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.  

Ways to Connect

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Rensselaer County town of Petersburgh has been struggling with PFOA, the same carcinogenic pollutant that has been found in nearby Hoosick Falls and Bennington, Vermont. The town approved a settlement agreement with the polluter Tuesday night.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As often happens this time of year, reporters were summoned to a hockey arena in the region today to learn about a franchise’s future. But this time, professional hockey is staying in Glens Falls. The ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder, which have called the Civic Center home for two seasons, will soon come under local ownership.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Village of Hoosick Falls has tabled a revised $1 million partial release and settlement agreement with the companies deemed responsible for polluting the municipal water supply with the chemical PFOA. A special meeting was held Monday night. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Village of Hoosick Falls to pump the brakes on a revised settlement agreement with two companies deemed responsible for polluting local water supplies with the chemical PFOA.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, and state transportation officials detailed plans to improve access to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Orange County on Sunday.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Hoosick Falls residents were angered Thursday night after a meeting where the village board was scheduled to discuss a settlement agreement between the village and companies deemed responsible for contaminating local water supplies with the chemical PFOA abruptly ended. 

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

The Rensselaer County village of Hoosick Falls is considering a new draft of a proposed settlement between the companies deemed responsible for polluting local water supplies and village government. The Thursday evening meeting comes after a previous settlement agreement was tabled amid widespread opposition in January.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs residents will vote on a new city charter at a special election set for May. But a vote by the city council Tuesday night denies funding that would support the election.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is touring upstate New York Sunday.

Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will tour Stratton Air National Guard Base in Schenectady County where she is scheduled to receive a briefing from officials with the New York National Guard and 109th Airlift Wing.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The once-Albany-based band Hand Habits returned this week as part of a tour behind a new record titled Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void), which was recently recognized by internet music publication Pitchfork.

Rivers features a 50,000-square foot gaming floor with hundreds of gleaming slot machines.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Rivers Casino in Schenectady opened February 8th to long lines and crowds of bettors. Despite some snowy weather during the opening week, bettors played more than $23 million at electronic slot machines and more than $4.2 million at table games.

Lucas Willard / WAMC


Officials with Emma Willard, a private boarding school in Troy, New York, spent time with reporters this afternoon to outline the school’s new policies on protecting students from sexual harassment and providing support to survivors of assault. The rollout of the new policies comes after allegations shook the school last year — and while campus sexual assault has become a national issue.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A frank discussion on heroin and opioid addiction was held in Washington County Wedneday night. The forum, moderated by District Attorney Tony Jordan, focused not only on the prevalence of opioid addiction in the Washington, Saratoga, and Warren County regions, but also moving firsthand accounts.

Rob Allen / Twitter

The mayor of Hoosick Falls, a Rensselaer County village that has been dealing with contamination issues for the past year, is stepping down in a few weeks. David Borge will retire at the end of his second term.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Some Hoosick Falls residents already exposed to chemicals in their drinking water may also have another form of pollutant leaking into their homes. Honeywell, under a consent order with the state, is conducting an investigation into the detection of chemicals at one of its former buildings in town. A meeting was held Tuesday night where company representatives spoke to residents.

Anti-abortion activists held rallies across the country yesterday, but many were met with counter-protestors.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, in effect until 7 p.m. Monday.

Some areas could see up to a foot or more of snow between Sunday and Monday.

U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Charles Schumer are calling for nationwide rallies later this month to show support for the Affordable Care Act and to oppose efforts by Republicans to repeal it.

New York State is requiring company Honeywell to test homes for volatile compounds near a former Hoosick Falls facility.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

EDIT 2/8/17: The text of this article has been updated to show that the Blackstone Group sold its stock in Momentive in August. The original audio of the story remains posted. 

A group of New York state lawmakers appeared in Saratoga County on Monday to meet with picketing union workers at a Waterford chemical plant.

Alexander Torrenegra/Wikimedia Commons

The New York State Senate is scheduled to consider a bill to bring ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft upstate on Monday.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has just announced the lineup for its summer season. The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center are all returning for their summer residencies this year.

As environmental and labor groups are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to help end a strike at a Saratoga County chemical plant, lawmakers from across the state are preparing to rally with workers on Monday.

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

Two pollutants that have been at the center of water contamination cases in upstate New York have been listed as hazardous substances.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

First-term Troy Mayor Patrick Madden reflected on his first year in office and was optimistic about the future during his State of the City address last night.

Police body cameras
wikipedia.org

The Fulton County city of Gloversville this week began outfitting its police force with body cameras. The devices are becoming standard practice in many police departments as video technology becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives — and departments come under increasing scrutiny.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is testing for toxic chemicals in homes surrounding a former drycleaners site in Ballston Spa.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen delivered her annual State of the City address Monday evening. But before diving into her speech, the second-term Democrat took time to comment on national politics.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Capital Region Congressman is thanking protestors who demonstrated over the weekend against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Scott Davidson/Flickr

Schenectady County Law enforcement officials have announced an expansion of the county-wide drug unit to address heroin and opioid-related crime and addiction.

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