Jessica Bloustein Marshall

Associate News Director

Jessica Bloustein Marshall is a Capital Region native with a diverse background in multimedia news reporting and production. After earning a Masters degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University, she served as the Capital District Bureau Chief for WAMC, followed by stints at Newsweek and Time, Inc, MTV News, Mental Floss and Backstage. She returns to WAMC as Associate News Director.

She’s also a decorated competitive figure skater, writer, choral singer and mom.

Ways to Connect

An urban legend is a popular story passed around that's allegedly true, but can't quite be confirmed. It's the kid who ate PopRocks and drank soda and his stomach exploded. It's the unfortunate tweeners who turned the lights out at their sleepover and called into the mirror for Bloody Mary. Or the poor sap who woke up sans kidneys in a bathtub full of ice. We've all heard them, and probably even told a few ourselves. They're modern folklore. Contemporary legends. In this episode of Listen With The Lights On, we explore an urban legend in Albany, New York, with local lore expert Maeve McEneny.

The Ghostly Rower
World's End, 1992 woodcut print. By Vic Schwarz, Courtesy of the Vic Schwarz family through the Putnam County Museum & Foundry School Museum, Cold Spring, New York

  If you've ever taken a trip down the shores of the Hudson River, no doubt at one point you've witnessed its hallmark mists rising from the waters. They have a ghostly quality about them, and not surprisingly there is an abundance of lore based on apparitions witnessed within them. We bring back Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk on this episode of Listen With The Lights On, who will tell us one such tale—the tale of the ghostly rower.

picture of scary story tellers
Jesse Wagstaff | Flickr

Is the devil in the details? On this episode of Listen With The Lights On, we explore how to capitalize on basic human fear to compose a creepy narrative, examine scary tropes, share our favorite spooky reads and try to come up with a spine-tingling tale of our own...in two sentences or less. Novelist and writing instructor Barbara Chepaitis, author of "The Amber," joins us. 

 (Airs 5/27/16) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week's Gazette: amid questions over a federal probe, a board controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders voted to approve over $485 million for the Buffalo Billion project, our political observer Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Buffalo Billion vote, and health advocates gather at the state capitol in Albany to call for closure of what they call an “e-cigarette loophole."

A doll in the upstairs room in Ten Broeck Mansion.
Patrick Garrett/WAMC

On the last episode of Listen with the Lights On, Maeve McEneny of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau was giving us a tour of Albany’s Ten Broeck Mansion. We ended in the foyer in Part I, looking out the imposing front doors. Now we’re going upstairs, where many a psychic and ghost hunter has claimed lies the epicenter of supernatural activity in the almost 230-year-old house. 

Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany sits just north of the city's downtown. Views from the historic home's gardens and from its elegant windows look out over row houses, industrial buildings and US Route 787. But it wasn't always this way. In 1789, when it was built by Abraham Ten Broeck, it was farmland as far as the eye could see to the north, south and west, and a casual glance from an east-facing window would produce an unimpeded view of the Hudson River. There's a lot of history here, and a lot of spirit—literally. On this episode of Listen with the Lights on, we take a peek inside with Maeve McEneny. 

(Airs 4/29/16) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week's Gazette: New York City mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo appear to be at odds again, this time as the U.S. Attorney is investigating de Blasio’s fundraising tactics. Anti-pipeline activists are putting pressure on the state to stop a natural gas pipeline expansion after two other pipeline plans were dropped. Our political observer Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the effect of the New York primaries on the presidential race, and we’ll take a look at efforts to fight the opioid addiction crisis in upstate New York.

Ten Broeck Mansion
Albany County Historical Association

A mansion. A portrait. A haunting? Dive into this week's edition of Listen With The Lights On, where we talk to Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau Education Coordinator Maeve McEneny about lore in Albany, New York, and the mysterious happenings at the colonial estate at Ten Broeck Place.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law legalizing Mixed Martial Arts bouts in the state, making it the last state in the nation to remove prohibitions on professional fights. The new law reverses the ban placed on the bouts in 1997 amid concerns over the safety of fighters.

Picture of the modern day home where Union Army Officer Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris resided.
Historian’s Office, Town of Colonie.

President Abraham Lincoln's connection to Capital Region is more than just fairy tale, in fact, he has quite a few. One of which is the story of New York Senator Ira Harris' daughter Clara, and her husband, Union Army Officer Henry Rathbone. On the night of April 14th in Ford's theater, the two were the esteemed guests of Abraham Lincoln...

The Imps of Donder-Berg
Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley/Todd Atteberry

We delve into the story of the Heer of Donder-Berg, a story from Jonathan Kruk, loreteller from the Hudson Valley. 

Beast of Whitehall

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, or myth? Seth Breedlove and his new film, Beast of Whitehall, premiers in Whitehall, New York on April 2nd. We explore the idea of the mythical creature in the pilot episode of our soon-to-launch podcast, Listen With The Lights On

Chhitup Lama at WAMC
Robin Pellegrino

An estimated 10 percent of the population of Nepal lives with a disability. But there are remote regions of the country where access to healthcare, education and vocational support for those individuals is lacking or nonexistent. One young man with a visual impairment is trying to change that—Chhitup Lama has set up a unique non-profit that brings support services and education to children with disabilities living in rural parts of his country.

Kids at South End Children's Café
Jessica Bloustein Marshall/WAMC

At the hottest new restaurant in Albany’s South End, the lights are low, but the ambiance is lively.  

The tables are dressed with fresh linen, elegant water carafes and simple floral centerpieces. The décor is DIY trendy. A glittering chandelier made from silverware and wire catches the light as dozens of patrons enjoy meals made with organic, local ingredients.

Lion
Joachim Huber / Wikimedia Commons

From lions and tigers to snow leopards and panthers, “big cats” are defined by those who study them as wild cats with the ability to roar. Wildlife biologist Boone Smith has wrangled an impressive number of them.

Hunter Harrison / WAMC

Ninety-six years ago, Henry Johnson returned to the city of Albany an unsung hero following his service in World War I. Yesterday, the medal he earned for his bravery followed suit. 

Henry Johnson’s gleaming Medal of Honor now stands on display in the War Room at the state capitol.

Patrick Madden
Jessica Bloustein Marshall/WAMC

Patrick Madden emerged victorious in a race full of twists and turns. Standing on a chair Tuesday night, he spoke to a packed bar of supporters downtown.

Last week, President Barack Obama said the U.S. would accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the war in their home country by 2016. Jill Peckenpaugh, director of the Albany field office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), says the Capital Region is ready to support an influx of potential refugees or migrants, should they come. 

  (Airs 8/7/15) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State government and politics. On this week’s Gazette: The special election to replace the State Senate’s second-most powerful Republican could tip the balance of power, our political observer Alan Chartock speculates on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s possible future as a Vice Presidential candidate, and we’ll have state reaction to President Obama’s climate plan.

(Airs 7/31/15) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week's Gazette: two more state lawmakers have been ousted by corruption convictions, what does this mean for ethics reform efforts? Our political observer Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on current infrastructure projects, and we'll take a look at the continued fallout from the prison escape that captivated the region.

The Audi A7 parked by the side of the road on the test track in East Greenbush, NY.
Jessica Bloustein Marshall

The rate of traffic crashes in the United States is about three times higher at night than in the daytime. Visibility is a large contributing factor to that statistic. But a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor is leading a study in the Capital Region that may revolutionize the way we drive at night. 

When you think of classic martial arts films, iconic names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li come to mind. But in today's martial arts movie-making universe, actor Byron Mann is the new it-guy. He’s a prolific actor, well-known for his martial arts prowess and memorable fight scenes. He hails from Hong Kong, and earned his stripes in films like Street FighterRise of the Legend, The Man with the Iron Fists and more recently on television in CW’s Arrow. Currently, he has signed on to play a Chinese power broker in AMC’s Hell on Wheels, an epic fictionalized drama about the building of America’s railroads—its fifth season premieres July 18th at 9/8 central. Mann has also taken on roles in the upcoming films Absolution starring Steven Segal and Vinnie Jones, and The Big Short, playing alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.

Jessica Bloustein Marshall/WAMC News

With developers in New York and Massachusetts preparing to break ground on casinos approved by voters and state-appointed commissions, and lobbying under way for more casinos in Connecticut to combat a loss of revenue they fear will come with new casinos in neighboring states, it’s all but certain that there will be a sharp rise in the need for casino employees in the region’s not-too-distant future. 

WAMC News

  Three-time National Champion, two-time Olympian and NBCSports commentator Johnny Weir was in Albany last weekend for a meet and greet with skaters and fans at the Empire State Plaza. WAMC's Jessica Bloustein Marshall caught up with him while he was there.

401(K)2013/Flickr

Many Gen-Xers and Millennials are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the cost of higher education. How are new parents are coping with the rising cost of a college education for their children, while still saddled with their own school debts?

In the year 2030, the average sticker price for a year at a private university could be as much as $130,428. That’s according to recent projections by loan-handlers Campus Partners. Their outlook is pretty bleak for public universities too—which could cost a whopping $41,228 per year.

  The Peace Corps has revealed its enrollment numbers for 2014, and several areas in our region have ranked high on their lists of volunteer-producing locations. 

On the weekend of November 15th, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosted its very first Hackathon – a weekend-long design and developer competition drawing over 500 engineering students from around the country.

The idea was to create something from nothing in 24 short hours, using imagination, innovation, and maybe a little bit of caffeine. Hackathon competitions are a growing trend in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have become a very viable way for companies to recruit future employees.

Rep. Chris Gibson
..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..

From a small country club in his Columbia County hometown of Kinderhook, Chris Gibson easily slid to victory over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge, 65 percent to 35 percent. The win earns the incumbent a third term in Congress.

As John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” blared over speakers, those in attendance at his victory party lauded the retired Army colonel  as a hometown hero. Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, a Republican, says Gibson’s work to bring funding to the district, and his attention to the district’s needs, was what won his support.

Marc Bloustein

  

Hoffman’s Playland in Colonie, New York, is closing this weekend after 62 years. The beloved kiddie park has been a summer destination for three generations of Capital Region residents. Jessica Bloustein Marshall spoke with park owner Dave Hoffman earlier this summer. He says it all started with his grandfather, who bought a parcel of land 6 miles outside of Albany in the 1930s to start a farm.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes of Nippertown.com is here with his early fall musical selections.

1. Frank Jaklitsch and Friends, "Singer of Song" from the album Good Things, playing at Irish 2000 Music & Arts Festival at Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa Saturday at 2:25.

2. Michael Jerling, "The Hard Stuff" from his latest album Halfway Home, playing at Art in the Park at Congress Park in Saratoga Springs Saturday at 3.

3. Mirk, "Forbidden Love" from their album Love, playing at LarkFest on Lark Street in Albany Sept. 20 at .

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