Brian Shields

Senior News Anchor

WAMC Senior Correspondent Brian Shields has been with WAMC for 23 years as senior news anchor, host and reporter.

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The Ellis Medicine logo
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In recent years hospitals have been joining together, establishing health care networks that often include a number of hospitals and health care facilities under one organizational structure, but one hospital is going in the other direction. 

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros and Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer.
WAMC

It took a federal jury in New York City only 13 hours of deliberation over two days to return guilty verdicts in the latest state government corruption trial in New York. Former SUNY Poly leader Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, once the major force behind the Cuomo administration's upstate economic development programs, was found guilty of a bid-rigging scheme that steered state contracts to favored companies in Buffalo and Syracuse. Several co-defendants were also convicted. Rob Gavin, who covered the trial for the Albany Times Union, says while Gov. Cuomo has not been accused of any wrongdoing, his name did come up, along with his former top aide Joseph Percoco, who was convicted of corruption earlier this year.

U.S. Supreme Court
WikiMedia Commons

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on union fees, labor leaders and politicians who rely on union support, have reacted with angry words. Some elected officials have signed executive orders and introduced legislation in reaction to the 5-4 ruling. But as WAMC’s Brian Shields reports, one legal expert believes the Supreme Court has had the final say.

The Hoosick Falls Village Board, file photo
Lucas Willard / WAMC

As the village board in Hoosick Falls, New York accepted another financial settlement Monday night with the two companies blamed for polluting the village water supply with the chemical PFOA, state officials were on hand to update local residents. Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International will pay $195,000, the amount Hoosick Falls lost in water and sewer revenue when the pollution shut off the village water system.

wikipedia commons/Christaras A

Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain tumor and among the deadliest forms of cancer. U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy died of the disease and U.S. Senator John McCain was diagnosed with GBM last year. But a new treatment being researched at the Albany Medical College could offer new hope. The tumor is frozen in place or blocked to slow the growth of cancer cells.

Jill Delaney
Discover Albany

Albany, N.Y. is of course the center of state government, which is part of the reason why the city gets its share of convention business. Bringing in more conventions is part of the job for Jill Delaney, the new President and CEO of Discover Albany, the Albany County travel and tourism agency. 

Carlos Ágreda
Empire State Youth Orchestra

The members of the Empire State Youth Orchestra will be led by a man who is roughly ten years older than most of the musicians. 27-year-old Carlos Ágreda was recently appointed the conductor and music director after a global search to replace Helen Cha-Pyo who stepped down after 16 years. 

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy
Dave Lucas / WAMC

As the birthplace of General Electric, Schenectady has a long and storied history involving power, but the city has now been honored for its efforts to save energy. Schenectady and Austin, Texas shared a first prize award from The United States Conference of Mayors, which held its summer meetings this weekend in Boston.

Facebook: Massachusetts Democratic Party

Massachusetts Democrats will gather in Worcester this weekend for their party convention to select their candidates for the November elections. Katie Lannan, a reporter for State House News, says much of the attention for the delegates at the DCU Center will on the two candidates for governor, who want the party’s backing to take on Republican incumbent Charlie Baker.

GOP Formally Backs Molinaro For NY Governor

May 23, 2018
Marcus Molinaro
WAMC/Allison Dunne

Politicians from both sides of the aisle gathered today in the New York City area as the Republican and Democratic parties hold their nominating conventions. The GOP nominated Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro to run against Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo picked up the backing of Hillary Clinton today on Long Island. Our Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt is covering the GOP convention in Manhattan and listened to Molinaro’s 35-minute acceptance speech.

Wikimedia Commons/St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

After the high school shooting in Florida in mid-February, President Trump suggested arming teachers as added security against such events, but the idea was largely rejected. A new documentary that will be screened tonight in Northampton, Massachusetts says in some school districts teachers are carrying guns, and in some cases so too are school bus drivers, custodians and other staff members. Kate Way, the co-producer and co-director of the film “G Is For Guns", spoke with WAMC's Brian Shields.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes of Nippertown returns with his May music choices.

President Trump addressing a joint session of Congress in February 2017.
wikipedia.org

It was President Reagan who often repeated the phrase “trust, but verify” during his nuclear arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, and in the opinion of Pace University Professor Dr. Matthew Bolton, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which President Trump pulled the U.S. out of on Tuesday, was a hallmark of verification. 

Facing allegations that he assaulted four women, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will resign at the close of business today. The second-term Democrat announced that he would step down Monday night — just hours after The New Yorker published a piece outlining the graphic allegations. Lawmakers, who have the power to name a replacement to the office, have been meeting today at the capitol in Albany. Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt says there was no indication that the former state Senator could be part of the #MeToo reckoning until last night.

U.S. Representative John Faso
U.S. Representative John Faso

With the possibility of a major breakthrough toward reconciliation looming on the Korean Peninsula after decades of danger and mistrust, New York Congressman John Faso recently visited South Korea. 

The Frontline logo
wikipedia.org/Public Domain

The perilous journey of a refugee across often dangerous seas and hostile mountains and valleys can be video accounts to tell that story. PBS Frontline Managing Editor Andrew Metz will return to his alma mater, Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, this Saturday for a free screening of the movie Exodus, which includes smartphone videos taken by refugees. Exodus and its sequel Exodus: The Journey Continues were directed by James Bluemel who will also be at Hamilton this weekend. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

When Neil Armstrong made his historic first step on the moon almost 50 years ago, the silicone rubber in his boots was made along the banks of the Hudson River in Waterford, New York, just north of Albany in Saratoga County. The plant, once owned by General Electric began operating in 1947, and is now Momentive Performance Materials. The plant was the scene of a strike from November 2016 until February of last year with health benefits a major demand of the workers.

Justice Scales
Adobe Stock

It may seem at times that lawyers have become the fourth branch of government. Since Watergate, the Clinton-Lewinsky investigation, Enron and now the busy court dockets prompted by the Trump administration, lawyers are front and center in government and politics.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes of Nippertown is back with his April music selections.

Tim Kremer, executive director of New York State School Boards Association
NYSSBA

Now that the state budget is passed, school boards across New York have a better idea of what to expect in school aid as they work on budget plans that will go before the voters next month. The executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, says the $859 million increase in state aid to schools included in the new budget is less than what is needed to maintain current programs. 

Prof. Hendler
RPI

With word that 50 million Facebook users had their personal information collected during the 2016 presidential campaign by the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has brought new and intense scrutiny on Facebook and social media. Posting your friends, likes and dislikes may seem harmless enough, but that seemingly benign information can be mined, studied, analyzed and transformed into political campaign ammunition. For more we spoke Prof. James Hendler, the Director for Data Exploration and applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig
Gary Herzig

The mayor of Oneonta, NY says despite the problems facing the Otsego County city, there is plenty of room for optimism. Mayor Gary Herzig delivered his state of the city address this week to the Common Council, and then spoke with WAMC News. 

Facebook: Capital District Transportation Authority - CDTA

The CEO of the Capital District Transportation Authority is in Washington today to speak to Congress about federal funding for mass transit systems across the nation. Carm Basile is concerned that the $200 billion infrastructure funding called for by the Trump administration would be taken out of the funding now set aside for public bus and transportation providers such as the CDTA. 

wikipedia commons

A former Upstate New York congressman is part of a bi-partisan effort to take the money out of politics in Washington. Richard Hanna, a Republican who served three terms in the House from Central New York, is a member of The ReFormers Caucus, made up of almost 200 former elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, who launched the “Fix Politics Now” campaign this week in Philadelphia. 

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes from Nippertown is back with his March music selections.

First United Methodist Church of Schenectady

The traditional Lenten color of purple has been replaced with black outside a church in Schenectady, NY. Seventeen black ribbons are on a tree at the First United Methodist Church at 603 State Street in the city. The ribbons represent the seventeen people killed in the recent school shooting in Florida. 

wikipedia commons

The old lever-style voting machines are gone, replaced with electronic systems including scanners and computers, but a new study contends some of the newer voting equipment is already in need of replacement and upgrades. 

wikipedia commons

Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis is a Republican who represented the state’s Fourth House District for 12 years before turning his attention to fighting climate change, which he says can be accomplished with conservative principles. Inglis is now the executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative based at George Mason University.

New York State Capitol
flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to give police officers in New York the legal power to remove firearms from a home after a case of domestic violence. Currently, firearms must be surrendered by someone charged with domestic violence only if the suspect is named in an order of protection, or if a judge decides the accused poses a threat to the protected person. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s poll numbers are down. In fact, according to the latest Siena College poll, the Democrat’s net favorability rating is down 19 points from January to February. His favorable rating is down from 62 percent to 53 percent and his unfavorable rating is up from 30 percent to 40 percent. 

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