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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Capital Region News
9:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

State Grant Funds Albany County Public Defender’s Office

Credit Albany County

Albany County has been awarded grant funding for the Counsel at First Appearance Project.  
 
The three-year grant of $656,000 has been awarded by the NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services. The statewide grant program helps the counties implement improvements in the delivery of legal services at a defendant’s first appearance before a judge or arraignment.  The intent of the grant is to make improvements in the delivery of indigent defense services to a defendant’s first appearance before a judge. 

Albany County is one of 25 across New York awarded funding.

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New York News
12:07 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

NY Gov's "Free College For Convicts" Plan Takes Heat

111th District Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D)
Credit Instagram

"It's absurd to me that you can refinance a mortgage or a business loan, but you can't re-finance a college loan? I don't think the government should be making money off the backs of students." ~ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

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Sullivan County
9:06 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Heroin Found In Faculty Restroom At NY School

Disturbing signs the heroin epidemic is spreading across New York after authorities say the drug has been found inside a faculty bathroom at an upstate New York elementary school twice since just before Christmas.

Police tell the Times Herald-Record in Middletown they've launched an investigation into the discoveries at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in the rural Sullivan County town of Fallsburg.

Police Chief Simmie Williams says heroin and several needles were found in the men's room on Dec. 19th. He adds heroin was also found in the same bathroom last Tuesday.

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New York News
7:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

NY: Medical Vs. Recreational Marijuana

Credit WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

When it comes to legalizing marijuana, things are moving quickly, especially in New York.

Last Friday, the federal government released guidelines for banks to conduct business with the $1.5-billion-a-year legal marijuana industry. Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. The green signal may have been sent in January when President Barack Obama told The New Yorker that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol, opening the door for debate.

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WAMC News
4:55 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Volunteers From 127 Countries Join Bird Count

Reports from tens of thousands of bird-counting volunteers show a southern invasion of Arctic-dwelling snowy owls has spread to 25 states, and frigid cold is causing unusual movements of waterfowl.

Results are still coming in from the four-day annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Sponsors say the event, which ended Monday, drew participants from a record 127 countries, surpassing last year's 110. Most were from the U.S. and Canada.

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New York News
12:08 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

More Fracking Pro And Con - The Battle Rages On

Credit Capital District Against Fracking

The future of hydraulic fracturing has been in limbo since the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation began a review of the practice in 2008. Now, six public hearings are being held across New York to receive public comment on the draft State Energy Plan... one of them in Albany today.  Environmental groups are also at the Capitol today calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to put renewable energy ahead of fossil fuels in his effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

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Capital Region News
3:15 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Viewing Party For Fallon Debut As Late Night Host

Students at an upstate college are planning a TV "viewing party" Monday.

College of Saint Rose Students, faculty and staff will gather late Monday night at the Touhey Forum for a Student Association-sponsored viewing party to watch on the big screen and cheer as Saint Rose alumnus and Saugerties native Jimmy Fallon debuts as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” 

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Central New York News
4:10 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Upstate NY School Districts Use Up Snow Days

Some upstate New York school districts had already used up their allotment of snow days even before the latest blast of winter weather forced many districts to cancel classes for a second straight day.

In Dutchess County, nine of 16 local school districts either used their maximum number of snow days or had gone over the allotted amount before Thursday's storm hit the region. Most schools in the mid-Hudson Valley were closed Thursday and remained closed on Friday.

The Dover Union Free School District took its seventh snow day on Thursday, two over the budgeted amount.

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New York News
3:14 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

New York Lawmakers Push For Public Financing Of Elections

Three New York Congressmen have joined forces in an effort to fight big money in elections.

Last week the House Democrats introduced a bill to create public financing of elections for federal elections. Just two weeks before that, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intention to create publicly financed elections for the state legislature and for all statewide offices.

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Capital Region News
11:58 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Dreaming Of Timbuctoo At Albany City Hall

Albany City Hall is hosting a Black History Month exhibit in its rotunda. "Dreaming of Timbuctoo" is a traveling historical installation that tells the story of a free black community in the 1840s Adirondacks.

Initiated in 1999 to help shed light on an important but little-known chapter in American and New York State history, "Dreaming of Timbuctoo" explores the nexus of history, land and meaning. 

Martha Swan is the executive director of John Brown Lives!, one of the organizations that helped bring the exhibit to city hall.

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