Lucas Willard | WAMC

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

Professor Stephen Clark
Albany Law School

Officials across the political spectrum today are recognizing the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87.

The Troy city council met for the first time Thursday night after the killing of an 11-year-old boy on Sunday.

The pandemic could create challenges for emergency relief programs this winter. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, Saratoga County is hoping to provide additional space for Code Blue Saratoga.

Ayshawn Davis
Photo provided

The City of Troy is reeling from the shooting death of 11-year-old Ayshawn Davis Sunday night. So far, authorities have yet to identify a suspect or suspects in the killing — the 12th homicide the Collar City has experienced this year, as violence has increased across the Capital Region during a pandemic and economic downturn. 

From left to right: New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, Senator James Tedisco, State Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A group of Capital Region lawmakers is again pushing for an independent review of nursing home-related deaths attributed to COVID-19. 

Opponents of a proposed apartment complex in the northern-most section of Troy, New York packed an hours-long city council meeting Thursday night.

Ron Kim speaks at a press conference organized by It's Time Saratoga
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratogians seeking to change the Spa City’s system of government started their campaign today in support of a new city charter ahead of Election Day.

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

As high-need school districts begin to see devastating impacts of a 20 percent cut in state aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, state lawmakers are trying to find ways to redirect funding to struggling schools.

Albany City Schools Superintendent Kaweeda Adams
City School District Of Albany

The Albany City School District, like many other districts in New York, is facing mass layoffs because of a 20 percent reduction in state aid brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 20 percent reduction in aid to school districts tied to the pandemic is having a significant impact on New York districts that rely heavily on state funding. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on “catastrophic” cuts on the table in Schenectady.

A small group of owners watches a horse leave the paddock at Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course ends Monday, Labor Day. With races run without fans because of the pandemic, the only sounds you might hear are the races themselves. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, an empty track means a chance to hear something different at post time.

Video screens inside the new hall of fame
Lucas Willard / WAMC

As it prepares to reopen Saturday for the first time since the pandemic took hold, The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs has a new look.

SUNY Oneonta Seal

After 105 students at SUNY Oneonta tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, the campus will closed for in-person learning for two weeks.

Food on plates
Jim Levulis, WAMC News

Even as they scrambled to establish curbside takeout and outdoor dining options, restaurants were turned upside down by the pandemic. Now, lawmakers are considering ways to help out the food and beverage industry as the colder weather approaches.

Students march at Skidmore College
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Students at Skidmore College rallied for racial justice on the first day of classes Monday.

Jane Weihe and Connie Woytowich announce the formation of group Saratoga Works in Congress Park
Lucas Willard / WAMC

For the third time in eight years, a proposal that would change Saratoga Springs’ system of government will appear on the November ballot.

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Saratoga Springs kicked off a series of community meetings last night on reimagining police, under a directive from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The City of Albany held its first meeting last night under the Policing Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, in accordance with a state directive from Governor Andrew Cuomo to “reimagine” police departments.

Bill Tryon
Photo provided

Last Saturday on Midday Magazine, we aired an interview with Albany activist Lukee Forbes.

Part of the interview focused on an August 1st “Back the Blue” pro-police rally in Albany, which Forbes attended, along with a small group of other counter-protesters.

During the rally, Forbes, who is Black, dragged a “thin blue line” flag, which he considers a “fake” flag, drawing strong reaction from the largely white crowd of Back the Blue demonstrators. The stylized American flag features black and blue stripes and is commonly seen at conservative rallies.

David Snyder
Photo provided

After armored police confronted Black Lives Matter protesters in a Saratoga Springs intersection two weeks ago, an aide for Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly has resigned. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, David Snyder is now considering a primary against his former boss.

We’re just weeks away from the new school year. The Greater Amsterdam School District continued its series of state-ordered information sessions on reopening Wednesday night. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on how one district is preparing for launch.

Duane Vaughn
Photo provided

Shelters of Saratoga, a non-profit organization that provides emergency and case-management services to those experiencing homelessness in Saratoga Springs, has named a new executive director for the second time in as many years.

Jammella Anderson stands by a community refrigerator on Elm Street in Albany
Shannon Straney / Photo provided

Coming to a street corner near you, a refrigerator.  

Lukee Forbes
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Activist Lukee Forbes is ubiquitous at protests and community events throughout the Capital Region. You can usually find him at the front of the crowd, in black clothes black and brown leather work boots.

Last week, a counter-protest to a pro-police “Back The Blue” rally in Saratoga Springs drew a multi-agency police response. It included officers firing pepper bullets at demonstrators. Young people involved in the counter-protest shared comments with the city council Tuesday night. Meantime, the city has appointed a task force to host discussions on police-community relations in accordance with a state directive. 

Police stand by as rally-goers confront counter-protesters in Albany
Photo provided by Patrick Dodson

A large crowd gathered in front of the state capitol in Albany for a "Back the Blue" pro-police rally Saturday morning, similar to an event held on Thursday in Saratoga Springs.

A woman waves a Trump 2020 campaign flag at counterprotesters during Thursday's "Back The Blue" Rally
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Pro-police demonstrators and counter-protesters faced off last night in Saratoga Springs, where three arrests were made. 

Activist Shaqueena Charles speaks with Schenectady Police Lt. Ryan Macheron after Wednesday's brief forum outside Grace and Mercy church
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A community dialogue with members of the Schenectady Police Department fell apart Wednesday night after a tense exchange between organizers and local activists. 

John Imbriale
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Much is different this summer at Saratoga Race Course. While there are no fans in the stands, there is still an announcer in the booth calling the races. Four decades since he started working for the New York Racing Association, John Imbriale is now announcing its premier meet full-time.

This is a photo of Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal
JD Allen / WAMC News

Western Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal has announced $8.7 million in federal funding for Holyoke Medical Center. The Democratic Chair of the influential House Ways and Means Committee visited the hospital Saturday morning to announce the funding that comes from the Department of Health and Human Services COVID Fund.