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
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...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, the decision to extend the contract for Ocean City’s advertising company has renewed an intense battle over the town’s $5 million ad budget. When tourism is the number one game in town, even a “day at the beach” can become political. If you look at the numbers, Ocean City has outperformed competing beach destinations on the East Coast by a pretty sizable...
WAMU 88.5
Despite the federal government shutdown, the Obama Administration says it allow national parks and historical sites to reopen if individual states pay for the costs. But while many states are jumping at that chance, Maryland will not be one of them. Why would a state like Arizona pay more than $90,000 a day to reopen the Grand Canyon, especially when the Department of the In...
WAMU 88.5
The annual roundup of wild horses on Virginia's Eastern Shore has been cancelled due to the government shutdown. Just when animal lovers were getting used to life without the "panda cam," they can add "wild pony-well checks" to the list of things that won't...
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...