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
4:27 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Conn. Lawmakers Announce Plans to Stop Gun Violence

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut legislators are establishing a bipartisan task force to recommend possible legislation to prevent gun violence, provide mental health care and improve school safety.

Senate President Pro-Tem Donald Williams Jr. said Tuesday the group will review current law and could propose a comprehensive bill for a vote by the end of February.

The effort stems from the Dec. 14 shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which killed 20 first graders and six educators.

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New England News
11:07 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Williams College Holds Two-Day Celebration for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photographs by Benedict J. Fernandez on display at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

A two-day series of events commemorating the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held at Williams College.

On the Williams College campus, programs were held throughout Sunday and Monday paying tribute to Dr. King. Ranging from a documentary film screening, lectures, a gallery exhibition, and a presentation with local school children, students, faculty and the public took the time to remember and reflect the actions of those in the civil rights era.

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New England News
9:41 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Conn. Task Force Recommends Changes in Shoreline Zoning Laws

Credit NOAA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut task force recommends that local zoning laws reflect changes in rising sea levels and new flood elevations after two storms devastated the state's shoreline.

The legislative report released Monday recommends that municipalities and the state consider the impact of rising sea levels when deciding whether to build or issuing public health permits for sewage disposal.

The group was formed in February 2012, after Hurricane Irene hit Connecticut as a tropical storm and eight months before more damage was caused by Superstorm Sandy.

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New England News
9:40 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

7 Firms Submit Application Fees for Mass. Casino License

BOSTON (AP) — Seven companies hoping to build casinos in Massachusetts have plunked down $400,000 each in nonrefundable application fees ahead of a key deadline.

A 2011 law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick allows up to three casinos in Massachusetts.

Among those jumping into the casino race is Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn who has eyed a site in Everett.

Others who have paid the fee and submitted applications include: MGM Springfield; Penn National Gaming, Inc.; Plainridge Racecourse; Hard Rock; and Mohegan Sun.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Pittsfield Lawmaker Will Not Run for U.S. Senate

Mass. State Senator Benjamin Downing

Massachusetts State Sen. Ben Downing won't be jumping into a special Senate election to fill Sen. John Kerry's seat if Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state. 

The Pittsfield Democrat had been considering a run, but on Friday released a statement saying he won't be a candidate.

Downing's exit narrows the list of possible contenders.

So far, Congressman Ed Markey is the only announced Democratic candidate. Other possible Democratic candidates include U.S. Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Massachusetts Pulls Violent Games from Rest Stops

Massachusetts has removed violent video games from four highway rest stops after a family traveling for the holidays saw a young boy playing one days after the Connecticut school shooting.

Andrew and Tracey Hyams of Newton, and their son, Josh, 12, stopped at a service plaza on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton on Christmas Eve and saw another boy firing a replica machine gun at a screen. The rest stop is about an hour from Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Mass. Gov. Signs Bill Requiring National Background Checks for School Employees

A new law signed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will require all school employees in the Commonwealth to undergo both a state and federal background check. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The law signed by Gov. Patrick titled An Act Relative to Background Checks would require teachers and other school employees to submit to a national fingerprint supported background review. Prior to the passage of the bill, school employees in the Commonwealth had only needed to submit to a background check on the state level.

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New England News
5:45 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

New Law Seeks to Prevent Spread of Invasive Mussels in Mass.

Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill that would protect lakes and ponds across the Commonwealth from the spread of invasive zebra mussels. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

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New England News
6:00 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Mass. Medical Device Industry Sees Hit from Fiscal Cliff Deal

Industry representatives in Massachusetts are saying that the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff will have an impact on the state’s medical device and advanced manufacturing sector. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council – or MassMEDIC says that the Bay State is home to over 400 medical device companies, and that about 10% of the state’s total exports are medical devices. Many of Western Massachusetts’ high-tech manufacturing jobs are within the medical device industry,

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New England News
5:51 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Homelessness Declining Among Vets in Mass.

Credit Vera Yu / David Li / Flickr

Yesterday, Lieutenant Gov. Timothy Murray announced that from January 2010 to January 2012, Massachusetts saw a drop in its homeless rate among veterans by 26%. That national rate of decline for the same period was 17%.

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