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 highest court in Massachusetts has effectively cleared the way for construction of a wood-burning power plant in Springfield. Plant opponents see their last hope in the hands of a local health board.

The state Supreme Judicial Court this month declined to take up an appeal of two lower court decisions that directed the city to issue a building permit for the proposed $150 million biomass plant on Springfield’s eastside.  The project had been tied up in litigation for more than five years.

University of Massachusetts

Former Congressman Marty Meehan was inaugurated Thursday as the 27th president of the University of Massachusetts in a ceremony where speakers said his enthusiasm and political skills made him the right person at the right time to lead the state’s public university system.

Springfield Police Dept

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts are reporting one of the biggest heroin busts in the city in recent history.

Police, after what was described as a lengthy investigation, raided a home in the city’s Liberty Heights neighborhood Thursday night, and seized nearly 22,000 bags of heroin, three handguns, and about $3,000 cash. 

Springfield Police Dept. spokesman Sgt. John Delaney said the heroin has a street value estimated at $110,000.

University of Massachusetts

Former Congressman Marty Meehan was inaugurated Thursday as the 27th president of the University of Massachusetts.

Meehan pledged to focus on affordability and educational excellence as he was formally installed as the leader of the five-campus system during a ceremony at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute at UMass Boston.

" In accepting this office, I vow to our students, our faculty, our alumni, and everyone in the UMass family I will passionately fight for you," Meehan said.


MGM officials will have a chance next week to explain to a skeptical public the reasons behind the proposed downsizing of the Springfield casino.

  City officials have arranged for MGM to make a public presentation Wednesday afternoon at the 300 seat City Stage theater.  MGM has been under fire in Springfield since disclosing last month, in a regulatory filing, plans to reduce the scope of the project by 14 percent.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has said his administration is carefully reviewing the proposed changes.


Former Congressman Marty Meehan will be inaugurated today as the 27th president of the University of Massachusetts.

Meehan’s inauguration will take place at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute on the campus of UMass Boston.

The guest list includes higher education officials from across the state, and many elected officials. Senator Edward Markey and Governor Charlie Baker are  among the dozen scheduled speakers.

UMass spokesman Robert Connolly said Meehan expects to raise close to $2 million for student scholarships as part of the inauguration.


Cities and towns across the region honored military veterans today with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies,and speeches. One western Massachusetts college held its annual multigenerational observance.

Rain forced the relocation of American International College’s Veterans Day celebration from its traditional location at the permanent veteran’s memorial on the main Springfield campus to an indoor venue.

A Beacon Hill watchdog group is sounding an alarm about Massachusetts’ so-called “rainy day fund.”   A new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warns the stabilization fund has been spent down considerably over the last three fiscal years to pay for ordinary expenses in the state budget.

Foundation President Eileen McAnneny talked about the report with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

A spokesman for Governor Charlie Baker and a spokesman for Senate President Stan Rosenberg said they would review the taxpayer foundation’s report.


The redevelopment of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts into a regional transportation hub – a project that took decades to realize – is one year away from completion

The $88.5 million taxpayer-funded project is on-time and on-budget according to Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority.

"Right on budget, right on time we should be open to the public in late December ( 2016)," said Moskal.

Palmer Renewable Energy

The highest court in Massachusetts may have dealt a fatal blow to opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield.

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has refused to consider an appeal of two lower court rulings that directed the city to issue a building permit for the controversial project.

A spokesman for Palmer Renewable Energy said they looked forward to bringing the $150 million biomass energy project to fruition after  nearly 8 years of legal challenges.