Lucas Willard

Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief/Weekend Host

Lucas Willard graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. He also attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2010, where he studied audio and multimedia storytelling.  Prior to joining WAMC in 2011, Lucas worked with the Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley, the Big Shed Audio Documentary Podcast, the Albany Broadcasting Company, WDVL & WCVF-FM Fredonia, and WSUC-FM Cortland.  

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The town of Clifton Park in southern Saratoga County has taken steps to keep cigarette butts and smoking out of public parks and trails.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphrodite-in-nyc / Wikipedia

Oprah Winfrey was among the honored guests at Skidmore College’s 2017 Commencement on Saturday.

Speaking to graduates after accepting an honorary doctorate, the global media star asked the audience at Saratoga Performing Arts Center to “challenge their spiritual muscle” and live gratefully.

Wikipedia

Throughout Friday and Saturday, students, scientists, state and local officials, and area residents are exploring the ins and outs of the PFOA contamination of water supplies in Hoosick Falls, New York, and Bennington, Vermont.

Photo provided / Witt Construction, Inc.

Neighbors of a proposed development project on Saratoga Lake have environmental concerns. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the local municipality is taking steps to prevent clear-cutting.

Joanne Yepsen declares victory in Saratoga
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen has announced that she will not run for a third term. Without citing specifics, the Democrat — who was first elected in 2013 — said Friday she would pursue new opportunities after leaving office. Yepsen said she is backing Deputy Mayor Meg Kelly to succeed her. She spoke with WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard on Friday afternoon.

Former Saratoga Springs City Center President Mark Baker recently announced his candidacy on the Republican ticket. In response to Friday's news, Baker said he was not totally surprised by Yepsen’s announcement. Baker said Yepsen did not have a strong commitment to run after Baker announced his candidacy. 

New York State Office of General Services

In July 2014, the prison atop Mount McGregor in Saratoga County closed after nearly four decades in operation. Now, the state of New York is looking to sell the property. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports a request for proposals expires at the end of the month.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As law enforcement adapts to the growing heroin and addiction crisis, members of local communities are finding new ways to help those in recovery get back on their feet. One group based in upstate New York is distributing bicycles to help people get to work or to meetings and restore a sense of independence.

The Village of Hoosick Falls has received a financial boost to help cover costs related to its response to the chemical contamination of its water supplies. Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says work is continuing on finding the village a source of clean drinking water.

Saint-Gobain's plant in Hoosick Falls, NY
Lucas Willard

Marking 500 days of water contamination in Hoosick Falls, residents gathered at the state capitol on Thursday to pressure state leaders to find a new, uncontaminated source.

A beloved Capital Region bakery that closed last year, taking its Italian bread and rolls off supermarket shelves, is back in business.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen, a Democrat who is serving her second two-year term, is hinting at a run for a third. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports a challenger has already entered the race.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Flyers promoting a white supremacist group were found this week on parked cars in Saratoga Springs, where recent instances of hate speech are set to be discussed at a public meeting later this month.

Lake George, the site of a fatal boat collision last summer.
Lucas Willard

The Lake George Park Commission has released new materials aimed at making the lake a safer place for boaters and visitors this summer.

Saratoga County

At 4 percent, Saratoga County’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2007 and is tied with Warren County for having the lowest in the Capital Region. It’s also lower than the U.S. and state average of 5 percent. That’s according to a new report by the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership released on Tuesday.

Other indicators of a strong economy are a household median income above $71,000, and climbing home values.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Six months before election day, the Saratoga Springs Republican Committee has unveiled a full slate of candidates for city and county positions. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the group includes some familiar faces.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The Northeast appears to be in for a long tick season that may last throughout the spring and summer and well into the fall.

Gabriel Pollard / Wikipedia

In 2015, Schenectady County was one several across New York that opted in to a state law allowing small fireworks and sparklers to be sold at certain times of the year.  But two years later, and with Independence Day approaching, some are calling on the county to opt-out of the state law to curb the use of illegal fireworks.

WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports.

The mayor of a Montgomery County community has resigned after serving less than two months in office.

A scout camp in Saratoga County that has operated for nearly a century and served generations of boys will be sold. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Note 5/4/2017: An earlier version of this story referred to the Pitney Meadows Community Farm as the Pitney Meadows Community Foundation. The original audio of this story remains posted.

The last remaining farm within Saratoga Springs city limits is under new management by a team that wants to use the property as a center for agriculture and education. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, a group of local students is making recommendations for how to move forward.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

For more than two weeks, a jury has heard arguments in the case of Alexander West, a Warren County man facing charges related to the boat crash last summer on Lake George that claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl and severely injured her mother. Since the collision last July, authorities have expressed an interesting in ending the annual celebration held the same day, which West attended. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports.

Rob Allen / Twitter

Last week the Renssealer County village of Hoosick Falls, which has been dealing with water sources contaminated with the chemical PFOA, cut ties with a law firm that had been assisting the community negotiate a settlement with polluters Saint-Gobain and Honeywell.

UAlbany logo
wikipedia commons

The University at Albany is responding to eight confirmed cases of mumps on campus.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Vermont officials traveled to Bennington College Thursday night to give residents an update on the effort to bring clean drinking water to people living with contaminated wells. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

An audience in Saratoga Springs on Thursday heard from a conservation group about a plan that places pressure on public officials to protect the Adirondack Park. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports.

This August, Saratoga Performing Arts Center is debuting a new series during its classical season. "SPAC on Stage" will invite guests to surround artists on the main stage for a more intimate performance.

The idea came from new SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol, who spoke with WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard.

For more information on this summer's "SPAC on Stage" series visit SPAC.org.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

If you’ve been to Manhattan recently, you’ve probably noticed the blue Citi Bikes traveling along city streets. Now, CDTA is teaming up with CDPHP and a Brooklyn-based company to bring bike-sharing to the Capital Region. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard explains that customers will be able to choose where they’d like to see the bikes.

Saint-Gobain's plant in Hoosick Falls, NY
Lucas Willard

The Hoosick Falls village board, led by new mayor Rob Allen, has voted to cut ties with the law firm that had worked to write a failed settlement agreement with the companies deemed responsible for polluting water supplies with the chemical PFOA.

Photo provided

On Saturday, April 29th, a small army of volunteers will spread out across Saratoga Springs to plant new trees.  Sustainable Saratoga's Urban Forestry Project is holding its sixth planting day one day after Arbor Day.

WAMC's Lucas Willard spoke with program chair Tom Denny about the upcoming event and the organization.

For more information visit: http://www.sustainablesaratoga.org/projects/urban-forestry-project/

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Capital Region Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko held a town hall meeting last night at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. But unlike his Republican colleagues in the region, who are hearing demands from constituents for face time to ask tough questions, Tonko was greeted by a friendly audience with questions about how he plans to navigate a Washington dominated by the GOP. 

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