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

Shimon Mercer-Wood
Shimon Mercer-Wood

Israeli founding father Shimon Peres has died at 93. For more on his legacy, WAMC News spoke today with Shimon Mercer-Wood, a spokesman for the Consulate-General of Israel in New York City, who spoke about the situation in 1995 when Peres became prime minister after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Stephen Clingman
Stephen Clingman

James Foley attended UMass-Amherst as a graduate student between 1999 and 2003 and later went on to volunteer for Teach for America and other causes before he became a freelance journalist, a passion and a calling that would cost him his life. Today and tomorrow, UMass is remembering Foley's life and legacy with The Task Of Witnessing: A Symposium In Honor Of James W. Foley. Dr. Stephen Clingman, a distinguished professor of English and director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute at UMass, tells us more about Foley.

Victor Asal
UAlbany

With the suspect in the New York City explosion now in custody, the questions are many. For some possible answers, WAMC News spoke today to Dr. Victor Asal of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany, where he is director of the Center for Policy Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. Was this attack the work of a so-called lone wolf, or was it directed from afar?

Greg Haymes
Times Union

WAMC's Brian Shields gets this month's music selections from Greg Haymes of Nippertown.com.

Judith Enck of the EPA
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

At Tuesday's state Senate hearing on the water contamination in Hoosick Falls, the federal EPA came in for criticism from some state officials who blamed the agency for failing to lead, and from some lawmakers who said they were disappointed the EPA did not send a representative to the hearing. For a response, WAMC News spoke Wednesday with District 2 Regional Administrator for the EPA, Judith Enck.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

 As the harvest begins, the lack of rain in parts of the state will mean a lower than usual apple crop this year in New York, the No. 2 apple grower in the nation. Jim Allen, the president and CEO of the New York Apple Association, says the weather did not cooperate this year with some apple growers.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes is back in the studio with his August music selections.

Today is the first day on the job for the new president and CEO of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. John Eberle comes to the area from a similar position in central New York. Eberle says The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is a philanthropic organization, founded in 1968, that targets the region's most pressing problems with financial donations.

Elizabeth Warren at DNC
WAMC

On the third night of the Democratic National Convention when President Obama and Vice President Biden are expected to speak, our capital correspondent Karen DeWitt has the latest from Philadelphia. 

Has Bernie Sanders created a movement that he no longer controls? At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, some Sanders supporters have heeded the Vermont senator's call to support the party nominee, Hillary Clinton, but others remain committed to Sanders. Dr. Luke Perry is chair of the department and associate professor of government and politics at Utica College and has been covering the convention for WKTV in Utica.

Among the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is Dolores Huerta, a member of the California delegation and a board member of People For The American Way. In 1962 she co-founded The National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez, which later became The National Farm Workers Union. She is also president of The Dolores Huerta Foundation for grassroots organizing. Dolores Huerta says the economy is among the most important issues facing the nation this election year.

  By the end of the year, a new newspaper will be in the Capital District, both in print and on-line. The Daily Gazette, Proctors Theater in Schenectady and Overit Media of Albany are part of the new venture called The Alt. The president and publisher of the Daily Gazette, John DeAugustine, spoke with WAMC.

DeWitt: Day Two Of RNC Under Way

Jul 19, 2016
Donald Trump at the Flynn Theatre
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Day two of the Republican National Convention is under way is Cleveland, and tonight a rising star in New York Republican circles, who is from the Capital Region, will deliver a nominating speech. WAMC's Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt says the New York delegation has been front and center so far in Ohio.

The President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Albany writer and activist Barbara Smith are the featured guests at an event today in Albany in support of the Upper Hudson chapter of Planned Parenthood. The women's leadership circle luncheon at the Albany Hilton is part of a fundraising effort by Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood and its President Chelly Hegan, who joined Cecile Richards on the phone in advance of the event. Richards commented on the importance of a recent U.S Supreme Court ruling against Texas laws regulation.

Could a gondola like this span Rensselaer and Albany?
Doppelmayr

Gondolas are a common site at large ski resorts, carrying visitors to the highest peaks, but they can also cross rivers, and one such project is under consideration in the Capital District. A transportation feasibility study is under way on an aerial gondola between the Amtrak station in Rensselear, across the Hudson River into downtown Albany. The McLaren Engineering Group is self-funding the study. Peter Melewski is the national director of strategic planning for McLaren.

Professor Adrian Masters
albany.edu

Following the decision by voters in the United Kingdom last week to leave the European Union, the word uncertainty has been used to describe the economic and social fallout. Stock markets around the world, including on Wall Street, have fallen since the vote. Professor Adrian Masters, the chair of the department of economics at the University at Albany, spoke with WAMC News about why so much uncertainty has followed the Brexit. 

Soldier's heart was the name given to the post war stress and trauma suffered by soldiers in the civil war. It has been called PTSD, battle fatigue and shell shock, but Soldier's Heart is also the name of an organization based in the capital district that helps veterans to recover from the emotional and mental scars of the battlefield. Tuesday on Midday Magazine we heard from Harry Scott a vet who was helped by soldiers Heart and now works for the organization. We also heard from co-founders Dr. Edward Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt. Today, Dr. Tick tells us more about the programs offered by Soldier's Heart, in the second part of the interview. 

For centuries men have returned from war with battle scars and medals, but also with emotional scars that are not always evident. This has been called battle fatigue, shell shock or post-traumatic stress disorder and for those back from the civil war it was known as soldier's heart. Soldier's Heart is also the name of an organization founded 10 years ago by psycho-therapist Dr. Edward Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt to help military veterans with P-T-S-D and the emotional scars of war. Harry Scott is a vet who came to Soldier's Heart for help and now works for the organization in Business Development and Fundraising. 

Trying to reach children before they make the wrong decisions that could lead to a life of crime is the goal of "The Leadership Project," a voluntary program aimed at fifth graders in schools across Albany, Schenectady and Troy. 80 people from federal, state and local agencies go to the schools to encourage good decision making. The leadership project is the initiative of the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Richard Hartunian.

Haley Viccaro
Daily Gazette

The Schenectady City Council will meet behind closed doors in executive session late this afternoon, and the talk is expected to center on allegations made against the mayor, Gary McCarthy. 38-year-old Sarah Dingley of the town of Rotterdam says the mayor was intoxicated in the early morning of May 19, following her vehicle and flashing his headlights. The mayor has denied any wrongdoing and police haven't filed any charges. Haley Viccaro is a reporter for the Daily Gazette and says the council meeting at 5:30 will be closely watched.

Times Union reporter Robert Gavin
Times Union reporter Robert Gavin

It is very unusual for a person to be tried four times for murder, but that is exactly what happened to Cal Harris, a wealthy Tioga County, New York resident who was found not guilty on Tuesday in a non-jury trial in Schoharie County, bringing an end to the criminal portion of a 15-year legal saga. Harris was charged with killing his wife on the night of Sept. 11, 2001. Her body has never been found. Robert Gavin, who covered the case for the Times Union, says the case of Cal Harris was long and legally complex.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes is back with his May music selections.

Pete Seeger
coverlaydown.com

The music of Pete Seeger will be transformed into dance this Saturday afternoon at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Auditorium at Beacon High School in Beacon, New York. Livia Vanaver and her husband Bill are the organizers of the event, which is a fundraiser for their life’s work of the past 45 years, the Vanaver Project. 

  The recent New York primary was marred by reports that 126,000 Democratic voters in Brooklyn had been removed from the election rolls, leading to renewed calls for voting reforms in New York. Two election officials from Colorado will be in Albany on Wednesday for a panel discussion on election modernization at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. 

Gov. Cuomo
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With word that a former top aide to Governor Cuomo is under investigation, the Governor has ordered his own probe into a major economic development project in Western New York.

John Dankosky
John Dankosky

Today is primary day in Connecticut, and as with last Tuesday’s vote in New York, today’s vote in Connecticut will matter for the first time in years. By this point, primaries in both states haven’t mattered very much, with nominations often decided, but not this year as the fight is likely to go to the conventions. For more on today’s primary in Connecticut, we spoke with John Dankosky, the host of the program “Where We Live” on WNPR in Hartford.

Earth Ethics is the everyday work of Karenna Gore, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Al Gore. Karenna will be the featured speaker and guest this Saturday for the All Species Day at Southern Vermont College in Bennington. She is the director of the Center for Earth Ethics in New York City.

The Albany-area will be the center of attention for the presidential race today with three candidates making campaign stops. More from WAMC's Brian Shields...

Patricia Strach
UAlbany

  

 As Election Day approaches, political advertising will begin to saturate radio and television, and a new study says the chances are male voices will be used far more often than female voices to try to get your vote. Patricia Strach, Deputy Director of Research at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, and as Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany, says a study she authored found that in the Congressional races of 2012 and 2014 male voices were used in political ads 63 percent of the time, female voices 28 percent of the time, while 9 percent of the candidates used both male and female voices.   

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is being welcomed back to campus today after the Huskies won an unprecedented fourth straight championship last night against Syracuse. Behind Breanna Stewart’s fourth consecutive tournament MVP award, the victory was UConn’s 75th straight win. But the Huskies have faced some criticism this week for being too dominant. Mark McGuire, executive sports editor at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, and Albany Times Union sports editor Pete Iorizzo say if anything, UConn has been great for the sport.

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