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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New England News
6:56 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Mass. Medical Marijuana Regulations Approved, Communities Prepare For Dispensaries

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

On Wednesday, public health officials in Massachusetts approved a set of final regulations for the use of medical marijuana, and before the first dispensaries are expected to open, some communities are taking action to accommodate them.

The state’s Public Health Council approved the draft regulations on medical marijuana drawn up by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Under the law approved by voters last November, up to 35 dispensaries will open in communities across the state, but not for the next several months.

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New England News
6:25 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Results Positive For First Massachusetts Bald Eagle Nesting Survey

Credit Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game have released their results of the first statewide bald eagle nesting survey, conducted earlier this spring.

The Department of Fish and Game has announced that 30 active bald eagle nets have been verified in Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. The eagles were spotted as part of the state’s first bald eagle nesting survey, which was coordinated by the department’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and involved agency staff and volunteers.

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New England News
12:29 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

MassDEP Releases Updated Waste Management Master Plan

Credit Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has released its updated Solid Waste Master Plan, which aims to increase recycling and reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills. But some aspects of the plan remain controversial among environmentalists.

The new master plan released this week has a goal of reducing waste in Massachusetts 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The plan will focus on controlling food waste, increasing recycling, and looking to new technologies to eliminate waste and reducing the toll on the state’s landfills.

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New England News
6:08 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Berkshire Advocates Raise Awareness of Mental Health Issues

May is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, and mental health advocates in the Berkshires are becoming involved to educate the public about the resources available for those living with mental illness.

As part of a way to draw attention to mental illness is his local community, North Adams mayor Richard Alcombright recently called together a discussion with mental health professionals and representatives of area mental health service providers.

"Really what we wanted do this week was to get out some awareness and get it going," said Alcombright.

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New England News
5:41 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Berkshire Public Safety Workers Plan For Tighter Security at Summer Events

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is working with local public safety workers to enhance security at Tanglewood.

Organizers of some of the Berkshires’ largest spring and summer events may take extra steps to enhance security.

Special events in the Berkshires this summer are expected to draw thousands of visitors to the region. And in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, event organizers and public safety officials are taking necessary steps to enhance or improve security.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

"Legal Food Frenzy" Aims to Restock Mass. Food Banks

Credit Billy Brown, flickr

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is now encouraging legal organizations across the commonwealth in a food drive that aims to restock the state’s food banks at a time where donations are needed the most.

From now until May 10th, bar associations, district attorney’s offices, and other legal organizations across Massachusetts are collecting food and monetary donations as part of the 2013 Legal Food Frenzy. The statewide food donation drive is now entering its fourth year. The program is spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

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New England News
12:55 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Berkshire County Planners Making List of Regional Economic Development Initiatives

Planners in Berkshire County are reaching out to organizations in the public and private sectors to request information on their upcoming economic development projects.

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is talking to private businesses, municipalities, non-profits, agencies, and others to collect data in order to update its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Priority Project List.

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New England News
6:29 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Competition Encourages Collaboration to Revitalize Small Cities in Mass.

A view of downtown Springfield.

A statewide competition in Massachusetts hopes to help up to 20 small cities find ways to solve major problems through collaborations.

The Working Cities Challenge, which will launch on Friday, intends to revitalize small and medium sized post-industrial cities in the commonwealth by bringing together leadership from the public and private sectors to brainstorm and initiate their own solutions. Eligible cities in Western Massachusetts include Pittsfield, Westfield, Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee. 

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New England News
12:48 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Massachusetts Sets New Solar Energy Target

Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and other state officials announced yesterday a new target for solar energy installation in the commonwealth.

In his first term, Governor Patrick set a goal of reaching 250 megawatts of solar energy installed statewide by 2017. That goal has been reached four years early, prompting the Patrick-Murray Administration to set a new target of 1.6 gigwatts of solar power by 2020. 

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan said that the rate of solar installation is increasing rapidly.

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New England News
9:00 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

UMass Dartmouth Suspends Student Charged in Connection with Boston Marathon Attacks

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has suspended one student charged in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings and says the other two aren't enrolled.

The university said Wednesday that Azamat Tazhayakov has been suspended "pending the outcome of the case." He and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice.

Robel Phillipos was charged with making false statements. The university says Kadyrbayev and Phillipos aren't enrolled.

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