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.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Elementary school students in Newtown will return to a new building next month, and on Friday, media were allowed to tour the facility.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Activists and mental health experts gathered in Hartford this week to talk about the need for more equitable access to health care services. But sometimes, health care isn't on the top of people's minds.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Self-identified gay men in Connecticut make up a growing percentage of new HIV infection cases, an alarming trend over the last decade that's forcing AIDS activists to get creative. 

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Each year, thousands of deer are killed on Connecticut roads and highways. Those collisions can lead to costly insurance claims, injuries, and deaths -- which made scientists wonder what would happen to deer, and to us, if an elusive carnivore came back to the northeast: the mountain lion. 

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The northeast congressional delegation is rallying in support of a comprehensive management plan for the Atlantic Ocean -- the nation's first coordinated strategy for federal waters. 

NorwichBulletin.com

The ability of other countries to block the deportation of convicted criminals in the United States was the subject of a federal hearing Thursday. 

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The state's largest natural oyster bed has been shut down. That's due to several illegal harvests which culminated last week in a boat chase.

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The debate continues over what to do with Plum Island -- a small island off the coast of Long Island, New York. On Thursday, environmental advocates filed a motion in federal court to block its sale.

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We’re humans, so we tend to think -- not surprisingly -- about Earth first. 

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Drones and what these small, unmanned aircraft can carry will be at issue before a federal judge in New Haven on Wednesday, in a case centering around two videos posted to YouTube.

TASER International

Connecticut recently became the first state in the nation to require its police officers to file a report after using an electronic stun-gun or “Taser.” The first year of that data is now in -- and it says Tasers are used more frequently on minority suspects. 

U.S. Coast Guard / Vincent Reubelt

When something's gone wrong at sea, boaters have typically relied on flares: hand-held torches that can be waived at night to ensure rescuers quickly home in on a distressed vessel. The Coast Guard is now trying to take the fire out of the flare, and develop a distress signal that doesn't require any pyrotechnics. 

Christian Schnettelker / Creative Commons

For lawmakers looking to address the crisis of drug addiction and overdose, limiting access to prescription painkillers and increasing availability of opioid-reversal drugs like naloxone have been two major policy points. A legislative push in Connecticut now aims to expand access to treatments as well. 

When 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary — the same school he attended as a child — he was carrying a few guns, but his main one was a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.

In a span of a few minutes, 20 students and six educators were dead. In one classroom, police recovered 80 expended bullet casings from the gun. In another, 49.

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As Connecticut continues to deal with the consequences of opioid abuse, a new national survey says most people prescribed painkillers in America get more than they need -- and many are saving those pills for later use. 

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Connecticut's chief insect expert said he's hopeful rain will help control gypsy moth populations in the state this year. The non-native insect feeds on leaves, which can cause health issues in trees. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

State officials have confirmed the emerald ash borer -- a small green beetle that feeds almost exclusively on ash trees -- has now been detected in all eight Connecticut counties.

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For some patients looking to break their addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, there's a drug out there that works. It’s called Suboxone, but government regulations and individual doctors have made it difficult to get, which is leading many to buy it illegally. 

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This weekend, nearly 200 scientists joined up with members of the public in a 24-hour race to identify as many plant and animal species as possible. It's called a "BioBlitz."

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Mosquito-testing season has begun in Connecticut and public health officials have added a new virus to their monitoring list this year: Zika. 

Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS / Creative Commons

Every year, monarch butterflies make an amazing journey from Canada and New England all the way down to Mexico.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Take a trip out to the Housatonic River Valley over the next few days, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a peculiar-looking fungus that’s a tasty trophy for mushroom hunters. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

If you could hop into a time machine and transport yourself forward to a 23rd-century concert hall, what music would you hear -- and what would the instruments look like? From a classroom at Yale University, WNPR explored one possible future musical timeline.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

Dave Mountuori sipped on a coffee and leaned back in his chair at a doctor's office in New Haven. He's 26 years old, and he was there to get a drug that’s turning his life around. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

From floods to fires --  burst pipes to a man overboard, when something goes wrong on a commercial fishing vessel -- crew members at sea need to act fast. But how do they prepare? 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Police dogs are great at sniffing out hidden drugs -- and as more crime goes digital, state police in Connecticut are training canines to sniff out evidence on computers and cell phones.

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After more than two years, an effort to reduce the amount of food thrown out by big businesses and supermarkets is finally starting to take hold in Connecticut.

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If your cabinets are filled with leftover prescription drugs, you'll have an opportunity to clean them out on Saturday. 

Casey Fleser / Creative Commons

Physicians, patients, and drug manufacturers are often at the center of discussions about pain and opioid abuse. But what about insurance providers? One Connecticut company said it's found a way to better manage pain, while reducing the number of prescribed opioids. 

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