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.

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.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Port Authority Board Chair Bonnie Reemsnyder announced Wednesday she is stepping down, after Governor Ned Lamont called for her resignation. It’s just the latest trouble at the agency responsible for promoting investment in Connecticut’s three deepwater ports.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

A road that cuts through a dusty Connecticut farm bisects what could be the past and future of Connecticut farming. On one side is broadleaf tobacco, a staple crop of Connecticut farms for generations. On the other, delicate hemp plants, swaying in the July heat. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Evan Matthews, head of the quasi-public agency responsible for promoting investments in Connecticut’s three deepwater ports, has been placed on administrative leave. 

The news comes as the state continues work to finalize a $93 million public-private investment in New London’s State Pier. 

File Photo

For generations, librarians assumed the threat of fines incentivized people to bring back books on time. But lately, that assumption has been coming under scrutiny, leaving many librarians to wonder if the idea of fines is one whose time may be past due. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Governor Ned Lamont told reporters Monday he's finding out more about the environmental and health risks associated with the family of chemicals known as PFAS.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Since a drowning accident took the life of their 21-month-old son in 1989, Stew and Kim Leonard have worked to raise awareness about the importance of water safety — bringing their message to a West Hartford pool Friday morning.

Ollie was hit with an effective three-year coaching ban. UConn's team will also be placed on probation for two years as a result of the violations.
Steve Slade / University of Connecticut

The former head coach of UConn men’s basketball has been penalized by the NCAA for violating coaching rules and failing to properly cooperate with investigators.

The NCAA announced its penalty against Kevin Ollie on Tuesday. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Residents and state officials met in Windsor on Tuesday, following a chemical spill last month that sent thousands of gallons of contaminated water into the Farmington River.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

The Quinnipiac River was, historically, one of Connecticut’s most polluted. For decades, nineteenth-century factories and densely populated towns poured sewage and industrial waste into the river. 

But recent history has been kinder to the Quinnipiac – thanks to a combination of conservation and environmental laws, which helped to boost its water quality and pave the way for the return of fish and wildlife.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s been more than three years since the city of Hartford fired Centerplan Construction, the original developer of the Dunkin’ Donuts Park baseball stadium. The firing prompted Centerplan to sue the city, saying it was wrongfully terminated. Jurors heard closing arguments in the case Monday. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The operator of Bradley International Airport said it is stepping up pollution control measures following a recent accident that released PFAS – a family of chemicals linked to a variety of negative health effects. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The finding comes more than two weeks after an accident at a private aircraft hangar sent thousands of gallons of contaminated water into the river.

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