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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Vermont state lawmakers are introducing for the third time a bill designed to require polluters to pay for medical monitoring expenses for residents affected by toxic contamination.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara speaks with members of SLIC on Wednesday via Zoom
Zoom/Image capture by WAMC

With eviction moratoriums continuing for almost a year, lawmakers in Albany are trying to find ways to assist landlords struggling from a loss of rent during the pandemic. 

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force received some public comment Wednesday night on its draft police reform recommendations. But one case continues to dominate conversation around policing in the Spa City.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy (file photo)
Albany County/screengrab by WAMC

The same day that the targeted vaccination center opened in Albany, the county leaders of Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties gathered to encourage the public to seek a vaccine, and also aired some shared frustrations.

Saratoga Springs City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The city of Saratoga Springs is preparing for an influx of federal aid and coronavirus vaccine. 

Scotia Mayor Tom Gifford
Photo provided to WAMC by Tom Gifford

The village of Scotia in Schenectady County is preparing for some neighborhood improvements. Democratic Mayor Tom Gifford told WAMC's Lucas Willard about some efforts that are in the planning stages, including pedestrian improvement projects.

Senator Joseph Griffo
Official portrait of New York State Senator Joseph Griffo

A New York Times report Saturday night detailed new allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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WAMC Listening Party playlist as aired Saturday, February 27th, 2021:

A concept image for a Saratoga Hospital medical office complex
The Jones Firm/LA Group/Image capture by WAMC

Saratoga Hospital has designs for a new medical office complex near its main campus in Saratoga Springs. After a similar effort failed in 2016, the hospital pitched a new concept to the city’s planning board Thursday night.

Saratoga County IDA Chair Rod Sutton
Saratoga County webcast/Image capture by WAMC

Saratoga County officials are encouraging business owners to take advantage of available grant funding to assist small companies during the pandemic.

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force met Wednesday night over Zoom
Zoom/Screen grab by WAMC

In compliance with a state mandate to “reimagine” policing, the Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force has approved a list of policy recommendations to be reviewed by the city council.

Schenectady City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Three newcomer candidates have been endorsed by major parties in contests for Schenectady’s city council, where five seats will be chosen this Election Day.

Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle recently announced his run for a fourth term. 

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Playlist as aired Saturday, February 20st, 2021.

Schenectady City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Five of seven Schenectady City Council seats will be up for grabs this fall. 

Matt Ossenfort delivers his 2021 State of the County address
Image credit Montgomery County/Facebook Live, screen grab by WAMC

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort delivered his eighth State of the County address this week. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, the Republican reflected on the sacrifices made over the last year.

Saratoga County officials speak Wednesday on Facebook Live
Image capture by WAMC

Officials in Saratoga County provided updates Wednesday on a number of efforts related to assisting residents during the pandemic.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton announced this past week she’s running for a second two-year term on the city council, but she’s leaving the Republican Party first. 

A self-described moderate, Dalton says she no longer fits in with the party, and will seek re-election without a party affiliation. 

WAMC's Lucas Willard spoke with Dalton about her announcement. 

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Playlist as aired on Saturday, February 13th, 2021.

A screen-captured image of the racial bias audit report completed by firm CNA
CNA/Town of Niskayuna

An outside audit of the Schenectady County Town of Niskayuna’s police department has been released. The audit reveals a racial disparity in arrests in the mostly white community.

An archive photo of the former GE plant in Fort Edward. Advocates claim that PCBs released from GE's former facilities in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls have led to elevated instances of cancer in the region
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Advocates are challenging the findings of a 2019 New York State Department of Health assessment of cancer patterns in Warren County.

Snowplow with salt/sand (file)
WAMC/Pat Bradley

As part of an effort to reduce the use of road salt in the Adirondacks, the FUND For Lake George has released a film to demonstrate how communities in the Lake George Basin have been able to use new technology to save money and protect the environment.

Jerry Ford speaks at Monday night's meeting of the Troy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative
City of Troy, Zoom, image captured by WAMC

Troy has begun public meetings of its Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. Tonight, city residents will have the chance to share their thoughts in a public forum. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, a coalition of the city’s Black leaders offered recommendations this week.

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Playlist as aired for WAMC Listening Party on February 6th, 2021:

Rep. Richard Neal

With Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, Democrats in the U.S. Senate early Friday took action to move forward a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. State and federal officials provided updates on the bill on Friday.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden speaks during his 2021 State Of The City address.
City of Troy/YouTube image captured by WAMC

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden delivered his State of the City address Thursday night.

Jackie Orhcard / WAMC

The New York State Senate has passed a bill relating to the aftercare of retired racehorses. 

The State Senate on Wednesday voted on the bill that among other provisions prohibits the slaughter of race horses or breeding stock, requires all racehorses be microchipped, requires breeding funds have a dedicated set-aside for aftercare programs, and provides tax credits for accredited aftercare facilities.  

Schenectady City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

As a state mandated committee reviews police policies and procedures in Schenectady, the city’s existing Civilian Police Review Board is suggesting its own improvements.

The New York State Capitol in Albany
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Officials in the City of Saratoga Springs are once again lobbying the state legislature to restore aid funding from New York’s video lottery terminal gambling facilities.

NYRA CEO David O'Rourke inside the new 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course in 2019
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Due to the pandemic, the New York Racing Association in 2020 held races at its three tracks — including Saratoga Race Course — without fans in the stands. In Saratoga, it made for an eerie summer, with the normally packed picnic grounds and finish line desolate.  

NYRA recently announced the schedule for the 2021 meet at the Spa, with live racing scheduled from July 15th to Labor Day, but word is still out if fans will be allowed back on the historic grounds. 

WAMC's Lucas Willard spoke with NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke about his hopes for bringing cheering crowds back to Saratoga Race Course this summer.