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
When Berlin, Md. native Chris Maxa heard the Ocean City Boardwalk was going to be completely torn up and rebuilt a few years back, he thought, what are they going to do with all that wood? Hence, the creation of his new artistic venture Boardwalked. "I transfer photographs and make different games out of the r...
WAMU 88.5
Sequestration has forced military jet teams like the U.S. Navy Blue Angels to cancel their appearances at air shows across the country. Organizers for the Ocean City Air Show, however, found a way to get a military jet in the lineup. When you lose one of the most dynamic and...
WAMU 88.5
Tourists travelling to Ocean City, Md., this summer may be paying a little more out of pocket when it comes to parking. A proposal on the table may not sit well with both tourists and locals alike. The Mayor and City Council have proposed a 50 cent rate increase to $3 an hour for parking at the inlet. Another proposal would place parking meters on three streets that have histo...
WAMU 88.5
Usually, when 70 acres of anything is on fire, alarms are sounded and cavalries are called, but back down a long dirt road called Bear Swamp, deep inside the Nassawango Creek Preserve — the state's largest privately owned natural area, made up of more than 10,000 acres of upland forest and bald cypress swamp — dozens of ecologists dressed in hardhats and yellow jumpsuits are as ca...
WAMU 88.5
A well-known rapper has been acquitted of drug charges after he was pulled over while travelling to a gig on the Eastern Shore. Rapper 2 Chainz only needed one alibi to be acquitted of drug paraphernalia and marijuana possession in Talbot County. He said the pot wasn't his. A district court judge found the Atlanta based rapper, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, not guil...
WAMU 88.5
Final planks of the brand new $6 million boardwalk in Ocean City have been nailed into place with more than a month to spare before the summer season. It took three years, and more than a 116,000 pieces of wood, but the full makeover of the city's iconic 2-mile wooden walkway is finally complete. "We worked through the rainstorms, the snowstorms, we have not stopped," ...
WAMU 88.5
It's a well-known fact that the demoflush formula Ocean City officials use to gauge how many people are coming to town in the summer is flawed. Experts say trying to monitor population with wastewater flow and toilet flushes fails to capture all the people who are packed onto the island at a given time. As a result, Ocean City's tourism commission is hoping to find...
WAMU 88.5
Swarms of cicadas are expected to arrive sometime in the next few weeks for the first time in 17 years. When the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees, billions of the red-eyed, prehistoric looking dark-winged cicadas will emerge from the ground and invade the east coast from North Carolina to New York. But some parts of the east will be spared — those areas that...
WAMU 88.5
On Virginia's Eastern Shore, the mastermind of what police are calling the region's largest crime spree in a generation, has confessed to setting more than 50 of the 77 arson fires that have plagued Accomack County since November. Charles R. Smith III, 38, was denied bond by a district court judge despite pleas from his attorney that the 52 fires Smith confessed to setting in ...
WAMU 88.5
Scientists at the NASA flight facility at Wallops Island are set to launch the largest rocket in its 70-year history. The Antares Rocket stands 133 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter, and scientists say, because of the sheer size of it, it will be visible for a minute or more in the skies as it churns its way towards the international space station. Orbital Sciences Corporati...
WAMU 88.5
The dune system that protects Ocean City's 10 miles of beachfront real estate is in need of emergency repairs after taking the brunt of Superstorm Sandy's wrath last November. But Ocean City officials say the work will likely not begin until this fall, which could...
WAMU 88.5
Rev. Carl Perez remembers well the moment he got the phone call telling him his church was on fire. "I thought well, it must be something small or maybe just a mistake," he says. "By the time I got to the road I could see smoke, and I thought OK, just smoke damage. We can handle that." But the damage to the 135-year-old Adams United Methodist Church in Whitesville, Va....
WAMU 88.5
Voters in Salisbury have re-elected the city's first openly gay mayor to another term by a convincing 2 to 1 margin. The results of yesterday's election may spark other major changes in the Eastern Shore's largest city. The party ran long into the night for incumbent mayor Jim Ireton and returning councilwoman Shanie Shields who, along with newcomer to the council Jake Day, cr...
WAMU 88.5
Salisbury, the Eastern Shore's largest city, is finding itself at a political crossroads as its election day approaches. "It's an embarrassment, we've become the laughing stock of the state," says Councilwoman Laura Mitchell. "When you go to Hagerstown and you say 'I'm from Salisbury,' and they say 'I'm sorry,' or you go to Crisfield and they say, 'what in the heck is wrong wi...
WAMU 88.5
March is a big planning month at Ocean City. All the seasonal businesses that have been hibernating for the winter are getting ready to open, so they need workers to help handle the load in the summer when the community balloons from about 10,000 year-round locals to more than 300,000 tourists a week. Up until about five years ago, the Ocean City job fair was nothing more than...
WAMU 88.5
When Superstorm Sandy hit in November, there was a strong sense of support amongst coastal residents and compassion for others just a few hours north in New York and New Jersey who saw their beach towns decimated. But as the summer approaches, the harsh reality that no o...
WAMU 88.5
Accomack County on Virginia's Eastern Shore is a quiet, mostly agricultural corner of our region, but in recent months, police and firefighters there have been grappling with a string of arsons — more than 70 in all since November. In the past week alone, a 19th century schoolhouse, an abandoned hotel, and a former restaurant have gone up in flames. Coastal Connection reporter Bryan...
WAMU 88.5
On Virginia's Eastern Shore, an old wooden schoolhouse that dates back to the early 1900s became the latest target in a string of arsons that now totals 68 since November. The schoolhouse was unoccupied, used by a local farmer for storage, but now, it's been completely destroyed in the fourth suspected arson this week, the 15th set fire this month. Locals are worri...
WAMU 88.5
Officials in Ocean City, Md., have turned down a sponsorship offer from a company that wants its iconic logo on the side of the resort town's Boardwalk Tram vehicles. Corporate sponsorships are about as common as people strolling the Ocean City Boardwalk in the summer or covering your bushel of crabs with Old Bay, but when the makers of the iconic seafood spice offered the res...
WAMU 88.5
On Virginia's Eastern Shore, a dilapidated hotel became the latest target in a string of arson fires that now totals 65. Officials are confident they will soon catch the elusive firestarters. The Whispering Pines Motel was once a lovely and bustling destination for tourists in Accomack County, but its southern charm is now nothing more than a smoldering ruin, after arsonists s...