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
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Public To Weigh In On Electronic Toll Plan

Credit AP File Photo

State transportation officials are looking for public comment in Springfield ( tomorrow)Thursday on a plan to switch to an open road tolling system on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

   Under the proposal drivers would no longer stop at a toll booth and pay cash. Tolls would be collected either through transponders in a vehicle or by a system of cameras that record license plate numbers and mail  a bill to the vehicle’s registered owner.  MassDOT Highway Adminstrator Frank DePoala said open road tolling  in the long run will save the state money and will save driver’s time.

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New England News
3:41 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Plan Unveiled For Spending Disaster Recovery Funds

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have produced a plan for spending millions of dollars in federal disaster recovery funds.  It is the latest step in a long road to recovery from the June 1st,2011 tornado.

   Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno outlined at a city hall news conference Wednesday what he called an action plan for spending more than $13 million to build new housing, repair streets and sidewalks, remove blight, construct a new school and refurbish a park in neighborhoods devastated by the worst tornado Massachusetts has experienced in a half-century.

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New England News
5:11 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Plan To Be Announce For Spending Disaster Recovery Funds

Springfield officials hope to use disaster recovery money to replace the South End Community Center, which was destroyed by the tornado on June 1, 2011
Credit WAMC

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will announce on Wednesday a plan for spending more than $21 million in disaster recovery funding the city was awarded.

   The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced earlier this year Springfield would receive $21.9 million to help recover from the June 1, 2011 tornado and the remnants of Hurricane Irene later that same summer. Mayor Sarno said the money will help move the city’s tornado recovery plan forward.

   The city held three public meetings in July to solicit suggestions on how to spend the money

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New England News
6:27 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

New Construction Techniques, Incentives Speed Bridge Replacement

Work continues to replace the Manhan River Bridge in Easthampton, Mass. It should reopen to traffic by the end of October.
Credit WAMC

A new state program has been successful in reducing the backlog of urgently needed repairs to Massachusetts bridges.  Innovative construction methods have reduced the amount of time it once took to make repairs.

   The Manhan River Bridge in Easthampton is one of the current projects in the  state’s 5-year- old $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program.   MassDOT  Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said the program prioritizes repairing structurally deficient bridges. 

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New England News
7:10 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Jobless Find Frustration With New Online Claims System

Credit Tom Check / Flickr

A new $46 million computer system to process unemployment claims in Massachusetts is causing frustrations for people seeking benefits.

Since the new system launched on July 1st people have reported problems filing claims both online and through an automated phone system, as well as an  inability to get technical help through a call center.  Help is no longer available in person at the state’s career centers.  Chris Horton, a volunteer with a support group for the unemployed in Worcester said the problem is widespread.

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New England News
3:47 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Panel Urges Help For Human Trafficking Victims

Credit Scott Davidson/Flickr

A task force chaired by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley issued a series of recommendations today for combating and preventing human trafficking.

The report from the Massachusetts Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force urges expanding victims services programs and setting up “safe houses” for people trying to escape from the underground sex trade, which Coakley said remains a lucrative business for its purveyors.

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New England News
4:27 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Veto Override Vote Scheduled On Residency Law

Springfield City Councilor Mike Fenton who sponsored the residency ordinance approved by the council and later vetoed by Mayor Domenic Sarno

The city council in Springfield , Massachusetts Monday will take up the mayor’s veto of a residency requirement for employees of  the city.

The ordinance approved by a 9 to 3 vote would ban city department heads and their deputies , hired after January 1, 2014 from living outside the city. The mayor would be able to waive the residency requirement for other new hires in a limited set of circumstances.  The bill was sponsored by City Councilor Mike Fenton who said he wrestled with the thorny issue for years.

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New England News
12:35 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Candidate For Mass. Governor Challenges Ethics Ruling

Democratic State Senator Dan Wolf’s bid for governor of Massachusetts was jolted this month by a ruling from the State Ethics Commission.   The ruling said Wolf’s part ownership of Cape Air, the regional airline he founded, is a conflict of interest because the airline has contracts with Massport to use Logan Airport in Boston.  Wolf is contesting the ruling and has vowed to continue his campaign for governor.  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill

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New England News
9:17 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Trial Date Set For Chemist In Drug Lab Scandal

Credit WAMC News / Eric Krupke

The former state chemist accused of tampering with evidence in drug cases in Massachusetts has a trial date

   A judge in Boston Friday scheduled a January 6 trial date for Annie Dookhan, whose arrest sent ripples through the state’s criminal justice system.  The trial will cover charges she faces that were part of a 27 count indictment announced last year by Attorney General Martha Coakley

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New England News
3:39 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Coalition Of Groups, Springfield Mayor Agree To Meet About Refugee Resettlement

Credit City of Springfield

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s call for an end to refugee resettlement in the city has drawn a strong rebuttal from several social service agencies, faith- based groups, and anti-poverty activists.

A coalition including representatives of Catholic Charities, Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts, Jobs with Justice and several more groups that work with immigrants met in Springfield Friday and later held a news conference to call for a meeting with Mayor Sarno to discuss his claims that refugee resettlement had become a crisis in Springfield.

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