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

National Grid is joining with local highway officials across New York with a simple message: slow down.

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Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Capital Region Democrat, says he recently learned that a vote to legalize mixed-martial arts could come as soon as Monday. Santabarbara, who  has been a vocal advocate for bringing the sport to New York, said the bill to regulate it has 80 co-sponsors.

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Weeks after news of a potential distribution center for Dollar General fell through in Saratoga County, the company is eyeing a new site in Montgomery County. Proponents are viewing the project as a job creator.

Courtesy CityofGlensFalls.com

After some recent confusion, Glens Falls mayor “Jack” Diamond will remain in office until the end of his term. And for the next year and a half, the Democrat says he plans to continue working to bring more business downtown.

Photo of people's hands reviewing contract
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After almost a year of negotiations, Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home in Gloversville has ratified a new contract with union workers.

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home in Gloversville has ratified a new contract with its union workers.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Bennington College has received a $90,000 grant to study the chemical PFOA, which has been found in surrounding water sources. WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with faculty at the college who will be guiding research into a subject with many unknowns.

Green party candidate Matt Funiciello is returning to the campaign trail to run again for New York's 21st Congressional District. 

Courtesy Michael Torke

Renowned American composer Michael Torke, who has produced pieces for the Atlanta Olympic games, Disney, and penned numerous operas, is premiering a new work with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A temporary filtration system is up and running in the Rensselaer County village of Hoosick Falls. The community near the Vermont border has been grappling with the chemical PFOA in its public water supply. On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a much anticipated visit to review the work done so far.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A body has been recovered from the Hudson River, where a tugboat sank Saturday morning after colliding with a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The City of Schenectady will receive millions from its new casino even before the project begins operating.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Congressman Paul Tonko has introduced a bill that would boost funding for clean water projects. The Democrat joined a coalition of bipartisan leaders from across the Capital Region whose communities are grappling with failing infrastructure.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Bennington College has received a $90,000 grant to study the chemical PFOA, which has been found in surrounding water sources.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A group dedicated to reducing child hunger has released a new report that shows New York ranks low among the 50 states in providing students with breakfast.

An environmental law firm has announced it is expanding its investigation of PFOA contamination to New Hampshire. The announcement comes on the heels of investigations in New York and Vermont.

A Democrat hoping to unseat longtime Republican State Senator Hugh Farley is kicking off his campaign in Schenectady County on Thursday.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York state officials say they’re addressing a misstep in the installation of water filtration systems in the Town of Hoosick, where residents are grappling with contaminated drinking water. Meanwhile, work continues to restore clean water within the Village of Hoosick Falls.

New York State's Department of Environmental Conversation and Department of Health have announced a commitment to install a filtration system in a Rensselaer County community with a water supply tainted with the chemical PFOA.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Southern Vermont native, spent Tuesday morning about town, talking to local residents who have been restricted from drinking their well water.

His first stop on the tour was North Bennington Variety, where locals were gathered, picking up their morning coffee.

In February the chemical PFOA was found in public and private wells. It's the same contaminant at the center of the water contamination issues in the nearby New York village of Hoosick Falls and Town of Petersburgh.

A memorial service will be held in remembrance of the victims of a fatal apartment building fire in Schenectady.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

STORY UPDATED 3/5/16:

Law firm Weitz & Luxenberg and environmental activist Erin Brockovich are expanding their investigation into PFOA contamination to North Bennington, Vermont. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls is about to undergo a new round of renovations.  The museum, which is experiencing a renewed interest on the heels of some recent major exhibits, is focused on improving the “visitor experience.”

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Like their counterparts in several communities around the region, residents of the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority are divided over a new smoking ban. The ban comes before a change in federal policy.

The owners of the Wandering Dago food truck filed a lawsuit in 2013 after they were denied a permit to operate at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Mae D’Agostino dismissed the suit, siding with the state Office of General Services, who had claimed the term “dago”, once more commonly-used a racial slur towards Italian-Americans, was inappropriate.

Famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich has been paying close attention to the village of Hoosick Falls. The presence of the chemical PFOA in the Rensselaer County community's water supply has grabbed national headlines and is now being investigated as part of a federal class-action lawsuit.

Joe Donahue / WAMC

On Tuesday, legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp joined representatives from the Catskill Mountain Foundation, Proctors, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center to announce Pathways To Dance. The initiative, supported by a $90,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council,  is designed to support dance programs and performance at ten venues in eight upstate counties.

As part of the program, Tharp will revisit two repertory dances and create a new work at a six-week Catskills residency. Tharp says she wants to create an evening that's easy to understand.

A group of lawmakers are calling on the New York State Assembly to vote on a bill that would strengthen animal cruelty laws after the killing of two dogs in an alleged burglary .

A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter network visited with students in Saratoga Springs Saturday. Alicia Garza was the keynote speaker for the NY6 Spectrum Conference at Skidmore College.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Fresh off a win in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be returning to Massachusetts for a series of campaign events ahead of Super Tuesday. Democratic Challenger Bernie Sanders will also make an appearance.

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