Patrick Skahill | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Patrick Skahill

Reporter

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. 

He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

Once a week outside a Newington nursing home Peggy Johnson stands masked, six feet apart from her 94-year-old mom, imagining what it would be like to hug again. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s now been three days since many Connecticut residents and businesses lost power in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias. And leaders of local municipalities are increasingly frustrated with power companies keeping them in the dark – in more ways than one.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

While Hurricane Isaias was still in the Caribbean, officials from Eversource sent a letter to state regulators predicting the storm’s impact. It was the only such letter they sent before the storm. 

But that letter came one day before the utility got a prediction from UConn about the storm’s impact on the power grid. And now, Eversource is facing scrutiny, and hundreds of thousands of customers are still without power. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

After a tumultuous week filled with legislative outrage, sniping between energy companies, and consumer sticker shock at rising utility bills, state regulators on Friday announced they would temporarily suspend a controversial rate increase for energy company Eversource.

Don McCullough / Creative Commons

The delicate balancing act of anticipating electric demand before and during the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown electricity suppliers, regulators and customers an unwelcome surprise this summer: massive jumps on electric bills. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Neil Gilman makes football tackling dummies for a living. But when the pandemic hit, he had to get creative to save his business. He figured he’d try making medical gowns. And he started sending emails.  

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As several states across the U.S. continue to announce new daily death records from COVID-19, Connecticut officials this week said some nursing homes in the state are free to stop testing residents and staff for coronavirus. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

After years of debate and study, the future of Hartford’s aging trash-to-energy facility is finally beginning to crystalize. And Connecticut’s trash future may end up looking a lot like a step into the past: sending garbage to landfills. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Workers at a psychiatric facility in eastern Connecticut have filed a federal workplace safety complaint alleging administrators at Natchaug Hospital are “putting the lives of patients and staff at risk” by failing to adequately distribute personal protective equipment to nurses and failing to properly isolate a patient suspected of having COVID-19. 

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

As coronavirus cases continue to surge nationally, more questions have been raised about Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to modify testing requirements at nursing homes. And now, three legal aid organizations have signed on to a letter expressing concern on behalf of nursing home residents, arguing Lamont’s decision could lead to more nursing home infections and deaths. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London is the latest Connecticut health care facility to draw the attention of federal workplace safety inspectors during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation one week after a certified nursing assistant who worked at the hospital died from complications related to COVID-19.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

When the Connecticut Trail Census began in 2017, it relied on a group of electronic sentinels. They were tiny boxes, housing infrared counters, which logged trail visits across the state. The intent was to provide local and state officials a clearer picture about how trails were being used and could be improved. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The novel coronavirus could make it difficult to staff polling places for elections this August and November. To guard against that, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced a campaign to recruit workers for this year’s primary and general elections. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

State contracting officials have allowed vendors to redact pricing information for COVID-19 tests from more than half a dozen public contracts, and newly obtained emails show the state went out of its way to accommodate at least one company after it missed a deadline to claim its pricing should be kept secret.

coronavirus testing
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut is paying more than half a dozen outside vendors to test people for the coronavirus. But state officials are redacting the contracts that spell out how much taxpayers are paying for each test because the vendors say those prices are trade secrets.

The Office of the State Comptroller has redacted at least six public contracts at the request of vendors who say their prices for a budgeted $50 million in taxpayer-funded tests shouldn’t be publicly disclosed.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State officials have announced that they’re scaling back COVID-19 testing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It’s a policy shift that comes as a major union representing eldercare workers said 14 of its members died after contracting COVID-19. 

Quinnipiac University
Wikimedia Commons

The financial impact of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on university budgets. This week, Quinnipiac University announced it will lay off or furlough nearly 170 employees due to the pandemic. 

face mask
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Denise Rogers said all she did was get up and go to work. A few days later, she was hospitalized and her husband of more than 20 years was dead. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut has been running more COVID-19 tests in recent weeks, but the state’s testing volume is still far short of Gov. Ned Lamont’s goal for Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

NTSB via AP

Survivors and family members of deceased passengers are suing the owner and operator of a vintage World War II airplane that crashed at Bradley International Airport last year, killing seven people.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The push to get more people screened for the novel coronavirus continued Thursday, as state and federal officials converged outside a community center in Hartford to promote a new mobile COVID-19 testing unit.

Connecticut has significantly expanded its testing capacity in recent weeks, but the state has struggled to increase the number of residents tested in communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Federal workplace safety inspectors are investigating the death or hospitalization of at least three Connecticut elder care workers due to complications from COVID-19. 

The investigations come as union officials say at least six unionized nursing home employees have died from coronavirus. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As the state’s businesses start to reopen this week, barbershops and hair salons will not be among them.

Both were initially slated for a May 20 reopening, but on Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont pushed that date back to June 1. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to drop, Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday, but the economic fallout of a surge in unemployment claims continues to tear through the workforce as Connecticut is poised to reopen some parts of its dormant economy next week. 

Governor Ned Lamont
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decline as Connecticut works its way toward reopening portions of its economy on May 20. But on Thursday, a group of Democratic state senators said that date was too soon and urged Gov. Ned Lamont to delay his plans to ease business restrictions. 

coronavirus testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

After weeks of long lines at COVID-19 testing clinics, state and local officials said Connecticut is now facing a different problem: too many coronavirus tests and not enough people taking them. 

college student uconn
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Connecticut will adopt a phased-in approach to reopening state colleges and universities, officials said Wednesday. The plan could mean that research programs resume as early as May 20, but it remains unclear whether campuses will reopen fully to students this fall.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Ilana Usiskin said when she picks up the phone to call someone infected with coronavirus, she’ll often ask them to think back over the past few days. 

school children
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Schools around the state will be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the academic year, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, after nearly two weeks of a steady decline in coronavirus hospitalizations, statewide numbers spiked slightly on Tuesday, but officials said a one-day increase wouldn’t complicate plans to reopen portions of Connecticut’s economy later this month. 

voting booth
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

For the 12th consecutive day, Connecticut’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to decline, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.

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