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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Office of the Northwestern District Attorney

Law enforcement officials have received a national award for helping bust a big car insurance fraud operation in western Massachusetts.

Two Massachusetts State Police officers and a prosecutor in the Northwestern District Attorney’s office have been named “Insurance Investigator of the Year” by the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. 

First Assistant DA Steven Gagne said a two year investigation resulted in 48 people being charged last year with over 300 counts of insurance fraud, perjury and conspiracy.

Massachusetts has a set of new laws on the books to safeguard the integrity of benefits, programs, and services intended for members of the military, veterans and their families.

With active members of the armed services and military veterans looking on, Governor Charlie Baker signed five bills at a Statehouse ceremony earlier this week, including one that makes “stolen valor” a crime punishable by imprisonment, a fine, or both.

A scene from the Bright Nights at Forest Park light display
Spirit of Springfield

The largest holiday-themed light show in the Northeast opens to the public for a 21st season tonight in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Bright Nights at Forest Park has more than 650,000 lights along a three-mile drive through the city’s largest park.  It draws tens of thousands of visitors, including many tour groups. 

Bright Nights is a collaboration of Spirit of Springfield, a private non-profit organization, and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

WAMC’s Paul Tuthill spoke with Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt.

A major Wall Street bond rating agency has downgraded the credit outlook for Massachusetts.

Standard and Poor’s changed the outlook on Massachusetts bonds from stable to negative and warned that if the state continues to spend down its cash reserves the bond rating could be lowered in the future. 

It echoes concerns raised recently by Eileen McAnneny of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation over Beacon Hill’s practice of using the rainy day fund to fill gaps in the state budget.

Toys that pose a danger to young children exposing them to a choking risk, loud noise, or toxic materials are displayed at a MassPIRG news conference.

With the holiday shopping season set to begin, a consumer group in Massachusetts is out with its annual warning about toy safety.

Despite decades of consumer warnings and product safety crackdowns by the government, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group says it still found toys on store shelves this year that could cause harm to small children.

A photo of concrete barriers on Main Street in Springfield at the casino job site

Businesses in the area where MGM is planning to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts complain about a loss of parking and a reduction in foot traffic. But it appears the business owners can expect no relief from the city.

Concrete barriers put around the 14-acre casino construction  site that extend out to just beyond the edge of the curb along heavily traveled Main and State Streets will remain in place after the Springfield City Council recently deadlocked 6-6 on a vote to order the removal of the structures.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Monday signed a bill to make it a crime for someone to falsely claim to have served in the military in order to profit.

The so-called “Stolen Valor Act” was sponsored by State Rep. John Velis of Westfield, a decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

He said he was troubled by hearing about more and more instances of people posing as military veterans in order to get a special rate on a loan, a leg up on a job application, or just a discount in a store.

" To me this is morally reprehensible. It is disgusting," said Velis.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA

Final plans have been filed for the MGM Springfield casino project.

The filing of the final complete site plan for the project, announced by city officials Monday, triggers a 30-day review and the requirement the City Council hold a public hearing within 45-days.

At a public presentation on the casino project in Springfield last week, the city’s deputy director of  planning, Phil Dromey said his department is anxious to complete the regulatory reviews.

" It is time really to get to the nuts and bolts of this," he said.

a poster announces a tribute to Marine Gunnery Srgt Thomas Sullivan

     The Massachusetts Marine killed when a gunman attacked a military site in Tennessee earlier this year will be honored at a holiday tradition in his home town.

      The family of U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan will be grand marshals for this year’s “Parade of the Big Balloons” in Springfield.  Joseph Sullivan said the family, which has guarded its privacy, accepted the invitation of the parade organizers to show their gratitude for the outpouring of support from city officials and residents after his brother was killed last July.

a portrait of Springfield Bishop emeritus Joseph Maguire

A beloved western Massachusetts spiritual leader will be remembered Monday on the first anniversary of his death.

A noon mass will be said Monday at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield in honor of Bishop Emeritus Joseph Maguire. The man remembered fondly as the “people’s bishop” died last year at the age of 95.

 Maguire, who was the son of a Boston police detective, was installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in 1977 and served through 1991.