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
6:28 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Task Force To Hear About Heroin Epidemic In Western Mass.

Credit Matthew Kang, flickr

The task force appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to investigate the heroin epidemic in Massachusetts is holding a public meeting Thursday at Greenfield Community College.

The public meeting scheduled from 4 pm-6 pm at the Dining Common is the only western Massachusetts stop on a statewide listening tour by the 17-member panel. 

The task force is to present its findings by the end of May. 

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the depth of the problem has to be  understood before solutions can be suggested.

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New England News
4:33 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Report Says States Making Progress On Budget Transparency

Credit wikipedia.org

A new report from a Massachusetts consumer watchdog said  it is becoming easier for the public to find out how their state tax dollars are spent.

Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut were among 14 states that graded the highest on an annual report card for financial transparency. 

   The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group looked at what spending data is available on line and how accessible it is. 

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New England News
4:28 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Northeast Casino Competition For Gamblers Expected To Grow

A casino arms race is occurring across the Northeast.  States from New York to Maine are looking to expand gambling options for their residents and visitors.  Casino industry expert Clyde Barrow of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley sees continued escalation.

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New England News
12:08 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Mass. Attorney General Wants To Ban E-Cigarette Sales To Minors

The Massachusetts Attorney General is proposing to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  There is currently a void in Massachusetts regulations that has led to a patchwork of local restrictions on the sale and use of the new product.  

       Attorney General Maura Healey Tuesday proposed regulations that would treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products, including banning sales to people under 18 years old, prohibiting free give-a-ways or sampling, require the products be kept behind store counters, and banning vending machine sales except in adults-only establishments.

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New England News
6:31 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Irish Flag Raised At City Hall In Recognition Of St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day was observed at Springfield City Hall where the mayor read a proclamation, the Springfield Parade Committee's award winners were announced and the Irish flag was raised
Credit WAMC

Massachusetts is the most Irish state in the country, with just over 21 percent of the population saying they are of Irish descent.  So, it is not surprising Saint Patrick’s Day is cause for ceremony and celebration.

   About 200 people gathered in front of Springfield City Hall Tuesday morning and watched the green, white, and orange flag of Ireland raised up a pole to fly over the city hall plaza for the day.

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New England News
4:47 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

AG Healey Proposes Banning Sale Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Credit wikipedia.org

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is proposing regulations that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. 

    Healey proposes to effectively treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products. In addition to banning the sale to minors, free give-a-ways would be prohibited.  Massachusetts State Representative Jose Tosado of Springfield said caution is warranted because so little is known about the long term effects of the new product.

  " They are billed as a safe alternative to natural tobacco products, but we don't know," he said.

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New England News
5:03 am
Tue March 17, 2015

New Casinos To Be Pitched In Connecticut

Credit wikipedia commons

The opening salvo in a border war over casino gambling is being fired Tuesday in Connecticut.

A public hearing is scheduled at the state capitol in Hartford on legislation that would permit more casinos in Connecticut.  Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods would jointly operate new casinos that would be strategically located to keep gamblers from traveling to Massachusetts and New York. 

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby says the Baystate legalized casinos in large part to keep gamblers closer to home.

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New England News
6:26 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Neighborhood Eyesore Demolished By Federally Funded Program

A demolition crew works at a long vacant tornado damaged building on Main Street in Springfield, MA
Credit WAMC

A long vacant tornado-damaged building in Springfield, Massachusetts was demolished today, as city officials vowed to continue a neighborhood-by-neighborhood crackdown on blight.

A former auto parts store on Main Street in Springfield was torn down Monday. The building had been vacant for more than a decade. It was damaged by the 2011 tornado. A car crashed through it.  The single story building had been seized by the city for non-payment of taxes and Springfield officials could not find anyone to buy it for redevelopment.

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New England News
12:16 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

With A Casino On The Way A Neighborhood Market Prepares To Close Its Doors

Credit WAMC

A family-run market that has been a fixture in the Italian American community in Springfield, Massachusetts for nearly a century is about to close.  The tiny market would be in the shadow of the resort casino that MGM is about to build. 

There will be no lines out the door and down the block of people waiting this summer to buy the Italian lemon ice –made from a secret family recipe.  Tiny Albano’s market on East Columbus Ave. in Springfield’s South End neighborhood is closing after 73 years in business.

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New England News
2:21 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Blighted Building Where Gas Leaked To Be Razed

Springfield city officials have targeted this vacant building for demolition after a gas leak disrupted part of the city's downtown.
Credit WWLP

A blighted tornado-damaged building on Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts will soon come under the wrecker’s ball. 

Springfield city officials will formally announce Monday the demolition of a former auto parts store, that was the scene of a recent natural gas leak that forced a temporary closure of several streets and precautionary evacuations.  The city seized the building for non-payment of taxes, but could not find an interested buyer for redevelopment.  Mayor Domenic Sarno is pursuing a blight reduction strategy.

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