David DesRoches | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

David DesRoches

Reporter

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR f.m. and dot org. He also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students, and he starts the year with the lesson: “Conflicts of interest: Real or perceived? Both matter.” He thinks he has a sense of humor, and he also finds writing in the third person awkward, but he does it anyway. 

He's won some awards. He's lost some, too. Winning is better, but neither really matter. What matters is the work. Here are some of his stories that matter: special education; toxic PCBs in schools; hate crime; environmental damages

When he was a kid, people told him life isn't fair. He still doesn't buy it. Consequently, he could be biased toward fairness, which manifests in different ways, such as fighting inequality and inequity. He is an activist for truth and for transparency. He tries to paraphrase smart mentors but he often paraphrases Jeffrey Lebowski instead. If you have a problem with his stories or his bias, talk to him. Call him out. If you’re right, he’ll be better for it. If you’re wrong, you at least got something off your chest. 

His true passion is music. It’s in his veins, always there. Kurt Vonnegut, a lifelong atheist, once said that “…virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” and that “music is the proof of the existence of God.” It turns out, a lot of journalists are musicians. If they’re not, they’re likely huge music fans. David's both. He also loves to cook, woodwork, write fiction (never for WNPR) and will probably continue writing about his trip to Ethiopia for his entire life (it was over ten years ago).

He loves being in the studio and being creative with sound. Radio is right up his alley. He enjoys telling people’s stories, holding the powerful to account, FOIA’ing and data diving, eating poorly and trying to find words to end this bio. How about an onomatopoeia? Bam. 

Ways to Connect

David DesRoches / WNPR

Seven police dogs were part of the 200th graduating class of canine teams to go through special training to detect electronic devices.

The Connecticut State Police trained the dogs for departments from four different states. It's was the first department in the world to develop a method for detecting electronic storage devices. This has helped with investigations into terrorism, child pornography, and organized crime.

Trooper Kerry Halligan was the lead instructor for the program. 

David DesRoches

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Over 1,300 students, faculty members, and others have signed a petition asking for the state to stop its plan to consolidate the 12 public community colleges into one system. 

They’re calling themselves the Reluctant Warriors. 

A street in Hartford's North End neighborhood in April 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut mortgage lenders are coming under more scrutiny after a recent settlement highlighted practices that discriminated against minority populations.

This playground is made of recycled materials, and about a third of it is from recyled oral care waste.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Third-grader Emma Hallett helped her mom manage the recycling bins, which were set up along a wall at the back of a noisy cafeteria at Kelley Elementary School in Southington.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

When he was young, Michael Gilberg knew how to make a point.

"My mother always said when I was 8, I would make a good attorney because I was good at arguing,"  he said.

spediter / iStock/Thinkstock

Over 130 people who say they were molested at a school in Haiti connected to Fairfield University, have settled a lawsuit for $60 million, pending approval by a federal judge in Hartford.

BrianAJackson/iStock / Thinkstock

Doctors in Connecticut were paid over $27 million from pharmaceutical and medical device companies in 2017, according to a recent story by C-HIT. 

The highest paid doctor in 2017 was an orthopedic surgeon in Greenwich, who got over $1 million from a range of companies that year. C-HIT reporter Sujata Srinivasan said many of these doctors deal directly with patients, which raises ethical questions.

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

Lynn Mason never took her eyes off Christopher von Keyserling -- the man walking behind her who had just grabbed her groin.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

David McGhee grew up with two mysteries. One was his grandmother's suitcase — it was full of stuff she shared with no one. The other mystery was about the boy's grandfather, a soldier who died before David was born.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Schools throughout rural Connecticut have been shrinking or closing for years. Many districts have consolidated with neighboring towns to pool resources, in a process called regionalization.

And some schools – like Burnham School in Bridgewater – have taken a more creative approach.

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor-elect Ned Lamont announced his transition plans Thursday on the steps of the state capitol. Lamont says that he'll have two transition groups -- one focused on the budget, and the other on economic development. 

Republican nominee for governor, Bob Stefanowski.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Chip Toth was working at General Electric when he found himself across the table from Bob Stefanowski. The two men both worked at GE, but in different divisions, competing for the same customers.

An attack ad against a Connecticut state senate candidate is drawing criticism by those who say it’s anti-Semitic.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The plan was to attach Oz Griebel to a cable and then lower him onto the stage, to make it look he was wearing a jetpack and flying around. Jim Foye remembered asking Griebel to do it.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It was the summer of 1976, and Will Hunter was living with a group of 20-somethings in farmhouse. Well, calling it a farmhouse might not be completely accurate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A state official is trying to get quasi-public agencies to be more transparent, but that's proving to be a bit difficult.

Norwalk Police

The campaign manager for an unaffiliated candidate for governor has been arrested for embezzling money from his former employer. Kyle Lyddy was arrested by Norwalk police on Monday. 

David DesRoches/WNPR

Owen Lynch likes to keep to himself, even when he's playing a video game against 100 other players. His survival strategy in games is much like his strategy in life -- avoid other people.

Matthew / Flickr Creative Commons

Over 2,000 students have come to Connecticut from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. Many of them have settled in Connecticut's biggest cities, and their arrival has highlighted the need for more teachers who speak Spanish and who are certified to teach English language learners, or ELLs.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's now a three-way race for Connecticut governor, as business advocate Oz Griebel has made it on to the ballot as a petitioning candidate.

Two statewide polls show the race for governor is tight at this early point in the campaign, but one poll does give an edge to the Democrat. 

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Ned Lamont in a double digit lead over his Republican opponent, Bob Stefanowski.

"The poll is good news for Ned Lamont," said Quinnipiac's Doug Schwartz. "This is mainly due to strong support among women and the fact that Connecticut is a Democratic state."

Connecticut teachers are among the most prepared in the country to teach children how to read, according to a new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Reading is considered the foundation of all other learning, so it stands to reason that teaching children how to read is also a big deal.

Jesper Sehested / Flickr


Type the word "diet" into a search engine and... bam... you’ll unlock a goldmine of results: diet books, diet blogs, diet pills, and other evidence of a diet-crazed world.

But what drove society to become so obsessed with food restriction? How did something as simple as eating become so complicated?

This hour, we take a bite out of... diets and diet trends... with guest host David DesRoches.

 

We also look back on the history of the federal government's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). What impact has the program had on the diets and health of Native communities?

 

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Max Pixel

Public trust in the media is at historic lows. Today, Americans believe that the majority of news they encounter is biased, according to recent polling by Gallup.

This hour, guest host David DesRoches asks--why are journalists losing ground and what can they do to regain trust?

David Wall / Creative Commons

Connecticut's education policymakers have a lot of work to do, if they want to improve access to higher education and ensure poor students are upwardly mobile, according to a recent state-by-state analysis by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A Willimantic charter school that's been embroiled in a controversy over its operations has decided to voluntarily close. 

Ingrid Henlon has been working in Hartford as an early childhood teacher for 27 years, but she said she hasn't gotten a raise in a decade.

"I'm a single person, and every year, you know, everything goes up," she said. "The light goes up, the gas goes up, the rent keep going up, but for the past couple of years my paycheck has been the consistent amount."

It's a scene that many teachers are familiar with -- a student acts out, or even becomes violent, and it's unclear what to do.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

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