As the adage goes: home is where the heart is. This may seem self-explanatory, but none of our close primate cousins have anything like homes. Whether we live in an igloo or in Buckingham Palace, the fact that Homo sapiens create homes is one of the greatest puzzles of our evolution.

In Home: How Habitat Made Us Human, neuroanthropologist John S. Allen marshals evidence from evolutionary anthropology, neuroscience, the study of emotion, and modern sociology to argue that the home is one of the most important cognitive, technological, and cultural products of our species’ evolution. It is because we have homes—relatively secure against whatever horrors lurk outside—that human civilizations have been able to achieve the periods of explosive cultural and creative progress that are our species’ hallmark.

City of Springfield

     The case of a police detective who threatened to kill two teenagers but was not fired and a ruling by a federal judge in an excessive force lawsuit have reignited debate in Springfield, Massachusetts over who should investigate complaints of police brutality.

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the end of fund drive, Trump on election results, and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara "slaying dragons."

Meteorologist Paul Caiano's Morning Forecast

3 hours ago

Here's NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano's WAMC Regional Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, milder and a bit humid with showers likely today and possibly a thunderstorm. Highs in the lower 70's.

Cloudy with rain tonight. Also areas of fog.  Lows near 50.

Cloudy, windy, and colder tomorrow with showers.  Wet snow possible in the High Peaks. Highs in the lower 50's.


The Chicago Cubs are one win away from their first World Series berth in 71 years. The Cubs head back to Chicago with a three-games-to-two lead in the NL Championship Series following an 8-4 rout of the Dodgers in Los Angeles.  

Andrew Magill, flickr

A company lawyer says one of three asphalt plant workers hurt in a tanker truck explosion and fire has died of his injuries.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Neither of the two top Republicans seeking office in Vermont this fall agrees with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump that this fall's vote could be compromised by voter fraud.

Stone Hut at the top of Mount Mansfield
Vermont State Parks

Ten months after two sons of the founder of Burton Snowboards caused an accidental fire that gutted a popular, historic stone cabin on a Vermont mountain top, the structure has been rebuilt and will soon be ready for guests.

After several years of budget surpluses, New York State tax revenue is coming in at a lower than expected rate. That could impact big ticket programs like school aid and health care as well as a multi year tax cut planned by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislators.

UVM green and Waterman Building
University of Vermont

The University of Vermont has issued a new study that shows the college has an economic impact of over a billion dollars on the state.

M. Glasgow / Flickr

October has typically been a month when the Saratoga Springs City Center hosts the North East Arms Collectors Association’s gun show.


    The Baker administration announced the first grant awards Thursday in a new program that aims to increase access to healthy, affordable food and create jobs in Massachusetts.

FRA Administrator Feinberg with Senator Charles Schumer discussing Positive Train Control at the Schenectday Amtrak station.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in Schenectady Wednesday with Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Sarah Feinberg to highlight what he says is a need for a “positive-train control” system between Poughkeepsie and Amsterdam.

WIkimedia Commons/Mdf

The great Fall Fund Drive ended early (thank you!) and we didn't plan on a show.  Flying in  - just in the nick of time for a wing and a prayer broadcast - was none other than Rich Guthrie. A splendid time was had by all, even our host, Ray Graf. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

(Airs 10/20/16) Host Dr. Alan Chartock is joined by Jimmy Vielkind, Albany Bureau Chief for Politico.

A stretch of the Housatonic River under remediation.
Berkshire Environmental Action Team

General Electric says it's "disappointed" by a decision upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's plan that requires the company to clean chemicals from a western Massachusetts river.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that General Electric issued a statement Wednesday indicating that it may appeal Tuesday's decision upholding the $613 million proposal. It would have a 30-day window after the EPA issues its final cleanup permit.


20 hours ago

WAMC Northeast Public Radio's October Fund Drive mobilized listeners to help the people who live and work in our communities. We raised awareness about the issues that families in our neighborhoods deal with each day, and raised $1 million to keep WAMC on the air.

"This is the fastest Fund Drive I can remember! We are incredibly grateful to all of our WAMC community members for making this happen. Exhausting, but wonderful!" says Alan Chartock, President and CEO.


New York environmental officials are asking hunters to be alert for any signs of the hunter who disappeared in Warren County almost one year ago.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Officials from a village in New York’s Orange County are proposing joint operation of a wastewater facility with their neighbor — the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Highland Falls officials say a shared-service approach would save millions of dollars and protect the environment, namely the Hudson River.


For one last night this election season, "debate watching" became the national pastime. All across America and here in New York, people gathered in living rooms and public places to watch the third and final presidential debate.  WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas attended a Democratic watch party in Albany. 

Saratoga PLAN

Pitney Farm is the last remaining operating farm within the Saratoga Springs city limits.

Partners have been working to purchase and preserve the family farm for the past several months. Earlier this year, the organization Saratoga PLAN backed out of its plans to purchase the property.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

22 hours ago
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Thursday, October 20, 2016.

Mike Carr at Elk Lake in the Adirondacks, May 2016
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust have worked in partnership for more than four decades to conserve lands and waters in the Adirondacks.  Mike Carr has been executive director of both organizations for the last 16 years, but in the case of the Land Trust it has been part-time.  He says it’s time for him to step down as the head of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy to become the full-time executive director of the Adirondack Land Trust.

Meteorologist Paul Caiano's Morning Forecast

Oct 20, 2016

Here's NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano's WAMC Regional Forecast:

Mostly cloudy with showers likely today. Highs in the lower 60's.

Cloudy with scattered showers tonight. Also areas of fog and drizzle.  Lows in the mid 50's.

Mostly cloudy with showers likely tomorrow. Highs in the upper 60's.

10/20/16 Panel

Oct 20, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois, and corporate attorney, Rich Honen.

Police say the slaying of a man in the city of Troy may be connected to the death of a man whose body was found in a creek in a neighboring town.

Troy police say 23-year-old Javier Gomez was found dead in his apartment Monday.

The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office says a woman walking her dog spotted a man's body in a dry creek bed the next evening in the town of Brunswick, just east of Troy. The body hasn't been identified yet but authorities say they believe he was connected to Gomez.

Authorities say both men were slain but police haven't released other details.


In baseball, Toronto was eliminated from World Series contention as Cleveland blanked the Blue Jays 3-0. The Indians are the American League champions for the first time since 1997 following Game 5 of the ALCS. Cleveland will face the winner of the Chicago/Los Angeles series in the World Series. Meanwhile Chicago blasted Los Angeles 10-2 to even the series at 2 games apiece.

Here’s a rather obscure name from American history: Billy Lee. He was George Washington’s valet. There’s also Alfred Jackson. He was a faithful servant of Andrew Jackson. The two names you do know have something in common, they were US Presidents. The other two men also have something in common, they were slaves.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we open up the door to history class and talk about the complicated early history of the US…and the people who lived in the shadow of liberty.

We’ll also spend an academic minute passing the buck.