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.  

Ways to Connect

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced $3 million in grants for communities to address contaminated sites across New York.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As New York’s On Pause order remains in effect, county leaders are working together to ensure businesses can reopen on a regional basis.

The Saratoga Springs summer tourism season, buoyed by horse racing, outdoor concerts, theatre, and other attractions is looking uncertain at best. The city finance department is predicting a $14 to 16 million reduction in revenues for the year – about a third of the annual budget. To mitigate potential impacts, the search is on for ways to cut expenses.

Bennington Police

Officials in Bennington, Vermont will take questions from the public on a report that examined community-police relations following racially-based complaints.

New York Attorney General Tish James is warning Capital Region residents about a scam that involves individuals impersonating Albany and Troy police officers. 

Tents at Camp Wakpominee in Fort Ann, NY
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The issue of state guidance on reopening summer camps this year turned into a spat between Governor Andrew Cuomo and upstate New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik on Thursday, and the future of camping programs remains unclear.

As New York begins a regional re-opening strategy, the state has released guidelines for contact tracing to follow the spread of COVID-19.

Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo cast more uncertainty about live horse racing at Saratoga Race Course this summer. With a meet scheduled to begin in July and the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic, the Democrat addressed the question of whether to reopen the summer tourism destination in his daily briefing.

Upstate New York’s Congressional representatives gathered for a televised virtual town hall about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday night. 

Motorcycles lined up at Americade (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

An annual event that draws thousands to kick off the summer season in Lake George has been moved back a month.

Business development leaders met in a virtual town hall on Wednesday to discuss what the Capital Region economy might look like after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marcus Molinaro
Karen DeWitt

Leaders of county governments are demanding the next round of federal stimulus money contain funds for state and local governments.

David William Turner
Photo provided

I recently learned that a friend of mine was hospitalized for COVID-19.

University at Albany

The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound effect on public health, the economy, and everyday life. But researchers are also studying how the ripple effects of the disease will impact air quality and global pollution emissions.

Northern New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik held a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. The Republican answered questions about the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The group Common Cause is pushing the New York State legislature to resume its regular session remotely, as the COVID-19 outbreak has made convening at the capitol in Albany nearly impossible.

Saratoga County seal
Saratoga County

Some members of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors are continuing to call for a regular monthly meeting. The group has concerns about a decision made last month to pay some county workers time-and-a-half during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Albany Med nurses
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Albany Medical Center nurses rallied outside the hospital on New Scotland Avenue Saturday morning.

The nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association say the hospital has been restricting access to respirators and other equipment.

Vote Here sign
WAMC photo by Patrick Garrett

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order this week allowing all New Yorkers to participate in the June 23rd primary via absentee ballot. Advocates want state leaders to take things even further to protect voters in the future.

Positive COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County have more than doubled in the last week. With warm weather coming and religious holidays here, officials are urging residents to comply with social distancing in communities that have not yet reached peak spread of the virus.

Saratoga County seal
Saratoga County

A pay raise for some Saratoga County employees during the response to the COVID-19 crisis is continuing to generate backlash, with some county supervisors pushing for a special meeting to address the issue.

A hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs is now housing the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IUE-CWA

Union workers in Schenectady rallied outside of General Electric today, asking the company to ramp up production of ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The City of Saratoga Springs has advanced a long-awaited project to locate a fire/EMS facility on the city’s east side. 

Russell Brown
Photo provided

Straining broadband internet and parents alike, students are now taking classes from home as schools remain closed due to the coronavirus. It’s not clear students will return at all this school year. Teachers have also had to adapt, bringing their instruction online. 

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New York has risen to more than 3,500.

A "For Rent" sign
wikipedia commons

Upstate officials have different views on how to contain the spread of COVID-19, with some asking people with positive cases or coming from downstate areas to stay away.

Rep. Paul Tonko
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Capital Region Congressman Paul Tonko is criticizing the Trump administration for mixed messages on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democrat from New York’s 20th District spoke to constituents on a telephone town hall Wednesday night. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was on the line.

Schenectady County Historical Society

The COVID-19 outbreak has already proven to be a significant event in world history. And now one local organization wants to collect and preserve the stories of ordinary people living through it. 

City of Saratoga Springs / Facebook

The cities of Saratoga Springs and Schenectady are taking action to discourage large gatherings in a time of social distancing.

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