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, published by HarperCollins Children's Books, comes out in early 2014.  He likes to make bread and wine.

Pages

State Senate
10:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

For Some Political Incumbents, the Races Are Real

Democrats Shawn Wooden, Sen. Eric Coleman, and Len Walker at a candidate forum in Hartford Thursday night.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Good government advocates sometimes lament how easy it is for incumbent politicians return to office, often uncontested. That's not always the case, though. One long-time, Democratic state senator is facing two challengers from within his party. 

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Show me the money
2:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

For Development Around Stadium, Hartford Wants Federal Funding

Here's what Hartford city hall says the neighborhood could look like.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford officials recently held a pre-bid conference for developers and others interested in building a new minor league stadium and its surrounding neighborhood. While the city fielded questions about available land and other infrastructure improvements it has in mind, one big question sticks out: "Have you identified promising sources of federal or state funds?"

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Affordable Care Act
4:44 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Federal Courts Weigh in on Obamacare Subsidies

Credit jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

Should the federal government help Americans pay for their new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act? That's a question being tackled in courts across the country. Two of them have issued very different rulings. 

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Taking Aim At Segarra
7:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Protesters Rally, Speak Against Hartford Baseball Stadium Proposal

Protesters at Hartford City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

About 50 people opposed to plans for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford held a march and protest Monday. 

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Playing Ball
3:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

For Stadium, Hartford to Buy Back Land It Once Owned

A rendering of the proposed baseball stadium.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra needs to buy two acres of vacant land to help make his plan for a minor league baseball stadium a reality. That land, however, has a complicated history. 

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200 years old
12:24 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Celebrating Sam Colt Is a Delicate Affair

Jack Hale, senior warden at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Guns have a long history in Connecticut. They've also been the focus of a great deal of recent debate. Both that history and the debate are now at the heart of delicate discussion: how do you plan a birthday party for Sam Colt, the man who made the gun that won the West? 

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What's Done is Done?
9:44 am
Thu July 3, 2014

When a Done Deal Isn't

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Done deal": two words used together that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra probably wishes he hadn't used. Now he's in a position to explain just what he meant when he said the deal to build a minor league stadium in Hartford for the New Britain Rock Cats was, in fact, done.

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One, Two, Three
9:55 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Residents Came to Speak, and Sing, About Baseball

People packed a room at the Hartford Public Library to hear from, and to speak to, Mayor Pedro Segarra about his baseball stadium plan.
Jeff Cohen WNPR News

Mayor Pedro Segarra and the city have spoken a lot about their plans to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford. Hundreds of people gathered at the Hartford Public Library to discuss Segarra's plan.

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Deadline Approaches
3:10 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Want to Build a Stadium and a Neighborhood? You'd Better Hurry

View of the proposed baseball stadium and surrounding development.
City of Hartford

Developers who want to build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in the capital city aren't going to have a relaxing July.

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Paying for baseball
1:28 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Hartford Baseball Consultants, Lawyers Were Paid $240,000

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra hired three consultants and one lawyer for a total of about $270,000 as he held closed-door negotiations to bring a minor league baseball team to Hartford. UPDATE: The city has corrected its numbers.  It now says the total was just under $240,000.

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How Affordable Is The ACA?
7:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Obamacare Agency Changes Course, Releases Public Information

Some of the responses to our Freedom of Information request.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

One dollar and 22 cents. That's how much Access Health CT, the state's health insurance marketplace, pays its call center operator for each minute it spends on the phone helping someone navigate the Affordable Care Act.

It's also a number that Maximus, the call center operator, has tried to keep from public disclosure for months.

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Rent or Own?
4:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

When It Comes to Paying For Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The city of Hartford is changing its plans for how to build, and pay for, a new minor league baseball stadium downtown. The mayor and the city council now plan to ask developers and private investors to weigh in. 

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Play Ball
4:21 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

If a Ballpark Comes to Hartford, Who Gets the Luxury Seats?

Jupiterimages/Photos.com Thinkstock

Much has been written about whether the city of Hartford should have its own box in the new proposed baseball stadium its considering building to house the New Britain Rock Cats.

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Stadium, Stadium, Stadium
4:16 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Hartford City Council to Hire Its Own Stadium Consultant

The proposed site for a Hartford ballpark.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's plan to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the heart of downtown is facing more scrutiny from the city council. 

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Play Ball, And Politics
11:01 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Ballpark Debate Makes For Interesting State Senate Politics

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon, and Council President Shawn Wooden announce the deal earlier this month.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It may be baseball season.

It's also political primary season.

When it comes to the ballpark in Hartford, two opposing candidates for state senate have two very different views. 

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Where To Build
4:17 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Locating Hartford's Proposed Ballpark

Two possible locations for a Rock Cats stadium in Hartford, as proposed by Pendulum.
City of Hartford

The city of Hartford has said it looked at other city locations for a new minor league baseball stadium -- including a location on Market Street, the sometimes-home of Cirque du Soleil.

Now, there are some documents to back that up. 

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Bringing Baseball Downtown
5:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Stadium Deal Not Approved Yet, But Hartford Goes Out to Bid

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

There's a lot of work yet to be done before a minor league baseball stadium in the state's capital city becomes a reality. For starters, it has to be approved by the Hartford city council, and that won't likely happen until later this summer.

Mayor Pedro Segarra, however, isn’t waiting around for the city council to act.

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Hartford Schools
12:57 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Hartford's New Superintendent Sees Internal Achievement Gap

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's new school superintendent held her first press conference on Monday. She said her top priority is to eliminate the achievement gap within Hartford's schools. 

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The Right Ballpark?
3:19 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Hartford Leaders Respond to Stadium Concerns

From left, Hartford treasurer Adam Cloud, State Rep. Brandon McGee, City Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, City Council President Shawn Wooden, State Rep. Doug McCrory, and City Councilmen Kyle Anderson and Ken Kennedy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The debate over whether to relocate the minor league Rock Cats from New Britain to Hartford continues, and the Hartford's elected officials are now feeling some heat.

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Hartford Or Bust?
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Says There Were No Talks With Rock Cats

Springfield City Hall in Massachusetts.
Credit Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

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Rock Cats
4:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

City Council May Not Have Final Vote On Hartford Ballpark

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has called his plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." He's celebrated the plan as both good for Hartford's pride and for its pocketbook.

The city council doesn't necessarily have the final vote, however -- and not everyone likes it. 

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Hospitality
4:09 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Would You Spend the Night in Hartford After a Rock Cats Game?

Downtown Hartford as seen through a hotel room window.
Cliff Creative Commons

City leaders say building a minor league baseball stadium in Hartford would spur economic development. Some of the numbers are based on ambitious assumptions. 

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7,000 People Per Game
5:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

If You Build It, Lots and Lots of People Will Have to Come

The Rock Cats current New Britain home.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

A bunch of numbers jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford. One of them is the jobs projection. 

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Playing Ball
2:02 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rock Cats Ballpark Economics, By the Numbers

A rendering for a proposed baseball stadium in Hartford for the Rock Cats.
City of Hartford

There are a lot of numbers that jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford – the 600 permanent, full-time jobs, the more than 9,000 seats, the 25-year deal, the $500,000 annual rent payment to the city. But there’s also the price tag itself. 

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Baseball In Hartford
4:48 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Hartford Says Rock Cats Were Ready to Leave the State

Mayor Pedra Segarra announced on Wednesday that the Rock Cats are moving to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford has announced a 25-year deal to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city. The move, celebrated in one city, is not so popular in the other. 

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Public Financing
9:58 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Tom Foley Will Apply for Public Financing In Governor's Race

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republican Tom Foley, who self-funded his 2010 campaign for governor, has decided that he'll apply for public financing this time around. 

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Election 2014
8:05 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Candidates for Governor Have the Cash to Qualify, But Will They Apply For Public Financing?

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Both the Democratic and Republican endorsed candidates for governor have said they've raised enough money to qualify for public campaign funds, but either of them has actually applied. 

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Capital Punishment
4:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Sentencing Death After the Death Penalty's Repeal

Richard Roszkowski at his sentencing last week. Roszkowski was sentenced to death after his conviction in a 2006 triple murder.
Credit CT-N

In 2012, Connecticut repealed the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was changed. That doesn't mean more people won't end up on death row.  A man convicted of a 2006 triple murder was sentenced to death last week. 

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