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.

Ways to Connect

Connecticut Mission of Mercy

The ninth annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is this Friday and Saturday in Hartford, and this year it could serve a couple of thousand people at the XL Center. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said his budget numbers are ugly. The more than $15 million in savings he was hoping for from union negotiations probably aren’t going to happen. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company. 

Drug Enforcement Agency

The rate of accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut grew again in the first six months of 2016, and the lab drug fentanyl is playing a big role in that. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The insurance company behind the ousted developers of Hartford's stalled minor league baseball stadium has agreed to take over and pay for the completion of Dunkin' Donuts Park in time for games in 2017, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday.

Hartford Fire Department

A state court judge has ruled that the city of Hartford owes more than $6 million to tenants who were eligible for -- but did not get -- housing relocation assistance after the city ordered them to leave their homes. Praising the decision, attorneys for the tenants said the administration of former Mayor Pedro Segarra all but ignored state law.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Editor's note: Gene Wilder died Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2014, WNPR's Jeff Cohen reported on a screening of "Blazing Saddles" with Wilder in attendance, followed by a Q&A with the actor. This was first published on October 30, 2014.

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.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is now offering free admission to all city residents. The program is called the Wadsworth Welcome. 

City of Hartford

Hartford’s total investment in its minor league ballpark and related developments is over $102 million, according to a new report by city auditors

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As lawyers for the city of Hartford negotiate restarting construction at Dunkin' Donuts Park, minor league baseball is losing patience. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A day after the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats publicly offered to loan the city the money it needs to complete its stalled baseball stadium, Mayor Luke Bronin has declined to take him up on it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Under intense pressure from Minor League Baseball, the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats said he has offered to loan the city the money it needs to finish Dunkin' Donuts Park in order to make sure ball is played in 2017. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants to reappoint Police Chief James Rovella. The city's police union is apparently not enthusiastic.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Architectural design work at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park will start again as early as Wednesday, a move Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said was an “important step” towards restarting construction at the shuttered, unfinished minor league baseball stadium. 

Wokandapix / Creative Commons

A driver chased by Hartford police got into a three-car accident in Bloomfield Sunday night and later died, Bloomfield police said Monday. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

State marshals are getting parking tickets in the city of Hartford, and they don’t like it. That’s because they say state law exempts them from tickets while they’re performing their duties. And now that fight has made its way to state court. 

Centerplan Companies

With the 2016 home season lost and Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park unfinished and shuttered, the minor league Yard Goats have told the city that they need to know what will happen in 2017 -- or they could leave the home that Hartford built.

 

On Thursday, they got an indication from the city that construction might soon begin again.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After missing his entire first season at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon desperately wants the city to get the stadium finished for baseball in 2017.

But just in case, Solomon has apparently let Hartford officials know that he has options -- and one of them is to take his team elsewhere.

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats say they won’t play a single regular season game in the city for which the team is named, making official what has been all but certain for weeks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Six years after he was convicted on charges that he took a bribe in one scheme and tried to extort a city developer in another, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has gotten a reprieve from the state’s highest court.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The legal battle between the city of Hartford and the developers of its stalled and shuttered minor league ballpark has now begun in earnest.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford's stalled baseball stadium said they'll need more than twice as much money as the city has left to finish the park for the minor league Yard Goats. 

CENTERPLAN COMPANIES

A day after Hartford's stadium developer said he was about to put a settlement proposal on the table for the entire $350 million downtown project, the head of the city's stadium authority said he wouldn't trust it if he got it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford’s stalled minor league baseball stadium want to hold off on the grocery store they agreed to. But Mayor Luke Bronin now says they may have bigger problems -- and he doubts the people at Centerplan Construction have the ability to finish the rest of the ambitious downtown development project. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Leaders of most of Hartford's municipal unions say they want to work together to negotiate their health benefits. This comes as the city is trying to get more than $15 million in concessions from its workers. 

Hartford Police Department

Hartford police arrested two men last week after a wild car chase that began in the city, ended in West Hartford, and left at least one officer injured. But the case has taken a turn, and state prosecutors said they are investigating whether police used excessive force at the time of the arrest -- "kicking or stomping one of the arrestees after that person was handcuffed," according to the Hartford Police Department.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The kicked-out developer of Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium said it has just stepped away from a different project in the capital city. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is terminating the city’s relationship with the developer of its still-unfinished minor league baseball stadium, a move that he said Monday leaves a “slim” chance that the Hartford Yard Goats will play at all in their home stadium this year. 

All eyes in Hartford are on the new minor league baseball stadium, but that’s not the only thing that’s a cause for concern in the $350 million downtown development project. 

Pages