Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

Ways To Connect

Springfield Public Schools

Most kids don’t look forward to going back to school, but one western Massachusetts city tries to make it festive.

The Springfield Public Schools and food services company Sodexo will host the annual back to school barbecue Saturday at Blunt Park. Its free and open to the city’s public school students, staff and their families. 

Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said in addition to food, music and games  6,000 backpacks with school supplies will be given away and 40,000 brand new books distributed.

WAMC

$120 million in federal and state money was spent over the last three years to build a high speed rail line, with new track, ties, switches, and stations, running parallel to the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.  Now local officials are working to get more trains running on that line called the Knowledge Corridor.

WAMC

A big crowd including state and local officials turned out Thursday to mark the historic return of passenger train service to a western Massachusetts city.

Holyoke is now a twice daily stop for the Amtrak Vermonter on the recently built Knowledge Corridor high speed rail line.  Passenger trains had not stopped in Holyoke since 1966.

Massachusetts Lt. Gov Karyn Polito took part in ceremony   to open the new $ 4.3 million downtown train station.

WAMC

MGM is setting out to fill some of the 2,000 construction jobs that were promised to build the company’s $800 million Springfield casino.

MGM officials are scheduling two days of interviews, Thursday and Friday, with minority-owned and women-owned union construction companies interested in bidding for jobs on the project. 

The Las Vegas-based entertainment company  interviewed veteran-owned businesses in July at its Springfield construction office. 

WAMC

In its first summer in operation, a western Massachusetts city’s bookmobile has been a big success. Library advocates hope the service offered in Chicopee will inspire other communities to put libraries on wheels.

The Chicopee Public Library Bookmobile, which began a biweekly schedule in late June of two 90- minute stops per day that will end the Friday before Labor Day, is on course to exceed 2,000 customers who checked out close to 1,300 items.

Mayor Richard Kos, who championed the creation of a bookmobile, said it was a “home run.”

American Red Cross

A national disaster preparedness program is coming to western Massachusetts to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Pillowcase Project, inspired by the sight of  Katrina evacuees carrying their belongings in pillowcases, is offered in elementary schools and after-school programs.  Mary Nathan of the western Massachusetts Chapter of the Red Cross said 3rd - 5th graders lean about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, and coping skills.

Program participants are given pillowcases they can decorate and personalize and use to hold to emergency supplies. 

WILPF

A human rights and peace activist from Northampton, Massachusetts has just returned from El Salvador. Paki Wieland traveled there with a group of other activists to bring attention to the plight of women imprisoned for violating the country’s strict anti-abortion laws. The women insist they suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Wieland.

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced state funding to advance construction projects at two community college campuses in western Massachusetts.

Baker announced $2.5 million and $3 million to Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College, respectively, to modernize and repair a building on each campus. The funding awards are part of a “fix it first” strategy announced by the administration in June for dealing with the state’s infrastructure needs.

The cause of death of a Massachusetts foster child remains a mystery. A surviving foster child is in “dire” condition according to authorities.

     The foster mother responsible for the two young girls who were discovered unresponsive Saturday had six children living in her Auburn home.  Asked about it at a news conference, Governor Charlie Baker said it is the maximum number the state’s foster care system allows.

WAMC

A first time candidate in Springfield’s municipal election has won a rare endorsement from a veteran Massachusetts politician. 

State Rep. Benjamin Swan, dean of the city’s legislative delegation, Wednesday announced his support for Jesse Lederman’s bid to win an at-large seat on the Springfield City Council in the November 3rd election.

" He's a young man. He's energetic, " Swan said of Lederman. " He'll be a very positive addition to the council."

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