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
4:31 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

UMass Amherst Replacing Book Store With Amazon

Credit wikipedia.org

UMass Amherst will replace its on-campus textbook store later this year with a virtual store operated by Amazon.

  Under a five-year contract Amazon will provide online textbook ordering through the UMass Amherst website, operate an on-campus pick up location and provide free delivery to off campus addresses in Amherst and five surrounding communities.  UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the change is being made to save students money.

  "Up to about $380 annually per student based on national estimates of what students pay for books," said Blaguszewski.

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New England News
12:09 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Five-Year Ban On Casino Jobs Proposed For Springfield Elected Officials

MGM plans to start construction this year on an $800 million casino and hotel in downtown Springfield.
Credit MGM Springfield

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.

Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment.  Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

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New England News
6:11 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Massachusetts Doctor Who Survived Ebola Returning To Africa

Dr. Rick Sacra and his wife Debbie discuss his plans to return to Liberia where he was infected with Ebola last August. Sacra was cured and is now immune to the disease

The Massachusetts doctor who was cured of the deadly Ebola virus is going to return later this week to West Africa to work in the missionary hospital where he was infected.             

 Four months after he was declared Ebola-free, and with his strength and stamina now back, Dr. Rick Sacra will leave Thursday for Liberia, where he had spent much of the last two decades working for a missionary organization.

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New England News
12:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Smith College Economist Says Hosting Olympics Is Economic Gamble

The U.S. Olympic Committee last week picked Boston to make the American bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.  Backers say the games will enhance Boston’s image as a world-class city. Opponents fear a costly boondoggle.  Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist has researched the costs in his new book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.”  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

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New England News
9:33 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Smith College Economist Questions Boston Olympics Cost Estimates

Backers of Boston’s bid to host the Olympics see it as a chance to enhance the city’s image. Critics fear a financial boondoggle.

Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist, who has researched the costs of hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, believes the organizer’s estimates of a $4.5-$5 billion price tag for the Boston Olympics is unrealistic.

" The notion that you can avoid cost overruns is pie in the sky," said Zimbalist.

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New England News
4:07 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Baker Says Boston Olympics An Opportunity For City, Region

Gov. Charlie Baker presides at the first cabinet meeting of his new administration

Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics took center stage on Governor Charlie Baker’s first full day in office.

Baker began his first full day in office Friday by participating in the news conference with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and members of the Boston 2024 organization.  He described the selection of Boston as the U.S. bidder for the 2024 games as an opportunity for the city and the region as a whole.

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New England News
12:15 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Boston Selected As U.S. Bidder To Host 2024 Olympics

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker and backers of Boston's Olympic bid discuss the next steps now that the USOC has picked Boston to lead the U.S. effort to land the 2024 games.

The city of Boston, known for being passionate about its sports teams, is going to compete on an international stage to become the host city for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Supporters see the games as a chance to enhance Boston’s image as a world-class city. Critics fear a financial boondoggle.           

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New England News
6:09 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

The Baker Era Begins In Massachusetts

Declaring it was time to write the next chapter in the history of the Commonwealth, Charlie Baker today became the 72nd governor of Massachusetts. The state also has a new lieutenant governor, an office that had been vacant for the last 19 months.

Baker put his hand on the family bible held by his wife Lauren, with their three children at his side, as State Senate President Stan Rosenberg administered the oath of office. It capped a political comeback for Baker and the return of a Republican to the state’s top elected office.

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New England News
7:44 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Precautions Urged As Dangerous Cold Descends

With wind chill readings forecast to drop to dangerous levels across the region there is heightened concern over people spending too much time outdoors.

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts declared a cold weather emergency. The city’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Helen Caulton-Harris said temporary shelter is being provided to people who are homeless.

" We send out our crisis intervention team. We have people on the look out for homeless people so we can bring them into shelter. This is no weather for people to be out in the cold."

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New England News
6:21 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Hampden County Has New District Attorney

Anthony Gulluni ( at right) takes the oath of office to become Hampden District Attorney. He was sworn in by U.S. District Court Judge and former Hampden DA Mark Mastroianni. Former Boston Mayor and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn, a friend of the Gulluni family is seated to the right.
Credit WAMC

A new top law enforcement officer was sworn into office today in western Massachusetts. The new top prosecutor in the greater Springfield area is promising a proactive approach to the job.

 Anthony Gulluni was sworn in as the new Hampden District Attorney.

Breaking with tradition, the public ceremony was held in historic Old First Church in Springfield, rather than in the Hall of Justice, to accommodate a larger audience. Several hundred people attended including community leaders, elected officials, judges and lawyers.

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