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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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.

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival turns 40 this year.

The annual showcase of jazz, blues, rock and soul is held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs.

The line-up will include several artists including Chaka Khan,  the Gipsy Kings, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Dee-Dee Bridgewater.

Bridgewater, a Grammy and Tony award-winner, performed at the first Saratoga Jazz Festival in 1978. In June she will visit the festival for the sixth time, shortly after the release of a new album and recognition as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

 “I never thought I'd see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep. We are a nation of bridges, not walls, and a great many of us still believe in the words 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...'
 
"This is not who we are, and not who we should be.

"I have directed the Port Authority, the Department of State, and my Counsel's Office to jointly explore all legal options to assist anyone detained at New York airports, and ensure that their rights are protected.

"America is a nation of laws and those laws provide rights that must be respected and followed regardless of political ideology."    

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York State has announced it will cover $700,000 in costs related to providing Newburgh and New Windsor residents with clean water.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

About one year ago, state health and environmental officials were alerted to and tasked with dealing with the discovery of the chemical PFOA in drinking water supplies in Southern Vermont. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard traveled to Bennington last night where the state’s health official revealed results of blood testing conducted over the last year.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Village of Canajoharie and Montgomery County are hoping to demolish certain structures at the shuttered Beech-Nut factory. An upcoming court date could move things forward as the officials await a half-million dollar grant.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich visited Albany Tuesday to join advocates in calling attention to the prevalence of Legionnaires’ Disease in New York.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has included $100 billion in his state budget proposal for infrastructure upgrades. It’s welcome news for an upstate city that has had a year marked by burst pipes and leaking sewage.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York leads the nation in cases of Legionnaires' Disease. The disease, which can be spread through drinking water, is caused by bacteria and can be fatal.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy delivered his State of the City address last night. McCarthy, who has been mayor since 2011, touted progress within the city over the last few years. But some in the audience had hoped the mayor would address another issue.

Courtesy CityofGlensFalls.com

John “Jack” Diamond is now in his ninth and final year as mayor of Glens Falls. Recently, the Democratic mayor laid out his vision for 2017 in his last State of the City address. WAMC's Lucas Willard spoke with Diamond who described a “transitional” year ahead.

Thousands were marching up 5th Avenue to Trump Tower in New York City Saturday, one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

As Women's Marches were about to begin in New York and across the country, WAMC's Alan Chartock called in from the staging area at Dag Hammarskjold park.

Women’s marches are happening across the country and around the globe today, one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

One of the largest is in Washington D.C. University at Albany Journalism Professor and regular WAMC contributor Rosemary Armao made the trip and checked in from the crowds this morning. 

Former Democratic U.S. Congressman Bill Owens represented New York’s North Country from 2009 to 2015.

The town supervisor of Thurman, a small town in Warren County, has resigned.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Saratoga Springs committee has chosen May 30th for a special election where city residents may vote on a new form of government. The city’s current form of government has existed for more than a century.

Members of the thoroughbred racing industry testified in Albany this week, urging lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo to re-privative the New York Racing Association. After months of delays, the governor has put re-privatization in his 2018 budget plan. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo briefed the media on his budget proposal Tuesday night. This morning, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul appeared at the Glens Falls Civic Center to explain to local officials what it means for their region.

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Saratoga Springs is hosting a series of events dedicated to race and diversity in America.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Village of Hoosick Falls voted last night to table a settlement agreement with the two companies deemed responsible for contaminating water sources with the chemical PFOA. The decision to set the agreement aside for now came after two hours of public comment. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Schenectady’s casino is just weeks away from opening. Workers recently unloaded a shipment of table games.

FuGenX CDC/Flickr

The Saratoga Springs City School District is looking for more information about a mysterious social media account that allegedly propagated hate speech.

wikipedia commons

A controversial Capital Region gun show will return to the Saratoga Springs City Center this spring.

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

Later this week, officials in the Rensselaer County community of Hoosick Falls will consider a settlement offer by two companies deemed responsible for contaminating water sources with the chemical PFOA.

Vote sign
wikipedia commons

As part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposals for the new legislative session, the Democrat aims to reform the state’s election system.  Cuomo is pushing early voting, same-day and automatic voting registration, catching New York up to surrounding states.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prepares to deliver six regional State of the State addresses he unveiled more of his vision for 2017 on Sunday. 

Saratoga County

A provision of New York’s 2013 SAFE Act gun control law requiring pistol permit holders to re-certify their licenses every five years is going into effect.

An emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Glens Falls, New York has closed on a new property. The organization aims to move its operations into the new space by next winter.

Saratoga Hospital and Albany Medical Center announced this week an agreement that is intended to improve the quality of care through standardized protocols, easier transfer of patient information, and attracting doctors and other medical professionals.

a water drinking fountain
WAMC

With a new legislative session in New York, environmental groups are calling on state officials to make clean water a priority in 2017.

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