Midday Magazine | WAMC

Midday Magazine

Weekdays, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.; Weekends, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

WAMC's award-winning daily news magazine brings listeners the latest in local, national and world news. Join Jim Levulis each weekday for the latest. The weekend edition is hosted by Lucas Willard. The work of the WAMC News team is complemented each day with news and features from the BBC and Stardate. Midday Magazine also offers a comprehensive regional weather summary and a range of commentators who span the political spectrum. Highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line are usually aired on Friday's edition of Midday Magazine.

A white, brown-haired woman in a blue blazer stands with a microphone before her in a room lined with purple curtains
Josh Landes / WAMC

With COVID-19 rates again on the rise around the United States, public and private entities – ranging from the federal government to corporate titans Google and Facebook – have imposed vaccine mandates for employees. Mask mandates are also returning in some areas as the potent Delta variant wreaks havoc on the unvaccinated. In the Berkshires, healthcare providers are beseeching the unvaccinated to take the jab as quickly as possible. Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Linda Tyer says she backs the state’s most recent recommendation for all residents, even the vaccinated, to wear masks indoors under certain circumstances. But Tyer says Pittsfield will not mandate vaccines for city employees at this point. WAMC spoke with Tyer about how Berkshire County's largest community is preparing for the newest challenge of the pandemic.

Congressman Paul Tonko in his Albany office (August 1, 2021)
Dave Lucas / WAMC

U.S. Senators have unveiled their $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. New York Congressman Paul Tonko and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy have high expectations as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the bill could be passed "in a matter of days."

Reid Kisselback
Photo provided for use by NewsChannel 13

NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Reid Kisselback provides his regional weather forecast for Sunday, August 1st, 2021. 

Harriet Harris at Eleanor Roosevelt at Barrington Stage Company.
Barrington Stage Company

With “Eleanor” at Barrington Stage Company there is an almost wondrous blending of creativity which, as it should, turns life into art.   

Reid Kisselback's Midday Forecast 7/31/21

Jul 31, 2021
Reid Kisselback
Photo provided for use by NewsChannel 13

NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Reid Kisselback delivers the regional weather summary for Saturday, July 31st, 2021. 

Ralph Gardner Jr: Are The Mosquitos As Bad At Your House?

Jul 31, 2021
Aedes aegypti mosquito

Behold the mosquito. Actually about a dozen of them. Or was it fifty or a hundred swarming me one evening this week? It’s hard to tell with these pests. Part of their power is that it takes just a single determined individual to ruin your lunch or nap or hike in the woods; it’s not only their bite, it’s the fear they instill even before they land a punch. So it’s difficult to determine how many opponents you’re facing, your mind magnifying the threat, probably giving them more credit than they deserve.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The window of opportunity for victims of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against their alleged abuser in New York ends August 13. Survivors say it’s not too late to file a claim, but some would like another legal window sometime in the near future to accommodate those who are not yet ready to come forward. 

Ray Graf
Ray Graf

Here are the highlights of this week's WAMC listener comment line. You can add your thoughts at 1-800-695-9170.

Rogovoy Report 7/30/21

Jul 30, 2021

The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include new music, avant-garde music, folk music, classical, jazz, dance…plus a whole lot more.

Composite image by Dave Lucas

Although the coronavirus pandemic subsided in the U.S. over the last several weeks, the rapid spread of so-called “breakthrough cases” involving the Delta variant has renewed public concerns, especially in several upstate New York counties.

The Berkshire Healthcare logo
Berkshire Healthcare / https://www.berkshirehealthcare.org/

Three breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a North Adams, Massachusetts nursing home.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

Jul 30, 2021
Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Friday, July 30, 2021.

General George Thomas gravesite at the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, NY
Oakwood Cemetery

A rededication ceremony is scheduled to recognize a Civil War general buried in the Capital Region. General George Thomas was born in Virginia, but fought for the Union Army. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy – the home of his wife – as his family disowned him for his stance during the war. The estimated $50,000 effort to repair elements of his gravesite has taken about 10 years and hundreds of hours of work.


    Weeks ago, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters in Springfield he would decide “soon” about whether he’ll run next year for a third term.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

Jul 29, 2021
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Thursday, July 29, 2021.

The DEC's Jeff Wernick with activist Joe Ritchie.
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Activists are calling on the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the renewal of Norlite's air toxics and hazardous waste permits.

A rendering of the planned HVCC North building
Image provided by Hudson Valley Community College

Hudson Valley Community College plans to expand its footprint in Saratoga County.

Amy Bass
Rodney Bedsole

I was reminded a few weeks ago just how powerful the tug of sports on our hearts and heads can be when a highly anticipated showdown between the Yankees and the Red Sox was postponed because of COVID.

May 2021 file photo of Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott and members of his administration held their weekly briefing on Tuesday.  Continuing vaccinations against COVID-19 in the highest vaccinated state in the nation was their primary focus as cases rise in other areas of the country.

a cellphone

   Earlier this month, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to establish regulations to prohibit manufacturers from making it difficult, or impossible, to have products fixed by consumers or independent repair shops.

A municipal meeting in a city meeting room
Josh Landes / WAMC

The North Adams, Massachusetts city council modified its policies on payment for municipal employees on Tuesday.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

With a new uptick in COVID-19 cases in Berkshire County, the region’s largest healthcare provider is renewing calls for residents to get vaccinated. Berkshire Health Systems Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Lederer says it’s safe to assume that the potent Delta variant is in the Berkshires, putting the unvaccinated in risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death. Lederer recommends mask wearing even if it’s no longer legally required, but says BHS isn’t concerned about breakthrough cases for the vaccinated at this time. He spoke with WAMC.

Years from now, many people won’t remember March 18, 2020 — the day that New York state schools closed for in-person instruction due to the covid pandemic. But it’s a day that I’ll never forget. It’s the day that forever changed the role of technology in the classroom and forced us to rethink how we educate students.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Since January, 48 states have introduced nearly 400 measures that would restrict the ability to vote. Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, both Democrats, are pressing for passage of the “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act” to protect voter rights. Welch and Castro recently held a virtual town hall to discuss what they see as voter suppression threats.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

Jul 27, 2021
Paul Caiano

NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the midday weather summary for July 27, 2021.

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting with 5 people in it.
Josh Landes

The Great Barrington, Massachusetts selectboard received updates on town infrastructure projects at its meeting Monday.


   Work is expected to begin next month on a $3 million project to repair a dam in Springfield, Massachusetts that has been classified as “high hazard.” 

Michelle Ostrelich

Community resistance to the planned merger of Ellis Hospital and St. Peter's Health Partners manifested Sunday in a demonstration in Schenectady.

The Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit runs through October 17th at UPH
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A new family-friendly exhibit at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs puts life-size sculptures of dinosaurs into motion.

Café Hollywood on Lark Street
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan declared a State of Emergency Friday in order to shutter a city bar police say is linked to a recent spike in violence.