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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New York News
4:01 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

NY Gun Owners Can Opt Out of FOIL Requests

NY Senator Greg Ball and the controversial Journal-News "gun map."
Credit WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Gun owners were shocked when a Westchester County-based newspaper uploaded an interactive map that displayed the names and home addresses of pistol owners in Westchester and Rockland counties. Beginning today, New Yorkers can "opt out" of the public record and not have to worry about their private information being shared.

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New York News
12:53 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Minimum Wage Debate Heats Up in NY

New York's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Credit WAMC

Washington's concern about setting a new national minimum wage inspired the New York State Assembly to make its minimum wage legislation reflect the $9 an hour goal set by President Obama in his State of the Union proposal.

According to a January 2013 report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a person working full-time would earn around $3,000 more a year, if New York's minimum wage goes to $8.75, as Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended in his State of the State address.

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Central New York News
2:25 am
Fri February 15, 2013

NY inspector general faults state fair bidding

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's inspector general says former officials flouted normal competitive bid procedures for State Fair catering and electronic ticketing contracts, leading to an overhaul of the annual event's management in suburban Syracuse.

Acting State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott says Thursday two top officials have been replaced, others have been disciplined and the state Office of General Services has taken over fair procurement.

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New York News
7:59 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

NY town of 9/11 workers wages gas pipeline fight

Credit Stop The Compressor

MINISINK, N.Y. (AP) — A town known as a haven for retired New York City police officers and firefighters is battling the construction of a natural gas compressor station designed to help ease a power crunch in the nation's largest city. 

Residents of Minisink want federal regulators to make the pipeline company move the industrial facility to a more remote company-owned site that's farther from homes and farms.

Residents say they worry about health effects from the station. Studies haven't proved a link between compressor stations and illness.

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Budget
6:53 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

NY Dem co-chair urges rejection of Cuomo budget

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The co-chairwoman of the state Democratic Party says Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget should be rejected because it doesn't include measures to save upstate cities from insolvency.

Stephanie Miner, who's also the mayor of Syracuse, says Cuomo needs to show leadership by holding a meeting with legislators and local government officials to find ways to ease the burden on local taxpayers. Miner's strongest criticism yet came in an opinion piece in Thursday's New York Times.

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Education
4:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Schools Strive to Survive via Mergers

Ilion and Mohawk school districts are very close. Observers say a merger makes sense.
Credit Google Maps

School districts across New York are pulling out all the stops as they struggle to delay anticipated fiscal insolvencies. Embattled districts are considering mergers in order to continue to provide quality education.

Voters in Central New York have approved combining the neighboring Ilion and Mohawk districts. Ilion superintendent Cosimo Tangorra points out that his district had been disenfranchised by the state aid formula for a number of years.

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Television
1:44 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Jobs cut in News10ABC-fox23News consolidation

Ann Hughes (pictured here with John Gray) is one of the casualties of a local broadcast news merger.
Credit facebook

Television viewers in the Albany area may have been checking to see if they were on the right channel as familiar local news personalities began showing up on other stations.

Two Capital Region TV stations have merged their news departments.  Amy Cutler is one of WTEN ABC News 10's on-screen reporters now doing double-duty appearing on Fox's WXXA. Viewers got their first hint something was happening in December when Cutler appeared on Fox23 covering the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Connecticut.

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New York News
1:33 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Ex-NY state senator admits role in cover-up

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A former state senator has pleaded guilty to a second felony charge, admitting in state court that she falsified evidence to obstruct an investigation into a grant she sponsored for a nonprofit organization.

Shirley Huntley, a 74-year-old Queens Democrat, admits drafting a 2011 letter used to create false backdated records of events never held by the Parent Workshop Inc., records submitted in response to a subpoena from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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New York News
7:59 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

NY chief judge: Open courts to cameras again

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state's top judge wants courtrooms open to camera coverage so New Yorkers can see for themselves how justice works.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who presides at the Court of Appeals where arguments are routinely broadcast online, is calling for a change in state law so people can know how laws are being interpreted, rights determined, criminals punished and tax dollars spent for the courts and legal system.

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New York News
4:28 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

DiNapoli questions Cuomo budget proposal

Credit WAMC/Dave Lucas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state's comptroller says there are some big question marks in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says it would increase debt, rely on one-shot revenues, and includes overly optimistic projections of tax revenues.

DiNapoli did credit the budget as a move toward long-term fiscal balance.

Cuomo's $143 billion proposal is boosted by anticipated federal disaster aid. The current budget is $134 billion.

DiNapoli criticized the 2013-14 spending plan for relying on $1.4 billion in temporary revenue.

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