WNPR

Jeff Cohen

News Director

Jeff Cohen, WNPR's News Director, 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 has worked as 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

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty used her personal email address in a confidential severance agreement with former Chief of Staff Tony Baker.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says she regrets her handling of a sexual harassment case within her own office. 

Hurricane evacuees Yara Vasquez (left) and Wanda Ortiz (center) watch a press conference at the hotel they were living in with their families under a FEMA program on January 19, 2018.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

More than five months after Hurricane Maria, Connecticut researchers are working to better understand the needs of families who’ve relocated from the island to Hartford.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Valle Hill is a neighborhood in Puerto Rico that shouldn’t exist.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico is officially declaring itself open for tourism -- nearly three months after Hurricane Maria. But on an island where so many people still lack electricity, what does open for tourism mean?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico se está declarando oficialmente abierto al turismo, cerca de tres meses después del Huracán María. Pero en una isla en la que aún tantas personas carecen de electricidad, ¿qué significa abierto al turismo?

Children in the mountain town of Orocovis returned to school two weeks ago after a two-month pause following Hurricane Maria. The school doesn't have electricity, so it lets out at 12:30 pm.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Children in the mountain town of Orocovis returned to school two weeks ago after a two-month pause following Hurricane Maria. The school doesn't have electricity, so it lets out at 12:30 pm.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Continúa el esfuerzo puertorriqueño de avanzar desde la respuesta hasta la recuperación, luego del Huracán María. Para algunos, el agua y la electricidad aún son esquivas. Y eso hace más difícil el regreso a la normalidad, especialmente para los niños.

After the storm blew out her windows, Maria Enid Rodriguez lost water, Internet, power and her entire home office. Her company offered her a one-way ticket to be with family in New Britain, Conn. Rodriguez refused. She said that it was a round trip ticket or nothing. She wanted to come back.

"I went to New Britain for 10 days," she said, through her tears. "Not for me. For them. For my daughters. They have to see me, that I was okay."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Alejandro La Luz Rivera pulled the keys from his pocket, unlocked the heavy gate, and walked slowly up the outdoor stairs leading to what used to be a rooftop patio. Before Maria, this was the 90-year-old's favorite place to be. Now, without electricity, it's not as quiet up here — he doesn't have a generator, but his neighbors do. And the patio is gone, destroyed by the hurricane and its winds.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Alejandro La Luz Rivera sacó las llaves de su bolsillo, abrió el pesado portón y caminó lentamente subiendo por las escaleras exteriores hasta lo que solía ser un patio de azotea. Antes de María, este era el lugar favorito del hombre de 90 años. Ahora, sin electricidad, ya no es tan tranquilo aquí arriba, no tiene un generador, pero sus vecinos sí. Y el patio ya no está, fue destruido por el huracán y sus vientos.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When we met Dr. Bolivar Arboleda Osorio in the city of Caguas a few weeks back, he talked about his experience treating patients in the aftermath of the storm -- first came the trauma victims, then came the chronic and severe cases that were becoming emergencies as time dragged on and the lights stayed off. Electronic records were stuck in the cloud. Patients, not able to call for an appointment, just showed up.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Cuando conocimos al Dr. Bolívar Arboleda Osorio en la ciudad de Caguas hace unas semanas, habló sobre su experiencia tratando pacientes de las secuelas de la tormenta, primero vinieron las víctimas de trauma, luego vinieron los casos crónicos y graves que se convertían en emergencias a medida que avanzaba el tiempo y la electricidad permanecía apagada. Los registros electrónicos estaban atrapados en la nube. Como los pacientes no podían llamar para una cita, simplemente se presentaban.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

It’s 7:00 am, and Joemar Class is dressed in his new Bulkeley High School uniform. His older brother William already finished school in Puerto Rico, so he’s still asleep in the bedroom the two boys share with their father.

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