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
12:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Mass. Health Officials Blame Overseers and Pharmacy for Outbreak

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby says state overseers and the managers of a compounding pharmacy bear responsibility for a fatal, nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Bigby told state lawmakers Wednesday that the Framingham-based New England Compounding Center, which distributed a contaminated steroid that has sickened about 440 people and led to more than 30 deaths, knowingly disregarded sterility tests and prepared medicine in unsanitary conditions.

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New England News
12:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Chicopee Church to Hold Masses Again

A Roman Catholic church in Chicopee closed by the Springfield Diocese in 2009 is scheduled to start celebrating a weekly Mass again a year after the Vatican determined that local church officials could not sell the building. 

The diocese announced Wednesday that a weekly Mass would be celebrated at St. Patrick starting Dec. 1.

The diocese stressed that the decision does not mean that St. Patrick would re-open as a distinct parish. St. Patrick remains a subsidiary of Holy Name of Jesus Parish.

The diocese closed St. Patrick in 2009 and merged it with Holy Name.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Mass. Governor Announces 10,000 New Units of Affordable Housing Annually in Plan

The governor of Massachusetts recently announced a new plan to build thousands of new units of Affordable Housing in areas across the Commonwealth, while one Berkshire town submitted a proposal that help provide displaced residents with permanent housing. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

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New England News
5:17 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Groups Speculate How Fiscal Cliff Will Impact Mass. Economy

As the federal government scrambles for a way to avoid going off the so-called fiscal cliff, a series of automatic cuts in discretionary spending, employers and industry leaders are warning that the cuts could have a significant impact on the economy of Massachusetts. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports….

If Congress and the president cannot reach a deal to prevent it, at the beginning of January, $110 billion will be cut from discretionary spending in FY 2013. Those include cuts to both defense and non-defense spending.

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New England News
12:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Meningitis-Linked Firm Granted Leniency After Previous Violations

The head of the Massachusetts health department says investigators still don't know why regulators backed off a severe penalty against a pharmacy now implicated in a deadly meningitis outbreak.

In 2004, after product safety and sterility problems at the New England Compounding Center, the state's pharmacy board proposed an official reprimand and three years' probation for the New England Compounding Center.

The company protested, saying it could destroy the business. In 2006, the board entered into a more lenient, non-disciplinary agreement with NECC.

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New England News
12:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Conn. Cities and Towns Seeking More Funding for Education

The largest association of Connecticut cities and towns is calling on a state task force to recommend increased funding for public education, despite a continuing drop in state revenues.

James Finley, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said Tuesday the Education Cost Sharing grant, the largest pool of state aid for local education, is underfunded by more than $763 million. That means local property taxpayers cover the difference.

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New England News
5:05 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Report: Smoking Still Leading Cause of Preventable Death and Disease in Mass.

According to a recently released report, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Massachusetts, while the state also continues its struggle with illegal drugs. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

In a report by the Massachusetts Health Council, a statewide non-profit agency that includes over 150 health oriented organizations, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable illness and death among Massachusetts residents – with 9,000 deaths attributed annually to tobacco use.

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New England News
12:00 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Conn. Governor Expects Sandy Aid Applicantions to Surpass Irene's

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he expects the number of applications from Connecticut businesses and homeowners for federal disaster assistance following Superstorm Sandy will surpass those filed after last year's Tropical Storm Irene.

During a conference call Friday, he said 948 businesses and 3,832 homeowners have already applied for financial help. That's compared with 1,321 businesses and 5,654 homeowners filing applications over a long period of time following Irene.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

North Adams Community Discusses Substance Abuse

In North Adams a public forum was held to address the growing problem of prescription drug and heroin addiction in the Berkshires. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard attended the meeting and filed a report.

At the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s open forum this morning, members of the local community including officials from the City of North Adams, business owners, area residents, social services, and law enforcement, came together to discuss the dangerous issue of prescription drug and heroin addiction.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Conn. Veteran wounded in Vietnam sues Army to get care

A Purple Heart recipient from Connecticut who was wounded in the Vietnam War is suing the Army, claiming he's wrongly being denied health care benefits.

William Dolphin of West Haven filed the federal lawsuit Thursday in New Haven in an attempt to upgrade his discharge status and get benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The lawsuit says Dolphin suffered head, knee and back injuries in an explosion during combat in 1968 and was left with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

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