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.

Ways to Connect

An aerial view of the UMass Amherst campus
Wikipedia

A 19 year old man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from a February incident in a UMass Amherst dormitory that led to a lockdown of the flagship campus.

William McKeown of Framingham pleaded guilty to larceny and assault and battery and was sentenced to a year in jail followed by two years probation, according the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. 

McKeown and an accomplice, who pleaded guilty last May, tried to pass off shredded vegetables as marijuana in a drug deal, and a fight broke out when the ruse was discovered.

      In advance of the changeover in late October to all-electronic tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike, officials are distributing free transponders that motorists will need to avoid paying higher rates to travel on the highway.

WAMC

     The partnership between the University of Massachusetts flagship campus and the town of Amherst celebrated a milestone today.

Lead has been found in water tests at a public school in Amherst, Massachusetts.

WAMC

    Labor Day is a week away, but school is back in session in many places including the second-largest public school district in Massachusetts.

Teachers in the second largest public school district in Massachusetts will be back in the classroom today working without a current contract. 

When students head back to school Monday in the second largest school district in Massachusetts, basic supplies will include school-issued laptop computers.

WAMC

It's state fair time, and the largest agricultural fair in the Northeast, The Big E, is marking its centennial this year.

The 100th edition opens September 16th at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.   

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Eugene Cassidy, the CEO of the Big E.

       Drivers using Massachusetts-issued E-ZPass transponders will get a small discount when all-electronic tolling begins later this year on the state turnpike.

A bicycle sharing station
Wikipedia

      Federal funding has been approved and if all goes according to plan a bike sharing program will debut next summer in four municipalities in western Massachusetts. 

     The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is coordinating the project. 

     WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with chief planner Christopher Curtis.

WAMC

        Work is ahead of schedule on a major highway project that has caused traffic tie-ups from time to time in western Massachusetts.

WAMC

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was in Springfield today to mark a major milestone in the construction of a $95 million rail car factory.

WAMC

    Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has announced a grant program to encourage cities and towns to open a polling place on the last weekend in October during the state’s first ever early voting period.

MGMSpringfield

MGM  Resorts International has fired another shot in the border war to block development of a casino in Connecticut that would be a direct competitor to the $950 million casino the company is building in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Diocese of Springfield

The much anticipated plans have been announced for building a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.

WAMC

   Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Tuesday called for the long-delayed construction of a wood-burning power plant to move forward.  Project opponents, who had a chance encounter with the mayor, say they are not giving up. 

farm tractor in field
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a three-year grant totaling almost $600,000 to a western Massachusetts nonprofit to assist beginning farmers throughout the state.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

    Work started Monday at the first of nearly two-dozen locations in the city of Springfield where improvements are planned this year to an urban water and sewer infrastructure, parts of which date back to the 1800s.

WAMC

      Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts are weighing their options now that the city’s top health official has opted not to hold a site assignment hearing on the project. 

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is expected to vote Monday on a development agreement for the first medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

      Plans to redevelop two old mill complexes are being called a “game-changer” for the downtown of a western Massachusetts city.

     The largest employer in western Massachusetts is cutting some jobs. 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

    A traveling educational exhibit about the Vietnam War that includes a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. is making stops in the region this summer.

       Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s chief economic advisor has applied for a new job and may soon leave the administration.

          Jay Ash, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, has applied to be the next city manager of Cambridge and if he gets the job will leave Baker’s cabinet, according to the Boston Globe.   Ash, a Democrat, was the first cabinet secretary picked by the new Republican governor underscoring Baker’s pledge of bipartisanship.

       Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s chief economic advisor has applied for a new job and may soon leave the administration.

          Jay Ash, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, has applied to be the next city manager of Cambridge and if he gets the job will leave Baker’s cabinet, according to the Boston Globe.   Ash, a Democrat, was the first cabinet secretary picked by the new Republican governor underscoring Baker’s pledge of bipartisanship.

WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will pay $5 million to widen by six inches the train boarding platform at Springfield’s Union Station to comply with federal rules for handicapped accessibility.

Governor's press office

   Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has been on a bill-signing spree. He has now put his signature to five major bills that passed the legislature in the final days of formal sessions last month. One of these is intended to make local government more efficient by cutting red tape and giving cities and towns more autonomy.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture

A helicopter will take to the air over farm fields in Massachusetts during the next few weeks as part of a government soil conservation program.

Governor's press office

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday signed into law a bill aimed at making local government more efficient.

Baker described the legislation as a “weed whacking” of obsolete laws. 

It gives cities and towns more freedom, reduces state oversight, and reforms some municipal practices.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz regrets that a provision to give localities more control over liquor licenses was not included.

"For a community like Northampton which has a thriving entertainment-restaurant economy it is a really important issue,"  said Narkewicz.

Diocese of Springfield

   Two events have been scheduled to lead up to the start of construction this fall for a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.

Pages