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
7:39 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Casino Opponents Launch Signature Drive For Ballot Initiative

Casino opponents in Massachusetts have announced plans for a signature drive this month to try to put a question on the November 2014 ballot to repeal the state’s gaming law.

   As part of the statewide campaign the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is calling on parishioners to circulate petitions inside churches or out in the parking lots on the last two Sundays of the month.  Episcopal Bishop Douglas Fisher has denounced casinos as an attack on the poor and said he believes anti-casino momentum is building.           

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New England News
6:36 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Democrats Look To Pickup Open State Senate Seat

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh ( on left) with state Senate nominee David Bartley and Easthampton Mayor Michael Tautznik at a unity event in Westfield the day after Bartley's victory in the party primary
Credit WAMC

A city councilor from Holyoke and a State Representative from Westfield will square off in November in a special election to fill a vacant state Senate seat in western Massachusetts.  Democrats see it as a chance to add to an already commanding majority on Beacon Hill.

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New England News
4:40 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

GOP Gets The Blame For Shutdown In Massachusetts Poll

Credit KAZVorpal/Flickr

By a large margin, Massachusetts voters blame Republicans in Congress for the shutdown of the federal government according to a poll released Wednesday by the Western New England University Polling Institute.

The poll which was conducted during the first seven days of the federal government shutdown found 56 percent of all voters blame Republicans for the  shutdown, 16 percent fault President Obama and just 5 percent hold Congressional Democrats responsible.  Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said the results did not break completely along party lines.

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New England News
6:15 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

A Large Pay Raise For Springfield's Mayor Appears Likely

Credit City of Springfield

City Councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts have voted for a big pay raise for the mayor after years of on-again off-again discussion.  They’ve also given initial approval to raise their own pay, with little prior notice. 

   The Springfield City Council gave first-step approval Monday night via voice vote for a $40,000 pay raise for the mayor.  If final approval occurs at the council’s October 21st meeting, the annual salary for the mayor will be $135,000 effective in January 2014.  It would be the first change in the mayor’s salary in 16 years.

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New England News
4:46 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Slows Pursuit Of Disaster Funds

Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA was left unusable because of the damage caused by the June 1,2011 tornado.
Credit Catholic Communications, Diocese of Springfield

The federal government shutdown could further delay plans to rebuild a Catholic high school damaged by the 2011 tornado in Springfield, Massachusetts.

   The pursuit of   federal disaster aid for the tornado damage done to Cathedral High School has been hampered by the government shutdown.  Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, said a scheduled meeting with FEMA officials next week  may have to be postponed

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New England News
12:26 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Westfield State President Responds To Criticism About Spending

Credit WSU

Embattled Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle is defending his controversial spending of taxpayer and foundation money on travel and entertainment.  He’s also complaining about what he says is a “rush to judgment” by state officials.  

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New England News
7:18 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Three Companies Make Pitches For Slot Parlor License

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission heard public presentations Monday from the three competitors for the lone slot machine parlor license available in the state.

   The Cordish Companies of Maryland is proposing the only slot parlor project west of Interstate 495. The project in the northern Worcester County city of Leominster would cost $200 million to build and over ten years pay just over $1 billion in taxes, according to Cordish President Joe Weinberg.

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New England News
5:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Furloughs End For Civilian Employees Of U.S. Military

A C-5 on the flight line at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, MA.
Credit US Air Force

On the seventh day of the federal government shutdown, thousands of civilian employees returned to work Monday at a half dozen military bases in Massachusetts.

       The 270 civilian employees at Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee went to work Monday as a result of a decision by the Secretary of Defense. Lt. Col. James Bishop, the chief public affairs officer at the base, said the civilians were notified over the weekend to come back to work.

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New England News
12:26 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Environmentalists Press For Fracking Ban In Massachusetts

Environmental activists in Massachusetts are trying to launch a preemptive strike against hydraulic fracturing. While the controversial gas drilling practice has been the subject of fierce debate in New York for years it has drawn little attention in Massachusetts.

   The group Environment Massachusetts is urging Massachusetts lawmakers to enact a ban on fracking even though geologists and the petroleum industry insist the chances are remote the controversial gas drilling technique-- where water and chemicals are used to break rock--  would ever be used in the Bay State.

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New England News
2:48 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

City Councilors To Debate How Much To Pay The Mayor

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks to reporters after he was re-elected to a third term in 2011
Credit WAMC

City Councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday will consider a pay raise for the mayor. 

    The $95,000 annual salary for the mayor in Springfield has not changed in 16 years. Mayor Domenic Sarno believes a raise is overdue, but he said he does not want the debate to become a referendum on his job performance

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