Many have heard of NXIVM and its creator, Keith Raniere, the unassuming Albany man now prosecuted for ensnaring tens of thousands of people in the US, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere, to do his bidding and pay millions of dollars to participate in his self-improvement methodology. But where did Keith Raniere begin?

Enter Toni Natalie, Keith's Patient Zero, the first one indoctrinated into Raniere's methodology and the first one to escape.

She writes about it in "The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM." She has written the book with investigative journalist Chet Hardin.  

Jon Campbell

Business owners and city employees are gearing up for one of Albany’s signature events this weekend: LarkFest.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

On September 7th Eric Hawkins marks his first year as Albany Police Chief. He looked back on that year with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

Aurora Games
Jesse King / WAMC

The Aurora Games, an all-women athletics event, begins Monday evening with a kickoff event at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. 

The winner of more awards than any editorial writer in the Albany Times Union’s history, Jim McGrath was both an Albany institution and a keen observer of the world beyond his beloved adopted city. When he died in 2013 at the age of fifty-six, the newspaper lost a writer who combined a passionate advocacy for society’s most vulnerable people with a scathing disregard for the elite whose actions created an underclass in the United States.

His editorials and commentaries charted many critical issues in New York and the country: the death penalty, civil liberties, gay rights, historic presidential campaigns, the economy, terrorism, and more.

A new book of Jim McGrath’s work is out, entitled: I’ll Be Home.

The book is edited by Jim’s widow, Darryl McGrath, is an Albany journalist and the author of "Flight Paths: A Field Journal of Hope, Heartbreak, and Miracles with New York’s Bird People," and Howard Healy, a copy-editor and proofreader for the New York State Bar Association; he retired as editorial page editor of the Times Union in 2008.

The Albany Symphony and its eclectic ensemble, the Dogs of Desire, breaks out of the concert hall as part of their Sing Out! New York Tour beginning tonight in Schuylerville and continuing in Albany, Schenectady and Hudson. They bring with them a performance packed with the unexpected— a concert designed to dazzle the eye and the ear. Audiences will hear Beethoven’s revolutionary Symphony No. 5 paired with newly commissioned work, inspiring sing-alongs, summertime favorites, and fireworks.

To make way for new technology like 5G and other wireless services, the Federal Communications Commission is assigning over-the-air television stations to new channels, including many in the Albany area.

Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre announced their 2019-2020 subscription series on March 4.

The Proctors slate includes "The Spongebob Musical" and Disney's "Frozen," both of which will launch national tours from Schenectady. "The Spongebob Musical" will be in town in late September, while "Frozen" will spend two weeks in November. 

Capital Repertory Theatre will usher in its new space, only blocks from its present location in downtown Albany, with "Sister Act" in July 2020. Other highlights include the east coast premiere of "Your Best One" beginning in mid-January 2020.

To tell us more  we welcome: Philip Morris the CEO of Proctors in Schenectady and TheRep, and Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Producing Artistic Director at The Rep. 

The Front Parlor Series began in February 2011. Front Parlor is held twice a month in Troy and in Albany and features storytellers and comedians from the Capital Region and beyond. Storytellers share witty, honest, terrifying, compelling, and sometimes sorrowful tales from their own personal lives and observations. The 8th Anniversary show happens this Friday at 8PM at The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio and Front Parlor will feature 5 brilliant storytellers.

To tell us more we welcome local artist, storyteller, and corporate educator Gregor Wynnyczuk, producer of the show Jamie Thompson, and stand-up comedian Jeff Simmermon -- who has been featured on The Moth, This American Life, The Risk Podcast, and in his own show "And I Am Not Lying Variety Show" at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC.

Dorcey Applyrs at WAMC (February 2019)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Some new faces have been changing city politics in Albany, once famous for machine rule. One example is Common Councilor Dorcey Applyrs, who was a political newcomer when she ran for the council in 2013. She recently sat down with WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

Cradle of the Union: A Street by Street History of New York's Capital City
Jim Levulis, WAMC News

While every city has a Main Street or First Avenue, most cities have street names that carry history with them. Writer Erik Schlimmer dug through historical records to find out why the streets of Albany have their current names. 

The "Rusty Anchor" secured at the Port of Albany after it drifted down the Hudson River
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Danger was averted when several unstaffed boats were sent adrift on the ice-packed Hudson River this morning. It was a tense few hours, but no one was injured and authorities have secured all vessels involved.

The cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Plattsburgh have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers. The cities are hoping to recoup expenses from a crisis they say has placed a strain on taxpayers.

When it was completed the Lincoln Park pool was one of the largest municipal pools in country and a model by which all others would be judged.

Plans to revitalize Albany’s landmark Lincoln Park are moving forward.

Jon Campbell / Facebook

The City of Albany will host a public input meeting on the future of a downtown park next month.

Club Pheonix in Albany hours after the fatal shooting of Joseph Davis
Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 9/29/19 12:27 p.m.:

An arrest has been made related to the early morning shooting at an Albany nightclub that injured three people.

The Albany Police Department says 25-year-old Shaquille Owens was arrested following an investigation.

Owens faces charges of Attempted Murder in the 2nd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree.

The original text of this story follows below:

The Albany Police Department is investigating an early morning shooting that occurred at a Central Avenue nightclub.

Albany city officials have scheduled a public meeting on the Lincoln Park Master Plan design project.

Some of the transmission towers at the Albany-area "antenna farm" in the Heldeberg Mountains.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Some upstate New York television viewers have eight more reasons to cut the cord.

Residents and community leaders are mobilizing in Albany to save a downtown pharmacy from imminent closure.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Residents of Albany's South End are stepping up efforts to keep a neighborhood pharmacy from closing.

Residents and community leaders are mobilizing in Albany to save a downtown pharmacy from imminent closure.

E-Comm 6 coming down.
WAMC/Ian Pickus

Updated August 3, 2018 7:20 a.m.


One of the busiest streets in downtown Albany was closed Thursday amid fears of a building collapse. 

The Albany Police Department is investigating another shooting death as a rash in violent crime continues.

The Albany Police Department is investigating two seperate shooting incidents that occurred early Sunday morning.

City of Albany

Clifton Park-based County Waste & Recycling used to pay the city of Albany $10 a ton for recyclables — until its biggest customer dramatically changed policy. The tables have turned: Albany now pays the recycler.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

The Albany Police Department is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred late Friday night.

Palace Theatre

A summer movie series for city kids is back for another run at Albany's Palace Theatre.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Several streets and buildings in downtown Albany will be closed Sunday in the area near the Corning Tower.

The Albany Police Department says a helicopter will be lifting materials from the Grand Street parking lot to the roof of the tower on the Empire State Plaza.

It’s the first of three planned lifts as crews perform roofing work and replace the building’s maintenance rigs.

Road closures from 7 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m.:

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Police say a protest today could tie up traffic in downtown Albany.

The City of Albany’s Department of Planning and Development and the Capital District Transportation Committee are hosting a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the future of Washington Avenue near the University of Albany’s uptown campus.

WikiMedia Commons

An Albany-area postal center has reopened after three postal workers were sickened when they encountered an unknown substance.