Jeff Cohen

Reporter

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.

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Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's Democrats endorsed Luke Bronin to be their mayoral candidate Monday night, but only after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra declined the nomination, stormed out of the convention, and told his supporters they'd take their fight to the street. 

Hartford’s Democrats hadn’t even started their meeting to pick candidates for the fall, and the yelling had already begun.

And it was all about Franchesca Roldan.

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Hartford's town committee meets Monday to endorse its slate. And it's unclear how it will respond to the recent news regarding Treasurer Adam Cloud. 

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When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed campaign finance filing records for Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud, investigators didn't say what they were looking for. But the commission has recently stepped up its enforcement of a rule that governs how investments advisors contribute to public campaigns. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed campaign finance records from Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud, just days before the city's Democrats meet to endorse a candidate for the upcoming election.

There have been 18 deaths so far this year in the city of Hartford. There were 19 in all of last year, and how to best keep the city safe is a big priority for Mayor Pedro Segarra.

But one of Segarra's chief political challengers is pointing to the baseball stadium the city is building and says the mayor has his priorities all wrong. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A spike in violence in the city of Hartford has already left 18 people dead this year. 

Barbara Krawcowicz / Creative Commons

On Thursday, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra asked Governor Dannel Malloy for more state detectives, inspectors, and other manpower to help him deal with the current spike in violent crime and deaths in the city.

"This is literally a public safety issue and I respectfully ask for an expedited response," Segarra wrote.

On Friday, Malloy wrote back. And he's not giving Segarra what he wants. Not yet, at least. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The race for Hartford's mayor is entering its final stretch before the city's Democratic party makes its pick. But even a powerful supporter of Mayor Pedro Segarra said it's increasingly likely that the mayor will lose the nomination to challenger Luke Bronin.   

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Summertime concerts at big venues in Hartford often mean underage drinkers.  To help combat the problem, the Hartford City Council just accepted a federal grant to pay for police overtime.

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Advocates for the poor have argued that the state takes too long to process food stamp applications, and that people should have a right to sue. State attorneys have pushed back. But last week, a federal appellate court ruled that applicants can in fact file a class action against the state. 

Charlie Smart / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their team logo on Wednesday, featuring a feisty goat chewing on a baseball bat.

The nostalgic colors and lettering refer to Hartford sports history -- the Whalers -- and the old New Haven-Hartford-New York train line logo. A "yard goat" is a term for a type of rail car.

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As part of the special legislative session that just wrapped up, lawmakers approved an extra $20 million for economic development in the city of Hartford.

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A video has surfaced on social media of what appears to be a Hartford police officer holding a man from behind while another hits him repeatedly in the leg -- at least ten times -- with a stick. Police are investigating the incident, but the department's response since the incident has been praised by the local branch of the NAACP. 

Chilli Head / Creative Commons

One man was killed and three others were shot at a basketball tournament at a Hartford school over the weekend. But city school officials now say the event didn't have a permit or the required security. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Mayor Pedro Segarra is making his case for reelection this fall. But his fundraising emails still contain some questionable numbers. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy applauded today's Supreme Court decision upholding the part of the Affordable Care Act that allows the government to subsidize health care for the poor and middle class. 

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Dunkin' Donuts is paying a fee to the Hartford Yard Goats to call the city's new minor league baseball stadium Dunkin' Donuts Park. The question is, how much -- and how much will the city actually get?

Josh Solomon owns the minor league team. He says he is bound by a confidentiality agreement with Dunkin'.  But he guaranteed that the city will get no less than the $225,000 it has budgeted for naming rights revenue. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The race to be the next Hartford mayor is underway. And with just over a month to go until the city's Democratic leaders endorse their candidate, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra defended his record at a debate Thursday night.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The stadium being built for the minor league Hartford Yard Goats now has a sponsor and a name, and the Yard Goats will play baseball at Dunkin' Donuts Park.

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A bill that would clarify the nature of mental health services covered by insurance policies is awaiting Governor Dannel Malloy’s review.  

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Following a burst of violence that left five people dead in the month of May alone, Hartford's Mayor Pedro Segarra held what he called a rally for peace and progress yesterday in the city's North End.

Hartford Police Department

Recent violence in the city of Hartford left five people dead in the month of May alone, and Mayor Pedro Segarra is dealing with a problem of both public safety and politics. 

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Democratic lawmakers are praising a budget deal that emerged over the weekend with Governor Dannel Malloy. But Republican legislators say they were left out of the talks. 

The agency that runs the state's insurance marketplace under Obamacare approved a new budget Thursday, and this will be the first year that Access Health CT will operate without substantial federal support. 

The state senate has passed a workers compensation bill that towns and cities say would impose new "mega mandates" on them. 

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A new study shows Connecticut's seniors are the tenth healthiest in the nation.

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Does firefighting cause cancer? That's a question at the heart of a bill at the state legislature that would make it easier for firefighters who have certain cancers to get workers comp benefits. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

For more than a decade, the state has invested heavily in downtown Hartford -- hoping an influx of public money would inspire more private investment. Now, officials say a plan for a new UConn campus is the next step in that process. 

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