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
7:42 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Hard Rock, West Springfield Mayor Sign Casino Development Deal

Credit Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

The mayor of West Springfield, Massachusetts has signed an agreement with Hard Rock International which hopes to win the competition for a resort casino license in Western Massachusetts.

   The agreement guarantees West Springfield a minimum payment of $18 million annually. An additional $8 million  per year would be paid to surrounding communities. Mayor Gregory Neffinger said the deal he negotiated also calls for upfront payments of more than $40 million to improve traffic, infrastructure and public safety.

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New England News
6:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Efforts Spread In Holyoke To Fight Obesity

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse (center) announces roll out of a childhood obesity initiative " Let's Move Holyoke 5-2-1-0." The numbers reference five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, two hours of "screen" time, one hour of exercise, and zero sugary drinks.
Credit WAMC

One of the poorest cities in Massachusetts is waging a new campaign against obesity.

An initiative called “5-2-1-0” which promotes healthy eating and exercise is being rolled out to the public schools, pre-schools, community organizations and health centers in the city of Holyoke. Mayor Alex Morse said this new campaign is part of the city’s commitment to “ Let’s Move!” the effort championed by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity.

75 percent of adults in Holyoke are considered obese, compared with the national average which is 60 percent.

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New England News
4:04 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Gov. Patrick Faces Deadline On State Budget

Credit wikipedia commons

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick faces a Friday deadline to take action on the state’s budget.

The $34 billion spending plan approved by the state legislature is balanced in part by $500 million in taxes contained in a separate transportation finance bill.  Governor Patrick and legislative leaders are at odds over that bill, with the legislature not scheduled to take up Patrick’s proposed amendments until next week. The governor won’t say if he’ll veto large amounts of spending in the state budget as a result of the impasse.

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New England News
5:48 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Cultural District Designation Sought For Downtown Springfield

Officials in Springfield Massachusetts  are looking into seeking state-recognition for a downtown cultural district

The district would encompass a several block area that is home to the Springfield Museums, the Armory National Park, several entertainment venues and art galleries.  Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh believes  a formal designation as a cultural district would boost tourism and job creation.

Walsh said the full city council will be asked to vote on July 15th to submit an official application to the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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New England News
6:09 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Construction Begins To Replace Tornado Damaged School

Artist renderings of the new Brookings Elementary school displayed at a groundbreaking ceremony
Credit WAMC

Springfield, Massachusetts continues to rebuild from the tornado that caused extensive damage to the city 25 months ago.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held today to begin construction on a new elementary school to replace one that was rendered unusable by the tornado.

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New England News
4:16 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

School Construction Seen As Start Of Post Tornado Turnaround

Tornado damage is still visible in the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts two years after the June 1,2011 tornado
Credit WAMC

Construction has started on a $28 million elementary school to replace one that was heavily damaged 25 months ago  by the tornado that tore through Springfield, Massachusetts.

The replacement Brookings School is the first major tornado-related construction project in the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood.  It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Springfield, but the tornado damage, ironically, has opened the way to revitalization. Springfield Housing Director Gerry McCafferty said there are plans to build new single family and multi-family housing .

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New England News
8:32 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Gov. Patrick Urged To Veto Repeal Of Employer Healthcare Contribution Law

Credit Dwight Sipler

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has until the end of the week to make vetoes to line items in the state budget approved by the legislature on July 1st.

Health- care advocates are urging the governor to veto a provision in the budget that eliminates fines for large employers who do not provide health insurance to their workers.  A one year delay in implementing federal fines by the Obama administration has the advocates concerned, but Governor Patrick does not believe it will impact the availability of health insurance in Massachusetts.

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New England News
6:27 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Governor Patrick Praises Post Incarceration Program

The Hampden County Sheriff's Department After Incarceration Support Systems one-stop reentry center is located in this building in Mason Square in Springfield, MA.
Credit WAMC

A program that has reduced recidivism rates was praised today by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  The governor toured the program operated by the office of Hampden County Sheriff  Michael Ashe. 

Since 2007, the Hampden County Sheriff’s office has operated a one-stop center for newly released inmates. Located in a nondescript one- story brick building in a tough Springfield neighborhood, the center helps former inmates transition back into the community with a range of support services.

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New England News
7:02 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Casino Opponents Schedule Rally In Springfield

Pastors with the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts hold a news conference to announce plans to campaign against the Springfield casino referendum
Credit WAMC

Clergy who oppose a casino in western Massachusetts are holding a rally Tuesday afternoon in downtown Springfield.

The Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts is urging Springfield voters to reject MGM Resort’s $800 million dollar casino development. The city-wide referendum is on Tuesday July 16th.  Archbishop Timothy Paul, president of the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts said studies show casinos cause an increase in problem gambling, violent crime, personal bankruptcies and homelessness

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New England News
6:17 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Clergy Urge "No" Vote On Springfield Casino

Credit WAMC

Clergy in western Massachusetts vow to spread an anti-casino message in advance of next Tuesday’s  voter referendum in Springfield on MGM Resorts’ $800 million project. The casino operator on Monday promoted  opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.

       Pastors representing the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts announced plans at a Monday news conference to hold an anti-casino rally, stage  leaflet drops, publish a position paper and have people stand in front of dozens of churches this weekend holding signs urging a “no” vote next Tuesday.

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