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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Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

A November trial date has been set for a jury to hear the corruption case brought against former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Federal Judge Valerie Caproni set the Nov. 2 trial date on Tuesday after Silver pleaded not guilty to the latest indictment.

Outside court, Silver said he was glad a trial date was set because he's looking forward to being vindicated by a jury.

He said he feels no different about the indictment after prosecutors added a new claim against him last week.

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Parts of Baltimore are smoldering after violent demonstrations last night, the latest in a string of flare-ups between protestors and police across the country. Closer to home, Albany Police are taking a close look at their use of stun guns after a second incident this month in which a black man suffered a medical issue after being Tased by police. 

On April 2, 39-year old Donald "Dontay" Ivy died after an encounter with police near his Arbor Hill home after he was subdued with a stun gun. That incident is under investigation by the District Attorney.

The New York State Assembly has voted unanimously to close loopholes in the law guaranteeing equal pay for women. The measure already passed in the Senate.

It's among several women's rights bills backed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a package that stalled previously amid Republican opposition to a bill codifying abortion rights.

New York law prohibits gender-based pay differentials, with exceptions for seniority and merit systems, productivity and "any other factor other than sex."

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A New York congressman wants to make the use of chokeholds by police officers a federal crime.

Brooklyn Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said on Monday that he's sponsoring a bill that would amend civil rights laws that deal with excessive force. The measure would define chokeholds as a deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Hakeem made the announcement outside NYPD headquarters, joined by the mother of Eric Garner, the unarmed man killed in a police chokehold last year on Staten Island.

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The Albany County Health Department has a new commissioner...

County Executive Dan McCoy today says Dr. Elizabeth Whalen has been appointed to serve as Commissioner of the Albany County Department of Health on behalf of the more than 300,000 residents of the county.

Dr. Whalen is a public health physician with dual board certification in Internal Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

She succeeds Dr. James Crucetti who resigned in January after 25 years with the Health Department — 22 of them as the county's top doctor.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York will be the first state to offer English-language lessons to Spanish speakers over their mobile phones.  Cuomo announced the pilot program Monday.

It's designed to help immigrants who don't have the time or means to get traditional language lessons.

The service uses audio and texts and is free — aside from typical fees for minutes and texts.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Two Albany-area Assemblymembers  have joined the push for ride-sharing companies to be allowed to operate across New York.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

  The city of Albany has selected a vendor to install red light cameras at 20 intersections. 

Albany has signed a 3-year deal with GATSO USA to install and operate the cameras, which could be operational in just several weeks.

City officials say the program is more about safety than revenue, stressing it will make everyone on foot or bicycle safer.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation, Parks, Agriculture and Markets, and the State Arbor Day Committee, joined state and local officials today for an Arbor Day tree planting event at Albany's Tivoli Lake Preserve.

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Senator Chuck Schumer says dairy farmers in New York and across the country need help contending with falling milk prices.

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