Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

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Massachusetts
5:35 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Catholic Church Leaders Call For Casino Repeal

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:24 pm

The state’s four Roman Catholic Bishops are urging Massachusetts voters to repeal the state’s casino law.

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WAMC News
1:38 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gambling Regulators Nearing Decision On Greater Boston Casino

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:31 pm

Gambling industry regulators in Massachusetts resume deliberations today on awarding the state's most lucrative casino license.

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Springfield
6:27 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Mayor Blocks Appeal Against Biomass Plant

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:26 pm

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts won’t authorize an appeal to block construction of a wood-burning power plant.

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WAMC News
9:29 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Regulators To Begin Deliberations On Greater Boston Casino License

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners evaluated casino proposals from Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts in five categories and suggested changes to both projects. Final deliberations by the regulators that could lead to the awarding of a greater Boston license will begin Sept. 15

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:01 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will meet Monday to consider issuing a license for a casino in greater Boston.

The gambling industry regulators have completed an exhaustive review of the two competing casino proposals and have suggested changes to both projects.  Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts will respond to the commission’s suggestions by the end of this week. Acting chairman James McHugh said there will be a public discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.

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WAMC News
12:35 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Fight Against Biomass Plant To Continue

Dozens of opponents of the biomass plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy in Springfield, MA urged the city council during a special meeting Wednesday night to appeal a court ruling reinstating the project's building permit.

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:41 am

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has green-lighted an appeal to try to block construction of a wood-burning power plant. 

   The council authorized the filing of a notice of appeal of last month’s Massachusetts Land Court ruling that reinstated the building permit for the biomass project.  Dozens of project opponents urged the council to act prior to a September 15th deadline.   City Councilor Tim Allen said a lawyer advised the council the appeal has a 25 percent chance of success.

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WAMC News
11:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Springfield Declares Anti-bullying Weekend

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation was formed in 2010 to keep alive the memory of Carl who the previous year committed suicide at age 11 after suffering repeated bullying

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 6:26 pm

A number of activities to raise funds and awareness to combat bullying will take place this week in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the suicide five years ago of an 11-year- old student focused national attention on bullying in schools.

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation has scheduled a series of events that began Wednesday with a mayoral designation of the second weekend in September as “Anti-Bullying Weekend” in the city of Springfield. 

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Gambling Regulators Weigh Greater Boston Casino Proposals

The design of Mohegan Sun's proposed casino at Suffolk Downs in Revere, MA received a favorable evaluation from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:07 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Monday began a final review of the two competing proposals for a resort casino in greater Boston.

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WAMC News
10:21 am
Mon September 8, 2014

City Councilors To Meet On Biomass Permit Appeal

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 12:26 pm

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts will hold a special meeting on whether to continue the fight over a wood-burning power plant.

Facing a Sept. 15th deadline to file an appeal to the court ruling that restored the building permit for the controversial plant, city council meeting notices have been posted for both Sept. 10 and 11.   City Councilor Tim Allen opposes the biomass plant, but is uncertain if he’ll vote to appeal last month’s decision by the Massachusetts Land Court.

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WAMC News
12:15 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Extensive Makeover Announced For Downtown Apartment Complex

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks during the unveiling of plans for a major renovation to a 280-unit downtown apartment complex. Listening to the mayor are Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy ( at far left), and Erik Dowling of the SilverBrick Group, the developers.

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:26 pm

A New York City-based developer unveiled plans today for a major renovation to an apartment complex in downtown Springfield.  The project was hailed by city officials as another big step in downtown’s  revitalization.

Officials with the SilverBrick group outlined plans for what they said would be a $6 million renovation of the 280-unit complex that fronts Main Street.  The extensive makeover will include luxury amenities intended to persuade people to pay market-rate rents to live in the urban center.

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Councilors Weigh Court Challenge To Proposed Biomass Plant

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:31 pm

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is considering whether to appeal a court ruling that reinstated the building permit for a wood-burning power plant.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said he will poll the council members to determine if they want to hold a special meeting to vote on whether to appeal last months’ ruling by the Massachusetts Land Court.  Fenton said councilors met privately with an attorney this week to discuss the pros and cons of a possible appeal.

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WAMC News
11:04 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Universial School Lunch Program Expands In Massachusetts

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 12:06 pm

A federally-funded universal free lunch program is being introduced this year in the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Springfield Public Schools will receive $15.4 million to provide lunch daily at no charge to any student who wants it.  Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said the quality of the school lunches will improve with more vegetables and fruits on the menu.

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WAMC News
8:16 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Common Core Tests To Be Given In Majority Of Springfield Schools

Dan Warwick,Superintendent of Public Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, addresses the 2014 convocation at Van Sickle Middle School.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:16 pm

A new school year begins Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts where rising standardized test scores and a falling dropout rate are seen as signs of a turnaround in the struggling public school system. A new test, based on the Common Core educational standards, will be introduced in a majority of the city’s schools next year.

The scores of last year’s MCAS tests given to Springfield school students rose across the board at a higher rate than the gain recorded by school districts statewide, and the dropout rate has fallen  more than any other school system in the state.

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WAMC News
8:28 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Knowledge Corridor Rail Line Purchased By The State

Gov. Deval Patrick steps off a train in Greenfield to announce an agreement in principle to purchase a refurbished north-south rail line from Pan Am Southern

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:11 pm

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a milestone agreement today in the effort to bring high- speed passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick arrived in Greenfield onboard a train from North Adams to announce a tentative agreement to have the state purchase the rail line between East Northfield on the Vermont border and Springfield.  The 49-mile stretch is nearing the completion of a major restoration that will return passenger rail service to communities along the Connecticut River.

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Big E Fair Set For Annual September Run

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 10:21 am

The state fair season is approaching and details have been announced for the largest fair in the Northeast. 

The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts will include an exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the New York World’s Fair. Entertainment headliners include ZZ Top, Darius Rucker and Little Big Town. New fun foods and different concessions will be on the fair grounds.   Big E President Gene Cassidy said last year’s record attendance of nearly 1.5 million people made it the fifth largest fair in North America.       

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WAMC News
2:46 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

City Councilor Warns Crime Battle Is Being Lost

Springfield City Councilor Tim Rooke

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 12:26 pm

In a city where public safety consistently ranks as the top issue in public opinion polls, a veteran Springfield city councilor caused a buzz this week when he suggested people had become complacent about violence.

In an op-ed published on MassLive.com, Springfield City Councilor-at-large Tim Rooke called on the “silent majority” to speak up and help dismantle the violent drug gangs that he said are causing families to move out of Springfield and hurting businesses.

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New Bishop Installed At Springfield Service

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Springfield greets well wishers after his installation service Tuesday at St. Michael's Cathedral in downtown Springfield,MA

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 6:06 pm

There is a new spiritual leader for the 220,000 Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts.

   56 year old Mitchell Thomas Rozanski was installed as the 9th bishop of the Springfield diocese during a nearly 2-and-a-half hour service Tuesday. The 900 seat St. Michael’s Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese in downtown Springfield was nearly filled to capacity.

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WAMC News
8:34 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Installation Of New Bishop Set For Springfield Cathedral

Rev. Mitchell T. Rosanski, who will become the 9th Bishop of Springfield

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 4:21 pm

It will be a big day Tuesday for the 220,000 Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts, as a new bishop takes over the Springfield Diocese.   

    In a ceremony filled with ancient symbols and rituals Mitchell Thomas Rozanski will be installed as the new bishop Tuesday at St. Michael’s Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese in downtown Springfield.

    " I am grateful to God for the call to ministry, for the call to priesthood and then this call to be the ninth Bishop of Springfield," Rozanski said Monday.

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WAMC News
11:35 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Attorney General Sues Ex-Westfield State President

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 3:46 pm

The Massachusetts Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the former president of Westfield State University Evan Dobelle

A complaint filed in state court in Boston Thursday by Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley accuses Dobelle of spending up to $100,000 in school funds on personals purchases, trips, and meals at high end restaurants. 

The suit alleges he violated state laws and university policies by knowingly submitting false claims to Westfield State for personal expenses totaling $59,000.  

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NPR Story
11:17 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Supermarket Saga Imperils Jobs, Livelihoods

Most Market Basket stores like this one in Somerville,MA have no stocks of fresh foods

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 6:16 pm

The jobs of 25,000 people in New England are at risk along with the livelihoods of many small businesses because of the drama surrounding the Market Basket supermarket chain.

    The 71 Market Basket stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine have been without fresh food and shoppers, for the most part, for three weeks now because of a wildcat strike by workers who have chosen sides in a long-running dispute between two cousins over control of the family-owned business.

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WAMC News
11:17 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Massachusetts Not Needed To Provide Shelter For Immigrant Children

The Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, and Camp Edwards on Cape Cod had been suggested by Gov. Deval Patrick as potential shelters for up to 1,000 immigrant children.

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:16 pm

Massachusetts will not be needed to shelter immigrant children who have come unaccompanied across the nation’s southern border.  An announcement by federal officials late Tuesday ended a two-week controversy that embroiled Massachusetts in the national debate over immigration reform.

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WAMC News
9:38 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

PVTA Announces Extensive Service Changes

PVTA buses in downtown Springfield, MA

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:51 pm

A state-financed expansion of public transportation in western Massachusetts is being launched this month.

    The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will introduce seven new bus routes, including a much demanded cross-town bus in Springfield, and a new route between Amherst and Holyoke.   There will be more hours, mostly on the weekend, on 14 routes and buses will run more frequently on 15 routes.   PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes said ridership was up 2 percent last year.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Massachusetts Gives Shoppers Another Sales Tax-free Weekend

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm

Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.

The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State  Senator Gale Candaras  of  Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

State Report Highly Critical Of Ex-Westfield State President

Evan Dobelle, who retired last year as Westfield State University President after the board of trustees put him on paid leave amid allegations he had recklessly spent university funds

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:52 pm

The Massachusetts Inspector General issued a scathing report Thursday on a former state university president’s use of school funds for personal purposes.

   Inspector General Glenn Cunha said former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle knowingly and willingly violated school policy by spending lavishly for six years on trips and entertainment for himself, his family and friends.  Cunha called Dobelle’s behavior “outrageous”

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WAMC News
8:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Gov. Patrick Said He Is Hearing Support For Plan To Shelter Immigrant Children

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

Emotions remain high over Gov. Deval Patrick’s offer to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant children in Massachusetts.  No final decision has been made about where the children would stay, if federal authorities accept the offer.

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WAMC News
8:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Mohegan Sun Ends Lease In Palmer Where Casino Plans Failed

An artist's rendering of the casino Mohegan Sun proposed to build on a hillside in Palmer. Voters rejected the project on Nov. 5,2013

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:35 pm

Six years after Mohegan Sun planted its flag in Palmer with the idea of building a western Massachusetts resort casino, the Connecticut-based company is leaving the rural town and giving up control of a 152-acre site.

Mohegan Sun is terminating a 99-year lease on the former casino site -– a wooded hillside just off the MassPike — and giving up pursuit of a non-casino development there.  Town officials and the landowner, Northeast Reality, were notified Monday.

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WAMC News
9:19 am
Mon July 21, 2014

MGM Set To Buy Two Springfield Properties For Casino Project

An artist's rendering of MGM's proposed casino in downtown Springfield,MA

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:46 pm

MGM is preparing to purchase two city-owned buildings in Springfield for the Las Vegas-based company’s casino project.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said MGM intends to close on the sale of the properties by the end of this month despite the statewide casino referendum in November that could kill the Springfield project.

" They have honored everything they have had to honor up to this point."

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WAMC News
1:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Western Mass. Base Could Be Used To House Immigrant Children

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement Friday that Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee might be used to shelter immigrant children caught base commanders by surprise.

   Base spokesman, Master Sgt  Andrew Biscoe, said Westover is an active airfield with operational and security concerns that would need be addressed  before it could house up to a thousand children.  Also, lodging at the base is used on the weekends by thousands of reservists.

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WAMC News
11:05 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Gov. Patrick Weighing Request To Shelter Immigrant Children

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:21 pm

Gov. Deval Patrick says no decision has been made on a request from the Obama administration for Massachusetts to shelter some of the unaccompanied children who have been streaming across the nation’s southern border

Patrick seemed sympathetic to the request when he called the situation on the southern border a “humanitarian crisis” adding Massachusetts should do what it can to help.  Republican State Rep. Nick Boldyga of Southwick said the governor should reject the federal request to temporarily house the immigrant children.

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Massachusetts
6:47 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Anti-casino Activists Launch Referendum Campaign

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger is joined by leaders of the campaign to repeal the Massachusetts casino law at the campaign kickoff in Springfield.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:11 pm

Anti-casino activists launched a statewide referendum campaign today in Springfield where they outlined plans for convincing voters to keep Las Vegas-style gambling from coming to Massachusetts.

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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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