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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Massachusetts has begun installing the all-electronic tolling system that is to replace toll booths on the MassPike. 

 Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said the switch to so-called “open road tolling” is on schedule to happen this October. 

Because the tolls will now be calculated by the distance traveled people may pay a little more or a little less, depending on their commute. 

" We know we need to go through a public process with folks to put out a draft version of what we think those charges would look like," Pollack said.

WAMC

A new chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was sworn into office today. The new chief arrives just in time to plan for an annual public safety challenge, the notorious “ Blarney Blowout."

Protecting a campus with almost 30,000 students, 6,000 people on the faculty and staff, and thousands of daily visitors situated in a bustling college town takes cooperation and collaboration, according to Tyrone Parham, the new UMass Amherst police chief.

" Safety is, I think, a part of everyone's responsibility," he said.

The new Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago is visiting each of the 24 campuses that make up the state’s system of community colleges and state universities. At each visit he meets with staff, faculty, students, local community leaders, and elected officials. 

Santiago, who came to Massachusetts as a deputy higher education commissioner in 2013, was on the campus of Westfield State University Thursday and he spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

WAMC

The spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts offered a broad apology today to people wounded by the clergy sex abuse scandal, to those embittered by church closings, and to people who were alienated from the church over racial and cultural differences or sexual orientation.

wikipedia

President Obama on Tuesday delivered his final federal budget proposal to Congress. The National Priorities Project called the proposal a “mix of old and new, of long shot proposals and sure bets.”  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Jasmine Tucker, the senior research analyst at the Northampton-based nonpartisan organization.

WAMC

A new phase of a major highway construction project in western Massachusetts is scheduled to begin this week, one that could result in more delays for motorists and more noise for people who live and work near the project. 

MassDOT announced the contractor on the project to reconstruct the elevated portion of Interstate 91 in downtown Springfield will begin demolishing the reinforced concrete bridge deck of the highway. The work, scheduled to begin Wednesday, will take place on the inner northbound lane of the I-91 viaduct.

Dave Lucas

The political spotlight falls today on New Hampshire, scene of the first presidential primaries, but  Wednesday is an important date on the 2016 election calendar in Massachusetts. It is the final day to register to be able to vote in the presidential primaries in Massachusetts on March 1st. 

Online voter registration launched in Massachusetts last summer and has been a big success. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the state’s top election official, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Additional hearings have been scheduled to review the latest plans for the $950 million MGM Springfield casino. 

The Springfield City Council, which has already held four hearings on the site plan for the resort casino, has scheduled two additional hearings later this month. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’s been assured by MGM officials that the extended review will not hold up the construction of the casino which is scheduled to open in 2018.

ramp closed sign leading to elevated interstate highway
WAMC

MassDOT is warning of traffic delays on Interstate 91 as contractors begin to demolish the elevated highway deck in Springfield.

Work to tear down the reinforced concrete bridge deck on the 2.5 mile long I-91 viaduct is scheduled to start on February 10.

       MassDOT said the contractor will put noise-reducing curtains in place and take other mitigation steps.  The demolition is scheduled to take place during both daytime and nighttime work shifts.                  

A large crowd displays the Black Flag on steps of Springfield City Hall
WAMC

Black History Month began in Springfield, Massachusetts this week with an annual flag-raising ceremony at City Hall.

A large diverse audience of children from a local elementary school, a Head Start classroom, and a youth job corps program, were encouraged by keynote speaker Dr. Alonzo Sheffield, 95, a retired physician, to learn their history.

" I think it will help them in their studies and appreciate what the situation is today, " he said.

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