Dave Lucas

Capital Region Bureau Chief

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief.  Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.

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Efforts to save A historic Central New York hotel are in limbo.

Hotel Utica had been in financial trouble for years – now the Utica Observer-Dispatch says a potential buyer apparently has backed away. City officials told the paper they don’t believe that Corning-based hotel developer Visions Hotels will follow through with plans to purchase the historic building at 102 Lafayette Street.  

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has assembled a small group of Democratic lawmakers to study ways to make state government more transparent. The Bronx Democrat announced the appointments to the 12-member panel Friday.

Heastie says the panel, led by  Assembly members J. Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon and Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan, will recommend changes to encourage more openness and public participation in the legislative process, while looking for ways to better harness technology, including improvements to the Assembly's website.

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 Is he or isn't he?

Conflicting reports appeared this week concerning New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez making a run for Congressman Chris Gibson's seat come 2016.

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Pope Francis recently called the Armenian massacre the “first genocide of 20th century.” With many areas marking Genocide Awareness Month, the killings and their aftermath are being discussed tonight at Siena College.

A federal grand jury is reportedly taking a hard look at business dealings involving New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son.

Back in January, after the arrest of longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges, a New York City television station reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was looking into outside income the Republican head of the state Senate, Long Island’s Dean Skelos, had received, particularly involving the real estate industry.

Manufacturing activity in New York shrank in April for the first time in four months, a sign that the strong dollar and sluggish consumer spending may be holding back factories.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index fell to negative 1.2 reading from a plus 6.9 in March. The latest reading is the lowest since December.

A measure of new orders fell for the third straight month to negative 6, which suggests output may remain sluggish in the coming months. A gauge of hiring, however, rose.

On this tax deadline day, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is leading the charge to protect New Yorkers from losing their refunds to identity thieves.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Protesters in Albany have joined a national push today called “Fight for 15,” as workers and activists demand higher pay at low-wage jobs. The workers and labor unions want a federal minimum wage of $15.

Albany workers are part of a worldwide mobilization for a wage that meets basic needs.

Nationwide protests kicked-off just after 6 a.m. in New York City outside the Flatbush Avenue McDonald's in Brooklyn - and an hour later at the Holland Avenue McDonald's in Albany.  

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Arguing "it's now or never for the Hudson River and communities up and down its shores," activists gathered along the riverbank in Green Island today to urge General Electric to meet responsibilities beyond the current EPA-mandated PCB cleanup.

GE is slated to complete an EPA-ordered cleanup as early as this summer, one environmentalists say will leave behind millions of pounds of health-threatening PCB-contaminated sediments both north and south of the Federal Dam in Troy.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is proposing once again that an outside operator take over the management of 87-year-old Playland, the largest government-run amusement park in the country.

Astorino said at a boardwalk news conference the deal would mean taxpayers would escape millions of dollars of annual losses.  Under the tentative 15-year deal, Standard Amusements would invest nearly $23 million in the park in Rye.

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