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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Proposed changes to the design of the resort casino MGM plans to build in downtown Springfield have sparked considerable discussion and debate over the last week.  The Springfield City Council tonight will consider giving voters a say this November.

The council, at a special meeting, will consider putting a non-binding question on the November 3 municipal election ballot that asks voters if they support MGM Springfield’s proposal to eliminate the high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.

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Almost three years after Massachusetts voters authorized medical marijuana, the first dispensary in western Massachusetts opened Monday.

The medical marijuana dispensary in Northampton operated by New England Treatment Access pre-registered more than 600 patients, so there were no lines and no backups on the first day.

Spokesman Norton Arbelaez said neighbors and government officials in Northampton have welcomed the new business.


A campaign to lift an enrollment cap on charter schools in Massachusetts is building momentum that could lead to a showdown vote on Election Day 2016.

About a dozen people wearing blue T-shirts that read “Great Schools Now” held a noontime rally in downtown Springfield Monday to call for lifting the charter school cap that they claim is arbitrarily denying children in poor communities a chance at a good education.

Connecticut River Watershed Council

Thousands of people fanned out across the 4-state Connecticut River watershed this past weekend and picked up tons of trash and debris from the water and shorelines of the river and its tributaries.  The volunteer effort was part of the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief  Paul Tuthill spoke with the organization’s executive director Andrew Fisk.


Voters in Springfield may get a chance to weigh- in on the controversial changes proposed for MGM’s resort casino project. 

Springfield City Councilors at a special meeting Tuesday will consider adding a non-binding referendum to the Nov. 3 election ballot. 

The question proposed by council president Mike Fenton asks if voters support changing the development agreement between MGM and the city to eliminate a high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.

The role overprescribing of painkillers plays in the opioid crisis was the topic of a conference this week in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Hosted by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, the conference was attended by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others involved in health care and law enforcement.  Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey addressed the conference and afterwards spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

The 10th annual national prescription drug take-back day Saturday has new urgency this year because of the opioid abuse crisis. 

Citing an alarmingly high rate of prescription painkiller misuse, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urged people to look through medicine cabinets and nightstands for old prescription pill bottles.

" If there is medication lying around  that you are not using, take it to your police department, take it to a safe disposal box. Get it out of your house," Healey urged.


A last- ditch court fight will be waged by opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in western Massachusetts.

The  Springfield City Council, with the bare minimum of seven councilors present to be able to conduct business, voted unanimously at a special meeting Friday morning to appeal to the state’s highest court the decisions of lower courts that directed the city to issue a building permit to Palmer Renewable Energy.

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      The latest standardized test scores released Thursday by Massachusetts Department of Education shows improvement in the state’s second largest school system.

    Springfield, which has struggled for years with low student test scores, saw gains in the English, math, and science MCAS tests in the city’s high schools.  The schools have shown steady MCAS improvement now for three years in a row, according to school superintendent Dan Warwick.

     " I was really excited to see the significant gains at the high school level," said Warwick.


Officials from MGM Resorts Thursday sought to persuade at times skeptical Massachusetts casino industry regulators that proposed design changes to the company’s Springfield casino project would be an improvement and not a downsizing.