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

Guilderland Police have provided more details on two recent shooting deaths.

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

Western Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat who chairs the influential House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement Friday he is “consulting with counsel on how best to enforce” subpoenas issued to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The "living room" at Healing Springs
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A recovery center in Saratoga Springs has doubled in size. The center hopes to provide new programs for people battling addiction and their families. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard took a tour.

Signs on a car outside a Saratoga Springs Planning Board meeting
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Residents who live near a proposed expansion at Saratoga Hospital remain opposed to the construction of a new medical office building. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard attended a packed public meeting Thursday night.

A rendering of the proposed Holocaust memorial planned for Niskayuna, NY
Dembling + Dembling Architects P.C.

A community forum was held Wednesday night on a redesigned proposal for a Holocaust memorial in the Schenectady County town of Niskayuna.

Today, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee is holding a legislative hearing on a series of bills related to PFAS contaminants, a class of compounds discovered in water supplies across the country.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A controversial bill in the New York state legislature to allow undocumented immigrants to seek a driver’s license is gaining momentum. While Republicans remain opposed to the measure, some upstate Democrats say their concerns are being addressed.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Two upstate New York Congressmen this week introduced bills aimed at protecting the public from exposure to PFAS chemicals, which have contaminated water supplies in communities across the Northeast.

Candidates for Saratoga Springs school board meet at Saratoga Springs High School
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Seven candidates are vying for three open seats on the Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education. The at-times contentious campaign has focused on the issue of safety, after the school board last fall chose not to renew a practice that allowed grounds monitors to carry guns. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on a forum held Wednesday night with the candidates.

Plastic straws
Public Domain

As included in this year’s state budget, New York State will ban single-use plastic bags in 2020. But some communities are taking steps to address another kind of plastic pollution.

Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

With thoroughbred racing again underway at the New York Racing Association’s Belmont Park, NYRA is highlighting safety reforms at its racetracks.

A rendering of the planned medical office complex at 989 Route 146 in Clifton Park
Columbia Development Companies

Albany Medical Center hospital is expanding its network of urgent care facilities in the Capital Region. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Monday in the Saratoga County Town of Clifton Park.

A view of the Boys & Girls Club facility under construction in Schenectady
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Officials and donors gathered Monday to view construction on a new community center for the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady.

The longest-serving mayor of the City of Schenectady is being mourned today. Frank Duci died Sunday at age 97 in Florida. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more on how some officials are remembering the late mayor.

Road signs over Route 5 in Amsterdam
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week announced more than $144 million in infrastructure funding across the state. The funding is intended to support roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the City of Amsterdam was awarded millions to support two projects.

Matt Ossenfort
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort gave his sixth State of the County address Thursday. Now in his second four-year term, the Republican talked about how the Mohawk Valley county has changed during his time in office.

The executive director of an organization that serves the Latino community in the City of Amsterdam is stepping down.

Protesters joined a press conference held by Republican State Senator Daphne Jordan against a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to seek a driver's license
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Republican New York State Senator Daphne Jordan and other Capital Region Republican officials gathered in Troy today to speak out against a pair of bills in the state legislature that would allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.

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

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Environmental Consevation announced remediation work would begin at the Saint-Gobain facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls. The Superfund site is at the center of the PFOA water contamination issue affecting village water supplies. PFOA has been linked to ill health effects including cancer.

A render of the planned Mercy House facility at Bethesda Episcopal Church
Mercy House

The City of Saratoga Springs has boomed with investment and development in recent years. But not all populations have benefited.

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium in a law library flanked by law enforcement officials (file photo)
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington has provided an update on a believed quadruple murder-suicide in the Town of Sheffield. Luke Karpinski is believed to have killed his wife Justine Wilbur and their three children before setting fire to their home on March 13th.

The Hudson River
Elizabeth Hill / WAMC

Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding General Electric’s cleanup of the Hudson River has drawn strong reaction from politicians and environmentalists, with New York state officials threatening to sue the federal agency.

Pete Lopez (file photo)

New York state, the federal government and environmentalists up and down the Hudson have been readying for months for the next chapter of General Electric’s mandated cleanup of the river.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The debate over the future of General Electric’s Hudson River dredging is likely headed to court.

Flags marking a planned section of the Geyser Road Trail in 2017
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A long-awaited section of a trail network in Saratoga Springs cleared a hurdle Wednesday, allowing construction to begin.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to make an announcement related to the Hudson River Superfund Cleanup tomorrow morning.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Included in the New York State budget signed April 1st is a provision to prohibit the release of mugshots by law enforcement departments. New York State troopers have already stopped releasing the photos, which are often shared on social media.

Lake George, NY
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Village of Lake George has a small population during the winter months, but in the summer it draws tens of thousands of visitors on any given day. The Warren County village needs to overhaul its wastewater treatment plant, but funding a new facility is proving to be a challenge.

A wooden memorial dedicated to the victims of the deadly October limousine crash in Schoharie
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Note: 4/6/19 11:35 a.m., this post has been updated.

It’s been six months since one of the deadliest automobile crashes in U.S. history occurred in the rural community of Schoharie, New York. Twenty people were killed after a stretch limousine came down a steep hill and crashed into a parking lot.

On Friday evening, a grand jury indicted the operator of the limousine company involved in the crash with 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide and 20 counts of manslaughter in the second degree.

As investigations continue, lawmakers and people affected by the crash are seeking safety improvements to limousines.

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

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has directed the operator of a landfill across the Hudson River from the state capitol in Albany to address recent reports of blowing dust.