Jackie Orchard | WAMC

Jackie Orchard

News Producer
WAMC's Jackie Orchard interviewing Officer Devin Anderson on a Friday night ride-along.
Officer Steve Smith / APD

Following the May death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody – Albany experienced a slew of protests and riots, New York repealed a law that restricted access to police disciplinary records and a statewide mandate to reimagine policing was instituted. To learn how these events have impacted policing in New York’s capital city, I rode along with an Albany Police lieutenant and spoke with a local Black rights activist.

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen
Albany County / via YouTube

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has warned that the percentage of residents testing positive for COVID-19 over a seven-day average has surpassed 3 percent, nearing the threshold where New York state imposes tighter restrictions. WAMC’s Jackie Orchard spoke with Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen about Thanksgiving, which is expected to cause a large spike in cases.

75 foot tall Norway spruce tree before Rockefeller Center cut it down.
Courtesy of Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta, NY

This year, a world famous holiday sight has its roots in Oneonta, New York.

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, front left, Mike Hopkins, front right, Shannon Walker, back left, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, back right, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, are seen as they walk out of the Neil A. Armstr
Joel Kowsky / NASA

Four NASA astronauts are blasting off in the SPACEX Crew Dragon spacecraft tonight, if all things go according to plan. 

Trump supporters gather at the state capitol in Albany after the race was called for Joe Biden.
Jackie Orchard

Albany County Democrats were celebrating former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory this weekend, but supporters of President Donald Trump who gathered to protest aren’t ready to give up yet.

Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Outside the New York State Capitol in Albany demonstrators appeared Saturday after the presidential race was called for Joe Biden.

The Fournier family trick-or-treating in Washington Park on Halloween.
Jesse King / WAMC

Halloween looked a little different in Albany this year. To encourage social distancing and discourage indoor parties, the city of Albany hosted a drive-thru and walk-thru candy and pumpkin give-away Saturday in 11 city parks.

General Manager of The Linda, Carl Blackwood, gives guidance to The Nellies before the show starts.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic seven months ago, many performance venues have had to completely change their business strategy. Our own Performing Arts Studio, The Linda, is no exception. But Monday nights are becoming a bright spot again.

Izzy Fletcher walking the balance beam with her coach, Marlene Michels, standing nearby.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Special Olympics New York, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is launching a new campaign to remedy what it says is a gap in sponsorship for disabled athletes. As WAMC’s Jackie Orchard found out, one local star keeps beating the odds.

Brothers Garrett and Nick Bernardo at NOVUS headquarters in Albany, NY.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

At a time when most small businesses are struggling, one Albany sports apparel company is hitting its stride during the COVID-19 pandemic.

September is suicide prevention month, and it may be more important than ever this year. The COVID-19 pandemic is making people feel isolated, spurring a rise in gun sales and creating new boundaries to medical care. WAMC brings you this firsthand account of what it feels like to hit a low point – and how to bounce back.

Rail car on SABIC’s Selkirk property being doused by local fire departments on September 1 2020.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

A number of state and law enforcement agencies are responding to a hazardous material leak in Albany County. 

WAMC's Jackie Orchard (left) and her sister Samantha Orchard (right) at Berkshire HorseWorks in Richmond, Massachusetts.
Wendi Koch / Berkshire HorseWorks

With fewer activities available and pressures mounting months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkshire HorseWorks is offering horse therapy sessions for families and individuals who are stressed. I brought my sister, an essential worker, to the day-long program to see what it’s all about.

Voice of Beethoven, Julian Tushabe, sat with WAMC as he listened to the full audio play for the very first time.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, unable to hold live performances due to COVID-19 this summer, is bringing classical music lovers Beethoven in a new format: purely audio. On its new open-air patio, WAMC got a special preview of the performance.

A picture of a race car
Jim Levulis / WAMC

A U.S. District Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a number of New York state auto tracks who were seeking to bring spectators back. 

Thoroughbred Retirement Fund Ambassadors "Uptown Joe" (left) and "Bold Mon" (right)
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Even though fans aren’t allowed in this year, the racing world is still focused on the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course right now. But what happens to thoroughbreds after their career on the track? I went to Saratoga Springs to find out.

The Veterans and Community Housing Coalition "Guardian House" for female veterans.
Courtesy of VCHC

Female veterans in New York state without a permanent place to live have strikingly few options — and with the COVID-19 pandemic stretching on, they face more challenges than ever.

Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Saying major structural changes need to be made to stay afloat, the College of St. Rose in Albany plans to cut more faculty.

The Saratoga Race Course is prepping the track but not the stands.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Saratoga Race Course meet starts Thursday with new restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public safety officials say if you want to watch the races, you’ll have to do it on TV.

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.