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
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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New England News
12:50 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Defense Furloughs Start Today

A C-5 cargo jet on the flight line at Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts
Credit US Air Force

Furloughs of civilian workers for the U.S. Department of Defense begin today.  The mandatory days off without pay were ordered by the Secretary of Defense as a result of the across the board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  About 700 employees at the Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts are affected.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the public affairs officer for the 439th  Airlift Wing  Air Force Master Sergeant Andrew Biscoe.

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New England News
5:29 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Hearing On Gun Bills Scheduled In Worcester

Credit M. Glasgow / Flickr

The Public Safety Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature is holding a public hearing on gun-related bills in Worcester on Monday.

Sixty-five gun related bills were filed in the legislature this session in the aftermath of the Newtown Connecticut school shooting.  State Rep. Harold Naughton, who co-chairs the Public Safety Committee has  said the goal is to come up with a comprehensive bill by September

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New England News
12:25 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Sen. Warren's First Bill To Lower Student Debt Gains Support

A bill filed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren  to dramatically cut the interest rate on college student loans is gaining support.

Warren’s bill, which is the first she has authored as a Senator, has been endorsed by more than two dozen colleges and universities in Massachusetts, as well as several national progressive political groups.   It would link the interest rate on federal student loans to the rate the Federal Reserve charges to loan money to banks.  That would effectively lower the student loan interest rate from 6.8 percent to .75 percent.

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