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.  

Ways to Connect

Panelists speak at Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The number of farms in Saratoga County, one of the fastest growing areas of New York, is shrinking. At the same time, farmers are looking toward new technologies and markets to adapt to a changing landscape. A new report released Wednesday provides a snapshot of the county’s agricultural economy.

The former Sherman's amusement park in Caroga Lake
Lucas Willard / WAMC

An arts organization that has brought summertime music to the former Sherman’s amusement park in the Southern Adirondack community of Caroga Lake is seeking to purchase the aging property, which is currently owned by the town.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Saratoga Springs may soon have an advisory committee to increase communication between the police and public. The proposal by the city’s public safety commissioner comes after recent controversy over the city’s handling of a five-year-old case that led to a death. 

The Saratoga Springs 2018 Charter Review Commission (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A commission in charge of drafting a new governing document for the City of Saratoga Springs has finished its work. Voters will decide on a new city charter in November.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection says it has made operational adjustments in anticipation of heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls
Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 9/13/18:

The communications office for NCEH/ATSDR tells WAMC "the communities for this project have not been selected at this time."

A spokesman for the New York State Department of Health tells WAMC it has reached out to ATSDR seeking clarification on the communities included in the study and has spoke to the mayor of Hoosick Falls about the issue. 

A spokesman for the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the senator is "still looking into the proposal, but she is supportive of any proposal that can help communities affected by PFOA get more information on health impacts."

The federal government has proposed studying communities affected by PFAS contamination – like many in the Northeast. But residents of one community that is not on the list say the study is too short-sighted.

An EPA official meets with Hoosick Falls residents Tuesday.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

State and federal agencies met with the residents of Hoosick Falls Tuesday night, where an investigation into the presence of toxic chemicals in local water supplies continues. Officials hope to foster better communication between the people and government.

Coastal fog can bring more than a nice view — it can also act as a vector for microbes. That’s according to a recent report published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Cynthia Nixon speaks to voters at the New Covenant Christian Fellowship Church in Albany
Karen DeWitt

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is calling for an investigation after a campaign mailer paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee accused her of being silent on anti-semitism. 

Allison Dunne / WAMC

After an unexpected delay, the new span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo bridge may be opened to traffic this week.

The Cohoes Police Department announced Sunday the arrest of a man in Tennessee they say is a fugitive from justice following an attempted burglary in Cohoes last month. 

Authorities have issued a Missing Vulnerable Adult Alert for a Schenectady man.

Villagers protest a revised settlement agreement between Hoosick Falls and companies Saint-Gobain and Honeywell in February 2017 (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present a report on community involvement during the ongoing investigation into contaminated water supplies in Hoosick Falls at two meetings this week.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Two Republican candidates for Saratoga County District Attorney are squaring off in the September 13th primary election. With a week left in the campaign, the challenger is painting the sitting DA as neglectful.

A listening session on legalizing adult use of marijuana was held in Albany.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Cuomo administration is holding public listening sessions across the state on the legalization of marijuana. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief attended the first hearing Wednesday night in Albany.

By Roosevelt Skerrit -, CC0,

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening a lawsuit over the federal government's response to the hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico last year.

A series of public hearings on legalizing recreational marijuana in New York will begin this week in Albany.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Chief of the Saratoga Springs Police Department has released his first public statement following a report that the city did not conduct an investigation into potential police misconduct following a late night foot chase in 2013 that eventually led to death of a Malta man.

The Dunn facility viewed from Partition Street Ext. in the City of Rensselaer
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced actions including a fine against the operator of a landfill in the City of Rensselaer.

A sign outside the 35 acres placed under conservation easement in the Town of Bethlehem
Lucas Willard / WAMC

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Senator Charles Schumer speaks at Quad Graphics in Saratoga Springs
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Proposed tariffs on Canadian paper products by the Trump administration have been struck down. That’s good news for the newspaper industry and others that rely on cheap paper.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (right) at Hudson Valley Community College
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a town hall in her home county Sunday evening, speaking to hundreds of constituents at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Gillibrand, a Rensselaer County resident, is running for a second full term in November and her message carried a call to action.

A panoramic view of Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

With yesterday’s 149th running of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, it is one of the busiest weekends of the year for Saratoga Springs. The Spa City’s population doubles during the summer months.

Politicians from both sides of the political aisle are offering their condolences to the family of Senator John McCain, who died last night at age 81 of brain cancer.

Saratoga Springs City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Contrary to what the chief said publicly at the time, the Saratoga Springs Police Department did not conduct an internal investigation into potential police misconduct related to the events of Labor Day weekend 2013 that led to the injury and later death of Malta resident Darryl Mount, Jr. That’s according to a new report in the Albany Times Union by the former longtime editor of The Saratogian newspaper.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York:

“As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them. His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller - never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare. The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to hold a community engagement meeting in New York to hear directly from those affected by PFAS chemicals – the classification of pollutants found in water supplies in communities like Hoosick Falls and Newburgh.

The Greater Amsterdam School District initiated a district-wide lock out Friday morning after a student reportedly made threats against Amsterdam High School.

Rep. Paul Tonko speaks at Schenectady County Community College
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th District, held a town hall forum Thursday night. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, high prescription drug prices were a hot topic of conversation.

Saratoga Springs City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

City services in Saratoga Springs have been moved out of city hall after a small fire last week damaged a portion of the building.