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
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...
WAMU 88.5
Police and fire officials on Virginia's Eastern Shore say 10 arson fires set in Accomack County this week marks the most on record since the serial arson fires began five months ago. So far, 64 arson fires have been set in the small county of 33,000 people, since November. This past week saw at least one arson fire each night, except for Wednesday, when the ...
WAMU 88.5
All the telltale signs of a big storm are evident if you take a drive around Maryland's Eastern Shore today: downed trees, huge piles of broken branches in people's yards, saturated corn fields that look more like lakes, and of course, lots and lots of beach erosion. In Delaware, officials say the sand dune system created by beach replenishment held strong and limited erosion ...
WAMU 88.5
Take a road trip to Virginia's Eastern Shore, and you'll find yourself in another world, a quiet rural corner of our region where farming is the way of life for many families. But once you get to the small town of Onancock, you'll find something else — a thriving theater called the North Street Playhouse. It's the only regularly producing theater on the Eastern Shore of Virg...
WAMU 88.5
The sequestration is threatening to the ground the planes for this summer's Ocean City Air Show. Organizers say the show must go on this June, with or without the big name military jets that have helped make the show one of the resort's cornerstone summer events. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are scheduled to headline this year's show, along with other military demo teams like the...
WAMU 88.5
For decades, Maryland schools started after Labor Day, meaning the three-day weekend was much more than just the symbolic end of summer; it also marked the end of the so-called 100 days of summer in Ocean City that some seasonal businesses on the coast survive by. But in recent years, schools across the state have been starting earlier. Some kids go back to school now in mid...
WAMU 88.5
A change in GOP leadership in the Maryland General Assembly may be on the horizon, as House Republicans have set a meeting for late April to decide their direction for the future. House Republicans have felt outnumbered by their Democratic colleagues in Annapolis for years, but there is reportedly a bit of infighting within the Republican ranks due to the recent passage of bil...
WAMU 88.5
On the Eastern shore of Virginia, the Accomack County Sheriff's office has raised the reward to $25,000 for anyone with information about a serial arsonist responsible for setting almost 50 fires in the past three months. Police officials are calling the person or persons responsible for the mounting arson fires a menace. There were six arson fires in the county alone ...
WAMU 88.5
Tauheed Epps, or 2 Chainz, as he's known in the world of rap music, was headlining a homecoming event at the University of Maryland's Eastern Shore campus on Thursday night when his van was pulled over on a routine traffic stop near Easton. Maryland State Police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, and took Epps into custody where he was cited and later relea...
WAMU 88.5
Fishermen on Maryland's coast have voiced concern this week, after the federal government proposed a new regulation that would nearly double the minimum size of sharks that would be considered keepers. Simply put, if this proposal becomes law, any shark less than 96 inches or 8 feet long would have to be thrown back. The reason: the often-misidentified dusky shark. Sci...
WAMU 88.5
Kevin Cranfield was just 14 when he tried drugs for the first time. "It was stuff called quicksilver, stuff you huffed," he says. He stopped doing drugs for several years, but by 18 he was experimenting again. "It went from just from smoking weed to drinking... and all of a sudden, before I knew it, my life was out of control," says Cranfield, a resident of Oce...
WAMU 88.5
Heroin is a drug often associated with big cities. But in the small coastal community of Ocean City, Md., police and public health officials are grappling with their own spike in heroin abuse. Doris Moxley, the director of the Worcester County Health Department's addictions program, says a decade ago only 2-3 percent of her clients were dealing with an addiction to heroin or o...
WAMU 88.5
Since the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., the debate surrounding whether or not teachers should be armed in the classroom has intensified. Worcester County superintendent of schools Jerry Wilson is against the idea. "I worry a great deal about that particular approach," he says. But Pocomoke-based armor manufacturer, Hardwire LLC, has taken another approach, designi...
WAMU 88.5
Maryland's Eastern Shore is a very conservative and largely red region in an otherwise blue state. And although it includes a third of the state's land area, it only boasts 8 percent of the population. Many of the shore's residents and legislators have taken umbrage with ...