Brian Shields

Senior News Anchor

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

Ways To Connect

Times Union

WAMC's Brian Shields speaks with Nippertown's Greg Haymes about the local music scene.

While praising President Obama's work in the issue, and promising not to lobby his fellow lawmakers to follow his decision, New York's Senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Charles Schumer, issued a statement last night in opposition to the joint comprehensive plan of action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. Schumer is the highest ranking Democrat to come out against the plan. A strong supporter of the agreement is Thomas Pickering, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Russia and Jordan and  the U.S. Ambassador to the UN during the first Gulf War. Ambassador Pickering, now vice chairman of Hills and Company, says the deal with Iran is rock solid.

The companies that were granted medical marijuana licenses last week by the New York State Health Department are now moving forward, setting up manufacturing facilities and dispensaries. One of the companies is Etain, which has started construction on a growing operation in the Warren County Town of Chester. Etain's Chief Operation Officer is Hillary Peckham, who says she became interested in medical marijuana after her grandmother was diagnosed with ALS.

The agreement has been announced, but the many details of the nuclear deal  between Iran and six world powers will be looked over and scrutinized in the coming weeks. Professor James Ketterer, the director of International Academic Initiatives at Bard College, says there are many moving parts to the agreement.

The Affordable Care Act has changed health care for doctors and patients alike, but what about nurses. Dr. Beverly Malone, the CEO of the National League for Nursing, says the ACA has increased the demand for more nurses.

  The United States and Cuba recently announced that the opening of embassies as the two nations, whose relations have been frozen since the height of the Cold War, will resume diplomatic relations. Despite the changes, the U.S. embargo on Cuba remains firmly in place. So what does the restoration of diplomatic relations mean for the average Cuban citizen? We put that question and several others today to University at Albany Associate Professor Dr. Elise Andaya, a cultural anthropologist, who has spent a good deal of time in Cuba.

The second largest state employees union in New York will have a new president this summer. The rank-and-file membership of the Public Employees Federation recently elected Wayne Spence as the union president. Spence, a 24-year veteran parole officer with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, defeated the incumbent president Susan Kent by a very slim margin of 127 votes, out of more than 12,217 votes that were cast. Spence, who headed a slate of candidates under the coalition of union professionals or “coup” ticket, spoke with WAMC news about his priorities once he takes office August 3.

To most people, an old abandoned building is nothing more than a dangerous eyesore in need of a wrecking ball. But in the Capital District, hundreds of vacant structures will be transformed into works of art. Funded with a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Breathing Lights will illuminate buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy beginning next year. The project is the brainchild of University at Albany art professor Adam Frelin, and architect Barbara Nelson. WAMC’s Brian Shield spoke with both.

Times Union

WAMC's Brian Shields gets June's music picks from Nippertown's Greg Haymes.

An Albany attorney recently took office as the president of the New York State Bar Association. David Miranda, a partner at the intellectual property law firm of Heslin, Rothenberg, Farley and Mesiti, took over June 1. Miranda spoke with WAMC News about several issues facing the bar, including a new agreement between the District Attorneys Association and the Innocence Project on legislation to regulate the videotaping of police interrogations.

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