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.

Ways to Connect

The Democratic leadership in the Massachusetts House has
unveiled a bill to promote job growth.  The proposals would help launch
new innovative businesses, and also expand the state's manufacturing
sector.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

WAMC

Hoping to reverse what has been called a lost decade of employment for
young people, officials in western Massachusetts have launched a youth
summer jobs campaign.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill
reports.

        Saying that government funded youth summer jobs programs will
not come close to meeting the demand, workforce development specialists,
and the mayors of the region's two largest cities appealed to the
private sector to offer work to teenagers this summer.

Auto insurance rates in Massachusetts are climbing higher. Drivers are starting to see their premiums go up four years after rates dropped when the state partially de-regulated the auto insurance business.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        Many of the largest auto insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts have raised rates in each of the last two years.  The insurers are faced with rising costs for claims from car crashes, thefts and injuries, according to James Harrington, of the Massachusetts Insurance Federation.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, a non-profit policy and research center, is working on a project to  rate the country’s schools of education.  The report is to be published by US News and World Report.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with  the think tank’s president, Kate Walsh.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley wants to toughen the state’s open meeting law. WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Coakley on Monday proposed a new regulation that would allow state and local governmental bodies to be punished if they act with "deliberate ignorance" of the law, which requires most meetings to be accessible to the public.

Under current regulations, public entities can be fined up to $1,000 for violating the law, but only if the violation is found to be intentional after a previous warning from a court or prosecutor.

The University of Massachusetts is looking at the feasibility of
establishing satellite campuses. The mayor of Springfield wants a
satellite of the flagship Amherst campus located in his city's downtown.
WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno publically lobbied Monday for
what he called a quicker pace to the four year old Springfield-UMass
partnership.

WAMC

Metal sculptures will be put  on display throughout downtown Springfield this month in the latest effort to use public art to attract more people to the city’s downtown.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        The sculptures are the work of Hilltowns artist James Kitchen, who takes discarded metal, such as wheel rims, machine gears, farm implements, tools and other scrap metal and turns it into art, which he describes as thoughtful and whimsical.

WAMC

  Construction work on publicly funded housing developments in Massachusetts should be booming in coming months. The Patrick administration has committed tens of millions of dollars to build or preserve affordable housing across the state. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        $105 million in tax credits and subsidies from federal and state programs is being awarded for 36 housing developments in 28 communities.  State officials say this will build or preserve almost 22 hundred housing units and create an estimated 3000 construction jobs.

Officials in Springfield Massachusetts have announced plans to hire a professional consultant to help negotiate with would-be casino developers.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The mayor’s office announced Thursday that it will seek bids from firms experienced in representing municipalities with gaming industry projects.  Bids will be accepted for a month.

It’s another sign Springfield officials are anxious to see a resort casino built in the city to bring jobs and revenue. The Springfield City Council recently named a casino siting advisory committee. 

WAMC

With the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season less than a month away, hundreds of people attended a hurricane preparedness conference Wednesday in central Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Bill Read urged hundreds of public safety officials not to be in denial when they see a forecast that has a hurricane tracking to New England.

Read said since 1990 hurricane tracking errors, 48 hours from landfall, have been cut in half. But forecasting a storm’s intensity remains tricky…

WAMC

A community wide collaboration is credited with helping to reduce teenage pregnancy in Holyoke Massachusetts.  Officials acknowledge there is much work yet to do, as Holyoke has the highest teen birth rate in the state.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

WAMC

  With the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season  23 days away,  hundreds of people attended a hurricane preparedness conference Wednesday in Massachusetts.. The first of its kind event was hosted by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The city of Springfield Massachusetts is facing serious financial problems, again. The city's mayor and members of his finance team met in Boston Monday with the Speaker of the Massachusetts House and the State Senate President to appeal for help.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

WAMC

The founding of the third oldest county in Massachusetts, Hampshire County, is being observed this year.  Officials are using the 350th anniversary to promote an effort to fund major repairs to the county's best known landmark.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
       

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is being urged by some to speed up its work to shorten the expected time table for issuing up to three licenses to build resort casinos.  An casino-sitting advisory committee has been created in Springfield, as officials there pursue a casino development.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

WAMC

A first of its kind in the nation transit center opens Monday in western Massachusetts. The multi-modal facility in downtown Greenfield was dedicated Friday in honor of a soon to be retired Congressman.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

A casino advisory committee is being created in Springfield Massachusetts as city officials pursue a resort casino development.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Springfield City Council President James Ferrera said the committee will advise the council on casino sitting issues.  The council could conceivably have to issue a special permit, change zoning, or take property by eminent domain to accommodate a casino development.

A survey of tornado survivors finds many with unmet needs as the one year anniversary of the natural disaster in western Massachusetts approaches.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Eight days of canvassing by disaster response volunteers in tornado impacted neighborhoods of Springfield found dozens of people who still need help ranging from major roof repairs to replacing household appliances and furnishings.

Steven Abdow, a board member of Springfield Community Together, the FEMA organized long term recovery group, said the unmet needs are estimated to cost $1 million…

WAMC

  A survey of  people affected by the tornado in Springfield Massachusetts nearly a year ago finds dozens still have unmet needs. These range from major roof repairs to replacing household appliances and furnishings  with an estimated total cost of almost $1 million.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

The future is in doubt for one of just two remaining coal powered electricity generating plants in Massachusetts.  Municipal officials and environmentalists believe age and the current economics of burning coal will bring an end to the Mount Tom Power Plant in Holyoke.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

      An advisory committee made up of Holyoke residents and appointed officials including  members of the Conservation Commission and Redevelopment Authority will explore alternative uses for the Mount Tom Power Plant.

The Patrick administration has released an additional $520,000 in tornado relief funds for Western Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Most of the money is for home repairs in the nine communities hit hardest by the June 1st natural disaster, according to the announcement from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

WAMC

Anti poverty activists want more housing for the poor in Springfield Massachusetts. The comprehensive master plan for rebuilding from the tornado does not call for more affordable housing to be built.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..

 

IPPNW

At a recent gathering of Nobel Laureates in Chicago, a report was released detailing the danger facing the world from a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan.  The author of the report is a western Massachusetts physician. Dr. Ira Helfand,  vice president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Several top law enforcement officials in Western Massachusetts met Monday to explore new strategies for crime prevention.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

At a conference in Springfield, the retired police chief of High Point North Carolina, James Fealy said his department implemented a strategy of strong community partnerships and focused deterrence to shut down open air drug markets.   The result, violent crime over the last decade is down 47 percent in High Point.

“There’s been dramatic impact.”

WAMC

Law enforcement officials and community leaders from the greater Springfield Massachusetts area met Monday to consider ways to deter crime.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

 

      Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni  believes a policing model that employs strong community partnerships and focused deterrence can be a successful strategy  to reduce violence in high crime areas of Springfield and Holyoke.

WAMC

Several  events  were held in Amherst Massachusetts over the weekend to mark the inauguration of Jonathan Lash as the sixth president of Hampshire College.  The highlight was a formal inauguration ceremony  featuring a keynote address by former Vice President Al Gore.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

      Gore spoke forcefully on his signature issue, global warming, saying policies and practices must change and critics who deny the scientific evidence must be refuted.

Wistariahurst Museum

The life of a renowned activist for social justice is being fondly remembered this weekend in western Massachusetts. And, the legacy of Carlos Vega is being preserved in an extensive collection of personal papers and artifacts at a museum in his home city of Holyoke.   WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        There is barely an aspect of life in Holyoke over the last half century, from housing to education to Latino culture that Carlos Vega did not influence, or at least, try to influence.

Former Vice President Al Gore will be in western Massachusetts today to speak at the inauguration of Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The former vice president who has campaigned to educate people about climate change is a friend of Lash who is an environmental attorney and former head of the World Resources Institute.  Lash will be formally installed as Hampshire College’s sixth president. 

Lash said the small liberal arts college has students and faculty who are independent thinkers passionate about change…

Blue Star Equiculture

An organic farm in western Massachusetts is the officially designated retirement place for the carriage horses of New York’s Central Park.  Blue Star Equiculture of Palmer Massachusetts is participating in an event this weekend where people will have a chance to learn more about its unique mission to help working horses.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Blue Star Equiculture’s executive director, Pamela Rickenbach.

Former Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who is facing corruption charges, was in court briefly Wednesday.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

A pre-trial conference in Cahill’s case was postponed for a month at the request of Jeffrey Denner, Cahill’s new lawyer, who told the judge he needed time to get up to speed.  There was no change in the September date for Cahill’s trial.  

Cahill told reporters in Boston after the brief hearing that he is confident his legal team will prove he did nothing wrong. 

Pages