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

Springfield Police Dept

National statistics point to an increase in deadly violence against law enforcement officers. A 36 year veteran policeman in Springfield Massachusetts was the latest to lose his life in the line of duty when he was shot dead earlier this week while trying to resolve a domestic dispute.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The top economic development officials from Massachusetts and Connecticut met on Tuesday to talk about collaborative efforts.  The focus is on the Hartford-Springfield region, which has been dubbed-“The Knowledge Corridor”.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Massachusetts Economic Development and Housing Secretary Gregory Bialecki.

Springfield Police Dept

A  veteran Springfield Massachusetts police officer was killed in the line of duty Monday after responding to a domestic dispute. Authorities say the policeman was shot and fatally wounded by a Rikers Island corrections officer, who then took his own life.  A woman was critically wounded. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has more..

Elizabeth Warren at DNC
WAMC

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts has been re-energized. Her last remaining challenger for the Democratic nomination fell by the wayside at the party’s endorsement convention in Springfield over the weekend.  New polls showed the race between Warren and  Republican incumbent Scott Brown  remains a dead heat.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

WAMC

Several of the western Massachusetts communities that were in the path of almost unimaginable destruction one year ago today will hold remembrance events.  It will be an opportunity to reflect on the one year anniversary of the worst tornado to hit the state in a half-century and also to look toward what many hope will be a brighter future.    WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Gay rights activists in western Massachusetts are hailing the ruling by a federal appeals court in Boston that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Brenda Lopez of Springfield says the federal statute that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman is rooted in bigotry.

“If in fact you’re going to defend a marriage, you need to defend all marriages.”

Consumer Reports has teamed with a Massachusetts group to rate hundreds of primary care doctors’ practices in the Bay State. The magazine’s evaluations are being released jointly with Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, which is a coalition of health insurers, hospitals, doctors, and others with a stake in the healthcare industry.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley  Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the coalition’s Melinda  Karp.

More emergency funding is being sent to western Massachusetts communities hit by the tornadoes a year ago this week.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says $3.9 million dollars in federal funding is available for eight communities. 

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray , who announced the money Wednesday in Springfield, said it is to reimburse the cost of repairs that were made to streets and sidewalks…

WAMC

A city -wide natural disaster rebuilding effort took place in Springfield Massachusetts Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of the June 1st tornadoes.  The city was also awarded more federal funds to cover some of the costs to repair its tornado damaged infrastructure. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        As the anniversary of the June 1st tornadoes in western Massachusetts approaches, the recovery has come a long way, but there are stark reminders there is still a long way to go.

Officials have placed a conservation restriction on a forest covered mountain in western Massachusetts marking the largest private land conservation deal in the state in nearly a century. WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The conservation restriction on 3,500 acres of Brushy Mountain in the towns of Leverett and Shutesbury allows forestry operations to continue, but conserves wildlife habitat and will provide recreational access to the public on what was previously private land.

WAMC

More state funding is being sought to redevelop a major tourist attraction in Western Massachusetts.  Officials made their pitch Tuesday to Governor Deval Patrick for more help for the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        Governor Patrick said he was impressed by the progress made so far on what is planned as a $50 million dollar project to develop a facility capable of hosting events year round. But he stopped short of a firm commitment of more state money.

The Massachusetts economy added jobs for a fifth straight month and the unemployment rate in April fell to its lowest level in 3 ½ years.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The April unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell to 6.3 percent as the state added 2,500 jobs according to a report from the state office of Labor and Workforce Development. 

Led by the high tech sector, the state’s economy has been recovering from the Great Recession faster than the nation’s as a whole. The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 8.1 percent.

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…

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