doing backflips and freefalling," he remembers. "I think that was the first movie where people saw in skydiving that you could really fly your body and link up with your friends. I went with a couple friends to see that movie and was l...