Ian Pickus | WAMC

Ian Pickus

News Director

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.

Ways to Connect

The Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map
SPLC

In some ways, the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was the culmination of years of building extremism across the country, as details about many of the alleged participants have borne out. Michael Edison Hayden, Senior Investigative Reporter and Spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose organization tracks hate groups, says extremists have increasingly been gathering online in recent years — posing new challenges to following them.

Neal Smoller
Neal Smoller

President Biden says the U.S. is ramping up vaccine deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. Biden is calling the push a “wartime effort." Biden says the administration is working to buy an additional 100 million doses of each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines. In Woodstock, N.Y., pharmacist Neal Smoller of Village Apothecary has been vaccinating hundreds of eager customers a week. But he says the process has its challenges. 

Former Gov. Howard Dean
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is endorsing Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, who is seeking a fourth term. Dean, a Democrat like Weinberger, served as governor from 1991 to 2003. The field also includes Progressive City Council President Max Tracy and Independent Councilor Ali Dieng. Dean says Weinberger has earned another three-year term.

Dean spoke about his endorsement, ranked choice voting, COVID, the early days of the Biden administration, and the Trump legacy.

Chiefs and Bills Logos
wikipedia.org

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills fell short in making their first AFC championship game appearance in 27 years with a 38-24 loss to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo squandered a 9-0 lead by giving up three touchdowns over the span of 10:04 in the second quarter, and fell a win short of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since their run of four straight appearances — and losses — ended in 1994.

For some perspective on the loss and the pandemic-influenced season, WAMC's Ian Pickus spoke with WBFO's Matt Sabuda.

Classroom in the new HAAS building.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released his budget plan. Actually, two budget plans — one built on billions of dollars in long-sought federal aid, and one that plans for cuts if the aid doesn’t come through. A day later, President Joe Biden took the oath of office. Watching the week’s developments closely was Robert Schneider, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about how districts are planning without knowing where the state budget due April 1 will wind up.

Any Questions logo
Any Questions logo/WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for an "inaugural" show.

Rep. Peter Welch, left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Joe Biden took the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States. He takes charge in a deeply divided nation, inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. WAMC has been speaking with members of Congress from the Northeast who attended the inauguration. Democratic Rep. Peter Welch represents Vermont.

Rep. Tonko at the inauguration of President Joe Biden Jan. 20, 2021
Office of Rep. Tonko

Joe Biden took the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States. He takes charge in a deeply divided nation, inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. WAMC has been speaking with members of Congress from the Northeast who attended the inauguration. New York Rep. Paul Tonko is a Democrat from the 20th House district. 

NY-18 Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

Joe Biden took the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States. He takes charge in a deeply divided nation, inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. WAMC has been speaking with members of Congress from the Northeast who attended the inauguration. Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney represents New York's 18th district.

Rep. Richard Neal
WAMC

Joe Biden took the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States. He takes charge in a deeply divided nation, inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. WAMC has been speaking with members of Congress from the Northeast who attended the inauguration. Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, a Democrat from the 1st House district, chairs the Ways and Means Committee. 

Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

One of the strangest inaugurations of a U.S. President is set for Wednesday at noon. Democrat Joe Biden will take the oath of office in a muted ceremony, with attendance strictly limited because of the coronavirus pandemic and new security concerns in the nation’s capital. On top of that, President Donald Trump is leaving Washington early, becoming the first incumbent to snub his successor since Reconstruction. Niskayuna Town Board Member Denise Murphy McGraw chaired the Capital Region/Upstate New York arm of the Biden campaign. She first volunteered for Biden's presidential campaigns in 1987.

The Norlite facility in Cohoes, NY.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Cohoes Fire Department responded to the Norlite plant in the Albany County city Monday morning.

Police in Albany on Sunday
Ian Pickus / WAMC

WAMC News Director Ian Pickus was at the New York State Capitol in Albany Sunday morning, where he saw a heavy police presence but no crowds. Pickus spoke with WAMC's Lucas Willard on Midday Magazine. 

Saratoga Springs Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly speaks at Repubican headquarters on Election Night 2019
WAMC/Lucas Willard

Early in 2021, several elected officials in our region say they won’t seek re-election this year.

This week, WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel CC each other.

Any Questions logo
Any Questions logo

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel recycle the wrapping paper for the first show of 2021.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is harshly criticizing Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a high-profile supporter of embattled President Donald Trump.

Broken glass in the office of Rep. Richard Neal
Rep. Richard Neal

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal is describing a chaotic scene Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol, where a mob overtook the building and halted the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Former Rep. Bill Owens, left
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Former New York Congressman Bill Owens says Wednesday's mob attack on the U.S. Capitol is "the direct result of the inciting words and actions of Mr. Trump and many Republicans" including his successor in the 21st district, Rep. Elise Stefanik. Owens, a Democrat, was in Congress from late 2009 through 2014 and now serves as a WAMC commentator. He spoke with WAMC early Wednesday evening. 

Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan announced Wednesday she will not seek reelection. The Democrat’s two-year term is up at the end of the year. She has held the post in Albany County town of about 80,000 since 2008. Mahan tells WAMC News that the next 12 months will be busy. Mahan, who narrowly won a seventh term in 2019, says she plans to travel and spend more time with her grandchildren.

Sandra Lindsay, left, a registered nurse and Director of Critical Care at Northwell Health, is the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, December 14, 2020
Scott Heins for the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Part of the challenge of vaccinating millions of Americans for COVID-19 is logistical: racing to create a vaccine, distributing it, and determining the order in which certain people will get the shots. But part of it is convincing people that getting the vaccine is safe — especially when those people have well-earned mistrust of the medical industry. 

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal
WAMC

All eyes will be on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday during the joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Republican allies of President Donald Trump say they will object to some of the results as Trump continues to falsely claim that he won the election. On Twitter today, Trump inaccurately wrote that outgoing Vice President Mike Pence “has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors” when he oversees the session as Senate President.

Clinton County Correctional Facility
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Healthcare professionals who work in New York state prisons are raising alarm after learning that they will not be in the first batch of frontline employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Massachusetts state capitol
WAMC/Ian Pickus

The Speaker of the Massachusetts House delivered a farewell address Tuesday, addressing the chamber just hours before resigning his seat. Democrat Robert DeLeo of Winthrop ended the longest tenure for any House Speaker in state history. Elected in 1991, DeLeo is expected to take a job at Northeastern University. Quincy Democrat Ron Mariano replaces DeLeo as Speaker.

The Rivers Sportsbook opened with 14 kiosks.
Jesse King

It’s no secret that New York state is facing a fiscal emergency in 2021. With revenues sharply down because of the coronavirus pandemic and federal relief left out of the latest COVID package, legislative leaders are discussing raising taxes on the wealthy to help plug a $15 billion shortfall. 

Alabama Crimson Tide football stadium
Alabama Athletics

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is among the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Lawrence was the preseason favorite to win the award, but missing two games after contracting COVID-19 slowed his campaign. He has thrown for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns in nine games, helping Clemson reach the playoff for the third time in his career.

NBA logo
wikipedia.org

haker High graduate Tommy Kahnle is heading west. The Yankees’ right-handed reliever, who is coming off Tommy John surgery after throwing just one inning in 2020, signed a two-year deal with the World Champion Dodgers. He is likely to miss all off the 2021 season.

Assemblyman John McDonald, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, businessman Vic Christopher and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy at Quackenbush Square for the Uber launch.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan made it official Monday: she is running for a third term.

CC Sabathia
HBO

For two decades, C.C. Sabathia was one of baseball’s most successful, and competitive, pitchers. The 6-foot-6 southpaw who retired in 2019 is now probably on his way to Cooperstown, with 3,093 strikeouts, a Cy  Young Award, six all-star appearances, 26 playoff games and the 2009 World Series title. But at the same time he was starring for the Yankees, Sabathia was keeping a dangerous secret – an ongoing problem with alcohol that eventually caused him to miss the playoffs in favor of rehab.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel clear out the trivia cupboard.

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