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.

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New England News
10:50 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Holiday Light Show Continues Into 2015

Credit Spirit of Springfield

The largest holiday light display in New England will continue after Christmas, as Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield observes its 20th season. 

The displays made up of a total of more than 650,000 lights along a three-mile drive through Springfield’s largest park will remain up through January 4th.   As an added attraction there will be craft making for children and on New Year’s Eve free noisemakers, hats and tiaras will be given out.  Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield, which runs the show said it has become a holiday tradition for many families.

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New England News
6:28 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Report On UMass Amherst Informant Policy Expected In January

A group appointed by the UMass Amherst chancellor to look into the use of students as confidential campus police informants is expected to deliver its report in January.

       The 11-member working group has been meeting regularly since its appointment in October but was unable to meet a goal to issue a report and recommendations on the confidential informant program by the end of the fall semester two weeks ago.

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New England News
2:05 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Charter School Advocate To Be Top Mass. Education Official

Credit Boston Foundation

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker has appointed a nationally known advocate for charter schools to be the state’s top education official.

Baker and James Peyser, are long-time friends who served together in the Weld administration. Peyser was chairman of the state Board of Education under Republican Gov. Paul Cellucci.  As education secretary Peyser will oversee the implementation of the controversial Common Core education standards, a change Baker has questioned.

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New England News
12:55 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Outgoing Mass.Taxpayers Foundation President Warns Of Big Budget Deficit

Michael Widmer, a long time Beacon Hill fiscal watchdog will retire early next year. Widmer has run the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation for 23 years.  The group recently issued a controversial analysis of the state’s budget deficit and an annual report on Massachusetts municipal finances.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Widmer.

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New England News
6:17 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Gunfire At Nightclub Leads To License Hearing

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has scheduled a Dec. 30 license hearing over allegations bouncers hindered a police investigation into a shooting incident at the Zone Nightclub.
Credit Zone Nightclub/Facebook

A nightclub in Springfield, Massachusetts is facing a hearing in front of the mayor as a result of a shooting earlier this month.

A hearing on the Zone Nightclub’s entertainment license has been scheduled for December 30th at Springfield City Hall.  Mayor Domenic Sarno, who has the authority to issue entertainment licenses, has taken a hard line in the past with threats to public safety

"To the businesses that continue to attract a negative element I will continue to be relentless with the laws, boards and commissions that I have," Sarno declared earlier this year.

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New England News
6:11 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

MGM Expects To Start Hiring For Casino Construction In New Year

Credit MGM Springfield

Now that MGM has won Massachusetts regulatory and voter approval to build a resort casino in downtown Springfield the Las Vegas-based entertainment giant has employment and local purchasing commitments to keep. 

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New England News
5:03 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Cop Killings Lead To Demonstrations Of Support For Police

Credit Scott Davidson/Flickr

The recent slayings of two police officers in New York City and one in Florida has resulted in public displays of support for police in western Massachusetts.

   In response to a social media campaign, people in Chicopee have put blue lights in their house windows for police on patrol to see. The police chief of Ludlow suggested in an email that people wear blue ribbons. The mayor of Greenfield, William Martin, went out of his way to pay tribute to police during a ceremony Monday marking new train service.

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New England News
12:10 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

First High-Speed Train Trip Celebrated In Western Mass

An Amtrak train waits at the station in Greenfield, MA at the end of a ceremonial inaugural trip Monday. Public service on the Amtrak Vermonter begins Dec. 29,2014
Credit WAMC

A new era of train travel has arrived in western Massachusetts. High-speed passenger service has come to the region because of new tracks, crossing signals and other upgrades paid for by the multi-billion dollar economic recovery bill passed by the Congress in 2009.

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New England News
4:13 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Officials Inaugurate High Speed Rail Line In Western Mass.

Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a host of federal, state and local officials took an inaugural train ride Monday on newly rebuilt tracks in western Massachusetts.

The trip from Springfield to Greenfield highlighted the dawn of high speed passenger rail service along what is known as the Knowledge Corridor.  For the first time in decades passenger trains will stop in Northampton and Holyoke.  Kathleen Anderson, president of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, said it opens a lot of possibilities including more tourism.

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Student Loan Series
12:44 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Part Four Of Student Loan Series: Education Consultant Offers Ways To Cut Costs

Credit Alan Cleaver/Flickr

Choosing a college, getting admitted, and figuring out how to pay for it are complex decisions with long-lasting consequences.  Because the stakes are so high more and more people are opting not to be do-it-yourselfers.  A growing trend among high school students and their parents is to hire an independent educational consultant.

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