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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A poll finds mixed public opinion about the recent state takeover of the public schools in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

A poll conducted by MassINC found Holyoke residents about evenly divided on receivership for the public schools.  44 percent approved of it, 46 percent oppose receivership and 10 percent had no opinion. 

The poll also found 51 percent of people with young children, or planning to have children, said they would consider moving because of the schools.  It’s a concern of Mayor Alex Morse.

WAMC

The snow from the record-setting winter in Massachusetts has melted, but officials in Springfield are still working to settle the issue of who is responsible for clearing snow from public transit bus stops.  It appears, however, a resolution is close at hand.

Progress is being made on a plan that will ensure people will not have to climb over mounds of snow at bus stops or wait in the street to catch a bus next winter, according to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and the administrator of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

A military air show is returning to western Massachusetts for the first time in three years.

The Great New England Air Show is being held at Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee the weekend of May 16th.  Headlining the show is the U.S. Navy’s elite Blue Angels demonstration team. The Canadian Snowbirds will also perform.  

There will be vintage, privately-owned aircraft on display according to William Sheehan of the Galaxy Community Council, the non-profit organization that sponsors the show.

WAMC

It is municipal budget season in Massachusetts. The mayor of Springfield  is proposing a budget that puts more cops on the streets and does not dip into the city’s cash reserves. 

Mayor Domenic Sarno, in a message that accompanied the release Thursday of a recommended budget totaling almost $600 million, praised the city’s finance team for producing a spending plan that prioritizes public safety, avoids layoffs, maintains core services and for the first time since 2008 does not touch the city’s cash reserves to balance the budget.

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts is proposing a city budget that puts more cops on the streets.

The $595 million budget proposed by Mayor Domenic Sarno  includes funding for 58 additional police officers and 42 new firefighters.

             Sarno said core city services are maintained along with summer youth recreation programs and public library hours. 

For the first time since 2008, the mayor is not proposing to touch the city’s cash reserves to balance the budget.

WAMC

The Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center is moving from its longtime location in Springfield to make way for construction of the MGM casino.

A spokesman for Hampden County Sheriff Mike Ashe said the end-of-the-week deadline will be met to vacate the Springfield building MGM plans to demolish.  182 inmates currently in the treatment program have been transferred to the county jail in Ludlow.They will later be moved to the former Holyoke Geriatric Authority. 

wikipedia commons

Massachusetts has researched a milestone in the state’s solar power development goal.

   Massachusetts has installed more than 841 megawatts of solar electricity, putting it more than halfway toward a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020.  Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Sec. Matthew Beaton made the announcement Thursday at a solar event in Worcester. 

  Gov. Charlie Baker  has said his administration is committed to a diversified energy portfolio.

  " We certainly support a robust renewable ( energy) program," he said

WAMC

Martin Meehan, the president-elect of the University of Massachusetts, visited the flagship Amherst campus today.   It was his first campus visit since he was chosen to be the system president by a unanimous vote of the UMass Board of Trustees last Friday.  Meehan, a former U.S. Congressman and current chancellor at UMass Lowell, took questions from a group of students.  

wikipedia.org

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is urging state legislators not to delay the start of  a new law requiring paid sick time for most workers.

Business leaders have called for at least a 90-day delay to the July 1st   implementation of the earned sick time law voters overwhelmingly approved last fall.  Final regulations that are being written by the attorney general’s office won’t be out until June.

Jeff Ciuffreda, president of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce said there is concern about how the regulations will impact small businesses.

WAMC

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is working to build strong ties between the Baker administration and municipal government leaders.   She is doing it one small meeting at a time as she travels around the state. 

Polito has visited more than 40 municipalities in Massachusetts since late January, leaving her with more than 300 to go. Her plan is to visit all 351 communities in the state before her first four-year term is up.

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