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. 

Pages

New England News
6:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Palmer Casino Backers Believe Mohegan Sun Is Moving On

Casino proponents and opponents outside a polling place in Palmer, MA on Election Day 2013.
Credit WAMC

Mohegan Sun is seeking to end an exclusive development deal in Palmer, Massachusetts even before next week’s recount of its failed casino referendum

The Connecticut-based gaming company wants to void the exclusivity agreement it made with a realty company to build a $1 billion resort casino.  Palmer voters rejected the project by a 93 vote margin. Mohegan Sun petitioned for a recount that will take place Tuesday.  Palmer Town Councilor Paul Burns said it appears Mohegan Sun is throwing in the towel prematurely.

Read more
New England News
3:50 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Most Massachusetts Teachers Get High Marks In New Evaluations

Credit wikipedia commons

The first year results from a new teacher evaluation system in Massachusetts were made public on Thursday.

Eighty-seven percent of the teachers evaluated were rated as a “proficient”    Just 7.7 percent received the highest performance rating of “exemplary.” 4.6  percent were found to “need improvement.” Less than one percent were rated as “unsatisfactory”.  Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said he was very pleased with the results

Read more
New England News
6:16 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Officials Promote Initiative To Put Locally Grown Foods In School Cafeterias

Jet Duval, a student at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton, MA is served lunch by Mass.Teachers Assoc. President Paul Toner ( on left) and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon is to the left of Toner.
Credit WAMC

A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited a western Massachusetts school today to highlight a growing initiative that is giving more than half-a-million children across the county access to locally grown food.

On the lunch menu Wednesday at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton was chili with brown rice, or a chicken patty on a whole wheat roll.   At the end of the cafeteria line children could help themselves to corn, green beans and sliced oranges.

Read more
New England News
4:22 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Republican Don Humason Sworn In To The Massachusetts Senate

Credit donhumason.org

Western Massachusetts has a new State Senator.

   Republican State Senator Don Humason was sworn into office Wednesday by Governor Deval Patrick.  Humason, who was in his 6th term as a State Representative from Westfield, won the special election on November 5th to fill the seat vacated by former  Republican Senator Mike Knapik.

   Humason is just one of four Republicans in the forty-member State Senate.  The minority leader has pledged to appoint Humason to the powerful Way and Means Committee.

Read more
New England News
6:08 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Gov. Patrick Announces $200M For I-91 Project

A section of the elevated portion of I-91 in downtown Springfield
Credit WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced funding today for a massive transportation project in western Massachusetts.

   Governor Deval Patrick announced $200 million will be spent to replace deteriorating concrete decks on the elevated section of Interstate 91 in downtown Springfield while simultaneously studying the possibility of depressing a portion of the highway to street level or below.

   Patrick announced the project during a speech at a lunch hosted by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield.

Read more
New England News
4:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Voters To Decide Fate Of Another Casino Project

The casino competition in Massachusetts should become clearer this week, as a final local referendum takes place today.

Milford, a town of 25,000  people , 20 miles southwest of Boston will deliver a life or death verdict to a $1 billion resort casino development proposed by Connecticut-based Foxwoods.   Supporters and opponents have canvassed door-to-door.  Western New England University political science professor Tim Vercellotti said it doesn’t take much to tip the balance.

Read more
New England News
4:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Poll Finds Public Support Still Strong For Casinos In Massachusetts

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

A new poll finds an overwhelming majority of people in Massachusetts in favor of  casino gambling in the state, but most do not want to live near a casino.

Three out of five adults in Massachusetts support having casinos in the state, but just 42 percent say they would want one in their city or town, according to a poll by Western New England University.  Polling Institute  Director Tim Vercellotti said the latest findings are consistent with polls taken before the legislature legalized casino gambling in 2011.

Read more
New England News
12:40 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Study Finds Strong Potential For Downtown Housing Development

A study commissioned for the city of Springfield, Massachusetts finds strong potential for new market-rate housing in the downtown area where a casino is proposed.  But housing developers say high costs and available financing are challenges.

Read more
New England News
1:17 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Minimum Wage Hike To Be Debated In Massachusetts Senate

A bill to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts is going to come up for debate in the State Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would hike the state’s minimum wage, currently at $8.00 an hour to $11.00 an hour by January 2016 and tie future increases to the rate of inflation. Senate President Therese Murray said the bill is an attempt to restore the minimum wage to its purchasing power if had it kept pace with inflation. Democratic gubernatorial candidates including Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman support it

Read more
New England News
12:47 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Advocate For Formerly Incarcerated Women Is Guest Lecturer

Tina Reynolds

The Five College Consortium in western Massachusetts is hosting guest lecturers in social justice advocacy this fall.  Tina Reynolds is co-founder of WORTH, a New York City-based nonprofit that works with currently and formerly incarcerated women. The organization strives to change public perceptions and policy. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Reynolds.

Read more

Pages