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
8:00 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

MA Victims of Discriminatory Lending Receive Payments

Minority mortgage borrowers in Massachusetts affected by discriminatory lending practices have received payments as part of a $1.75 million settlement. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

State Attorney General Martha Coakley said Friday that 2,100 affected borrowers will receive checks ranging from $100 to $5,000 as part of a settlement with Sand Canyon, an H&R Block subsidiary, formerly known as Option One. A total of $1.75 million in payments has been disbursed to minority borrowers, Coakley's office said.

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New England News
5:47 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Governor of Connecticut Says State is Better Prepared For Storms

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says Connecticut is better prepared for a natural disaster than it was a year ago when the remnants of Hurricane Irene struck the state, but some issues remain.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Malloy said the state still has "a long ways to go" when it comes to reducing the number of trees that can knock down power lines and block roads. While the state and electric utilities have ramped up tree-cutting efforts, Malloy predicted it will take years to get to where the state needs to be.

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New England News
5:34 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Southern Butterflies Moving to Massachusetts

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Frank S. Model Harvard University

A recent report shows that more Southern species of butterflies are moving their way into New England, which could be a possible indicator of climate change. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The study conducted by Harvard Forest shows that butterflies typically found in the Southern portions of the United States are becoming more common in Massachusetts. Greg Breed, author of the report, says that the species are native to the United States and are finding a primary entrance to Massachusetts through the Connecticut River valley.

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New England News
12:07 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Mass. Still Taking Applications for Energy Efficiency Upgrade Program for Tornado Victims

Damage evident in Springfield on six-month anniversary of the June 1 2011 tornado
WAMC

State funding is still available to residents of Western Massachusetts who were hit by last year’s June tornado, who are looking to rebuild and renovate their homes, and make them more energy efficient. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

The state-sponsored ReBuild Western Massachusetts program is designed to help victims of the June 1st, 2011 tornado rebuild their homes and businesses with some upgrades to help save energy.

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New England News
10:00 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Hartford Bus Corridor Project Faces Criticism

Connecticut's transportation commissioner is defending a half-billion dollar, bus-only corridor as critics say its construction is wrecking neighborhoods in Hartford. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Commissioner James Redeker said the project is the state's biggest, but officials aren't deterred. He says the state is "1,000 percent" behind delivering the project on schedule and on budget, or perhaps earlier and cheaper.

Redeker said the state will also increase marketing for the project.

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New England News
8:00 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

$5M in Federal Funds to Combat Massachusetts Homelessness

Massachusettsis receiving more than $5 million in federal funds aimed at preventing homelessness. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

The administration of Gov. Deval Patrick says the money will support emergency shelters and programs that seek to keep individuals and families from losing their homes.

Officials say $1.7 million of the $5.3 million grant will be used to increase staff and add beds at 10 emergency shelters. The money will also increase the number of rooms set aside for homeless families from two to 15.

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New England News
5:55 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Mass. College Extends Financial Aid to Undocumented Students

A private college in Western Massachusetts has created a fund to award financial aid to undocumented students. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has details…

Illegal immigrants in Massachusetts are required to pay the out-of-state tuition price if they enroll in college, but now Hampshire College, located in Amherst, MA, has decided to provide financial aid for incoming undocumented students. Margaret Cerullo, a sociology professor from the college who worked on the fund, said that the endowment sends the message that education is a right for all people.

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New England News
5:47 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Study Projects Impact of Climate Change on Massachusetts Economy

Hurricane Irene Approaches the Outer Banks
Courtesy NOAA

As much of the region is still recovering from the effects of last year’s tropical storm Irene, a new report outlines the effects of Climate Change on the Massachusetts economy, which includes projections of more frequent hurricanes. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

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New England News
11:00 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

MA Loses Millions to Public Assistance Fraud

State auditor Suzanne Bump says Massachusetts has lost more than $5.5 million to fraud in public assistance during the financial year that ended in June. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

Bump's office documented the losses in a final report of the 2012 fiscal year that was released Wednesday.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, accounted for most of the fraud, at nearly $1.7 million.

The report comes shortly after the state passed a law that would enact stricter penalties for food stamp trafficking and restrict cash assistance purchases.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

MGM Proposes $800M Casino Project for Springfield

MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO James Murren announces MGM's plans for a downtown Springfield casino.
Lucas Willard WAMC

Casino mega-corporation MGM Resorts International announced an $800 million proposal to develop a 10-acre hotel and gambling center in downtown Springfield. The announcement is the second company to propose a gambling facility for the Western Massachusetts city this week. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

MGM’s proposal would cost $800 million dollars and focus on developing Springfield’s downtown with a 25-floor, 250 room hotel, retail stores, restaurants, and an 89,000 square foot gambling space.

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