Patrick Skahill | New Hampshire Public Radio

Patrick Skahill

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.
 
 

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.

State regulators on Wednesday issued a final decision highly critical of how utility Eversource responded to Tropical Storm Isaias. The decision will reduce Eversource’s allowable profits from state ratepayers and could also pave the way for monetary fines announced as early as next week.

The fight against fossil fuel expansion in New England has a new front in Killingly, Connecticut. Climate activists want the state to reject a proposed natural gas plant there, which is tied to the company behind a controversial pipeline development currently underway in Minnesota and a recently completed natural gas line in New England.

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A Connecticut scientist has helped discover a new organism that could help some of the region's Christmas trees. The scientist, Richard Cowles, also owns a Christmas tree farm.

Recently, Cowles was experimenting with ways to grow healthier fir trees. To do that, he studied unhealthy ones. When his team put diseased tissue from a nearby tree farm under a microscope, they noticed the cells looked different.

After running some tests, they concluded it was a new species of Phytophthora, a water mold which rots tree roots. Cowles got to name it.

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.

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. 

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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A bill to phase out plastic bags at grocery stores is moving forward and it's got the support of one prominent garbage man. 

Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader doesn't like what he sees on the campaign trail this season, and said part of the problem is the media.

Lawmakers are weighing a proposal that could prevent people charged with less serious crimes from being stuck in jail before they're convicted. 

Doctors in Connecticut may soon be limited to writing a seven-day prescription for opioid-based medication. It's part of an effort to curb drug overdose deaths in the state.

Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader recently opened a museum filled with items like defective toys and unsafe machines all tied together under a unifying theme: tort law.

Unless you're a lawyer, you might not quite know the exact meaning of the word tort.

"It's a wrongful injury," Nader says. "It's a wrongful act that injures people and deserves a remedy."

Plum Island, an 840-acre land mass in Long Island Sound, is becoming a focal point for environmentalists. That's because of government plans to sell the island to fund the construction of a new USDA animal-testing center. 

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League, the largest ham radio association in the United States. That means it will be a special year for the hundreds who converge annually on W1AW, a small station known as "the mecca of ham radio" in Newington, Conn., to broadcast radio signals across the globe.

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a ban of waste from “fracking,” the controversial method of obtaining natural gas cheaply. This comes less than a year after the state approved a major expansion of its natural gas infrastructure to capitalize on production in nearby states. Now, some are wondering whether Connecticut can avoid the environmental risks of the fracking boom.

You can read or listen to Patrick Skahill's report on WNPR's website.

Residents of Connecticut who have looked out on the Connecticut River this winter may have seen something a bit unexpected - a Coast Guard cutter.  A ship called the Bollard has been on the river for weeks -- dutifully breaking up ice.

Visit WNPR's website to read or hear Patrick Skahill's report.

Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location.

Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that's within walking distance of where the mass killing took place.

Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school.