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 field of candidates is growing in western Massachusetts for the election this year to succeed one of the longest- serving sheriffs in the country.

Massachusetts Governors Councilor and former Springfield Mayor Michael Albano ended months of speculation about his political future and announced his candidacy for Hampden County Sheriff in a video posted on YouTube.

" I believe my background and experience is well suited for this important position," Albano said in the video.

Albano will run in the Democratic primary.

A former brick factory building in Holoke, Ma
WAMC

A community college in western Massachusetts has been awarded federal funding to build new classrooms to train people for careers in the hospitality industry, a field where job opportunities will explode in a few years with the opening of a casino in Springfield.

WAMC

A long-vacant house next to a Springfield, Massachusetts youth center that officials said was a magnet for drug-dealers has been torn down.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the blighted property would catch his eye whenever he visited the legendary Dunbar Community Center. He said it was frustrating that it took years to go through the legal and regulatory process to demolish it.

" So, I am glad get it down, " said Sarno. " We are going to continue to be aggressive in getting derelict buildings down."

WAMC

The civilian board that investigates complaints against the police in Springfield, Massachusetts has not issued a public report about its work in almost two years.

The last report detailing the number and types of complaints investigated by the Community Police Hearing Board was released in March 2014. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the board has been meeting but a paperwork bottleneck in the city’s law department has prevented the release of public reports on the board’s work.

WAMC

The largest city in western Massachusetts has announced plans to join a growing number of municipalities across the country that offer free public Wi-Fi. 

Starting sometime this spring, people will be able to connect to a free public Wi-Fi network with their smartphone, tablet, or laptop anywhere in roughly a seven-block area of downtown Springfield, with plans for later expansion of the coverage area throughout more of the city including parks and other public places.

City of Springfield

While some cities put up cameras at traffic intersections to spot motorists speeding through red lights, Springfield, Massachusetts is putting cameras in trees to catch people illegally dumping tires, mattresses, appliances, and garbage bags.     

City officials gathered Tuesday at Loon Pond, once a notorious illegal dumping site, to announce plans to double the number of locations that will be monitored continuously by motion-triggered cameras as part of an ongoing campaign against blight.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Final votes by the city council to allow construction of the MGM Springfield casino to proceed are not expected for another month.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said the council will need several more weeks to evaluate the site plan for the $950 million project. 

At a series of recent public hearings, councilors heard dozens of concerns from abutters about traffic and parking, and from residents about controversial changes proposed by MGM including eliminating a 25-story hotel tower from the project.

Pipeline Map
Kinder Morgan

The largest business organization in western Massachusetts has endorsed controversial pipeline projects to bring more natural gas to the region. 

Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Ciuffreda said the cost and availability of energy is now the top concern of the organization’s membership.

"When we looked at the renewables, and we are very supportive of that and will be, it just won't produce, in our estimation, the energy we need to grow in a relatively short period of time," Ciuffreda said.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will release his proposed state budget tomorrow for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.  

This morning, Eileen McAnneny, President of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, discussed the state’s fiscal health at a roundtable sponsored by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill  spoke with McAnneny.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

The Springfield City Council is conducting a final review of the plans for the $950 million MGM casino.

The council is tentatively scheduled to vote Tuesday after holding a fourth public hearing on the casino project site plan. However, Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll set additional time for deliberations if necessary.

"It is possible to extend  ( the hearings) should we need further public input or councilors have additional questions," he said.

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