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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The Amsterdam Free Library
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Amsterdam Free Library, which is more than a century old, has been nominated for a spot on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, as officials at the library are envisioning what the building could look like in the future.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is recommending a ban on flavored vaping products. He called the rising use of e-cigarettes among young people a public health crisis.  

The Fedearl Bureau of Investigation is asking affected businesses for more information as it investigates the sudden shutdown of MyPayrollHR, a Saratoga County-based payroll company.

Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Administrator Peter Lopez
Michael Apollo / WAMC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back a 2015 rule governing which water bodies are subject to federal regulation.

County governments are beginning to show opposition to a mandatory license plate replacement program in New York.

Rodney Wiltshire, Tom Reale, Mayor Patrick Madden
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Three candidates running for mayor of Troy met Tuesday night for a debate. The discussion involved the first-term mayor, a returning rival, and a newcomer.

MyPayrollHR, a Saratoga County payroll company, abruptly closed its doors last week.

The shutdown of business which serves more than 4,000 employers has the potential to affect tens of thousands of workers, with paychecks disappearing from bank accounts. 

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked at least 5 deaths and 450 illnesses to vaping products, New York officials are urging state residents to stop using them.

Messiah Cooper speaks to the Troy City Council on September 5th, 2019
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Outrage is building in the City of Troy weeks after a newspaper report unveiled new details on the city’s handling of a fatal police-civilian shooting in April 2016.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola speaks at a press conference organized by Senator James Tedisco
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A coalition of county clerks is lining up behind state lawmakers opposed to a plan to require New York drivers pay to update old license plates.

Shane Crooks will be the next chief of the Saratoga Springs Police Department
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Saratoga Springs has chosen its next chief of police. Lieutenant Shane Crooks, who has been with the department since 2004, will become the next leader of the Spa City’s police department on September 7th.

Judy Grunberg
JBG Studio

Longtime WAMC Board Member Judy Grunberg has died. The founder and president of PS21 in Chatham, New York was well known in the regional arts and cultural circles. WAMC’s President and CEO Dr. Alan Chartock spoke to WAMC's Lucas Willard Saturday morning.

Glens Falls Hospital is changing its approach to mental healthcare in Warren and Washington Counties. The hospital says it cannot meet the demand for outpatient behavioral health services and is looking for potential new providers.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speaks in Brunswick in January
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Struggling to fundraise and lagging in the polls, New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand suspended her 2020 presidential campaign Wednesday evening. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on reaction from leaders in New York politics.

The field beside Kingsborough Elementary in Gloversville has been fenced off due to contamination concerns
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Gloversville Enlarged School District is taking action to address a contaminated playing field next to one of its elementary schools.

The mobile Child Advocacy Center parked in Johnstown
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York state has a new strategy to bring services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse. Specialized Winnebagos are being deployed to rural and underserved areas.

According to police, a man killed himself in a stolen pickup truck outside of a Fulton County convenience store Saturday.

A low railroad bridge over Route 146 in Glenville
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A railroad bridge in the Schenectady County Town of Glenville has had another run-in with a truck. Officials are renewing calls forsomething to be done to prevent further collisions.

Rexford firefighters demonstrate lifesaving equipment
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A volunteer fire station in Clifton Park has a new set of life-saving equipment.

Rep. Paul Tonko joins those who traveled along the Erie Canal for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor's Canalway Challenge
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A group of bikers, paddlers, walkers, and others who traveled along New York’s Erie Canal were celebrated today. But the governmental organization that runs the 360-mile route across the state is in danger of losing federal funding.

Chris Briggs was sworn in as mayor of Cohoes Tuesday night.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

This post has been updated 8/21/19 10:57 a.m.

Hours after Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court, the Cohoes Common Council named an interim city leader Tuesday night.

Aurora Games
Jesse King / WAMC

The Aurora Games, an all-women athletics event, begins Monday evening with a kickoff event at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As the smash-hit musical “Hamilton” continues its run at Proctors in Schenectady, the actors who portray three sisters of the prominent Schuyler family learned a bit more today about the real-life people they depict on stage.

The Adirondack Thunder

A hockey team that calls Glens Falls home will keep its NHL affiliation agreement in the upcoming season.

Schenectady County DA Robert Carney speaks to the press
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A grand jury has handed up indictments charging four people in connection with two shooting incidents in Schenectady County.

The federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health examines how Americans use and perceive drugs. According to the most recent data, Americans’ attitudes on marijuana use are changing.

Currently, 33 states have legalized some form of marijuana, including medical and adult-use. The Rockefeller Institute of Government has done its own analysis of the national data.

WAMC’s Lucas Willard spoke to Policy Analyst Alex Morse, who examined the state-by-state data.

NASA

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a new report that dives into land use and how it relates on climate change.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
Lucas Willard / WAMC

An upstate New York Assemblyman is joining with a state Senator on a proposal that would place a moratorium on the annexation of farmland for industrial use.

The Homestead Infirmary
Saratoga County

After falling into disrepair after years of abandonment, a former hospital in Saratoga County will now go to the highest bidder.

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie visited the Capital Region today as part of his ongoing statewide summer tour. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief reports the Democrat listened to concerns in Saratoga County.

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