Jackie Orchard | WAMC

Jackie Orchard

News Producer
Joseph Spector - Politics on the Hudson

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is renewing warnings about the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local governments.

Letitia James
Facebook: New York State Attorney General

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a preliminary report Wednesday on the investigation into NYPD interactions with Black Lives Matter protesters following the death of George Floyd.

Black At St. Rose Instagram Account
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Prompted by claims of racism on campus chronicled on an Instagram account called “Black At St. Rose,” interim president Marcia White is promising to hire a Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the private Albany college.

Albany County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce holding a package of fireworks you can purchase at the grocery store.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Albany County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce, fellow Democrat Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, and Albany Fire Chief Joseph Gregory announced new legislation limiting the use of fireworks in Albany County.

Captain R Christopher West
Courtesy of NYS Police

The New York State Police have appointed a 30-year veteran as Troop G commander. Albany native Captain R. Christopher West takes over for Major Robert Patnaude. 

Daniel Kurganov in an instructional YouTube Video.
Courtesy of Daniel Kurganov's YouTube Channel "The Artist's Technique"

The Northeast is starting to reopen with businesses welcoming back customers with safety precautions in place. It has been a challenging few months for music teachers, like the guitarist we profiled Wednesday. In part two of our story, we visit the classical section.

Andrew Wheeler plays for WAMC in a socially distanced interview in his living room.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Northeast is slowly reopening from coronavirus shutdowns, as businesses welcome back customers with safety precautions in place. One industry that we haven’t heard much about? Music teachers.

At his shop on New Scotland Avenue, Joe Ritmo cuts Mike Plotzker's hair for the first time in three months.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Today was a long-awaited day for the shaggy among us as Capital Region hair salons and barbershops opened their doors for the first time since coronavirus shutdowns began in March.

A protester sits in the middle of the road at the intersection of Livingston Ave and Henry Johnson Blvd.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Protesters were back on the streets Monday after the city cleaned up from Saturday’s dangerous protests, when city police and backup agencies used riot gear, dogs, gas and officers on horseback to disperse hundreds of protesters who gathered outside the department’s South Station.

A man burns an American flag Saturday in Albany.
Jackie Orchard

On a day when protesters took to the streets in cities across the country, Albany Police — joined by New York State Troopers and Albany County sheriff’s deputies — used riot gear, dogs, gas and officers on horseback to try to disperse an angry crowd that swelled to hundreds outside the department’s South Station Saturday evening.

The start of Disney's "Onward" at Jericho Drive-In Movie Theater in Glenmont.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

A warm weather rite of passage returned for the first time this year over the weekend — and with normal activities halted during the coronavirus pandemic, Capital Region families were ready.

Dance Fire Studio and Fitness livestreaming classes from the studio.
Courtesy of Dance Fire Studio and Fitness Facebook

Many businesses in the Capital Region are struggling to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic – but there is a new grant available to help keep them afloat.

Tinder dating app on an iphone
Tinder/itunes stock image

Public health officials say limiting personal contact is vital to containing the spread of the coronavirus. And that means people who are actively dating have had to alter their approach. Some people in the age of Tinder are ignoring social distancing altogether.

The entrance to the UAlbany drive-thru testing site. (At this point photos were not prohibited.)
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Last week, I started to feel dizzy. My temperature was 101. And it was also hard to take a deep breath. My chest hurt, it was worse when I lay down, and I had a dry cough. All those things together convinced me to go get tested for the coronavirus and forget about work for the time being.

Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum Elizabeth Stack.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

With non-essential businesses shut down through the end of the month at least, the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany is using the time to renovate.

Campus President Dr. Havidán Rodríguez speaking to state troopers at the UAlbany COVID-19 testing drive-thru.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

With students sent home and faculty teaching remotely, the University at Albany has converted a campus parking lot into a coronavirus testing site.

Much of the experience of the coronavirus pandemic in our region has come down to waiting. If you test positive for COVID-19 – what happens next? How are you notified?

UAlbany student Ian Walter points out the differences between different 3D printers.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

It’s no secret by now that medical supplies are in dangerously short supply as hospitals in the Northeast try to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Engineering students at the University at Albany are trying to pitch in by 3-D printing face shields.

Dr. Deborah Birx
Fox News Via YouTube Livestream

Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said Tuesday that people who have left New York City should self-quarantine for 14 days to prevent further spread.

drivers license

The Department of Motor Vehicles is closing offices due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Vermont National Guard Facebook

The Vermont National Guard is calling service members to active duty in order to combat the coronavirus. 

Caledonia Spirits Hand Sanitizer in Vermont
Courtesy of Caledonia Spirits

After hearing early reports of the coronavirus outbreak, Ryan Christiansen, President and Head Distiller at Caledonia Spirits in Vermont, started making hand sanitizer as a joke.

Caffè Lena staff on stage Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Today is one of the stranger St. Patrick’s Days in memory, with venues closed and social gatherings banned due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Saratoga Springs, Caffè Lena, while closed to the public, is opening its doors to musicians. 

UAlbany President Dr. Havidán Rodríguez and America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen  with UAlbany ESports players.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

An e-sports invitational is coming to the University at Albany next month. 

Mayor Kathy Sheehan at the Irish American Heritage Museum soft opening on March 3, 2020.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany has moved to another downtown location.

Bishop Scharfenberger listening in the audience at Siena College's  "Let's Rebuild Our Church" on Feb. 29, 2020
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

It is a troubled time for the Catholic church and its flock. Roughly 80 priests in the Albany Diocese have been accused of sexual abuse and roughly 70 priests have been accused in Buffalo. Amid that troubling backdrop, Siena College hosted a “Let’s Rebuild Our Church” panel Saturday.

Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday following a sexual abuse scandal that led to the resignation of its bishop in December.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan
Courtesy of Pat Ryan

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that the U.S. EPA will begin an emergency cleanup of the Tech City industrial site next month. The first-term Democrat says the cleanup will include demolition and asbestos abatement.

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler speaking Feb. 25, 2020.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler met with officials from Norlite Tuesday after a federal lawsuit filed last week claimed the company’s facility incinerated PFAS-based substances. 

Union College President David Harris greets Mary and Rich Templeton
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Union College has received the largest single donation in its 225-year history.