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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umass.edu

A study from a conservative-leaning think tank is criticizing the University of Massachusetts for admitting too many out-of-state students.

WAMC

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a statewide bike week.  Hundreds of events are taking place this week from the Berkshires to Cape Cod where bicycling is highlighted as an alternative form of transportation. 

WAMC

The number of homeless families living in motels at state expense in Massachusetts is down sharply.

The Massachusetts legislature is expected to take an initial step tomorrow in enacting a so-called “millionaires’ tax.”  Advocates on both sides are stepping up their lobbying.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

In the wake of a water main break that caused a large sinkhole in downtown Springfield earlier this month, city councilors have called for a series of meetings to discuss the status of the city’s underground infrastructure.

MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts casino regulators have approved a redesign of the MGM Springfield casino with the chairman of the state gaming commission saying he remains excited about the project’s potential to lift the economically struggling city.

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

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators are expected to vote Thursday on design changes for the MGM Springfield casino.

Massachusetts-based Friendly’s Ice Cream is selling its manufacturing and retail operations to the country’s largest dairy processor for $155 million in cash.  It is the latest chapter in the story of a company founded in western Massachusetts during the Great Depression.

Massachusetts-based Friendly’s Ice Cream is selling its manufacturing and retail operations to the country’s largest dairy processor for $155 million in cash.

Mount Zion Island in the Quabbin Reservoir
Mass DCR

Baker administration officials say there will be more study of a plan to start a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on a remote island in a large central Massachusetts water reservoir.

candidates for sheriff debate
Fred Gore

Five of the candidates for sheriff in Hampden County, Massachusetts had their first chance to make a direct case to voters as they participated in a primetime debate this week.

The five candidates talked up their qualifications and experiences, highlighted differences over how they see the sheriff’s role in combating the opioid addiction crisis gripping the state, and discussed transparency in the $70 million department that has been run by the same person for almost four decades.

A just-released scientific study says imported forest pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer are causing more than $2 billion in damages each year in the United States.

Officlas in hard hats tour Union Station
WAMC

Eight months away from the scheduled completion of the renovation of Union Station in Springfield, Amtrak officials toured the work site today with the goal of providing suggestions to make the $88.5 million publicly funded project a success.

A new budget has been adopted for the second-largest public school system in Massachusetts that officials say puts “students first.”   The Springfield Public Schools will spend more money next year on technology in the classrooms, early childhood education, and launch a program to put a computer in the hands of every student.

Funds have been approved to begin providing a computer to every student in the second-largest public school system in Massachusetts.

   The Springfield School Committee approved a new budget for next year that includes money to begin a program to put a computer in the hands of every child, according to school department spokesperson Azell Cavaan.

"We are talking close to 60 schools, 26,000 students, one-to-one computers," she said. " It is a huge endeavor."

The total budget to operate the Springfield schools is $394 million. 

a corner face off in the MassMutual Center
MassMutual Center

Fates can change quickly in sports. The fates of two New England cities with long hockey histories became intertwined this week, with one winner and one loser.

Two weeks ago, people in Springfield, Massachusetts were bemoaning the loss of the city’s American Hockey League team to Tucson, Az. and the likely end of almost 80 years of professional hockey in western Massachusetts.

" I think people really thought we were losing hockey, but now it seems we've been able to pull a rabbit out of our hat," said  Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

a black and white photo of Carlos Vega
Special Collections UMass Amherst Libraries

For the fifth year, grants are being awarded to continue the legacy of a revered activist for social justice in western Massachusetts. 

Fourteen organizations will receive so-called mini-grants from the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice at a public reception later today at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Vega’s son, Massachusetts State Representative Aaron Vega.

Håkan Dahlström Fotopedia

Fates can change quickly in sports and that is what has happened with the future of professional hockey in western Massachusetts.

en.wikipedia.org

    The largest insurance industry trade group in the country is planning to bring an annual convention to Springfield, Massachusetts in 2018.  The mayor said it is a direct spinoff from the decision by MGM Resorts International to build a downtown casino.

Tents at a farmers' market keep the merchandise dry
WAMC

The new season for farmers’ markets is beginning in the northeast.

exterior of a former U.S. Army reserve center that is to become a Springfield Police Dept Annex.
WAMC

Funds have been authorized to renovate a closed U.S. Army reserve center in western Massachusetts for various law enforcement uses.

The Springfield City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve $11.3 million for the project to renovate the 15,000-square foot building on the city’s east side for public safety uses. The Springfield Police Department plans to use the former military building for a training academy, juvenile assessment center, long-term evidence storage, and as home to the tactical response unit.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

More than half the people who died in Massachusetts last year from an opioid overdose had fentanyl in their blood, according to a new report from the state’s Department of Public Health.

WAMC

The only public library bookmobile in western Massachusetts is back on the road for a second season.

WAMC

Municipal budget season is beginning in Massachusetts.

An Amtrak train arrives at the station in Hartford,Ct
WAMC

An amendment passed by the Massachusetts House as part of the proposed state budget would authorize a study of high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Peter Kocut of Northampton, would create a special committee, or working group, to determine what needs to be done, and what it would cost, to get high-speed passenger trains running between the eastern and western parts of the state.

The idea has a lot support in western Massachusetts, including from Congressman Richard Neal.

WAMC

A ribbon-cutting ceremony today marked the opening of the first new building on the Hampshire College campus in nearly three decades. But it is no ordinary building. It was designed and built to achieve the most advanced environmentally sound building standard in the world.

WAMC

Municipal finances in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, which faced bankruptcy a little more than a decade ago, are looking up. Mayor Domenic Sarno has released a recommended budget for the next fiscal year. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno
WAMC

Municipal finances are looking up in Springfield, Massachusetts which had faced bankruptcy just a decade ago.

An investigation by a Massachusetts state agency found campaign finance law was violated when the city of Springfield promoted a Hillary Clinton campaign event on the city’s official website. 

a water drinking fountain
WAMC

Massachusetts is earmarking $2 million to test for lead in the drinking water in public school buildings across the state. 

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