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
12:30 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Review of Egremont Police Finds Issues with Management, Operations

Credit Scott Davidson / Flickr

A detailed report documenting a top-to-bottom investigation of a police department in the Berkshires has been made public, and the town is now in the beginning stages of taking the report’s recommendations.

A full investigation of the Egremont Police Department was ordered by the town’s select board in early March, after seven of the small town’s unionized police officers came forward in February describing among many issues a “hostile work environment” with Police Chief Reena Bucknell.

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New England News
12:00 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

MassDOT Highway Admin. Talks National Work Zone Safety Week

Credit MassDOT 511 Traffic Camera

Sunday, April 14 marks the beginning of National Work Zone Safety week. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with Frank DePaola, Highway Administrator for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, who shared information about a public awareness campaign in the commonwealth, and how drivers can protect themselves and others.
 

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New England News
5:38 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Berkshire Residents Meet to Discuss Housing Issues

The open forum, held at a monthly meeting of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in North Adams, was attended by about 85 Berkshire County housing advocates and area residents.

Though the discussion was largely focused on the need for increased affordable housing in the Northern Berkshires, the lack of available housing stock for low income families is an ongoing issue throughout the region.

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New England News
8:40 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Pols React to USPS Plan to Continue Six-Day Delivery

Credit EraserGirl/Wikimedia Commons

Local members of Congress are pleased to see the U.S. Postal Service withdraw its plan to halt Saturday mail delivery. But the decision still leaves several unsolved issues.

Earlier this week the U.S. Postal service announced that it would delay implementation of a plan to halt Saturday mail service sought by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

The announcement came after the Board of Governors met to discuss a piece of legislation included in the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress last month that requires six-day mail delivery.

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New England News
5:22 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Mass. Arts and Culture Advocates Unhappy with Budget Recommendation

Out of the cuts included in the House Ways and Means proposal, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a public agency that promotes investment in the arts and sciences, is facing a 15 percent reduction in state funding. And arts advocates are moving quickly.

Matt Wilson is head of MASSCreative, an organization that lobbies in support of cultural organizations and arts and sciences education.

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New England News
6:03 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Business Community Worried About Rising Healthcare Costs in Massachusetts

Credit 401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

In an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts is the state with  the highest per-capita expenditure on healthcare, with the average individual paying more than $9,200 a year on health care costs. Expenses taken into account include emergency care, physician visits, nursing home care, prescription drugs, dental care, and other categories.

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New England News
12:19 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Cleanup of Sheffield Train Crash Underway

Construction debris was dumped out of train cars after an accident in Sheffield early Tuesday morning.
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

A train carrying construction debris derailed Tuesday morning in the Berkshire County town of Sheffield.

Train cars that derailed on tracks owned by the Housatonic Railroad toppled over around 1:15 am on Tuesday and are now being cleared by the railroad company, according to Sheffield police chief Eric Munson.

“They were pretty much in assessment phase yesterday,” said Munson. “They started bringing in their heavy equipment early this morning and their estimate is two to three days before all the debris is removed and the trains are uprighted and the tracks are repaired.”

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New England News
3:49 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Mass. Lawmakers Begin Debate on Legislative Leaders' Transportation Plan

Credit Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

The transportation funding plan unveiled by Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts state legislature has been met with a mixed response, with Democratic Governor Deval Patrick threatening to veto the plan if certain objectives aren’t met and House Republicans criticizing the plan for raising taxes without making other reforms to government.

And lawmakers in the Berkshires seem to be equally as divided on supporting the plan introduced by House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray, both Democrats, last week.

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New England News
5:28 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Community Corner: Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Credit Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced that ten communities in the commonwealth will participate in a new round of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Solarize Mass program, which encourages small businesses and home owners to invest in solar energy. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with Executive Director and CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Alicia Barton.

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New England News
5:20 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Mass. Governor Criticizes Legislative Leaders' Transportation Plan

Credit Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts legislature and House Republicans both answered Governor Deval Patrick’s 2014 transportation budget with plans of their own, but the governor is warning that a plan too small would hurt low and middle income families .

On Tuesday, top Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature including Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees released a transportation plan to rival investments called for in Governor Patrick’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal.

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