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

Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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Drugs
9:28 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Forum in Middletown Examines Substance Abuse and the Effect on the Young Brain

Rebecca A. and Matt Eacott both shared their stories of addiction and recovery.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

This report is part of WNPR’s Mental Health Reporting series, made possible by our founding partner, Hartford Healthcare Behavioral Health Network.

Young human brains are delicate, developing things. A panel last week in Middletown focused on how the brain can be affected by drugs, alcohol, and technology. 

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Talky Tina
2:55 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Need Help With Obamacare in Connecticut? Meet Tina

An avatar named Tina greets users visiting accesshealthct.com.
accesshealthct.com

Have a question about the Affordable Care Act? Meet Tina.

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Curveball
10:33 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hartford Files to Take Land By Eminent Domain for Baseball Stadium Project

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium near downtown Hartford.
City of Hartford

The City of Hartford said it's unable to reach an agreement to buy three acres of land it needs as part of its baseball stadium development project. So, instead of buying it, it's just going to take it

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Obamacare
10:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Begins This Week

A barber in a television ad for Access Health CT.
Credit Access Health CT

Open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act begins this Saturday. By the state's calculations, the first year of Obamacare cut the number of uninsured in Connecticut in half. Of those who remain, remove the roughly 70,000 people who won't ever enroll in health insurance, and that leaves about another 70,000 to go. 

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Voting Problems
4:02 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Hartford Voter Registrars Under Fire

The Hartford Registrars of Voters office in City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Following a disastrous day in which voters across the city of Hartford were turned away from the early morning polls, there's a lot of talk about how to avoid this kind of mess in the future. 

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Election 2014
3:02 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Dannel Malloy Says He'll Likely Win Connecticut Governor's Seat

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a "likely" victory at his campaign headquarters in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy hasn’t officially won re-election, but he told supporters in Hartford early on Wednesday morning that, when all of the votes are counted, he’ll be on top. 

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Election 2014
4:45 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

State Democrats Use "Social Pressure" to Get Out the Vote

A political mailer from state Democrats.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Kiernan Majerus-Collins is a Democrat from West Hartford. He's gotten two mailers from state Democrats and one from an outside organization, and they want him to know that they're watching his voting habits. 

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First Lady
11:46 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Supporters Turn Out to Greet Michelle Obama Stumping for Gov. Malloy in New Haven

Rachel Vereen-Bellamy waits for Michelle Obama.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A recent poll shows Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, doing better among women than men. And he’s doing just fine with Rachel Vereen-Bellamy, who came to the gym at the Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven to see him. If we’re being honest, she really came to see Michelle Obama. 

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Gene Wilder
8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

"Blazing Saddles," and Gene Wilder, 40 Years Later in Stamford

Superfan Ria Scalish, at left, with her husband.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

It's been 40 years since the release of the Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles. I recently went to an anniversary screening and in the audience was one of the movie's stars: Gene Wilder.

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Election 2014
7:29 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Tom Foley Fears Push Towards State Health Insurance; Nancy Wyman Says He's Wrong

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has made implementing the Affordable Care Act a priority, something not all governors across the nation have done. With the election just a few days away, we spoke with Republican Tom Foley to get his view on the nation's new health care law. 

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Transportation
8:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

An Answer to "Are We There Yet?" on Connecticut Highways

Some state highway signs now give travel time to motorists.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

If you're driving on one of the state's major highways and you see one of those electronic message boards overhead, it may now offer you something new: real-time information about how long a trip will take. 

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Journalism
5:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Yale Holds Talk on Investigative Reporting in Time of Surveillance

Steve Coll speaks at Yale Law School.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The case of Edward Snowden sparked worldwide discussions about the reach of government into the personal, and technological, lives of its citizens. One of those discussions continued at Yale Law School on Tuesday. 

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Election 2014
12:35 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Gov. Malloy: "You Don't Have to Love Me"

Gov. Dannel Malloy said on Where We Live, "I'm a porcupine."
Heather Brandon digital illustration/Chion Wolf photo WNPR

Voters don't show a whole lot of love for either Republican Tom Foley or Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. A recent poll showed them both with what's called "low favorables." Another study says the campaign is pretty negative.

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Development
12:45 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Hartford City Council Approves Baseball Stadium Deal

The Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A majority of the Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a baseball stadium and related development to downtown Hartford.

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Baseball Development
10:30 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

In Voting to Redevelop a Part of Hartford, Is Three a Majority of Six?

Downtown North in Hartford, an area where city officials are planning to develop a baseball stadium with housing and amenities.
City of Hartford

Who's ready for a quiz?

As the Hartford City Council geared up to vote on the plan to build a baseball stadium and other development, the city's redevelopment agency was meeting across the hall. A few weeks back, this same agency -- under pressure from Mayor Pedro Segarra -- voted to give the city land it needs to build its $350 million project.

There are six members on the board and one vacancy. Only five votes were made. Of them, three voted in favor. So here's the question: What's a majority of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency? Depending on the answer, the agency may have to vote again.

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Election 2014
10:09 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Bill Clinton Returns to Connecticut to Stump for Malloy

Former President Bill Clinton Speaks to Malloy Rally in Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With recent polling showing Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy in a close race with Republican challenger Tom Foley, each candidate is bringing in high-powered political talent to try and rally the vote. On Monday night, it was former president Bill Clinton's turn.

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Hartford
5:46 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Unions Will Build Hartford Baseball Stadium, and Could Increase Its Cost

Mayor Pedro Segarra (r) and Rock Cats owner Josh Solomon (center) at a recent public hearing.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford's city council will likely approve a deal to build a new minor league baseball stadium on Tuesday, and there’s one new change to the deal: union laborers will do the work. The developer has said that tweak could easily add ten percent to the stadium's cost. 

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former hartford mayor
6:41 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Eddie Perez Case Continues at State Supreme Court

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
Chion Wolf WNPR

State prosecutors have filed a brief to the Connecticut's highest court, asking it to affirm a trial court's convictions of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

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Politics of Parking
4:40 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

State Cautions Hartford About Parking Operation for Stadium Development

iStock Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

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Development
4:49 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Union Issues Complicate Hartford Stadium Negotiations

People gather at Hartford City Hall for a public hearing on a proposed minor league stadium.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Negotiations are continuing to close the deal that would bring a $350 million development -- and a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats -- to Hartford. One sticking point is whether union labor will build the project. 

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Ebola Outbreak
7:45 am
Wed October 8, 2014

One U.S. Hospital's Strategy For Stopping Ebola's Advance

Ideally, the best place to care for someone ill with Ebola is at the end of a hall in a room with its own bathroom, anteroom and entrance, says Dr. Jack Ross of Hartford Hospital.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Dr. Jack Ross is used to seeing potentially lethal viruses, and he is used to putting patients into isolation. Still, Ebola is different.

"I think, for any hospital today, Ebola represents one step higher than anything else, if we had to do it," says Ross, who directs infection control for Hartford Healthcare's five hospitals in Connecticut.

On a tour of Hartford Hospital, Ross explains how his Ebola control plan would affect various parts of the facility — from the emergency room, to the intensive care unit, to the floors of rooms where patients stay.

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Baseball
11:02 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

For Hartford's Proposed Stadium, Both Sides Say Future Is in the Balance

Residents, supporters, and opponents come to speak about the proposed baseball stadium development in Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Whether or not Hartford's city council decides to move ahead with a $350 million development project just north of its downtown is about a lot of things.  It's about entertainment and amenities and opportunity and jobs. It's also about the future, and everybody sees the future differently.

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Urban Development
10:22 am
Sat October 4, 2014

A Developer Talks About Bringing More Than Baseball to Hartford

Yves Joseph, left, and Bob Landino of Centerplan Development stand along what they want to turn into minor league baseball stadium's third base line. Behind them is downtown Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

People who have something to say about the baseball stadium proposal in Hartford have another chance to say it. There's another public hearing Monday night. WNPR recently toured the site with developers from Centerplan to talk about their $350 million vision for Hartford.

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Domestic Violence
8:56 am
Fri October 3, 2014

For Domestic Violence Victims, a New Spanish Language Hotline

Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

There's a new statewide hotline for Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence.

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Hartford City Hall
12:02 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Top Malloy Aide Considering a Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin testifying in 2011 on U.S. policy toward Syria.
C-SPAN

The next election for Hartford's mayor is over a year away, but competition for Mayor Pedro Segarra is already beginning to emerge -- and a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy is considering a run. 

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Moneyball
2:59 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Report: Hartford Stadium Project Could Give City "Considerable" Benefits

Urban Design Associates

A consultant for Hartford's city council says the baseball stadium development "has the potential to create a new neighborhood" with "considerable" benefits for the city.

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Baseball
11:32 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

As Hartford Stadium Plan Progresses, Segarra Apologizes for Process

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra addresses the Hartford Redevelopment Agency.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A day after Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission voted against the plan to bring a stadium to Hartford, a different agency has voted to support it. But not before Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra apologized for the way the process has unfolded.

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public meetings
4:54 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

As the Hartford Baseball Stadium Turns

Credit iStock / Thinkstock

It's a trifecta this week for those who like public meetings about the proposed ballpark in Hartford (don't all click at once).

On Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission met and gave a non-binding smackdown to the stadium that anchors the $350 million project. 

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Curveball?
11:31 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Hartford's Planning Commission Votes Against Baseball Stadium

Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission discusses the stadium before it eventually rejects it.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Just as the effort to build a baseball stadium in downtown Hartford appeared to be gaining support, the project was delivered a blow Tuesday night. The city's own Planning and Zoning Commission voted against it. 

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