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
5:01 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Massachusetts Governor Approves Sales Tax Holiday

Massachusetts shoppers will be able to purchase certain items free of sales tax this upcoming weekend, as Gov. Deval Patrick has given final approval to economic development legislation.

The bill that Patrick signed into law on Tuesday aims to spur economic development and job creation in the state. It also includes the provision for a two-day sales tax holiday Aug. 11-12 for certain purchases under $2,500.

New England News
4:39 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Task Force: Gun Violence in Hartford Drops

Officials from Connecticut and the City of Hartford say gun-involved murders in the capital city are down 42 percent and nonfatal shootings have dropped 29 percent since an anti-gun violence task force was formed just over a year ago. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, acting Police Chief James Rovella and state prosecutors announced the results of the Shooting Task Force's first year of work on Tuesday. The group includes police officers from Hartford and surrounding towns, state police, prosecutors, prison officials and parole officials.

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New England News
6:10 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Berkshire Dam is Removed While Dam Repair Bill Fails

Town officials in the Berkshire County town of Cheshire report that work is underway on a project to restore a local dam, while a bill that expand state protection of dams in Massachusetts failed to pass the state’s legislature.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, town officials in Cheshire, Massachusetts say that work to restore the Thunder Brook Dam is near completion, and should be finished in the coming days. The project is being funded in part with a $75,000 public grant from Massachusetts Environmental Trust. The next phase of the project will replace a culvert.

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New England News
6:04 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Bill Would Reform Massachusetts' Troubled Youth Guidance Laws

Lawmakers have approved a bill that would overhaul Massachusetts’ system of case laws for troubled youth.

The bill, recently passed by lawmakers, would make big changes to the Children in Need of Services system – or CHINS system. Under current law, which is similar to a contract, a child issued to the CHINS system by a judge is required to meet specific guidelines to solve problems. Depending on the case, a troubled youth could receive counseling, educational guidance, or other human services, including being placed in a foster home.  

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New England News
8:00 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Massachusetts DPU Approves National Grid Pilot Program

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved National Grid's Smart Grid pilot program, which will test new technologies aimed at reducing outages and integrating renewable energy.

State officials announced their approval of the two-year pilot program Friday. Rick Sullivan, the state's Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary, said the program marks an "important step" toward the future of energy in Massachusetts.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Massachusetts Governor Signs Bathroom Bill into Law

A new law gives people with medical conditions access to employee-only bathrooms at Massachusetts businesses if no public restrooms are available.

Gov. Deval Patrick this week signed the so-called restroom access bill. Massachusetts joins a dozen other states with similar laws.

The law’s supporters say people with inflammatory bowel diseases need immediate access to a bathroom.

Only people with a doctor’s note will be allowed access to employee-only facilities under the law.

New England News
3:38 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Massachusetts Governor Signs Renewable Energy Law

WAMC

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed an energy bill that requires Massachusetts utilities to buy more of their electricity in competitively bid, long-term contracts with renewable energy providers.

Patrick said Friday the new law will protect ratepayers while also helping the environment by requiring more use of clean energy sources.

Starting in 2016, utilities would be required to purchase 7 percent of their power from long-term renewable contracts, up from 3 percent.

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New England News
12:00 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Berkshire County Farmland Preserved by State Program

A view of Charles Proctor's Bel-Air farm in Egremont, MA
Lucas Willard WAMC

Two Berkshire County farms are recently protected by Massachusetts’ Agricultural Preservation Restrictions program. The $6.68 million preserves 445 acres of farmland on Baldwin Hill in the town of Egremont. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard filed this report…

New England News
8:00 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Governor of Connecticut to Visit China

The Governor of Connecticut says he's accepted an invitation to participate in the World Economic Forum Summit being held in Tianjin, China.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday he will be the state's first governor to travel to China since former Gov. William O'Neill in 1987. Malloy will be joined by Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith.

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New England News
4:54 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Berkshire Health Care Providers Announce New Cancer Care Center

Berkshire County's leading health care providers have announced a partnership to open a $30 million, state-of-the-art cancer care center in Pittsfield.

Berkshire Health Systems, the county's largest employer, and Berkshire Hematology/Oncology, the region's largest private medical practice, announced Wednesday they expect to break ground in the fall on the four-story, nearly 50,000-square-foot facility. It is expected to fully operational within three years.

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