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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Olympic rings

Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympics for the third time in a hundred years. The International Olympic Committee is expected to award the 2024 games to Paris, and the 2028 Summer Olympics to L.A., which hosted the games in 1932 and 1984.

Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain faces a hard road ahead as he battles a brain tumor. The Republican, who ran for president in 2008 and who was held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese, has been diagnosed with glioblastoma.

Onedia County DA Scott McNamara, on right

The new president of the District Attorneys Association of New York says the organization has concerns about possible criminal justice reforms now under consideration by the state legislature including bail, speedy trial and discovery. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara tells WAMC’s Brian Shields, changes in the laws that cover discovery, the mandate that the prosecution turn over evidence and information to the defense in a timely matter, could threaten witnesses before trial. 

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew
Facebook: Dan Drew

He has been a journalist, an emergency medical technician, and a mayor. Now Dan Drew wants to be the next governor of Connecticut. Drew was elected the mayor of Middletown, Connecticut in 2011. He has now officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination for governor to succeed Democrat Dannel Malloy who will not run for re-election next year.

Dr. James Baldwin
Excelsior College

Dr. James Baldwin will become the new president of Excelsior College in New York this Friday. Dr. Baldwin is only the third president of the college in its 46-year history. Excelsior is a non-traditional, online college geared toward adults who are getting the degree they never completed, or for those who are going to college for the first time while balancing a job and family. 

Facebook: Tayja Treat uploaded to Hoosick Community Facebook Page

Congressman John Faso, County Executive Kathy Jimino and State Senator Kathy Marcione were among the elected officials who toured the flood damaged regions of eastern Rensselaer County Monday. The town of Hoosick and the village of Hoosick falls were flooded Saturday night causing road washouts, damaged homes and buildings and a massive clean-up and repair which is now underway. 


Jun 28, 2017
Facebook: NYSERDA

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has a new president and chief executive officer.  Alicia Barton takes over from John Rhodes, who is the new chair of the state Public Service Commission. 

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
WAMC/Pat Bradley

As the health care debate continues in Washington, Democrats in New York are sounding the alarm about what the Republican plan could mean for the state. Tonight in Hudson, the Capital Region expert panel on the American Health Care Act will hold a meeting to hear public opinions about health care, and what might happen in New York if the Republican plan becomes the law of the land. 

Justice Scales
Adobe Stock

Legislation that would allow a physician to assist a terminally ill patient to die has been stalled in the New York state legislature but the state’s highest court will hear arguments in the debate Tuesday. The Court of Appeals will hear Myers v. Schneiderman, a legal argument that supporters say is needed to bring clarity to the issue, but opponents say such a law could open the door to a dangerous and inherently discriminatory practice.

wikipedia commons

The bombing in Manchester, England leads to the question; could such an attack happen in the U.S.? Rick Mathews, the Director of the Center for Global Security and Preparedness at the University at Albany says so far the U.S. has escaped an attack at a concert or other large gathering, because of security and simple good luck.

Tim Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse NY
Prevent Child Abuse NY

The second day of the 22nd annual New York State Child Abuse Prevention Conference is being held Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel in Albany.  The meeting is organized by the non-profit group Prevent Child Abuse New York, now in its 37th year.

The French flag

It was the lowest voter turnout for a French presidential election run-off in 48 years, but the winner scored an overwhelming victory. Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year old political novice with a background in investment banking, won 66 percent of the vote over Marine Le Pen of The National Front. 

Getting the attention of elected officials is not always easy, especially for those without an organized and well-funded lobbying effort. That is especially true for people with development disabilities, their families and supporters, but an online course is being offered to teach those skills. 

The French flag

The voters of France will go to the polls on May 7 to elect a new president. After a preliminary ballot over the weekend, the choice has been narrowed down to two candidates - right wing nationalist Marine Le Pen and Independent Emmanuel Macron, who now holds a big lead in the polls and is expected to win next month.

Facebook: Curtain Call Theatre

A space once home to the Little Sisters of the Poor will soon become the new home of a Capital District theater company. Curtain Call Theatre is moving just a short distance from its current location, the old Dutch Reformed Church at 210 Old Loudon Road in Latham, NY to a new space, at 2 Jeanne Jugan Lane in Latham.

John Dankosky
John Dankosky

After two terms, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election next year. The Democrat said he and his family are ready for another stage of life. For more, we spoke with WNPR's John Dankosky in Hartford.

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

Now that the state budget has been passed, school districts in New York have a better idea on what to expect in state aid, as voters get ready to decide local school budgets on May 16. 

Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift
Facebook: MCLA

Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift will return to the Berkshires later this week for a speech on the Trump presidency. 

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig
Gary Herzig

Like most upstate communities, Oneonta has had a rough ride since the end of World War II with the post-manufacturing economy. But the city does have some built-in advantages: a college-based economy with SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College in town and the Oneonta Railyard. Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, a Democrat, gave his State of the City address Tuesday evening, laying out initiatives to boost the local economy and improve the city, including fixing an aging water and sewer system, a problem faced by many cities in the Northeast.

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo

The final numbers are not in, but indications are Connecticut may be heading for a shortfall in tax revenue this year. Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, recently predicted a budget surplus of $22 million, but State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, also a Democrat, says Connecticut could be looking at a deficit of $44.6 million.

Michael Botticelli

Michael Botticelli, the former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, is speaking at Siena College in Loudonville, NY this afternoon. 

Dr. Robert Bullard
Dr. Robert Bullard

"Tell me your zip code and I will tell you how healthy you are." That's how Dr. Robert Bullard sizes up the nation's environmental policies, as the lower-income, more urban areas are often overlooked and the focus is too often on the wildlife, the forest and the rivers. Dr. Bullard, who has authored 18 books including perhaps his most influential work, Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class And Environmental Quality, will speak tonight at Siena College in Loudonville.

Nurse Practitioner Association New York State logo
Facebook: Nurse Practitioner Association New York State

There is a bill before the New York state legislature that would allow nurse practitioners in the state to sign do-not-resuscitate orders. Currently only physicians are allowed to do so. 

Prof. Hendler

When you are talking to Siri, is Siri talking to the CIA? And when you are finished watching your smart TV, is that TV watching you? Those questions are being raised by Wikileaks, which alleges that the CIA is tapping into everyday technology to snoop into our private lives. Jim Hendler, the director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, says those high-tech gadgets are equipped with two-way technology that can reduce our privacy.

Southwestern Vermont Heatlh Care recently celebrated its first "healthy home."
Facebook: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Hospitals’ focus on health care, and Southwestern Vermont Health Care is no exception, but the hospital recently opened its first “healthy home”. The home near the medical center in Bennington was purchased by the hospital, redeveloped and sold. 

NY GOP Chair Ed Cox

President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. today. New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox tells WAMC he expects Trump to speak directly to working men and women. 

Facebook: U.S. National Weather Service

At a time of the year when snowstorms, freezing rain and sleet are the main concerns for weather forecasters, a tornado touched down Saturday evening in western Massachusetts as a potent squall line moved through the region, pushing out un-usually warm conditions in favor of winter cold. 

Tanglewood has announced a $30 million expansion to its campus in the Berkshires. Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, says work will begin this summer on a new four-building complex.

Matthew Kang, flickr

One thing is certain about the opioid epidemic; it can be found just about anywhere. From the big cities, to the small towns, and in the suburbs. This evening at the North Adams Public Library, a film will be shown telling the story of the toll opioids have taken on North Adams, the smallest city in Massachusetts. 

Dr. James Stellar

The University at Albany is undergoing a major academic expansion, and it's happening with an interim president in charge. Dr. James Stellar has been leading the university since the end of last September after the departure of Dr. Robert Jones, who left for a new position with the University of Illinois. Dr. Stellar spoke with WAMC News about UAlbany's most immediate plans.