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.  

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Marc Schultz / Photo provided by Thearse For Senate

Thearse McCalmon this week declared victory in the Democratic Primary for New York state’s 49th Senate District seat against challenger Donovan McCrae. The seat is currently held by Republican James Tedisco, who has served in the state legislature for decades.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Between now and April 2021, New York communities are being asked to “reinvent” their police departments, under a directive issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard asked public officials in Schenectady for their thoughts on the policy.

Senator Charles Schumer speaks at a press conference in Amsterdam detailing new proposed limousine safety regulations
Michael Apollo / WAMC

As the second anniversary of a fatal crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie nears, a slate of limousine safety measures is moving forward in the House of Representatives.

Sheriff Craig Apple and Albany Law student Elena Kilcullen
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says his department is assigning 14 deputies to bolster policing efforts in the city of Albany, which has been wracked by gun violence in recent weeks. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan asked Wednesday for reinforcements from Apple and the New York State Police, with the city force understaffed by about 50 officers.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins speaking Wednesday afternoon at the corner of First and Quail Streets
Lucas Willard / WAMC

During a streak of gun violence Wednesday, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan asked State Police and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office to step up patrols in the city.

Mayor Gary McCarthy joins Schenectady public safety officials at a press conference Wednesday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Schenectady is looking for a solution to the problem of persistent late-night fireworks in the Electric City.

Wikimedia Commons/Diego Grez

Police in Albany are investigating a homicide that occurred Saturday night on North Lake Avenue.

Nine people were shot at a Syracuse party. One victim, a 17-year-old, is reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the head.

Ownership of an access road to the Hudson River PCB cleanup site in Fort Edward is being transferred to a local development agency.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released new actions to further restrict burning of potentially toxic firefighting foam at a Cohoes facility. 

Lake George, NY
Lucas Willard / WAMC

If you’re planning a trip to Lake George this summer, new real-time weather forecasting might help your next sail or camping trip go a bit more smoothly.

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department are holding meetings across the state to gather input on how to reopen and meet the needs of students in the fall.

Albany Medical Center sign
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A recent webinar brought together leaders of three Capital Region hospitals to look back on the last few months during the pandemic and to look ahead to a changed way of doing business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has re-opened the application window for the Economic Disaster Industry Loan program. Like the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL is another way for businesses to receive federal support during the pandemic.

As Phase Three arrives in the Capital Region, the Saratoga Springs City council is allowing restaurants and bars to expand their outdoor seating. 

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A day after the words "Black Lives Matter" were painted on the street outside the Vermont state capitol building in Montpelier, the painting was found vandalized Sunday morning. 

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Capital Region is expected to enter Phase Three of reopening on Wednesday, Western New York on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump salutes at the U.S. Military Academcy Commencement ceremont
U.S. Military Academy livestream

President Donald Trump delivered the commencement address for the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020 Saturday morning.

Five regions of New York are entering Phase Three of reopening Friday
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Five regions of upstate New York began Phase Three of reopening from pandemic shutdowns Friday. 

Assemblymember Pat Fahy speaks outside Crossgates Mall on Thursday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York state and local officials gathered in Albany County today, asking for Governor Andrew Cuomo to include shopping malls in Phase Three of reopening from the pandemic.

Students Macy, Cameron, and Thomas speak during Wednesday's Facebook Live update
Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services/Facebook

At a time when they’d normally just now be heading home for the summer, Saratoga County schoolchildren shared their experiences of learning from home and imparted a little advice about how to get through the pandemic.

With the COVID-19 pandemic weighing on municipal finances, the City of Troy took steps Tuesday night to bridge the gap as federal aid to state and local governments remains tied up in Washington. 

Rep. Paul Tonko
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Included in the HEROES Act, the COVID-19 relief bill passed by the U.S. House, is a change that could bring $100 million of federal funding into Capital Region hospitals every year.

Thousands gathered at Troy's Riverfront Park before marching through city streets Sunday afternoon
Jesse King / WAMC

Thousands marched in Troy Sunday to protest police brutality. Despite some tension, the day remained peaceful. WAMC’s Jesse King was there.

ballot box
Wikimedia Commons

The deadline for submitting school budget ballots by mail in New York has been extended.

Schools may be able to hold smaller, outdoor graduation ceremonies later this month.

Sheriff Jeff Murphy
New York State Sheriffs' Association

Last week, Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy, who is also President of the New York State Sheriffs' Association, released a letter saying he wants politicians and leaders to refrain from using the term “systemic racism” against police departments.

St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph Church on Herrick Street, Rensselaer
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Religious institutions including churches, mosques, and temples can now open their doors to worshippers in New York regions under Phase Two of the state's reopening guidelines. 

Bailey's Cafe on Thursday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Thursday marked the return of outdoor dining in areas across New York under Phase Two of reopening guidelines.

An empty Whitney Viewing Stand on Thursday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Thoroughbred racing at Belmont Park kicked off yesterday with no fans in the stands. Upstate in Saratoga Springs, today marked the official start of the training season before an unprecedented summer season.