John Dankosky

News Director/Host

John is News Director of WNPR and Host of Where We Live.  He started working in radio at WDUQ Pittsburgh in 1988, and has spent most of his career in public media.

Since coming to Connecticut in 1994, he’s helped to build WNPR’s award-winning newsroom – cultivating one of the most talented news staffs in public radio. He has reported for NPR on politicseconomic redevelopmentdrug crimeassisted suicidetribal recognition, immigration and a surprising number of stories about sports.  He’s also worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, and as a regular fill-in host for NPR’s Science Friday in New York.

John has won national and local awards for his reporting, and Where We Live has twice been honored by PRNDI as public radio’s “Best Call-In” Show.  He’s also won awards for editing nationally distributed documentaries on care for the chronically ill, the evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11, and the mental health of children.

In 2010, John accepted an appointment as the Robert C. Vance Endowed Chair in Journalism and Mass Communication at Central Connecticut State University, having previously served as an adjunct journalism professor at Quinnipiac University.  He has hosted countless political debates, along with live panel discussions for The Connecticut Forum, the Mark Twain House and Museum and The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

John is a native of Pittsburgh who tells anyone he meets about the Steelers, the Pirates, the Penguins, The Andy Warhol Museum and Primanti Brothers sandwiches.  He lives in Winsted with his wife Jennifer, and cat, Dirk.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Checking In On Blizzard 2015

Sharon Mollerus Creative Commons

If you’ve been watching the news the last few days, you’d know our region was bracing for what could be an “historic” storm. But can anything really be historic when we’ve seen so many similar events over the past few years?

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Music
10:53 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Can Connecticut Win NPR's Tiny Desk Contest?

Do you have what it takes to join The Pixies behind NPR's Tiny Desk?
North Country Public Radio

Back in early December of last year, NPR announced a contest aimed at finding new talent to play for its wildly popular Tiny Desk Concert series. These intimate concerts are held midday in the midst of office cubicles at NPR, and the crowd is a group of lucky producers, editors, reporters, and other NPR workers who get to spend a bit of their lunch with artists as diverse as Where We Live favorites Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and The Pixies

To enter, contestants just have to make a video of a performance of an original song. And -- oh, it has to be behind a desk of any kind or size.

Monday, January 19, is the last day to submit entries, so in case you've been thinking about it, fire up the iPhone and make a video! I'd really like to have bragging rights next time I'm at NPR HQ, knowing that a Connecticut artist took home the prize.

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Remembering Dr. King
7:44 am
Mon January 19, 2015

King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to black sanitation workers in Memphis

On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, WNPR's Where We Live presents a documentary special from American RadioWorks, "King's Last March." It explores the final year of King's life.

On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a landmark speech from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York. He called for an end to the Vietnam War.

Exactly one year later, King was assassinated in Memphis. He was 39 years old. King’s speech in New York set the tone for the last year of his life. 

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Where We Live
8:41 am
Fri January 16, 2015

If We Torture, What Makes Us Different From Those We Condemn?

Credit Val Kerry / Creative Commons

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report released their report examining the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation after 9/11.

They found that the CIA was using harsher forms of torture that yielded less useful information than we were led to believe.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "Detainees were subjected to the most aggressive techniques immediately. They were stripped naked, diapered, physically struck, and put in various painful stress positions for long periods of time."  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The Price of Oil and Gas Is Dropping Like a Rock

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision Thinkstock

The price of gas was nearly $4.00 per gallon two years ago. Economists worried the rate would continue to rise, causing financial hardship on those with an already lean budget. What if it went to $5.00 a gallon? Well, those days are long gone.

Gas in Connecticut is around $2.50 a gallon and it's much cheaper elsewhere in the country.

But the higher rate also made people drive less and conserve more, and pushed higher fuel efficiency standards through Congress, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

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Where We Live
10:45 am
Wed January 7, 2015

The Wheelhouse: Inauguration Edition

Brian Dowling, Hartford Courant
Chion Wolf

It’s inauguration day in Connecticut! And it’s also Wednesday...and that means The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. How convenient is that?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Needle Drop’s Last Word on Music in 2014

Anthony Fantano is a local boy who also happens to be "The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd."
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you’re anything like me, a search for the newest, most interesting music is not quite the fun exploration that it should be. It is more of an overwhelming odyssey through countless websites, blogs, and napkins with personal recommendations. And after all that, I usually just buy the new Black Keys record.

Today, we’ll help you if you’re in a similar predicament by presenting "The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd," Anthony Fantano. He's the host of the wildly popular video blog "The Needle Drop." He got his start on WNPR,but now he has fans all over the world who hang on his every word about music.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Connecticut's Changing Relationship With Guns

This gun is of the first production automatic pistols made by Colt, an M1900. Two hundred of these were delivered to the U.S. Navy.
Naval History and Heritage Command Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Vivek Murthy to be the nation’s next Surgeon General. His confirmation had been held up for more than a year by pro-gun lobbyists, because of his support for new gun control measures. Murthy founded the group Doctors for America, which had advocated for gun restrictions, but he has said his focus as Surgeon General will be on tackling the nation’s obesity problem.

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Public Health
8:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Does a New Surgeon General Mean a New Conversation About Guns?

Dr. Vivek Murthy testifies at a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, February 4, 2014, on the matter of Murthy's nomination to the office of Surgeon General of the United States.
United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Are Connecticut's English Language Learners Falling Behind?

Orlando Rodriguez, LPRAC
Chion Wolf

The population of English Language Learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. Unfortunately, support for these students hasn’t kept up. Despite this steady increase in a learning population, the number of certified, bilingual teachers has been in a steady decline.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Connecticut's Response to the Ebola Threat

Dr. Jewel Mullen, Commissioner of CT DPH
Chion Wolf WNPR

The world is facing the largest and most widespread Ebola outbreak in history. On August 8, 2014, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organization to be a "public health emergency of international concern" because it was determined to be an "extraordinary event" with public health risks to countries around the globe.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut

Farha Mohamed
Chion Wolf

Refugee resettlement is arguably one of our country’s noblest examples of foreign policy. It gives forcibly displaced people from around the world a chance to escape danger and rebuild a life for themselves in a safe environment.

Refugees run from war and persecution, often losing or leaving behind family and loved ones in the process. Many refugees then spend months and sometimes years in rundown, makeshift refugee camps. Less than 1% of all refugees get the chance to leave a camp and resettle in the U.S. or a handful of other countries who accept them.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Lessons Learned From Report on Newtown School Shooter

Adam Lanza's belongings as discovered by police in his home.
Credit State of Connecticut

Last month, the Office of the Child Advocate released a report on Newtown school shooter Adam Lanza. It details Lanza's mental health history and how the educational system handled his case.

We sit down with the state's child advocate, Sarah Eagan, to get a better sense of how Lanza slipped through the cracks of the educational system. We also hear from others who worked on the report.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 3, 2014

The Wheelhouse: 'Tis the Season for Resignations, Deficits, and Hartford Politics

It's that time of year again in Connecticut.
Credit Ben Pollard / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court will take up an issue that’s pitting privacy advocates against First Amendment proponents. Simsbury’s first selectman resigns after taking a big pay cut she says is illegal. Meanwhile, the City of Hartford has a race for mayor that's about to start.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses these stories, plus the cuts in state spending were not enough to eliminate a budget deficit.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 2, 2014

What's Driving the Electric Rate Hike in Connecticut?; Herbalife's So-Called "Pyramid Scheme"

EyeLights/iStock Thinkstock

State regulators, in a draft ruling, have reduced the permanent rate increase proposed by Connecticut Light and Power, slashing the number from $221 million to about $130 million. It’s big news in the ongoing controversy over the energy company’s plan to increase electric rates.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Policing the Black Community

LaResse Harvey, A Better Way Foundation
Chion Wolf

On Monday, a grand jury did not indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for any crimes related to the death in August of the unarmed teen Michael Brown. That death touched off a series of protests and conversations about race relations between police and the black community.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare: What's Working; What Isn't?

Pete Creative Commons

The Republican takeover of the House and Senate means Obamacare is back in the news again.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rails, Roads, and Buses: A State Transportation Check-In

Commissioner James Redeker from the Department of Transportation stopped by in December, 2013.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to provide updates on the latest transportation news including CTfastrak, I-84, and our regional railways. Also, as we head into the winter months, how prepared are the state's roads?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Budget Blues, Young Republicans, and Remembering Judge Downey

The Wheelhouse takes a bird's-eye view of the week's news.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings together some of the best and brightest reporters to break down the week's news. As expected, the state budget faces a serious deficit and the Connecticut Mirror's Keith Phaneuf will explain what that means for taxpayers. Also, the Democrats will retain control of the legislature, but there are some intriguing young Republicans to watch - including a 20-year-old legislator! We will also remember Connecticut Judge John T. Downey, who died this week after an extraordinary life.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Can Social Networks Help Us Understand Our Communities?

Creative Commons

What if you had the ability to read the emotions, the thoughts, the concerns of your city in real time, at any time? What if you could then use that information to help your community -- to build stronger policies, and foster better relationships with those around you? 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

America's Changing Landscape of Elderly and End-of-Life Care

sima dimitric Creative Commons

A new report from the Institute of Medicine takes a closer look at end-of-life care in the U.S. The report, called "Dying in America", shines light on the quality of care available to those nearing the end of life -- offering some recommendations on how to make care more sustainable and accessible to patients and their families. 

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Time-shifting the News
5:52 am
Mon November 17, 2014

NPR's Clocks Are Changing! (What Does That Mean For You?)

Helder Mira Flickr Creative Commons

When radio folks talk about "the clock," we don't mean the thing on the wall (although we care how accurate those are, too). Our clocks are simply the schedules by which we run our mix of news headlines and features, underwriting credits and weather forecasts, and even Birdnote.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Connecticut Was Built By Rock (and Roll), Glaciers, and Lava

Chion Wolf WNPR

We take certain things for granted. Like the mountains, rivers and rocks around us.

So what made Connecticut look the way it looks today? As you kayak on the Connecticut River, drive over Talcott Mountain, or swim in Long Island Sound...there are millions of years of history underneath you.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Has Election Withdrawal

Governor Dannel Malloy celebrates, and Republican challenger Tom Foley on Election Night last Tuesday.
Chion Wolf/Mara Lavitt WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has finally had a chance to breath after last week’s election that leaves the next four years looking a lot like the last four years in Connecticut. Our panel of reporters and analysts will close the books on the 2014 election and preview what’s to come in Governor Malloy's second term in office.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Remembering Connecticut's Role in Slavery and the Holocaust

Anne Farrow is a journalist and the author of “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited From Slavery and most recently, “Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory”
Anne Farrow

Connecticut played a big role in slavery and the Holocaust...but most of us don't know about it.

First, a powerful New London merchant and ship owner sailed his ships to West Africa and the Caribbean for more than 40 years during the late 18th century to trade in slaves whose labor lined the pockets of his most respected family.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Connecticut's Plan for Energy Efficiency; Roundtable Looks at CL&P Rates

Kevin Dooley Creative Commons

According to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Connecticut has dropped to sixth place in the national ranking of state energy efficiency. 

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A Radio Legend Passes
9:02 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Why Everyone Who Loves Public Radio Should Thank Tom Magliozzi

Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk
Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Walking Into the Flames: Discussion With Connecticut Firefighters

Jessica Whittle Creative Commons

One of the most basic functions of local government is to protect its citizens. We talk with a panel of local firefighters who do just that.

When a fire breaks out, many Connecticut towns have volunteer forces that go to the rescue. What draws firefighters to this profession that includes a lot more than just fighting fires? Some Connecticut firefighters are even taking it a step further, and are going out west to help fight forest fires.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

A Voice for Connecticut's Homeless

Marc Brüneke Creative Commons

A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Who's the Next Governor of Connecticut?

If you haven't done so already, now you can throw out all those political mailers you probably received.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy claimed victory in the race for governor early Wednesday morning, but only by a razor-thin margin. Without final results, the best call he could make was, "We're going to win this thing."

Republican challenger Tom Foley, reluctant to concede, gave a speech announcing that yeah, he probably lost. Also still unclear: results of the races for secretary of the state, comptroller, and treasurer. 

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