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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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.

Olympic rings

Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympics for the third time in a hundred years. The International Olympic Committee is expected to award the 2024 games to Paris, and the 2028 Summer Olympics to L.A., which hosted the games in 1932 and 1984.

Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain faces a hard road ahead as he battles a brain tumor. The Republican, who ran for president in 2008 and who was held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese, has been diagnosed with glioblastoma.

Onedia County DA Scott McNamara, on right

The new president of the District Attorneys Association of New York says the organization has concerns about possible criminal justice reforms now under consideration by the state legislature including bail, speedy trial and discovery. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara tells WAMC’s Brian Shields, changes in the laws that cover discovery, the mandate that the prosecution turn over evidence and information to the defense in a timely matter, could threaten witnesses before trial. 

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew
Facebook: Dan Drew

He has been a journalist, an emergency medical technician, and a mayor. Now Dan Drew wants to be the next governor of Connecticut. Drew was elected the mayor of Middletown, Connecticut in 2011. He has now officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination for governor to succeed Democrat Dannel Malloy who will not run for re-election next year.

Dr. James Baldwin
Excelsior College

Dr. James Baldwin will become the new president of Excelsior College in New York this Friday. Dr. Baldwin is only the third president of the college in its 46-year history. Excelsior is a non-traditional, online college geared toward adults who are getting the degree they never completed, or for those who are going to college for the first time while balancing a job and family. 

Facebook: Tayja Treat uploaded to Hoosick Community Facebook Page

Congressman John Faso, County Executive Kathy Jimino and State Senator Kathy Marcione were among the elected officials who toured the flood damaged regions of eastern Rensselaer County Monday. The town of Hoosick and the village of Hoosick falls were flooded Saturday night causing road washouts, damaged homes and buildings and a massive clean-up and repair which is now underway. 


Jun 28, 2017
Facebook: NYSERDA

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has a new president and chief executive officer.  Alicia Barton takes over from John Rhodes, who is the new chair of the state Public Service Commission. 

LG Kathy Hochul
WAMC/Pat Bradley

As the health care debate continues in Washington, Democrats in New York are sounding the alarm about what the Republican plan could mean for the state. Tonight in Hudson, the Capital Region expert panel on the American Health Care Act will hold a meeting to hear public opinions about health care, and what might happen in New York if the Republican plan becomes the law of the land. 

Justice Scales
Adobe Stock

Legislation that would allow a physician to assist a terminally ill patient to die has been stalled in the New York state legislature but the state’s highest court will hear arguments in the debate Tuesday. The Court of Appeals will hear Myers v. Schneiderman, a legal argument that supporters say is needed to bring clarity to the issue, but opponents say such a law could open the door to a dangerous and inherently discriminatory practice.

wikipedia commons

The bombing in Manchester, England leads to the question; could such an attack happen in the U.S.? Rick Mathews, the Director of the Center for Global Security and Preparedness at the University at Albany says so far the U.S. has escaped an attack at a concert or other large gathering, because of security and simple good luck.

Tim Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse NY
Prevent Child Abuse NY

The second day of the 22nd annual New York State Child Abuse Prevention Conference is being held Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel in Albany.  The meeting is organized by the non-profit group Prevent Child Abuse New York, now in its 37th year.

The French flag

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

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

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.