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

Maud Dahme had a childhood that no young person should ever experience. At the age of six, two years after the Nazis invaded Holland, Dahme and her 4-year-old sister Rita, were taken in by two Christian families to survive . They lived with new identities for three years, until 1945 when the war ended and they were reunited with their parents. Maud Dahme’s story is told in the film The Hidden Child, which will be shown this Thursday night at 7 at Page Hall at the University at Albany.  Maud Dahme will be there. She now lives in New Jersey and spends her days as a Holocaust educator.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

In recent days, WAMC News has been speaking with New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, the incumbent Democrat in the race for the 46th district seat, and her opponent, former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore. The two faced off in 2012, a race Tkaczyk won by 18 votes.

Ralph Nader was part of the campaign this fall in New York's 21st House district, which covers a large area of northern New York. Republican Elise Stefanik, Democrat Aaron Woolf and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello are vying for the seat to be left open by the retirement of Democrat Bill Owens. Nader says Funiciello has the right platform for the district.

If the polls are correct, the Green Party candidate for governor of New York, Howie Hawkins, will get about ten percent of the vote next Tuesday. With the campaign now in its final days, Hawkins spoke with WAMC news today and said it has exceeded all expectations.

On Election Day next week, New Yorkers will decide three ballot questions. No. 3 is called the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, a measure from Governor Andrew Cuomo that would allow the state to borrow $2 billion to equip schools with computers, tablets, wireless internet and other technology. But on group think it's a bad idea. EJ McMahon, president of the Empire Center for Public Policy in Albany, says borrowing isn't the main objection. He says there appears to be no demand from educators.


The president of the Sage Colleges says Ebola has become a teachable moment. Dr. Susan Scrimshaw is an expert in the field of public health and spoke with WAMC News the day after the first confirmed case in New York.

Tim Kremer

More than 2,400 educators and school officials from 400 districts across the state will be in New York City Sunday through Tuesday for the 95th annual convention of the New York State School Boards Association. Executive Director Tim Kremer says the agenda is full as the meeting comes at a critical time.

Jim Levulis / WAMC


“Don’t play with matches!”

It was the first and foremost safety rule we learned as children, but almost 45,000 fires in the United States were set by children in 2010. Tomorrow at the Pineview Community Church in Albany, teachers, parents, day-care providers and others will learn how to teach children about fire safety. Doctor Robert Cole will present a “Play Safe-Be Safe” workshop. Dr. Cole, president of the Fireproof Children Company of Rochester, says “don’t play with matches” is still important.

During the past 20 years, approximately 1,400 girls who are poor and work in the factories of Juarez, Mexico have been abducted, sexually abused and then murdered. Their story and the story of an Irish artist who is working to keep their memories alive are told in the film Blood Rising, to be shown tonight at 7 at the University at Albany's Recital Hall. Admission is free. The director Mark McLoughlin, the arist profiled in the film, Brian MaGuire, and Marisela Ortiz-Rivera, the mother of one of the murdered women of Juarez, will be at tonight's screening.

Schenectady schools

Some students in the Schenectady School District will be taking home more than just books and homework on the weekends. They will also have food supplied by the district as part of the weekend backpack program, which is expanding. The announcement was made today by the superintendent of the district, Larry Spring.