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
5:55 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Opinions Mixed on Gov. Patrick's FY 2014 Budget

Opinions are mixed on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s $34.8 billion budget released yesterday – some advocacy groups are saying the investments will pay off, while others are warning that a hike in taxes will damage a recovering economy.

In a speech detailing his  FY 2014 budget proposal, Governor Patrick focused on his plan to raise nearly $2 billion to increase funding for two key areas: education and transportation.

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New England News
9:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Mass. AG Coakley Calls for Energy Summit

BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Martha Coakley plans to convene a "summit" to find ways to bring down what she calls soaring energy costs in Massachusetts.

In a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Coakley said energy costs discourage employers from moving to the state and make it harder for those already here to expand and add jobs.

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New England News
6:25 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Gov. Patrick's FY 2014 Budget Proposal Focuses on Education, Transportation

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today released his FY 2014 budget proposal. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that the Governor is planning to invest in three key areas: education, innovation, and infrastructure.

Governor Patrick’s $34.8 billion budget proposal follows his State of the Commonwealth speech last week where he called for more investment in transportation including streamlining public transportation and improving roads and bridges, as well as a significant boost to education spending.

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New England News
6:05 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Berkshire County Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than Mass. Statewide Average

According to state officials in Massachusetts, the unemployment rose to 6.7% in December, and for the Berkshires, the unemployment rate is now above the state average.

Although the numbers released by the State Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development are not seasonally adjusted, the Berkshires now face an unemployment rate at 6.6% That’s up half a percentage point from October and November, and the highest it’s been since February 2012.

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New England News
9:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Trial in Mass. Foster Care Abuse Suit Begins

BOSTON (AP) — Testimony has begun in a class-action lawsuit alleging that thousands of Massachusetts children in foster care have been abused and neglected.

The first witness Tuesday was a young woman who spent years in multiple foster homes.

Lauren James said she often did not get enough to eat, was forced to scrub floors and prescribed up to five psychiatric drugs at a time.

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New England News
7:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Mass. Pharmacy Owners Received Millions Before Bankruptcy

BOSTON (AP) — The owners of a pharmacy linked to a fatal meningitis outbreak received more than $16 million in wages and payouts during the firm's final months.

Four family members who served as the New England Compounding Center's directors received the money between the end of December 2011 and the end of November 2012.

Records show the Framingham firm's majority shareholder, Carla Conigliaro, received the largest amount, $8.7 million.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Conn. Lawmakers Consider School Safety Standards

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are considering minimum standards for school emergency plans, more drills and additional training in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

West Hartford state Rep. Andrew Fleischmann is co-chairman of the legislature's Education Committee. He says many districts have excellent plans that are properly practiced. But he says some districts might have weak plans, and that's not acceptable.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Hundreds of Volunteers Celebrate MLK Day of Service in Northern Berkshires

Americorps volunteers from Hawley, MA help the Berkshire Food Project serve a free lunch to members of the North Adams community
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

An annual day of service was held in the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in North Adams. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spent time with volunteers in the community and filed a report…

The 20th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service was celebrated by a small army of volunteers and community organizations that came together in North Adams. Alex Daugherty, chair of the Northern Berkshire’s Martin Luther King Day Committee, said that volunteers came from all corners of the community to celebrate “a day on, not a day off"

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Brain Injury Support Group Will Open in Northern Berkshires

Two organizations in Western Massachusetts have joined to create a support group for those suffering from brain injury, hoping to provide a needed service in Northern Berkshire County.

Scott Doane, a case manager with Berkshire Family and Individual Resources, or BFAIR, said that he didn’t see his own need for a support group for those living with acquired or traumatic brain injury, until long after he realized he was affected himself.

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New England News
3:43 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Gov. Patrick Will Push for Increase in Mental Health Funding in Next Budget

Credit Dwight Sipler

Prior to his State of the Commonwealth address earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick outlined a comprehensive public safety plan which aside from new gun laws, included a significant increase in funding for the state’s Department of Mental  Health.

Next week Governor Deval Patrick will propose a 3.3% increase in funding in the state budget for mental health programs. The $5 million dollar boost to the state’s Department of Mental Health is intended to focus on public safety, following recent mass shootings.

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