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

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Democratic mayor of Troy, New York has vetoed a measure passed Thursday night by the common council as part of a move to declare Troy a sanctuary city.

Ideas for potential uses for the Erie Canal are posted up during a public input session in Schenectady.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Construction on the Erie Canal began 202 years ago. The waterway across upstate New York changed American history. Now, a state task force is asking residents how they’d like to see the canal used in the next 100 years.

Morning workouts at Saratoga Race Course on July 11th, 2019
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Today was the first day of the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was there and has an update on what’s new.

NYRA CEO David O'Rourke inside the new 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Today is opening day at Saratoga Race Course. This year, the track season has opened a week earlier and the organization itself is under new leadership, after the resignation of former CEO Chris Kay in January.  

WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard caught up this morning with the new President and CEO of the New York Racing Association, David O'Rourke, who discussed his work with the organization over the years. 

The 1863 Club at Saratoga
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Fans visiting the historic Saratoga Race Course on opening day Thursday will notice something new at the first turn. The brand new 1863 Club offers high-end hospitality.

The Sherman's property in Caroga, New York
Ian Pickus / WAMC

For many years, the 4th of July holiday was one of the biggest days of the year in Caroga Lake in the Adirondacks.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says it has made the largest seizure of illegal reptiles in state history.

Immigrant advocates display a banner that reads ''sanctuary everywhere." File photo.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The debate over whether Troy should classify itself as a Sanctuary City has returned.

Patty Morrison
Lucas Willard / WAMC

One week after voters went to the polls, absentee ballots made it official today: a newcomer has won the Democratic primary for Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance.

Craig Allen Frear disappeared on June 27th, 2004 in the Village of Scotia, New York
New York State Police

Fifteen years ago, a high schooler from Scotia, New York disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since. A vigil was held for the student Thursday evening.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden wins the Democratic primary on June 25th, 2019
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden won Tuesday’s Democratic primary against a two-time rival.

The Niskayuna town board hears comments from the public on Thursday, June 20th, 2019.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County has granted a special use permit that would allow the construction of a controversial Holocaust memorial.

The entrace to the Dunn facility off Partition Street Ext.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A citizens group concerned about odors emanating from a landfill across the Hudson River from Albany has launched an online tool to log complaints.

The mansion at Yaddo
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Yaddo, the historic artists’ retreat in Saratoga Springs, has undergone some extensive renovations. A gala will celebrate the milestone project tonight.

Senator Charles Schumer speaks at the Grant Cottage in Saratoga County
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The cottage where President Ulysses S. Grant spent his final days still stands in Saratoga County. Supported by a group of volunteers and New York State Parks, the site is now getting a push for National Historic Landmark status from Senator Charles Schumer.

A man was seriously injured after a parasailing incident on Lake George.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

The state of Vermont has released a new sampling plan for PFAS chemicals.

A Karner blue butterfly at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve
Patrick Dodson for WAMC

As many Capital Region residents know, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve is home to a rare type of butterfly called the Karner blue. But the unique landscape is also home to a species that the federal government wants to know more about.

A Yellow-banded Bumble Bee nectaring Joe-pye weed
K.P. McFarland / Vermont Center for Ecostudies

The Adirondack Pollinator Project, an effort of the non-profit advocacy group AdkAction, is hosting a symposium this week on how to protect our native pollinator species.

Rep. Paul Tonko
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Congressman Paul Tonko from New York’s 20th District on Monday became the latest Democrat to support an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Reflections Memorial Foundation

A foundation planning a memorial to remember the victims of October's deadly limousine crash in Schoharie has revealed its plans.

Greg Veitch
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Chief of the Saratoga Springs Police Department has stepped down. Chief for the last six years, Greg Veitch has been with the police department for more than two decades. His last day was Thursday.

Skip Carlson of Saratoga Casino Hotel speaks at a press conference
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Home to a harness track and a gambling floor with slot machines and other video gaming tables, the Saratoga Casino Hotel has announced a new strategy to compete in an increasingly crowded market.

Note: story updated 10 a.m. 5/26/19

A Cohoes man is facing charges after Saturday’s fatal crash in the Town of Clifton Park.

Mugshots of Jesse James Breault and Ashley Nicole Bell
Warren County Sheriff's Office

Two people have been charged in connection with the death of a Queensbury man.

Guests walk past a dinosaur at Dino Roar Valley
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A decades-old amusement park in Lake George, New York has a new prehistoric look.

Whiteface Mountain
Public Domain

Two people who hiked hours to the summit of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack Park called for a taxi ride down, only to require assistance from state authorities.

Senator James Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York State Attorney General’s office is now investigating the collapse of a hospital retirement fund in Schenectady. Two state lawmakers have also filed legislation intended to get answers.

The Johnstown Board of Education
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Upset parents and students attended last night’s Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education meeting after a district budget vote failed Tuesday.

A voting machine

A contentious race for school board in Saratoga Springs has come to an end. Though the tone of the campaign was sometimes negative, the winning candidates say they’re looking forward to working together on the school board.