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.

NOAA / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A federal appeals court has upheld the creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument. It’s the latest judicial validation for an Obama-era decision, which was praised by environmentalists.

Paddy Abramowicz

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday in support of a bill to aggressively police a family of “forever” chemicals, but the bill faces an uphill battle to become law. 

vladdythephotogeek / Creative Commons

Connecticut and two other states have withdrawn a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was pollution from Pennsylvania and Virginia blowing into the Northeast.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The head of a trash-to-energy plant in Hartford says its ability to stay operational is “in doubt.” 

Jarrod Carruthers / Creative Commons

A major U.S. insurer headquartered in Connecticut said it will cut ties with certain fossil fuel companies. The Hartford said in December that it will no longer invest in or provide insurance coverage to companies that generate more than a quarter of their revenues from coal mining or the extraction of oil from tar sands.

Paddy Abramowicz

Federal officials have earmarked more than $250 million to address concerns related to PFAS chemical contamination. The money was set aside as part of a spending package approved by Congress earlier this month, but it’s unclear what impact the dollars will have locally.

UConn School of Engineering

In homes in which a family member has autism, day-to-day tasks can be challenging. One family is now trying to solve some of those issues, by pairing up with engineering students from the University of Connecticut.

UnconventionalEmma / Creative Commons

Richard Cowles said owning a Christmas tree farm is magical. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy says the NCAA is not prioritizing the health of student-athletes. In a report released Monday, Murphy cited the governing body of college sports for failing on issues like football concussions, brain injury, and policing coaches who put athletes at risk.

kateausburn / Creative Commons

After years of debate, a solar array spread over more than 130 acres in Simsbury is operational and producing power. Representatives for the Tobacco Valley Solar Farm notified the state Siting Council in a letter Tuesday. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

When we think about animals that inhabit the cold New England ocean, sharks, seals, or lobsters may spring to mind. But there’s another critter lurking in the deep off our coast, and it’s one that may hold valuable secrets that could help its tropical cousins.

And you may not have even known that it’s actually an animal: coral. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of Bridgeport is the big winner in the state’s latest offshore wind acquisition. “Park City Wind,” a proposal from developer Vineyard Wind, was selected by state officials Thursday and is being billed as the largest purchase of renewable energy in state history. 

Nicole Leonard

The town of Canton said water at Cherry Brook Primary School is safe to drink after a recent scare over chemical contamination.

Schools Superintendent Kevin Case said this week that testing indicates two wells that feed the school are not contaminated with a family of chemicals called per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Dave Sizer / Creative Commons

Delegates from almost 200 countries have begun a two-week international climate conference in Madrid that seeks to step up efforts to stop global warming.

The summit attracted country delegations, along with NGOs and nonprofits from around the world. More than a dozen students from UConn are also attending.

PFAS-filled aqueous film forming foam in the brook behind Paddy Abramowicz’s home in Windsor, Connecticut.
Paddy Abramowicz

After a B-17 plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, some of the PFAS in the firefighting foam washed out of the airport and into nearby communities.

A few days after the crash, Paddy Abramowicz, who lives a 5-minute drive from the airport, says she was walking by the brook in her backyard when she saw piles of firefighting foam more than 10 feet high.

"It looked like a washing machine had exploded,” says Abramowicz, “and it was coming over both banks of the brook.”

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Wayzaro Walton was released from federal detention Wednesday and will be reunited with her wife and daughter. 

vxla/Flickr

There are some things we claim to know about Thanksgiving and the arrival of the Pilgrims that are correct: the white settlers and Native Americans really did get together, have a feast and play games. But there are many facts we get completely wrong. For one, the Pilgrims were not called Pilgrims when they arrived. And sociologist James Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong,” says they were not coming to the Americas for religious freedom.

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

The state’s top prosecutor said four so-far unissued reports on fatal police shootings in the Hartford Judicial District are “untimely.” But in a memo to the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said the delays “may be understandable,” and he doesn’t recommend that Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy be fired.

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. 

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