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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An empty clubhouse at Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The horses, jockeys and trainers were on the track today in Saratoga Springs for the start of the summer meet. But the fans had no choice but to stay home.

A large NYRA Bets card
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A new racing season is beginning today. And with no fans to walk up to the betting window at Saratoga Race Course this year, NYRA is partnering with Stewart’s Shops to popularize its mobile betting platform.

Photo courtesy Zach Neven / Zachneven.com

Protesters who are claiming a white couple waved a gun during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kinderhook are pressing charges.

Protesters on the steps of Schenectady City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Protesters risked arrest at Schenectady City Hall Monday night a week after video of a controversial police encounter sparked outcry in the Electric City. 

A woman is led into a patrol car without handcuffs after a couple allegedly waved a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters in Kinderhook on Saturday
Kamal Johnson

Update: Police announced on Monday, July 12th that no arrests have been made and that an investigation is ongoing. Web copy has been updated to reflect these developments. 

A couple was questioned by police after allegedly pointing a gun at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Kinderhook Saturday.

Protesters demonstrate outside the back gate of the Schenectady Police Department on July 6th
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Members of the Schenectady chapter of the NAACP are scheduled to hold a press conference at noon Saturday after a controversial arrest in the Electric City earlier in the week.

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy says the city police department’s Office of Professional Standards and the Schenectady County District Attorney are finalizing their review of a controversial arrest on Monday.

In the meantime, the city police department has released more video of the encounter.

Lake George
Lucas Willard / WAMC

As multimillion dollar upgrades are being made at the Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant to protect water quality, a new partnership between local banks and the FUND for Lake George is aimed at upgrading old septic systems in the Lake George basin. 

A situation where confidential employee information from the non-profit Shelters of Saratoga was uploaded to the Saratoga Springs city website is being chalked up to human error.

Schenectady Police headquarters
Lucas Willard / WAMC

After video of an arrest Monday led to protests outside police headquarters hours later, Schenectady officials announced changes to several police protocols Thursday. 

Tensions between Saratoga Springs residents of color and the city police department were put on full display in an online forum Wednesday night.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford
Lucas Willard / WAMC

There is new information today about the Schenectady police officer who appears to use his knee on a city man’s neck in video of an arrest on Monday. 

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Chief of the Schenectady Police Department is urging patience as authorities continue their investigation into a Monday incident where it appeared an officer placed his knee on a man's neck while making an arrest.  

Protesters outside Schenectady Police HQ on Monday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Protesters gathered outside Schenectady Police headquarters Monday night hours after a video circulated online of what appears to be a police officer holding a man to the ground with his knee on the man’s neck. Now, the mayor says the incident is under review. 

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Once the epicenter of the pandemic, New York City will enter Phase Three of reopening Monday but indoor dining will not immediately return.

Marc Schultz / Photo provided by Thearse For Senate

Thearse McCalmon this week declared victory in the Democratic Primary for New York state’s 49th Senate District seat against challenger Donovan McCrae. The seat is currently held by Republican James Tedisco, who has served in the state legislature for decades.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Between now and April 2021, New York communities are being asked to “reinvent” their police departments, under a directive issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard asked public officials in Schenectady for their thoughts on the policy.

Senator Charles Schumer speaks at a press conference in Amsterdam detailing new proposed limousine safety regulations
Michael Apollo / WAMC

As the second anniversary of a fatal crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie nears, a slate of limousine safety measures is moving forward in the House of Representatives.

Sheriff Craig Apple and Albany Law student Elena Kilcullen
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says his department is assigning 14 deputies to bolster policing efforts in the city of Albany, which has been wracked by gun violence in recent weeks. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan asked Wednesday for reinforcements from Apple and the New York State Police, with the city force understaffed by about 50 officers.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins speaking Wednesday afternoon at the corner of First and Quail Streets
Lucas Willard / WAMC

During a streak of gun violence Wednesday, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan asked State Police and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office to step up patrols in the city.

Mayor Gary McCarthy joins Schenectady public safety officials at a press conference Wednesday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Schenectady is looking for a solution to the problem of persistent late-night fireworks in the Electric City.

Wikimedia Commons/Diego Grez

Police in Albany are investigating a homicide that occurred Saturday night on North Lake Avenue.

Nine people were shot at a Syracuse party. One victim, a 17-year-old, is reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the head.

The Environmental Protection Agency logo
The Environmental Protection Agency

Ownership of an access road to the Hudson River PCB cleanup site in Fort Edward is being transferred to a local development agency.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released new actions to further restrict burning of potentially toxic firefighting foam at a Cohoes facility. 

Lake George, NY
Lucas Willard / WAMC

If you’re planning a trip to Lake George this summer, new real-time weather forecasting might help your next sail or camping trip go a bit more smoothly.

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department are holding meetings across the state to gather input on how to reopen and meet the needs of students in the fall.

Albany Medical Center sign
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A recent webinar brought together leaders of three Capital Region hospitals to look back on the last few months during the pandemic and to look ahead to a changed way of doing business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has re-opened the application window for the Economic Disaster Industry Loan program. Like the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL is another way for businesses to receive federal support during the pandemic.

As Phase Three arrives in the Capital Region, the Saratoga Springs City council is allowing restaurants and bars to expand their outdoor seating. 

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