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 York News
5:55 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Applicants File For New York Casino License

Credit Triin Q's photostream Flickr

With high-profile casino projects in East Greenbush and Albany competing for New York’s sole casino license for the Capital Region, casino advocates from smaller communities also have high hopes.

The Howe Cave Development Corp., the organization working to establish Howe Caverns as a resort casino location received confirmation Wednesday that its $1 million application fee for a casino license has been received by New York’s gaming commission.

Chris Tague is a spokesman for the group hoping to build the resort at its location located about 40 miles from Albany...

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New York News
2:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Casino Operator Looks Beyond Saratoga Springs

A rendering of the proposed casino project located off Route 4 in East Greenbush
Credit Saratoga Casino and Raceway

Wednesday marks the deadline for casino developers in New York to submit their application fees to bid for a full-scale casino license. A casino operator in Saratoga Springs is now looking to build south of the Spa City.

The Saratoga Casino and Raceway announced this week that it would abandon plans to build a full-scale casino at its location in the Spa City that is home to its harness race track and VLT games.

The announcement came just one day before casino operators in New York were due to submit a $1 million application fee to the state.

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New York News
6:20 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

RPI Students Chat With Astronaut In Orbit

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio talks with students via Skype aboard the International Space Station.
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

A NASA Astronaut aboard the International Space Station spoke with students from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY live via Skype.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1987, spoke Friday with students at his alma mater. He was floating miles above the Earth.

"RPI, I hear you loud and clear! Welcome to the International Space Station," said Mastracchio.

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New York News
2:49 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

NYSERDA Awards Support Transportation Innovation

Credit Wikimedia Commons/Ildar Sagdejev

This week, the Cuomo administration announced $4.3 million in grants for projects that would reduce the environmental impact of transportation in New York.

The 17 awards, administered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – or NYSERDA – are focused on technologies that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels, cut down on pollution, and promote healthier lifestyles.

Spokeswoman Kate Muller said NYSERDA’s focus on technology is an aspect of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

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New York News
5:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Walmart Could Bring Debate Back To Ballston

Credit Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Walmart has announced that it once again plans to build a new store in the Southern Saratoga County town of Ballston, but the presence of the retailer in the community may still prove controversial.

The nation’s largest retailer announced plans this week to build a new store in Ballston in a commercial development near the corners of Routes 50 and 67.

Walmart says the new store would bring with it 300 jobs, most of them fulltime positions.

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New York News
3:22 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Craft Beverage Tour Headed To Lake George Region

With the explosion of the craft beverage industry, advocates for economic development in Washington and Warren Counties are planning this summer to launch a regional tour as a means of connecting more tourists with locally made beer, wines, and other specialty beverages. 

John Davidson, co-owner of Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., announced this week the company produced the first brew from its new 22,000-square foot facility in Queensbury.

“Fifty barrels of our signature IPA that we brewed 17 years ago downtown,” said Davidson.

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New York News
8:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Sen. Gillibrand Says She Has No Role In Possible Sale Of Family's Land To Casino Developers

Credit Triin Q's photostream Flickr

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has stated she has no involvement in any discussions related to the sale of her family’s Albany-area land to a casino developer.

Gillibrand said that she has no involvement in any future sale of the 60 aces owned by her family to casino developers. The Democrat said she trusts Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s judgement on whether the land located near New York State Thruway exit 23 would be a suitable location for a casino.

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New York News
6:22 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Leaders Discuss Funding Priorities With Sen. Gillibrand At SUNY Adirondack

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited with community leaders in Queensbury, New York, today to hear from local officials their economic development needs.

On the campus of SUNY Adirondack, New York’s junior senator met with leaders of the business community and public officials from Warren, Washington, and Northern Saratoga counties.

Ed Bartholomew, president of EDC Warren County, addressed the upcoming closure of General Electric’s capacitor manufacturing plant in Fort Edward…

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New York News
5:53 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Event Raises Awareness Of Public Services

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Representatives of more than 100 social service agencies in upstate New York gathered in Saratoga Springs to raise awareness of available public services. 

At the Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council celebrated its Annual Interagency Awareness Day.

A.C. Riley, President of EOC, said the event offers social service agencies from all sectors including healthcare, housing, and homelessness prevention visibility, and allows members of the public to become more involved with their communities.

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New York News
1:07 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Albany Law School Introducing New Program On Racing, Equine And Gaming Law

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Beginning in September Albany law school is launching a new concentration in equine, racing, and gaming law. The program is being introduced as states including New York and Massachusetts are expanding casino gaming.

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