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 worked for two years as a print reporter at Stonebridge Press in Massachusetts where he covered crime and education. 

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 and is a devoted fan of comedian Hannibal Burress.

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

Stephanie Rivkin / Facebook

State wildlife officials are still on the lookout for a black bear that was videotaped licking the leg of a hiker in Burlington, Connecticut.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Connecticut firefighter has returned home from fighting wildfires in California and he said unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are becoming a growing concern. 

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

Earlier this year, a Branford man died after he was shocked with a Taser by police. Now, a state prosecutor says officers were justified in their use of force.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A few miles down the road from the University of Connecticut campus in Mansfield, Connecticut, an abandoned prison sits empty. It's shrouded from public view by a fence of vines and razor wire. 

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One of two women slated to be the first ever to graduate from the U.S. Army's Ranger school is Kristen Griest, a 2007 graduate of Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.

Jessica Lucia flickr.com/photos/theloushe / Creative Commons

Hunting for fireflies at dusk is a staple of summertime fun, but for years, no knew exactly how the bugs emitted their signature glow. Now, new research claims to have the answer. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From a 12-year-old girl to a 73-year-old farmer, Connecticut has executed about 160 people over the nearly 400-year history of the death penalty. Two state justices invoked that history while writing in support of the court's decision to overturn capital punishment. 

Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

Connecticut's Supreme Court has ruled the state's death penalty is unconstitutional. WNPR spoke to the public defender who represented one of the state's best known death row inmates.

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Officials in Sierra Leone are continuing to abuse aid money sent there to combat Ebola, according to audit reports and a Quinnipiac University political science professor who just returned home from a trip there. 

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The Jackson Laboratory is receiving a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, which will fund a new Center for Precision Genetics. The idea is to use things like a person's genes to treat an illness. 

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On a recent visit to Kenya, President Obama proposed changes to U.S. laws governing the sale of ivory. 

The measure is largely in response to a poaching crisis that's pushing elephants, rhinos, and other species to the brink of extinction.

Connecticut was once a hub for the global ivory trade, so musicians and museums are wondering what the future holds for their ivory-containing instruments, art, and antiques.

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White House officials hosted 13 of the largest companies from across the American economy on Monday to discuss ways business can help reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent over the next ten years. 

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Wildlife explorers are expected at the UConn Storrs campus this weekend for a 24-hour "BioBlitz."

YouTube

A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

slack12 / Creative Commons

Water-quality data about beaches on Long Island Sound has been publicly available for a while, but understanding it can be tricky. Now, a new online tool could help make that process easier.

Ethan M. Long / Creative Commons

State sales tax will be added to the parking fees at three shoreline parks this weekend at Sherwood Island State Park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, and Rocky Neck State Park. That's thanks to a legislative change in the state budget which went into effect July 1st.

NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI

On Tuesday night, astronomers got an encouraging signal from New Horizons -- after 21 hours of radio silence, the NASA probe reported it had safely made its way past Pluto. Now, scientists in Connecticut say the real work begins. 

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President Obama's agreement with Iran now heads to Congress. As part of the deal, Iran will curtail its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. But the idea of lifting sanctions has rankled many, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the deal a "historic mistake." 

Brian Garrett / Creative Commons

In 1972, there were only seven active osprey nests in Connecticut. The birds were listed as endangered or threatened in many states -- due to the widespread use of the toxin DDT, which was banned that same year.

Wayback Burgers

Gillian Maffeo said it all started as an April Fool's Day joke. Wayback Burgers, a resturant chain headquartered in Cheshire with locations across the state and country, started advertising a new type of milkshake: one infused with protein, from bugs. 

Azri / Creative Commons

This month brings a few changes to bicycling laws in Connecticut, which will impact both cyclists and drivers. 

Oksana Perkins/iStock / Thinkstock

Longer tractor trailers could soon be coming to highways in Connecticut. The bill, which has passed out of the U.S. House, would allow truckers to use double-trailers that are each 33 feet long. Right now, the feds cap these twin-trailers at 28 feet a piece. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Before Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012, several Connecticut towns received mandatory evacuation orders. But many chose to ignore them and ride out the storm. Now researchers at Yale University are trying to find out why. 

Christopher.Michel / Creative Commons

As Earth's climate changes, mountain-dwelling animals have typically been viewed as universal losers. Warming temperatures force a species upward, it runs out of habitable space, and it dies off. But new research is complicating that notion, suggesting some mountain animals might actually benefit in the near term from climate change. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Friday's Supreme Court decision affirming a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage has been met with praise in Connecticut.

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The EPA has issued new guidelines for underground gasoline tanks, changes the agency hopes will beef up safety standards for containers underneath gas stations and convenience stores in Connecticut.

Department of Agriculture

The goats were taken in January from the Butterfield Farm Company in Cornwall. They were said to be malnourished with many suffering from a number of highly-transmissible diseases. Now, the state has announced a plan to manage the herd of 96 animals that fell into state care following an animal-cruelty investigation.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

As the summer hiking season kicks off, scientists say more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. 

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

Connecticut's medical examiner said the death of a Branford man who was shocked by a police a stun gun was a homicide. The case is now being investigated by state police.

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In a major environmental statement, Pope Francis said cap and trade programs aren't effective at solving global climate change. But New England has made cap and trade a big part of its environmental policy. 

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