Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

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WAMC News
6:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Casino Repeal Question Will Be On Massachusetts Ballot

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 6:07 pm

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled today that a question asking voters to repeal the state’s casino law can go on the November ballot.  It sets up what promises to be a hard-fought campaign to decide the fate of the fledgling gambling industry in Massachusetts.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Springfield Mayor Renews Call For Moratorium On Refugee Resettlements

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:22 pm

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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WAMC News
10:55 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Poll Finds Massachusetts Voters Still Support Casinos

An artist's rendering of the Springfield casino proposed by MGM Resorts. It was awarded the state's first casino license on June 13,2014, two-and-a-half years after Las Vegas-style gambling was legalized in Massachusetts.

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:47 pm

A new poll finds Massachusetts residents still support casino gambling, but have lost confidence in the casino industry regulators.

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WAMC News
7:40 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Budget For New Fiscal Year Approved Without Cuts

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno's recommended budget was approved by a unanimous vote of the Springfield City Council

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has a budget in place for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.  The city’s elected officials are in agreement that following years of recession-forced spending cuts, the budget for fiscal year 2015 moves the city forward.

The $581.9 million budget recommended by Mayor Domenic Sarno was adopted by the Springfield City Council Monday night by an 11-0 vote with two councilors absent.  The vote wrapped up the least contentious budget season in the state’s third- largest city in recent years.

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NPR Story
10:25 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Tornado Scars Remain Three Years Later

Cathedral High School, the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts remains closed because of the damage caused by the June 1, 2011 tornado. Classes were moved to suburban Wilbraham

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:32 pm

People in Springfield, Massachusetts reflected Sunday on the third anniversary of the tornado that left a major scar on the city.   While officials say they are proud of the recovery process, they acknowledge more work is ahead. 

New homes are under construction in the low-income Maple High-Six Corners neighborhood in keeping with a master plan painstakingly put together in the months after the June 1, 2011 tornado. A new elementary school is under construction to replace one destroyed by the storm. Thousands of new trees have been planted.

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WAMC News
4:59 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Massachusetts Gun Laws May Get Tougher

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:57 pm

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is planning to unveil a sweeping gun safety bill on Tuesday which he wants to vote on before the legislative session ends on July 31st.

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WAMC News
4:59 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Springfield Commemorates Memorial Day

Gumercindo Gomez, a Vietnam veteran, placed a wreath at the Vietnam War memorial in Court Square in Springfield, MA

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:17 pm

Memorial Day observances are under way in western Massachusetts,where the holiday weekend will feature parades and solemn ceremonies.

The city of Springfield commemorated Memorial Day Friday afternoon with an annual ceremony under an overcast sky.  After short speeches on the steps of city hall, a group of elected officials and military veterans placed wreaths at the five war memorials across the street in Court Square. The procession was led by JROTC color guards from each of the city’s four high schools.

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WAMC News
10:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Job Training Planned In Springfield Neighborhoods Hit By 2011 Tornado

The South End Community Center was destroyed by the tornado on June 1, 2011. People in the neighborhood will get job training funded by a federal disaster recovery grant

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:47 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is soliciting bids from organizations to do workforce training in poor neighborhoods hit by the tornado three years ago.

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WAMC News
12:31 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission To Hold Final Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during a public hearing in Springfield April 1, 2014

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:31 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM.   It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.

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WAMC News
8:07 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Gaming Regulators To Hold Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:39 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is meeting in Springfield Wednesday to listen to public comments for the last time on MGM’s casino project.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Springfield Parking Authority Gets New Director And Direction

Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Mary McNally speaks in city hall after Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) announced her appointment. Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy stands next to the mayor.

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:21 pm

An attorney and veteran of several municipal boards and commissions has been tapped to head the parking authority in Springfield, Massachusetts. The appointment comes as the city is on the verge of a parking space crunch. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Friday the selection of Mary McNally as the new executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority.  He called her “eminently qualified” and said the appointment is part of a new direction at the authority.

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WAMC News
9:23 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Massachusetts' Highest Court To Hear Casino Referendum Case

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 10:41 am

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Monday on whether a question to repeal casino gambling should appear on the November election ballot.

The decision by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office to ban the question from the ballot is being challenged in the state’s highest court by anti-casino activists led by John Ribiero, chairman of the group Repeal the Casino Deal.

" There is no reason for us to be kept off the ballot."

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WAMC News
10:46 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Advocates Hope DCF Fallout Leads To Better Child Protections

The Children's Memorial Flag seen here depicts paper-doll-like figures of children in blue with a white outline of a missing child.

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 6:07 pm

The commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has resigned following the deaths of three children on her watch.  Child welfare advocates say the focus now needs to shift to fixing problems at the state agency and preventing child abuse.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who had previously rejected DCF Commissioner Olga Roche’s resignation offers, said Tuesday he had reluctantly agreed to accept it now, believing the troubled child welfare agency can’t move forward with her at the helm.

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WAMC News
9:05 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Authorities Say Security Was High But Not Oppressive At First Boston Marathon Since The Bombings

US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson addresses people at the Multi-Agency Coordination Center for the 2014 Boston Marathon at the Mass. Emergency Management Agency

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:16 pm

The 118th Boston Marathon took place today amid heavy security a year after the bombings near the race’s finish line that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

State and local police officers were highly visible—even positioned on the rooftops of some buildings.  Bomb-sniffing dogs checked trash containers. Spectators had to pass through metal detectors to get to some areas.  Authorities said the entire 26.2- mile race course was under video surveillance. Helicopters circled overhead.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Report Offers Suggestions On Easing Student Debt Burden

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:32 pm

As college student loan debt continues to climb nationally, lawmakers in Massachusetts are proposing some ways to help.

A subcommittee of the  legislature’s Joint Committee on Higher Education approved a report this week that contains nine recommendations including trying to decrease the time it takes to earn a college degree, increase state aid, and require all Massachusetts high school students to take a financial literacy course.

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WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MGM Springfield Seeks Delay In Awarding Casino License

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:16 pm

Nervous about the prospect of a casino repeal referendum, MGM is asking Massachusetts gaming industry regulators to delay awarding a casino license for the company’s Springfield project.

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday to continue its evaluation of MGM’s $800 million casino project, but stop just short of  issuing a license.

"What we find ourselves in because of the repeal effort is the award of a license that does not allow for the commencement of construction."

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WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MassDOT Surveys Commuters In Planning I-91 Project

The elevated highway in Springfield, MA known as the I-91 viaduct will be rebuilt beginning in November. The project is expected to take 3 years to finish

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:52 pm

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the planning for a major highway project in western Massachusetts is surveying commuters.

   MassDOT wants to hear from people who travel on Interstate 91 to find out daily routes, arrival and departure times and parking locations.  It is part of the planning for the 3-year $260 million reconstruction of the elevated portion of the highway through downtown Springfield.  Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Cuiffreda says the online survey is a good first step toward minimizing traffic problems.

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WAMC News
12:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Progress Reported On Casino Impact Research Project

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Thousands of Massachusetts residents are being surveyed as part of multi-year, multi-million dollar research project on the social and economic impacts of introducing casino gambling to the state.

The members of the UMass Amherst led research team say initial results will be reported to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in September. These findings will be the baseline that will be used to measure changes in problem gambling, domestic violence, housing prices and a host of other socio-economic factors as casinos open over the next one to three years.

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WAMC News
9:10 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Arbitrators To Decide Casino Mitigation Payments To Two Springfield Suburbs

An artist's rendering shows MGM's proposed $800 million casino in downtown Springfield

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:55 pm

Arbitrators have been chosen to decide how much two Massachusetts communities will be paid by MGM to mitigate the impacts of the proposed casino in downtown Springfield.

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WAMC News
12:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Gambling Commissioners Hear Pros, Cons Of MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 2:52 pm

Supporters and opponents of MGM’s $800 million casino project in Springfield had a final chance last night to sound-off in front of Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The state gaming commission held a final public hearing in Springfield as it prepares to award the lone casino license in western Massachusetts where MGM Springfield is the only applicant.

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WAMC News
8:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

UMass Opens Springfield Center Campus Office

The welcome center at the UMass satellite campus in Springfield is now open to help enroll students for classes that start at the new campus in September

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 6:12 pm

The University of Massachusetts opened its first satellite campus today.  The university is inviting people to sign up for classes that  start later this year in downtown Springfield.

University and city officials took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday -- with about 200 people looking on -- to mark the formal opening of the UMass Center at Springfield. 

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WAMC News
11:51 am
Thu March 20, 2014

President Obama To Speak At Worcester Tech Graduation

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:18 am

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at a Massachusetts high school in June.

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WAMC News
8:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Mayor Sarno Defends Process For Picking New Police Commissioner

Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri was selected by Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) to be the next police commissioner.

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:17 pm

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

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Massachusetts Casinos
9:15 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Public Hearing Scheduled On MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:26 am

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will be in western Massachusetts on Monday for a public hearing on MGM’s casino project in Springfield.

   The hearing that will take place at the West Springfield Middle School is one of two that will be held in the region as the gaming commission moves closer to awarding a license to develop and operate a resort casino. MGM is the only applicant in western Massachusetts.  The hearing will afford casino opponents, like Ted Steger, a chance to make a case against MGM’s project.

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WAMC News
9:38 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Harness Racetrack Gets Nod For First Massachusetts Casino

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:21 pm

A harness racing track has been chosen by Massachusetts gambling regulators as the site of the state’s first casino.  If all goes according to schedule, the casino that will have up to 1,250 slot machines, but no table games, will open just over a year from now.

       The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, in the most significant decision of its two years in existence, voted 3-2 on Thursday to offer a license to Penn National Gaming to operate a slot machine parlor at the Plainridge harness racetrack.  The track is in Plainville on the Rhode Island border.

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WAMC News
6:43 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Approves State's First Casino License

An artist's rendering of the Plainridge Park Casino, a slots machine parlor in Plainville, MA. Penn National Gaming plans to open the casino in Spring 2015. It can have up to 1,250 slot machines, but no table games.

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:45 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has voted to award the first casino gambling license in the state.

   The gaming commission voted 3 to 2 Thursday to award a license to Penn National Gaming to operate a slot machine parlor at a harness race track in Plainville on the Rhode Island border. Penn beat out two competitors for the lone slot license allowed by state law. Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said the vote is a milestone.

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WAMC News
3:16 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Debate In Springfield Over Police Commission

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 12:51 pm

A debate rages in Springfield, Massachusetts over who should run the police department – a five-member part-time commission, or a single all-powerful police commissioner.  A showdown vote between the city council and the mayor looms next month.

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WAMC News
6:53 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Springfield Mayor Hopes To Block Vote On Casino Repeal

An artist's rendering of the casino MGM Resorts hopes to build in Springfield, MA Casino opponents want to put a question on the November ballot to repeal the casino gambling law. A lawsuit on whether the question will appear on the ballot is pending before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:26 pm

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts is seeking to join an effort to block a voter referendum that could repeal the state’s casino gambling law.

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WAMC News
7:32 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Decision Due On Casino Surrounding Community Petitions

An artist's rendering of MGM Resorts' proposed $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, MA

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:11 am

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will announce a decision Tuesday on the petitions from three municipalities seeking mitigation payments if an MGM casino is built in downtown Springfield.

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WAMC News
8:43 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Chief Asks Court To Dismiss Lawsuit

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:31 am

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby is asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit by Caesars Entertainment.

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