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
5:05 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Hours Being Cut At Rural Post Offices

Credit WAMC

The U.S. Postal Service is cutting hours at thousands of mostly rural post offices, and meeting objections in some places. 

Hours are being cut at fifty post offices in Massachusetts including several in Franklin County and the Berkshires. Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas said the changes will be finished by early next year.

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New England News
4:36 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Former School Employee Convicted Of Theft

A former teacher at a vocational school in Springfield, Massachusetts has been convicted on larceny charges for stealing cash from a student fundraising activity.

   A district court judge sentenced former Putnam Vocational High School teacher Ann Berry to three years probation with 240 hours of community service. An internal audit in 2011 revealed a number of scams by several school employees.  City Councilor Tim Rooke was on the audit committee at the time.

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New England News
6:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

City Residents Urged To Be More Careful About Recycling

Credit WAMC

The  city of Springfield, which pioneered single-stream recycling in Massachusetts, has launched an education and enforcement campaign in an effort to keep recycling rates up and trash disposal costs down.

The Springfield Department of Public Works said an unacceptable amount of trash and other prohibited items have been turning up lately in the recycling containers people put out for curbside pick-up. Some contamination of the recyclables is allowed, but if it exceeds ten percent the city faces fines, according to Springfield’s recycling coordinator Greg Superneau.

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New England News
4:33 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Suit Alleges Wrongful Imprisonment, Seeks $500,000

Charles Wilhite alleges in separate state and federal lawsuits he was wrongly convicted of murder and imprisoned.
Credit WAMC

A Springfield man who spent three years in prison for murder before he was acquitted in a second trial has filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

   In the complaint filed in state court Tuesday Charles Wilhite is seeking $500,000 for the damages caused by his wrongful conviction and lost liberty.  Last January, Wilhite filed a federal civil rights complaint against two Springfield police detectives alleging they fabricated evidence and intimidated witnesses, according to Wilhite’s attorney Howard Friedman.

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New England News
12:29 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Funding Announced For Affordable Housing Projects In Massachusetts

Newly renovated apartment buildings in Springfield, MA that are part of a $75 five-year project involving 23 buildings with more than 300 apartments. The project is in the Outing Park Historic District
Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has announced nearly $84 million in funding for 24 affordable housing projects across the state. New housing in western Massachusetts includes projects in Springfield, Northampton, Greenfield, Williamstown, and Pittsfield.

Governor Patrick said the newly funded projects will create more than 1,300 apartments and over 2,000 construction jobs.  It is part of an economic development strategy that has seen his administration commit more than $1 billion to the creation of affordable housing in the last seven-and-a-half years.

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New England News
6:25 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Massachusetts Law Targets Gas Leak Danger

A dog searches the rubble of a building destroyed by a natural gas explosion in Springfield, MA on Nov. 23, 2012
Credit SFD

A new law in Massachusetts sets a uniform standard for rating the severity of natural gas leaks and sets a timetable for making repairs.  Governor Deval Patrick publicized the new law at a ceremonial bill signing today in Springfield -- a city still scarred from a natural gas explosion two years ago.

The bill establishes natural gas leak classification standards. It requires the gas companies to repair the most dangerous leaks immediately and produce plans for the timely replacement of aging pipelines.  Repairs must be prioritized if the leak is detected in a school zone.

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New England News
6:27 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Gambling Commission Won't Wait On Referendum For Licensing Decision

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will not delay a decision on awarding the state’s most lucrative casino license until after the state’s voters weigh in on the fate of casino gambling.  It means the locations of proposed casinos will likely be settled by the time voters go to the polls in November.

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New England News
3:54 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Massachusetts Senate Passes Jobs Bill

Credit wikipedia commons

The Massachusetts State Senate has voted 37-1 to pass an economic development package similar to one approved last month by the House. 

  

   The Senate bill would spend $63 million dollars on training programs and incentives to employers to create jobs. Like the house bill it emphasizes workforce training for advanced manufacturing and information technology fields.  State Sen. Gale Candaras  said it aims to grow the state’s economy outside greater Boston.

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New England News
6:20 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Tornado Ravaged Park Reopens After $1Million Project

Credit WAMC

A city park seriously damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado that hit Springfield reopened today after a nearly $1 million improvement project.

City and state officials joined with residents of the Sixteen Acres neighborhood to praise the Camp Wilder Park renovations. Mayor Domenic Sarno said the park is an “urban oasis” in an area that had been ripped to shreds three years ago by the tornado.

" I almost had a tear in my eye coming in here today. To think of all the debris that was here and now look at this magnificent park. But, we always had a can-do attitude."

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New England News
4:14 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Public Safety Officials Warn Of Fireworks Dangers

It is a few days before the Fourth of July and Massachusetts public safety officials have issued the annual warning about fireworks. 

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts except for use by licensed professionals. Springfield Fire Marshall David  Rivera said pyrotechnics should never be  in the hands of amateurs.

MassDot  message boards along  interstate highways will remind motorists that it is illegal to transport fireworks into Massachusetts that were purchased legally in other states.

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