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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The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts will begin budget hearings Tuesday.

The entire council will have an opportunity to publicly review the nearly $600 million budget recommended by Mayor Domenic Sarno  during  three two-hour long meetings that have been scheduled by City Council President Mike Fenton.

" To give both department heads and councilors a chance to have their voices heard prior to any final deliberation and vote we have," he said.

WAMC

As the warm weather arrives and summer tourism season begins, a leading conservation and preservation organization in Massachusetts is showcasing many of its properties.  The Trustees of Reservations owns beaches, forests, and parklands, as well as several cultural treasures.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the organization’s president Barbara Erickson.

WAMC

Former Congressman Martin Meehan has agreed to a five-year contract to lead the University of Massachusetts as its next president. 

Meehan, who is currently the chancellor of UMass Lowell, will start with a base salary of $525,000 that will increase to $602,500 in the final year.  There are also performance bonuses and other perks.

The contract includes a requirement that Meehan pay a penalty if he leaves the job before the end of the five years.  Meehan has said in the past  he does not intend to leave early.

WAMC

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal has delivered an early endorsement as the municipal campaign season is getting underway.    The veteran Congressman is supporting Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s reelection bid. 

Neal stood beside Sarno in front of Springfield City Hall Friday and praised the mayor’s record on economic development, managing the city’s finances, and for devoting considerable time to the efforts to improve the public schools. 

" I think Domenic Sarno has done a terrific job as mayor and I intend to support him," declared Neal.

WAMC

Communities across the region pause this weekend to honor military veterans who gave their lives in service to the country.

  Veterans and elected officials placed wreaths Friday at the five veterans’ monuments located in Springfield’s Court Square.  

  Congressman Richard Neal referred to the site as “hallowed ground.”   He noted the names of several of his high school classmates are on the Vietnam War Memorial.

   " Vietnam was a searing experience for the American people, but the ( veteran's) contribution should  never be slighted," he said.

A western Massachusetts city is taking a unique step – actually, steps -- to encourage a healthier municipal workforce.  Healthcare officials hope what the city of Chicopee is doing will spread to other cities and towns.  

Beginning next month employees of the city of Chicopee can earn a $25 a month cash bonus by just walking an average of 7,000 steps a day, five days a week.  Mayor Richard Kos said he hopes in the long run the wellness incentive program will help reduce employee absences and lower the city’s health insurance premiums.

A western Massachusetts city is taking a unique step to encourage a healthier municipal workforce.

Beginning next month employees of the city of Chicopee can earn a $25 a month cash bonus by just walking an average of 7,000 steps a day, five days a week.

Mayor Richard Kos said he hopes in the long run the wellness incentive program will help reduce employee absences and lower the city’s health insurance premiums.

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The Massachusetts Senate has approved a budget amendment that could mean refunds for people who received a surprise electric bill last winter.

The Senate on a voice vote approved an amendment that directs utility companies to refund millions of dollars to customers who were hit with a retroactive rate hike after they switched electricity providers in an effort to save money. 

Republican State Senator Don Humason co-sponsored the amendment which now goes to a House-Senate conference committee on the state budget.

WAMC

The ongoing redevelopment of a sprawling old mill complex in Ludlow, Massachusetts -- the largest project of its kind in New England -- will be highlighted later this year at a national conference.

 The Westmass Area Development Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to participate in the National Brownfields Conference in Chicago. Representatives of the private nonprofit developer will make a presentation on its work at the Ludlow Mills—the largest brownfield mills redevelopment project in New England.

The Massachusetts Education Commissioner has appointed a temporary advisory group to make suggestions on improving  the Holyoke Public Schools. 

Commissioner Mitchell Chester announced the appointment of 18 people Wednesday to the local stakeholder group. 

Its members include Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, the president of the Holyoke teachers union, parents, and representatives from state and local child welfare, social service and workforce development agencies.

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