Jeff Cohen


Jeff Cohen is a proud New Orleans native who now calls New England home. Or at least his second home.

He started in newspapers in 2001 and joined WNPR in 2010, where he is a reporter and an occasional fill-in host for All Things Considered.

In addition to covering state and Hartford city politics, Jeff covered the December 2012 Newtown shootings and the stories that followed.  Much of that work was featured on NPR.  Also in 2012, Jeff was selected by NPR and Kaiser Health News for their joint Health Care In The States project. That work resulted in several national stories, including ones on the Affordable Care Act and medical education.

Jeff was also selected by the Tow Foundation and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a fellow in their 2012 juvenile justice reporting project.

Before working at WNPR, Jeff worked as the city reporter for The Hartford Courant.  While at the Courant, he won a National Headliner Award for a Northeast Magazine story about the ostracized widow of the state's first casualty in Iraq; wrote about his post-Katrina, flooded out home in New Orleans; and was part of a team of reporters that broke the stories of alleged corruption at Hartford City Hall that led to the arrest of former Mayor Eddie A. Perez. 

He also worked at the Meriden Record-Journal and as a freelancer for The New York Times.

Jeff lives in Middletown with his wife, cats, and two trouble-making kids. Thanks to the kids, he's now writing children's books. The first, Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut Ever!, came out in June 2014.  The second, Eva and Sadie and the Best Classroom Ever!, comes out in June 2015.  He likes to make bread and wine.

Ways to Connect

Back9Network / Creative Commons

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know more about the relationship between Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud and the off-the-air, state-funded golf channel called the Back9Network. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor-elect Luke Bronin is gearing up to take office in the early morning hours of January 1. He announced his transition team on Wednesday morning.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

One of the great promises of Hartford’s $56 million, city-funded minor league baseball stadium was that it would bring good jobs to minority contractors and workers. According to the developers, it has. They say they will meet or exceed its targets for minority hiring.

scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

Health insurance co-ops are companies that were given federal incentives to compete for business under the Affordable Care Act. Roughly two dozen of them set up shop across the country. Now, only half are still in business, and one of them is in Connecticut. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Back9Network has been on life support since February, having burned through the millions of dollars it raised from the state and private investors. Now another group of people is being squeezed by Back9’s demise: unpaid contractors who built the network’s downtown Hartford studio. 

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The third year of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is here. But the goal now isn’t just increasing the number of people with insurance. It’s also making sure they go to the doctor. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

That Luke Bronin would win the mayoral election wasn’t exactly a surprise. In Hartford, the people who win the Democratic primary often win the November general election. And this night was no different. So the mood at Real Art Ways in Hartford was already celebratory long before Bronin got there.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A former Rhodes scholar who worked in the administrations of both President Barack Obama and Governor Dannel Malloy will be the next mayor of Hartford. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A federal judge denied a motion to dismiss an indictment against former insurance executive Earl O'Garro Monday, clearing the way for trial to begin in December.

Hartford City FC

The Major Arena Soccer League has canceled the upcoming season of Hartford City FC, the indoor soccer team that was to play at the XL Center.

"The MASL has decided to not go forward with the 2015-2016 Season," the team said on its website. "We look forward to bringing HCFC into the future." 

Back9Network / Creative Commons

A husband and wife who allege they were duped into investing in the Back9Network now say that one of their signatures related to an investment was forged, and the dispute is playing out in state court. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The developers of the $350 million stadium and related retail, housing, and grocery store in downtown Hartford now want to include a hotel, the city and the developer said Friday. 

Back9Network / Creative Commons

Hartford’s Ethics Commission has begun a search for disparities between state and city rules that restrict the use of public office for personal gain.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

A federal appellate court has upheld gun laws in Connecticut and New York that were passed after the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The city of Hartford violated state public records laws when it refused to release executed contracts related to its new minor league baseball stadium, according to a ruling this week by the state’s Freedom of Information Commission. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The president of Hartford's City Council is calling for the termination of the city's development director, after a deal to build a new professional soccer facility collapsed and the city apparently overpaid for work at Dillon Stadium. / Creative Commons

Trinity College wants to use artificial turf on some of its athletic fields, but the City of Hartford has pushed back, and now the two are in state court. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It was the summer of 2007. Eddie Perez was still Hartford’s mayor, he was in his office faced with a state investigator, and he told that investigator that he had paid a city contractor for work done on his house when he hadn’t.

Now, eight years later, that lie and the effect it may have had on his trial are at center stage.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez will have his corruption case heard by the state’s highest court Tuesday, as he continues to fight his 2010 convictions on bribery and extortion-related charges. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

The plan to build a professional soccer stadium in Hartford is now officially dead, but the controversy around it isn't.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud has apologized for using his public email to steer private investment to a now off-the-air golf network, but the episode has brought a new focus on the question of ethics.

City of Hartford

  A deal to lease city land to a developer who said he would finance and build a multi-million dollar soccer stadium that would be home to a professional soccer team is all but dead, as news reports about the man behind the deal have caused even its main backer to retreat.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A lawyer for embattled Hartford insurance executive Earl O'Garro said the federal indictment against him should be dismissed because extensive publicity denied him his right to an unbiased grand jury. But federal prosecutors argued the claim has no merit.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After WNPR reported that Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud used his work email to steer private investment to the Back9Network -- a business that had financial ties to his family -- Cloud has issued an apology.

Back9Network / Creative Commons

It was January 2012. The PGA golf association was hosting its merchandise show in Orlando, Florida – and the Back9Network was there.

NEC Corporation of America / Creative Commons

Having health insurance is a near necessity, but paying for it is getting increasingly hard for consumers.

Dan Schultz / WNPR

After serving as Hartford's mayor for five years, Pedro Segarra has dropped his bid for re-election following his defeat last week in the Democratic primary. He's now supporting his chief opponent.

After the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advocates for children in the state put a renewed focus on special education and children who need help.

One challenge? Getting parents and school districts to agree on what to do.

At a house in West Hartford, a young man and his grandfather are watching movies. First, it's The Love Bug. Now, it's Aliens.

"There's a lot of action scenes in it," says the young man. He's still a teenager, actually, a big 19-year-old who loves comic books and martial arts.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Endorsed Hartford Democrat Luke Bronin has beaten incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra in a primary battle that all but guarantees he'll be the next person sworn in to run Connecticut's capital city.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Turnout is high Hartford's contested Democratic primary for mayor -- so high that the city is running low on official ballots and is ordering more to be printed. But don't get excited just yet.