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
6:16 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Public Transit Is Becoming More Popular

Ridership rose dramatically on Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses after Massachusetts state-financed service changes took effect earlier this year.  Nationally, it appears public transit is growing more popular.

   Ridership jumped 12 percent in September and 9 percent in October as the state’s second-largest transit authority rolled out the biggest change in fixed-route bus schedules in nearly a decade.  PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes said she was thrilled by the latest ridership data.

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New England News
4:20 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

State Funds Casino Job Training In Western Mass.

Credit Triin Q's photostream Flickr

The Patrick administration has awarded funding to help train people for jobs in the new Massachusetts casino industry. 

Holyoke Community College is getting a $1.75 million grant to build a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Excellence that will be used in part to prepare people for casino-related jobs.  HCC President William Messner has led the effort to partner with the casino industry on workforce development.

" We see this as simply an extension of our tradition, of our mission to provide first class training for businesses and organizations."

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New England News
12:26 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Holyoke Studies Future Use For Mount Tom Power Plant

The end is near for the last coal-fired power plant in western Massachusetts. Mount Tom Station in Holyoke is to shut down by the end of the month bringing a victory for environmentalists and a quandary about what will become of the plant’s property along the Connecticut River.  

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New England News
6:17 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Massachusetts Governor-elect To Meet President Obama

Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker is going to meet with President Obama Friday at the White House.

Baker is one of six incoming governors invited to meetings which the White House said will focus on the economy.

" I am looking forward to having a chance to talk with a number of White House officials  about a variety of issues," said Baker. "We are going to be there for five or six hours."

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Sports
4:31 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Winning Teams Look To Draw Big Crowds This Weekend

Officials look for large crowds in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts for a couple of sports events this weekend.

The Springfield Falcons AHL hockey team will go for a franchise record 10th win in a row Friday night when the team plays the Norfolk Admirals at the MassMutual Center.   The Falcons had a well-publicized struggle to sell season tickets a few years ago, but now team president Sarah Pompea said there is strong fan and corporate support.

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New England News
4:25 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Child Struck And Killed In Front Of Springfield Public Library

An impromptu memorial to 7 year old Destiny Gonzalez in front of the Springfield Public Library on State Street. The girl died from injuries sustained Monday night ( Dec. 1) when she was struck by a car while crossing the street. Her mother and an 8 year old cousin were also hit and remain hospitalized.
Credit WAMC

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has ordered a review of traffic safety in front of the city’s main library building, where a 7 year old girl was struck by a car and fatally injured.

  Mayor Domenic Sarno said he wants a report on street lighting and cross walk placement following the death of 7 year old Desinty Gonzalez of Springfield. She was struck along with her mother and a cousin as they crossed State Street in front of the Springfield Library Monday evening.

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New England News
7:01 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Study Begins On Reuse Of Mt. Tom Power Plant Site

The end is near for the last coal-fired power plant in western Massachusetts.

Mount Tom Station in Holyoke, which had generated electricity only sporadically in recent years, is to shut down for good this month.  Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center said her agency is funding a $100,000 study to look at possible reuses for the plant site.

" This is really going to be a community-led  process. What we hope to do is bring a set of additional expertise and information to that conversation."

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New England News
6:09 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Big Pay Hikes Proposed For Top Elected State Officials

Credit wikipedia.org

An advisory commission is recommending pay increases for all the top elected state officials in Massachusetts, including hefty hikes in the salaries for the governor, the House speaker and Senate president.  A fiscal watchdog is critical.  Legislators have reacted cautiously.       

The panel’s proposal, if adopted, would make the Massachusetts governor the second highest paid nationally—behind Pennsylvania – raising the annual salary from the current $151,800 to $185,000. There is also a recommendation for a $65,000 housing allowance for the governor.

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New England News
1:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Big Ridership Gains Seen By PVTA After Service Changes

Credit WAMC

Ridership rose dramatically on Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses after state-financed service changes took effect earlier this year.

Ridership jumped 12 percent in September and 9 percent in October compared to a year ago. Percentage increases that PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes described as amazing.

"Normally when you make service changes you have to let a year go by before you realize percentage changes like this."

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New England News
12:52 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Anti-casino Activists Look To Regroup

Steve Abdow, a western Massachusetts leader of the effort to repeal the Massachusetts casino law.
Credit WAMC

After a crushing defeat at the polls last month, casino opponents in Massachusetts are talking about becoming watchdogs over the development of the new industry they fought to exclude from the state. Steve Abdow, who was a western Massachusetts organizer with Faith for Repeal and Repeal the Casino Deal, said he and other activists talked earlier this week about future plans.    Abdow spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

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