Patrick Skahill | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Patrick Skahill

Reporter

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science with an emphasis on health care and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009 and won a PRNDI award in 2011. 

He writes about science for The Beaker. 

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. 

A graduate of Villanova University, Patrick holds a bachelor's degree in history with a concentration in Arab & Islamic Studies and a minor in Classical Studies. He holds a master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He knows way too much about Seinfeld.

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

Rosie O'Beirne / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness announced Thursday it will receive a $2.5 million grant from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Families Fund. 

Jiri Nedorost / Creative Commons

Gun season for deer hunting in Connecticut begins Wednesday.

 

Over the past few years, the state has expanded its hunting seasons and relaxed deer hunting restrictions.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

An invasive weed that’s toxic to livestock and resistant to herbicides has turned up in Connecticut. The state announced Thursday that Palmer amaranth, a type of pigweed, was discovered this fall in two pumpkin fields in East Windsor.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The town of Canton is holding an informational meeting Wednesday night about possible contamination at Cherry Brook Primary School. Firefighting foam was released on school property in 2014 and emerging evidence indicates some of the chemicals found in those foams are toxic to humans and the environment.

Chion Wolf

There are more than 800 miles of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails in Connecticut. Today we're doing our show from one of them. 

NTSB via AP

Christopher Albani was at home when he heard the call that a B-17 crashed at Bradley International Airport, killing seven people. He’s a firefighter, one of several who responded to the Oct. 2 crash. 

Albani was put on a hose line, dumping firefighting foam onto burning wreckage. 

“So in that moment, being exposed to it, guys were covered, head to toe, in the stuff,” Albani said.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced Monday that the state has completed its final action plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a class of nearly 5,000 chemicals that has been linked to health problems in animals and humans.

NTSB

State environmental officials say no one has stepped up to take responsibility for cleanup costs after a World War II-era plane crashed at Bradley International Airport, killing seven people. Meanwhile, those costs continue to rise.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Global sea levels will rise and that will have real impacts on Connecticut’s coast. That’s the message researchers gave to state legislators in Hartford this week. 

StanfordEdTech / Creative Commons

The state announced Friday nearly $26 million in federal funds will go toward higher education readiness programs for low-income students. That money will be dispersed over the next seven years to support tutoring, mentoring, and college scholarships.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Morgan Bengel stood about 35 feet underground, gesturing at the cold, rocky walls inside Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine. Late 18th-century descriptions of this subterranean penitentiary were bleak.

“Some of the words are, hell, a dungeon, woeful mansion,” Bengel said. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state of Connecticut is suing the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies over a refusal to honor the state’s pardon system when it comes to immigration. 

Clownhouse III / Creative Commons

Financial auditors Wednesday cited the state Department of Agriculture for a “serious breakdown” in its accounting procedures. It’s a breakdown that included numerous uncashed checks that were left in a safe in a store room in Hartford. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Two members of New England’s congressional delegation are calling for a federal audit of PFAS chemicals in America’s food supply, with an eye toward understanding whether they can cause contamination. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

A ban on consuming fish taken from a portion of the Farmington River will likely remain in place “at a minimum” for the remainder of the year, the state said. 

The timeline from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection comes following two high-profile discharges of per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) at Bradley Airport.

Thawt Hawthje / Creative Commons

New England experienced fewer days with unhealthy air quality this year compared to last year, but Connecticut fared the worst in the six-state region, according to federal environmental officials.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State health and environmental officials say Connecticut’s drinking water should undergo required testing for PFAS, a group of more than 4,000 synthetic chemicals. That’s according to a new report, which comes as the Department of Public Health issued a new PFAS-contamination alert following the crash of a vintage aircraft with 13 people onboard Wednesday morning.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Monday was the deadline for energy companies to submit plans to Connecticut officials for the development of offshore wind power in response to the first-ever RFP dedicated solely to the energy source.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut and 16 other states are challenging the Trump administration over its rollback of the federal Endangered Species Act.

Roxann Roche doesn’t expect to get rich farming. She and her husband both have other jobs. She's a gardner. He's a mechanic. And like many for the past few years, their small family farm in northwestern Connecticut operated at a loss. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Teenagers and young children around the world are speaking up to call for immediate action to reverse global warming and decrease the use of fossil fuels. That movement, dubbed a “Global Climate Strike,” made its way to Hartford just outside the state Capitol Friday.

The Puritan tiger beetle used to be found up and down the Connecticut River, but climate change, dam construction, flooding, and other ecosystem changes have reduced its range to a few small patches of sandy soil.

For researchers, where those patches are is a well-guarded secret. That's because last fall, they planted hundreds of beetle larvae on a few of those beaches, with the hopes of finding adults this year. 

Rodger Gwiazdowski gently runs his hands through sand. Puritan tiger beetles burrow in sandy beach habitat found along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont signed the third executive order of his administration Tuesday, setting an ambitious environmental goal, a zero carbon energy grid by 2040.

Wikimedia Commons

The early weeks of September provide some of the best times to watch migrating birds of prey, and over the years, there have been big changes to what you can see in Connecticut.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

State Attorney General William Tong is directing his staff to provide “any assistance we can” in an ongoing investigation into questionable conduct and purchases at the Connecticut Port Authority.

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

For the past decade, Connecticut’s residential electric customers have paid bills that are among the highest in the continental United States, but there isn’t one grand explanation for Connecticut’s sky-high electric bills.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

In recent years, an invasive insect called the gypsy moth has spelled doom for countless New England trees. From 2016 through 2018, it’s estimated gypsy moths defoliated more than 2 million acres in southern New England, which means a lot of cleanup for foresters.

But among all that destruction there is some good news: gypsy moth populations are, finally, declining.  

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Representative John Larson took to the banks of the Connecticut River Monday to promote federal legislation he said will strengthen roads and bridges while taxing polluters and providing rebates to American taxpayers. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The former chair of the Connecticut Port Authority has resigned. Scott Bates is just the latest member of the quasi-public to leave amid scandals about how the agency spent taxpayer money.

Flowcharts of algorithms
Somepics/Wvbailey/Sakurambo / Wikimedia Commons

They are the force behind big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Often hidden or misunderstood, these chunks of computer code drive pretty much everything we do online.

This hour: algorithms. They permeate throughout our lives, from credit scores to GPS driving directions. But how do algorithms work?

We talk about algorithms, machine learning, and the ethics of computer-problem solving.

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