Brian Shields

Senior News Anchor

WAMC Senior Correspondent Brian Shields has been with WAMC for 23 years as senior news anchor, host and reporter.

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The French flag
Pinterest

It was the lowest voter turnout for a French presidential election run-off in 48 years, but the winner scored an overwhelming victory. Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year old political novice with a background in investment banking, won 66 percent of the vote over Marine Le Pen of The National Front. 

Getting the attention of elected officials is not always easy, especially for those without an organized and well-funded lobbying effort. That is especially true for people with development disabilities, their families and supporters, but an online course is being offered to teach those skills. 

The French flag
Pinterest

The voters of France will go to the polls on May 7 to elect a new president. After a preliminary ballot over the weekend, the choice has been narrowed down to two candidates - right wing nationalist Marine Le Pen and Independent Emmanuel Macron, who now holds a big lead in the polls and is expected to win next month.

Facebook: Curtain Call Theatre

A space once home to the Little Sisters of the Poor will soon become the new home of a Capital District theater company. Curtain Call Theatre is moving just a short distance from its current location, the old Dutch Reformed Church at 210 Old Loudon Road in Latham, NY to a new space, at 2 Jeanne Jugan Lane in Latham.

John Dankosky
John Dankosky

After two terms, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election next year. The Democrat said he and his family are ready for another stage of life. For more, we spoke with WNPR's John Dankosky in Hartford.

Tim Kremer, executive director of New York State School Boards Association
NYSSBA

Now that the state budget has been passed, school districts in New York have a better idea on what to expect in state aid, as voters get ready to decide local school budgets on May 16. 

Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift
Facebook: MCLA

Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift will return to the Berkshires later this week for a speech on the Trump presidency. 

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig
Gary Herzig

Like most upstate communities, Oneonta has had a rough ride since the end of World War II with the post-manufacturing economy. But the city does have some built-in advantages: a college-based economy with SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College in town and the Oneonta Railyard. Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, a Democrat, gave his State of the City address Tuesday evening, laying out initiatives to boost the local economy and improve the city, including fixing an aging water and sewer system, a problem faced by many cities in the Northeast.

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo
http://www.osc.ct.gov/

The final numbers are not in, but indications are Connecticut may be heading for a shortfall in tax revenue this year. Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, recently predicted a budget surplus of $22 million, but State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, also a Democrat, says Connecticut could be looking at a deficit of $44.6 million.

Michael Botticelli
wikipedia.org

Michael Botticelli, the former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, is speaking at Siena College in Loudonville, NY this afternoon. 

Dr. Robert Bullard
Dr. Robert Bullard

"Tell me your zip code and I will tell you how healthy you are." That's how Dr. Robert Bullard sizes up the nation's environmental policies, as the lower-income, more urban areas are often overlooked and the focus is too often on the wildlife, the forest and the rivers. Dr. Bullard, who has authored 18 books including perhaps his most influential work, Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class And Environmental Quality, will speak tonight at Siena College in Loudonville.

Nurse Practitioner Association New York State logo
Facebook: Nurse Practitioner Association New York State

There is a bill before the New York state legislature that would allow nurse practitioners in the state to sign do-not-resuscitate orders. Currently only physicians are allowed to do so. 

Prof. Hendler
RPI

When you are talking to Siri, is Siri talking to the CIA? And when you are finished watching your smart TV, is that TV watching you? Those questions are being raised by Wikileaks, which alleges that the CIA is tapping into everyday technology to snoop into our private lives. Jim Hendler, the director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, says those high-tech gadgets are equipped with two-way technology that can reduce our privacy.

Southwestern Vermont Heatlh Care recently celebrated its first "healthy home."
Facebook: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Hospitals’ focus on health care, and Southwestern Vermont Health Care is no exception, but the hospital recently opened its first “healthy home”. The home near the medical center in Bennington was purchased by the hospital, redeveloped and sold. 

NY GOP Chair Ed Cox
NY GOP

President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. today. New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox tells WAMC he expects Trump to speak directly to working men and women. 

Facebook: U.S. National Weather Service

At a time of the year when snowstorms, freezing rain and sleet are the main concerns for weather forecasters, a tornado touched down Saturday evening in western Massachusetts as a potent squall line moved through the region, pushing out un-usually warm conditions in favor of winter cold. 

Tanglewood has announced a $30 million expansion to its campus in the Berkshires. Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, says work will begin this summer on a new four-building complex.

Heroin
Matthew Kang, flickr

One thing is certain about the opioid epidemic; it can be found just about anywhere. From the big cities, to the small towns, and in the suburbs. This evening at the North Adams Public Library, a film will be shown telling the story of the toll opioids have taken on North Adams, the smallest city in Massachusetts. 

Dr. James Stellar
UAlbany

The University at Albany is undergoing a major academic expansion, and it's happening with an interim president in charge. Dr. James Stellar has been leading the university since the end of last September after the departure of Dr. Robert Jones, who left for a new position with the University of Illinois. Dr. Stellar spoke with WAMC News about UAlbany's most immediate plans.

James Burton
Boston Symphony Orhestra

There is a new conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. James Burton will also assume the new position of Choral Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes from Nippertown.com is back with a look back at his favorite local albums of 2016 and one fresh selection from the new year.

Dr. Carolyn Stefanco
St. Rose

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent proposal to provide free college tuition to state or city universities or community colleges has drawn a good deal of attention from those inside and outside the state's academic circles. Under the plan, free tuition would be available to New Yorkers whose families make under $125,000 a year. But what could it mean for private, independent colleges? Carolyn Stefanco is president of the College of St. Rose in Albany.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has wrapped up his regional State of the State tour, during which he outlined his agenda for the 2017. For more on what the governor had to say about education, WAMC News spoke with Tim Kremer, the Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association.

James Barba
Albany Med

A visit to the emergency room, either as a patient or a concerned relative of the injured or ill, is never a welcome experience even when the best of care is provided. It's especially difficult for children. That may become just a bit easier by the end of next year when Albany Medical Center will open a four-story, $50 million pediatric emergency department. James Barba is the president and CEO of Albany Med.

Mayor Linda Tyer
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Government budgets are rarely read page to page by most voters, but Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer wants this year's spending plan to be an informative guide for city residents and taxpayers. The Democrat, beginning the second year of a four-year term, delivered her State of the City address Monday afternoon at the Colonial Theatre.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
United States Library of Congress

Among other accomplishments, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is known for his first inaugural speech when he said the only thing to fear was "fear itself", his "Day of Infamy" speech to Congress the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and his many "fireside chats" to Americans over the radio. Seventy-six years ago this week, FDR delivered his "Four Freedoms" speech declaring freedoms of speech and worship and freedoms from want and fear. This Saturday in Pittsfield, Mass., those words will be remembered with a march and a rally.

Money in a pants pocket
Flickr/Mike Schmid

New Yorkers can now deposit their tax refund check directly into a college savings account under legislation that was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The refunds can go into a 529 - accounts which can grow over time and are not taxable, as long as the proceeds are used for college expenses.

Pamela Tatge
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Six months from today, a major part of what makes the Berkshires special every summer will return for a new season. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket will mark its 85th season, running from June 21 to August 27.

The logo of the Massachusetts Medical Society
Facebook: Massachusetts Medical Society

Voters in Massachusetts approved a ballot question on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana and doctors in the state are concerned. At a recent meeting, the Massachusetts Medical Society passed resolutions on a number of issues including recreational marijuana, drug prices, aid-in dying and concussions. 

Seventy-five years ago tomorrow, Americans gathered around their radios as President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to Congress 24 hours after the nation was stunned by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That "Day of Infamy" speech, FDR's first inaugural address and a number of other talks by the president are being restored and digitized by the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. The library's director, Paul Sparrow, says the project is a partnership with AT&T and the National Archives and Records Administration.

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