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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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Most people agree the nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of rebuilding and repair, but the disagreements often begin when the questioned is raised about how to pay for all the roads, bridges, rail lines and water systems. Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is a Democrat from the 5th House District, and a member of a new and growing group in congress, The Problem Solvers Caucus.

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

With New York facing a roughly $4 billion deficit, how will schools fare in the state budget this year? Governor Andrew Cuomo will release his executive budget by the end of the month, but the Democrat laid out his agenda in the State of the State address January 3.

Assemblyman James Skoufis
Allison Dunne

A lot of plans and programs were laid out in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Wednesday, but many lawmakers are waiting to see the details that will be coming when the governor releases his state budget later this month. Assemblyman James Skoufis, a Democrat from the 99th district, which includes Rockland and Orange Counties, says he is glad to see the governor will work to counter the effects of the GOP tax plan recently signed by President Trump, but Skoufis says his constituents, many of whom commute to New York City, could be hurt by another of the governor's proposals. 


China recently began its own cap-and-trade program, much like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Emission program involving a number of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The program is aimed at reducing the airborne ingredients that are blamed for climate change.

Senator Edward Markey
Senator Edward Markey

U.S. senators including Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders of Vermont have signed onto a bill that would reverse Thursday’s Federal Communications Commission vote and restore net neutrality regulations. 

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Embattled Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse tells WAMC News Tuesday afternoon he won't resign despite pressure from fellow Albany County Democrats after the Times Union published a series of reports detailing alleged domestic violence incidents against the first-term mayor dating back years. Morse also says he has never physically harmed a woman, and took shots at Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and state Assemblymembers Patricia Fahy and John McDonald, himself a former mayor of Cohoes.

Facebook: Addiction Policy Forum

A woman whose twin brother died of a drug overdose thirty years ago has been named the chair of the New York state chapter of the Addiction Policy Forum, a national organization that works with various groups to improve treatment, law enforcement and prevention policies tied to addiction. 

American Red Cross

People are homeless and several buildings have been completely destroyed following a major fire in the Albany County city of Cohoes Thursday afternoon. Fire departments from a number of nearby cities and towns were called in to help battle the flames that broke out in the 200 block of Remsen Street, and quickly spread. As of Thursday afternoon, there were no reports of serious injuries. Officials say the wind carried embers to other buildings and touched off other smaller fires.

A major fire is burning at this hour in the city of Cohoes, NY. 

Seyed Hossein Mousavian

One of President Obama’s policies reversed by the Trump administration is the nuclear agreement with Iran, which President Trump refused to recertify, saying it was not in America’s interest. Thursday evening at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering will be part of a discussion on U.S.-Iran relations and the nuclear deal, which will also include former ambassador and diplomat for Iran and now Princeton University scholar Seyed Hossein Mousavian. 

The campus of Hudson Valley Community College
Facebook: Hudson Valley Community College

Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY will soon have its seventh president. The State University of New York Board of Trustees recently announced the appointment of Dr. Roger Ramsammy to lead the school which was established in 1953.

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York Lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul says President Trump’s top budget official is off-base in his comments this week that people are leaving New York because of its high taxes. Mick Mulvaney also said it is not up to the federal government to save New York from its bad decisions, a reference to the Republican tax reform plan that could eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

Susanne Craig

Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns became an issue in last year’s election, and to this day, the media and the public have still not seen them, at least not all of them. New York Times reporter Susanne Craig got her hands on a portion of Donald Trump’s tax return after they were left in her mailbox.

A Capital Region native is back from Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands after riding out not one, but two hurricanes. Kinderhook, NY native K.J. Nelson spoke to WAMC News today from Plymouth, Massachusetts where his wife will stay for her pregnancy. He returned ten days ago from Saint Thomas and plans to return there Thursday.

National Grid outage map at 11:25 a.m. Monday
National Grid

A severe storm packing hurricane force wind gusts and soaking rain swept through the Northeast early Monday, knocking out power for more than 1.2 million and forcing hundreds of schools to close in New England.

Dr. Christopher Ames at his inauguration Friday, Oct. 20, 2017
The Sage Colleges

Dr. Christopher Ames is the tenth president of The Sage Colleges in New York's Capital Region, coming to the school after serving most recently as provost at Shepherd University, a public liberal arts college in West Virginia. Ames, who began his tenure at Sage in July 2017 and was inaugurated last Friday, explains why he decided to take over the leadership at The Sage Colleges.

Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr.

The man who guided some of the great magazines of America, including the revival of The New Yorker, has died. S.I. Newhouse Jr., who led the publishing giant Condé Nast beginning in 1975, died on Sunday. He was 89.

Facebook: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Capital Region, NY

Today on Midday Magazine, a topic that is never easy to discuss; suicide. Joining us is Glenn Gilbert, coordinator of suicide prevention services at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, NY and Laura Marx, the head of the Capital Region Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

James "Jay" McMahon
Facebook: Jay McMahon

A former military police officer who is now a defense attorney is one of two Republicans seeking the party’s nomination to take on Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, a Democrat, in next year’s election. James “Jay” McMahon tells WAMC there are three major issues of concern in his campaign; the Second Amendment, public safety and the opiate crisis in Massachusetts.

Dan Shores
Facebook: Dan Shores

A Cape Cod resident who works in Boston as a patent and intellectual property attorney is running for the Republican nomination for Massachusetts attorney general. Dan Shores faces another attorney James McMahon for the Republican Party’s backing to take on the incumbent attorney general, Democrat Maura Healey. 

An image of Hurricane Camille in 1969

With the recovery from Hurricane Harvey underway, there is growing concern about Hurricane Irma, a major storm that could hit Florida later this week.  It was just over 48 years ago that another deadly and destructive storm slammed into the southern U.S.  

Facebook: Hudson Valley SPCA - Orange County

Scared and tired, some refugees from Hurricane Harvey recently arrived in the Northeast, hoping to find new homes and new lives. Sixty dogs moved from shelters in Texas as the storm approached, arrived in New York this week, as part of an evacuation effort which included the Hudson Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

Facebook: Siena College

Siena College assistant professor of political science Dr. Daniel Lewis has written a new book on transgender people. “The Remarkable Rise Of Transgender Rights” will be published early next year. 

An image of Hurricane Harvey

Twelve years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and portions of the Southeast. Now the remnants of Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc on Houston and coastal Texas with rainfall measured in feet rather than inches.

A map of Afghanistan
CIA World Factbook

New troop deployments to Afghanistan are expected pretty quickly in the words of General Joseph Votel, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East. That word came just hours after President Trump outlined his administration’s strategy on America’s longest war during a nationally broadcast address. 

Alexander Karn

Did last Saturday's violent and deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Va. strengthen and embolden the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in the U.S., giving them a martyr status among their followers? Dr. Alexander Karn, an associate professor of history at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY who also teaches in Colgate's Peace and Conflict Studies program, says history leaves some clues on the best way to respond to hate groups and their events.

Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House
Facebook: Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson House

When the New Year begins, Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House in Hudson, New York will have a new executive director. Tambra Dillon, currently the co-director at the cultural and arts venue on Warren Street in Hudson, will succeed Gary Schiro who has announced his resignation after more than 19 years on the job, transforming the abandoned municipal building into a thriving performance space and culture center.

Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House
Facebook: Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson House

After more than 19 years leading the transformation on an abandoned municipal center into a thriving cultural and arts center, Gary Schiro will step down at the end of the year as the executive director of Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House in Hudson, New York. 

New York state Senator John Flanagan
Karen DeWitt

A top ranking member of the New York state legislature issued a statement on Sunday announcing he had recently completed a program to treat an alcohol problem. In the statement, 56-year-old John Flanagan, the State Senate Majority Leader from Long Island, said alcohol had become a crutch to deal with the pressure of the leadership role he has held for two years.

Judith Enck

Among those who have been watching closely as the PFOA water contamination problem plays out in the Village of Hoosick Falls, NY is Judith Enck, a long-time Rensselaer County resident and the former regional administrator for the federal Environmental Protection Agency.