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
6:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Housing Symposium Sparks Conversation In Berkshire Taconic Region

A housing symposium was held yesterday to address the challenges faced by communities in Eastern New York, Northwest Connecticut, and the Berkshires. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The symposium hosted by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington laid out a series of housing options for the Berkshire Taconic Region. Jennifer Dowley, President of the Foundation put the familiar problem facing those looking for housing in the area into just a few words:

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New England News
5:41 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Connecticut Unemployment Rate Jumps to 9 Percent

Connecticut's Labor Department says the state's unemployment rate jumped to 9 percent in August amid a record one-month decline in the labor force.

The department announced Thursday that data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the state's unemployment rate increased half a percentage point from July to August, making it the largest monthly percentage point increase since 1976. Officials said the state lost 6,800 jobs from July to August.

The national unemployment rate in August was 8.1 percent.

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New England News
5:34 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

County-wide Effort Seeks to Collect Unused Prescription Meds in Berkshires

Next week, Berkshire residents can safely dispose their old and unused prescription medications in a county-wide effort to reduce drug abuse and addiction. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

On Saturday, September 29th, officials and organizations throughout Berkshire County are cooperating in their sixth semi-annual drive to reduce and safely dispose unused prescription meds. Lois Daunis of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition says her organization is just one of the parties organizing and participating in the event.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Berkshire Town Sees Reopening of General Store

The small town of Monterey, Massachusetts is rejoicing with the reopening of the town's general store.

The 225-year-old store reopened Wednesday under new ownership after the previous owner shut down April 2011, saying poor sales had made it difficult to pay the mortgage.

The closure left a void in the Berkshire County community's downtown, as residents had to drive to Great Barrington for milk, bread, a cup of coffee or other staples, and were left without a place to gather and gossip.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Head of Mass. national guard retires after probe

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he has accepted the resignation of the commander of the Massachusetts National Guard, who was under investigation for an alleged rape in Florida in 1984.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter was placed on paid leave by Patrick in March, pending a criminal investigation by the U.S. Army.

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New England News
4:56 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Outgoing Mass. official addresses lab shutdown

John Auerbach

The outgoing head of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health department says he believes a "single rogue chemist" was responsible for the mishandling of drug evidence at a now-closed state laboratory.

Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since announcing plans to resign in the wake of the scandal.

Auerbach said he personally accepted no responsibility for what occurred, but thought it proper to resign because as head of the agency, the buck stopped with him.

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New England News
3:45 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Great Barrington Finds a New Sister in West Africa

From L to R: Great Barrington Town Manager Kevin O'Donnel, Ina Anahata of BARKA, Michael Johnson of Pathways for Peace, and Esu Anahata of BARKA
Lucas Willard WAMC

Great Barrington is now a sister-city with a community in West Africa. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

Great Barrington has become twins with Fada N’Gourma, a city of similar size in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is a landlocked country about the size of Colorado in Western Africa.

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New England News
5:11 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Mass. Utility Proposes Lower Gas Rates

Massachusetts utility NStar is proposing lowering natural gas rates to their lowest level in a decade. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

NStar Gas announced Tuesday that it has submitted a new supply rate proposal that if approved by state regulators would lower the average heating customer's bill by more than $15 a month compared to last year.

The proposed new rate would bill customers 57.32 cents per therm, down 18 percent from last year's price of about 70 cents.

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New England News
5:05 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Mass. inmate lauds sex-change ruling

A convicted murderer in Massachusetts says a judge's decision to grant her request for sex-change surgery is "the right thing to do." WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more….

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled this month that sex-reassignment surgery is the only adequate treatment for Michelle Kosilek's gender-identity disorder, which he found was a "serious medical need."

Wolf's ruling prompted an outcry among some legislative leaders, who say Kosilek isn't entitled to the taxpayer-funded surgery.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Connecticut Utility Workers Say Staffing is Inadequate

More than 150 of Connecticut Light & Power's unionized linemen say staffing levels at the electric utility are inadequate and are putting workers at risk.

The union, which has been without a contract since June, says the utility has about 400 linemen, fewer than it had last October when a snow storm left tens of thousands of customers without power for days.

Tricia Taskey Modifica, a spokeswoman for the utility, says staffing levels are on par with other utilities across the nation, and says hundreds of crews are brought in from out of state when an emergency strikes.

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