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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An environmental group warns solar power growth in Massachusetts is threatened by a months-long stalemate over the future of a program to compensate the owners of solar installations.

To make the case for net-metering, which allows roof-top solar owners to receive credits for the power generated, Environment Massachusetts produced a report that compiles 11 seperate cost-benefit analyses of solar energy. 

Ben Hellerstein, state director of the environmental group, said their report highlights the societal and environmental benefits of solar.

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Hospitals in Massachusetts are struggling to comply with a 2012 law that requires information about prices be readily available to the public.  That is the finding of a survey released today by the Pioneer Institute, a public policy research center.  

The report was written by Barbara Anthony, a former Massachusetts consumer affairs secretary, who is now a senior fellow at Pioneer.   She spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

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Massachusetts enters the casino era today. The state’s first gambling hall opens to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The opportunities for people to gamble in the state are likely to grow in the years ahead.

The first casino in Massachusetts opens to the public Wednesday.

Plainridge Park Casino, located at a harness race track near the Rhode Island border, has 1,200 slot machines, but no table games.  

The more upscale resort casinos planned in Springfield and greater Boston won’t open for at least two years. 

Casino industry expert Clyde Barrow said Massachusetts should do well with its first casino.

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Olympic competition could be coming to western Massachusetts if Boston lands the 2024 summer games.  

The Deerfield River, which runs through Berkshire and Franklin Counties, would be the setting for Olympic canoe slalom if Boston is awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston 2024 announced the venue but said the exact location on the river where the competition would be staged has yet to be determined.

WAMC

The University of Massachusetts is forging stronger ties with Springfield.  A new partnership in education based in Springfield is aimed at improving health care in urban and rural areas of western Massachusetts.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester will open a campus in 2017 at Baystate Health’s flagship medical center in Springfield.  This will be the first regional campus for the state’s only public medical school. By placing it in western Massachusetts, officials hope to begin to address a severe shortage of physicians in the region.

WAMC

What officials said is the final piece of funding for a major transportation project in western Massachusetts was announced today in Springfield.

Massachusetts is committing the remaining funds needed to complete the redevelopment of Union Station in Springfield into an intermodal regional transportation hub. It brings the total amount of federal, state, and local funds for the project to $88.5 million.

The Vatican Thursday published Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical on the environment.  The Pope warns of serious consequences if the world does not act on climate change.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with a renowned climate researcher, Raymond Bradley, director  of the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst.

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The third largest city in Massachusetts will again have a Catholic high school.  Plans for a new school were unveiled today, more than four years after a tornado wrecked Springfield’s Cathedral High School.

After months of private study by the Springfield Diocese and public campaigning by advocates for a Catholic high school in Springfield, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski Friday made the much-anticipated announcement of the site he selected.

WAMC

The location for a regional Catholic high school in Western Massachusetts will be announced Friday.

Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will make the much anticipated announcement just before noon Friday. 

The choice is down to Surrey Road in Springfield — the longtime home of Cathedral High School before it was wrecked by a tornado four years ago — or wooded land next to a Catholic cemetery in Chicopee. 

Rozanski said Thursday his decision is the outcome of a well-thought-out process.

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