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

Firefighters hold each other during a vigil in Schoharie
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A vigil was held in Schoharie Wednesday night for the victims of the crash that killed 20 on Saturday.

Commander of New York State Police Troop G Major Robert Patnaude speaks to reporters
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A criminal investigation is now underway following the limousine crash in Schoharie, New York that killed 20 people.

The official seal of the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transpotation Safety Board

More details continue to emerge after 20 people were killed Saturday afternoon in a limousine accident in the rural upstate New York Town of Schoharie.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In the wake of the deadly limousine crash that killed 20 in Schoharie, New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says he urged federal officials to investigate limo accidents nationwide three years ago after a fatal incident on Long Island.

The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge In Amsterdam
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Some of the victims of Saturday’s deadly limousine crash that killed 20 in Schoharie grew up in the nearby City of Amsterdam.

Courtesy of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The FUND For Lake George this past week gathered stakeholders for its fourth Salt Summit. The annual conference focuses on building partnerships to reduce the use of road salt in the Lake George Basin to protect the health of the Adirondack lake.

New York State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore speaking Sunday afternoon.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Twenty people lost their lives in a horrific crash Saturday afternoon in rural upstate New York. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on the accident in Schoharie.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speaks to reporters
Jesse King / WAMC

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand appeared in Albany today, speaking with members of the New York State Chapter of the NAACP. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the Democrat campaigning for re-election focused her speech on racial and social inequalities.

It’s municipal budget season. As part of WAMC’s continuing coverage, Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard takes a look at proposed budgets in some communities in New York’s Capital Region.

Paved Trail Opens In Schenectady County

Oct 3, 2018
Officials celebrated the new section of the Erie Canalway Trail in Pattersonville
Jesse King / WAMC

A new connector in the trail system that traverses New York state was celebrated Wednesday in Schenectady County.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort speaks to Canajoharie residents
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Residents of Canajoharie are again being asked their ideas for redevelopment of the former Beech-Nut baby food factory. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was at a crowded meeting Tuesday night.

Seasoned opens to the public October 9th
SUNY Adirondack / SUNY Adirondack

SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury is opening a new student-run restaurant in nearby downtown Glens Falls. The eatery called “Seasoned” will open to the public on October 9th at the college’s new Culinary Arts Center on Hudson Avenue.

Albany police are investigating after a shooting at Club Pheonix on Central Avenue
Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 9/29/19 12:27 p.m.:

An arrest has been made related to the early morning shooting at an Albany nightclub that injured three people.

The Albany Police Department says 25-year-old Shaquille Owens was arrested following an investigation.

Owens faces charges of Attempted Murder in the 2nd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree.

The original text of this story follows below:

The Albany Police Department is investigating an early morning shooting that occurred at a Central Avenue nightclub.

Route 9 looking north near Exit 20
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Travelers in our region headed to Lake George and its many tourist attractions often find themselves snarled in traffic, just miles from their destination. Now, the busy exit off the Adirondack Northway is being studied to reduce traffic congestion and increase safety for pedestrians. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports officials are looking for suggestions.

From left to right: State Senator George Amedore, State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Amsterdam Mayor Mike Villa, Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Amsterdam has won a transformative grant from New York state to make major upgrades to its downtown.

Supplies inside a former Code Blue Saratoga shelter
Paulina Phelps / WAMC

In the latest development in a long-running dispute, a judge has halted a proposal to construct an emergency homeless shelter in Saratoga Springs after objections from neighbors.

A recently passed federal spending bill includes funding to address PFAS pollution.

Pittsfield Police Department

Police in Pittsfield are searching for a man suspected of committing four arsons in the city on Saturday.

Panelists speak at Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The number of farms in Saratoga County, one of the fastest growing areas of New York, is shrinking. At the same time, farmers are looking toward new technologies and markets to adapt to a changing landscape. A new report released Wednesday provides a snapshot of the county’s agricultural economy.

The former Sherman's amusement park in Caroga Lake
Lucas Willard / WAMC

An arts organization that has brought summertime music to the former Sherman’s amusement park in the Southern Adirondack community of Caroga Lake is seeking to purchase the aging property, which is currently owned by the town.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Saratoga Springs may soon have an advisory committee to increase communication between the police and public. The proposal by the city’s public safety commissioner comes after recent controversy over the city’s handling of a five-year-old case that led to a death. 

The Saratoga Springs 2018 Charter Review Commission (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A commission in charge of drafting a new governing document for the City of Saratoga Springs has finished its work. Voters will decide on a new city charter in November.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection says it has made operational adjustments in anticipation of heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls
Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 9/13/18:

The communications office for NCEH/ATSDR tells WAMC "the communities for this project have not been selected at this time."

A spokesman for the New York State Department of Health tells WAMC it has reached out to ATSDR seeking clarification on the communities included in the study and has spoke to the mayor of Hoosick Falls about the issue. 

A spokesman for the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the senator is "still looking into the proposal, but she is supportive of any proposal that can help communities affected by PFOA get more information on health impacts."

The federal government has proposed studying communities affected by PFAS contamination – like many in the Northeast. But residents of one community that is not on the list say the study is too short-sighted.

An EPA official meets with Hoosick Falls residents Tuesday.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

State and federal agencies met with the residents of Hoosick Falls Tuesday night, where an investigation into the presence of toxic chemicals in local water supplies continues. Officials hope to foster better communication between the people and government.

Coastal fog can bring more than a nice view — it can also act as a vector for microbes. That’s according to a recent report published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Cynthia Nixon speaks to voters at the New Covenant Christian Fellowship Church in Albany
Karen DeWitt

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is calling for an investigation after a campaign mailer paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee accused her of being silent on anti-semitism. 

Allison Dunne / WAMC

After an unexpected delay, the new span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo bridge may be opened to traffic this week.

The Cohoes Police Department announced Sunday the arrest of a man in Tennessee they say is a fugitive from justice following an attempted burglary in Cohoes last month. 

Authorities have issued a Missing Vulnerable Adult Alert for a Schenectady man.