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.

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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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Planning and Zoning
3:53 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Is a Baseball Stadium Supposed to Be in Downtown Hartford?

The City of Hartford wants to build a stadium within a $350 million development project. Some of the sites under consideration are in yellow.
Credit Hartford Redevelopment Agency

The effort to build a minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford continues. On Tuesday night, a city commission considers whether a stadium is consistent with the city's long-term planning. 

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Conspiracy Trial
3:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland Found Guilty on All Counts in Conspiracy Trial

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson, center, outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

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Mental Health
8:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Talking About Suicide in Order to Prevent It

Credit preventsuicidect.org

The state is rolling out a new campaign to get people talking about a topic they typically avoid: suicide. 

In 2013, there were more than suicides in Connecticut. According to the state, it's a number that has stayed relatively constant over time, and it's also a number that's lower than the national average. On the one hand, that's good news. On the other, fewer suicides would be even better.

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Conspiracy Trial
6:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Closing Arguments End in Rowland Trial; Jury Begins Deliberation

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with his wife, Patty. (File photo)
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

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Baseball
10:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

The Numbers Are In, and Hartford Says Stadium Plan Will Cost Taxpayers "Zero"

Residents gather to hear more detail about the proposed Hartford stadium deal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After months of debating whether the city should build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding projects, the question still remains: Can one of the state's poorest cities afford this? 

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Baseball
4:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As Twins Leave and Rockies Enter, Rock Cats Say Change Won't Alter Development Plans

Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

As public debate continues over whether to build a new Hartford stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, there's this news: the club's affiliation with the Minnesota Twins is over, and it is now linked with the Colorado Rockies. 

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Conspiracy Trial
12:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rowland Declines to Testify in His Own Defense as Trial Nears End

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

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Baseball Economics
4:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New Dollar Figures On Proposed Hartford Ballpark

Credit Zane Hollingsworth (Flickr Creative Commons)

A day before a significant public hearing on whether to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra has released new numbers explaining just how much it will cost.

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Conspiracy Trial
3:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

John Rowland Got Paid, But For What Job?

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the main questions for the jury in the case of former Governor John Rowland is this: was his consulting contract with a nursing home business the real deal, or was it a “pretext” designed to funnel him money for work on a 2012 congressional campaign?

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Conspiracy Trial
8:52 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Rowland

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland leaving the New Haven federal courthouse with his family.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

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Details
5:40 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Hartford City Council Awaits Final Ballpark Numbers

City of Hartford

The challenge with negotiating a $350 million development deal in a hurry is negotiating a $350 million development deal in a hurry. That's what's happening with the effort to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford -- a plan that includes building not just a stadium, but a lot of other buildings, too.

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Conspiracy Trial
3:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Brian Foley Says Rowland Did "Real Work" for His Business

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven on Monday.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The attorney for former Governor John Rowland took aim at his chief accuser in court Tuesday morning, trying to establish the idea that Rowland was unaware of any scheme to hide payment for his campaign work.

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Conspiracy Trial
6:00 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Brian Foley Testifies He Hid Campaign Work By Rowland

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Brian Foley, the husband of a 2012 Republican congressional candidate, told jurors that he wanted to hire former Connecticut Governor John Rowland for campaign services, but the risk of hiring a convicted felon posed a big political hurdle.

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Dealmaking
4:31 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Paying For Hartford's New Stadium and Neighborhood Developments

Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced he had picked a developer to build a new minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in a new, $350 million project. As the deal moves to the city council for its review, however, there are still a lot of questions. 

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Conspiracy Trial
8:16 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Trial Unfolds in New Haven for Former Connecticut Governor Rowland

Former Gov. John G. Rowland leaves federal court with his family and legal team
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The federal corruption trial of convicted felon and former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland began in earnest Wednesday in New Haven.

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To Build, Or...
9:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Hartford's Segarra Picks Stadium Developer

Credit City of Hartford

Just a few months after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that the city would spend up to $60 million of its own money to build a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, the mayor announced Tuesday that he has picked a developer who will foot the entire bill

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Housing for Families
3:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Hartford Cuts Funding to Homeless Shelter

The Marshall House Family Shelter in Hartford lost some city funding.
Salvation Army

The city of Hartford recently cut $100,000 from a homeless shelter as part of its effort to keep taxes down and avoid layoffs. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he's still hoping find money to undo the cut. 

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Health Insurance
9:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Head of Access Health CT to Leave for Federal Job

Kevin Counihan announces his departure, alongside Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With open enrollment for the next round of the Affordable Care Act just three months away, the Department of Health and Human Services has a picked a new CEO for healthcare.gov, and he comes from Connecticut.  

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Use of Force
8:08 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Malloy Calls Hartford Police Officer's Use of Taser "Inappropriate"

Malloy and area police chiefs speak at a forum at Hartford's Faith Congregational Church on Friday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Police are still investigating an incident from last week in which a police officer used a stun gun on a city teenager. The family has called the use of force unnecessary.   

Members of community gathered to discuss the incident on Friday night, and Governor Dannel Malloy said he thought the use of the Taser was inappropriate. 

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Freedom of Information
2:53 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Hartford Stadium Gathering May Have Violated State Public Meeting Laws

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Officials from the city of Hartford held a meeting Thursday to discuss proposals to build a new baseball stadium. That gathering, however, appears to have violated the state's laws governing public meetings. 

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New Concert Venue
4:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Infinity Hall Opens in Hartford

Inside Infinity Hall Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Downtown Hartford now has a new music venue, as Thursday was the grand opening of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro. 

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Baseball
2:28 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Britain Says Rock Cats Have Paid Back Taxes

The New Britain stadium for the Rock Cats.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Josh Solomon, the owner of the minor league New Britain Rock Cats, has paid the city $164,569.26 in back taxes for its baseball stadium, the city said in a press release.

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Infant Mortality
8:28 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Connecticut Lawmaker Wants Renewed Focus on Safe Havens Law for Infants

State Rep. Pam Sawyer addresses reporters about the Safe Havens law.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

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Transportation
8:43 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Officials Praise New Buses for CTfastrak

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman announces the arrival of the new CTfastrak bus.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

CTfastrak, the bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, won't start running until early 2015. On Monday, state transportation officials already started showing the buses off. 

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