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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Crisis Intervention Teams
11:45 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Training Connecticut Police in Mental Health 101

Fairfield Officer Lance Newkirchen on his way to visit the family of a man who, two days earlier, considered suicide.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

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Budget Woes
5:19 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Segarra to Propose Budget, Facing Lots of Ground to Make Up

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next year's municipal budgets across the state are beginning to take shape. In Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra will present his budget to the city council on Monday. It's got a big hole in it. 

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It's Spring. Now Sneeze.
4:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Cold Winter Means Healthy Trees -- and Pollen

A red maple in bloom.
Benny Mazur Creative Commons

Now that the long winter is over, spring is here. So is tree pollen.

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Arraignment Friday
7:07 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Rowland Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland, who has already served federal prison time on corruption-related charges, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegal campaign activity

It's a controversy that has been brewing for a couple of years. It picked up steam last week with the guilty pleas of a one-time Republican congressional candidate and her husband.

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Affordable Care Act
5:03 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Connecticut to Share Its Obamacare Computer Code

Credit Michael Himbeault / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Obamacare enrollment website did well enough this year to attract the interest of other states. Officials from Access Health CT said they are finalizing a deal with the state of Maryland to share computer code.

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Gun Control
3:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Anti- and Pro-Gun Advocates in Connecticut Continue Their Fight

Gun control advocates rally at the capitol.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Gun control advocates rallied with Democratic leaders at the capitol Thursday, announcing a new effort to support lawmakers who passed last year's gun measures. The meeting came as pro-gun activists plan a rally of their own.

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Rowland Scandal, Again
4:54 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Rowland Won't Talk; Wants to "Respect the Process"

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Republican Gov. John Rowland took to the airwaves on Tuesday to host his afternoon talk show on WTIC 1080. He began by saying he would not discuss the federal case that has apparently ensnared him. 

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Affordable Care Act
4:09 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Obamacare Enrollment Surged in Connecticut as Deadline Expired

Credit Slawomir Fajer/iStock / Thinkstock

President Obama said that more than seven million people have signed up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Connecticut saw a huge surge in enrollments as Monday's deadline passed. 

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The New Rowland Case
1:28 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Former FBI Agent Speaks Out On Rowland and Politics

Former Gov. John Rowland in Hartford in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland is again at the center of a federal investigation that has already resulted in two guilty pleas. Mike Clark is the former FBI agent who investigated Rowland the first time around, and blew the whistle on him the second.

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Legislative Session
10:13 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Newspapers, Municipalities Still Divided Over Legal Notices

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

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Election 2014
11:55 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Malloy Says He's Running Again

Gov. Malloy, just before his announcement.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has announced he intends to seek reelection in 2014. 

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Higher Education
11:32 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Neuroscientist From Tufts Named Trinity College President

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Trinity College's next president.
Trinity College

Hartford's Trinity College has announced its next president. Joanne Berger-Sweeney is a neuroscientist who will be the college's first woman and first African American to lead the school. 

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Affordable Care Act
5:19 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Federal Obamacare Deadline Extends, But Connecticut's Does Not

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

As the deadline to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act approaches, the federal government now says it will give some people extra time to enroll. But that change won't apply to people in Connecticut.

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Obamacare
4:07 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

As Obamacare Deadline Approaches, Penalties Loom for Those Who Miss It

Gov. Dannel Malloy sells Obamacare as the enrollment deadline approaches.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Officials say enrollment in the state's health insurance marketplace is surging as the March 31 deadline to sign up approaches. 

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Access Health CT
7:31 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Customers Rush To Retail Store In Connecticut To Buy Obamacare

DeLisa Tolson signed up for health insurance at a retail store set up by Connecticut's exchange. She says she was so happy with the experience, she told all her friends.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Mike Dunn stands inside a store in downtown New Haven, looking through the big glass windows at his future customers outside. He's not selling phones or food or clothes. He's selling Obamacare.

There's one week left to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and states have gone to great lengths to enroll as many people up as possible. In Connecticut, the exchange has opened two retail storefronts where people can walk in and sign up.

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Downtown Hartford
4:17 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Plan to Move Downtown Hartford Street Faces Opposition

Gold and Main Streets as seen from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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The End of Life
4:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Public Testifies on "Aid in Dying" Bill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative hearing was held Monday on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  The session brought emotional testimony from those both in favor and opposed. 

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Overdoses Rising
4:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Laced Heroin Seized in Hartford

A bag of heroin seized by Hartford police.
Credit Hartford Police Department

Hartford police said heroin-related overdoses are on the rise in the capital city, and they're trying to disrupt the drug's supply. Earlier this week, police arrested five people, and seized 2,000 bags of heroin. 

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Legislative Session
4:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

Governor Malloy speaks about the bill at the Trinity College Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young. 

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Wake of Newtown
5:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Restrict Public Information After Sandy Hook

State Sen. Eric Coleman chairing the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Credit CT-N

Two legislative committees met at the same time on Monday to discuss two very similar bills that would limit access to public documents. The bills are part of the state's response to the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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Legislative Session
6:20 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Poll Shows Support for Bill to Aid Suicide for Terminally Ill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A new poll shows Connecticut voters strongly support legislation allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

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Minimum Wage
5:47 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama Says Minimum Wage Hike Is Common Sense

President Barack Obama visited CCSU in New Britain to talk about raising the minimum wage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

President Obama traveled to Connecticut on Wednesday to call for a raise in the federal minimum wage by nearly three dollars an hour. 

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Wants To Raise The Wage
11:55 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Comes to Connecticut to Sell Minimum Wage

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama will visit Connecticut Wednesday to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The president wants the raise the base pay rate by nearly three dollars an hour.

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Access Health CT
7:31 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Connecticut Looks To Sell Its Obamacare Exchange To Other States

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, hopes to be able to market their expertise.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 11:14 am

Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT, is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens.

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Hartford's Former Mayor
9:58 am
Thu February 27, 2014

State Supreme Court Takes the Case of Eddie Perez

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, according to the court's clerk.

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Affordable Care Act
11:34 am
Mon February 24, 2014

State's Obamacare Website Now Up In Spanish

Credit Access Health CT

We recently told you about the challenge of getting a Spanish language enrollment website up and running for the state’s Obamacare agency, Access Health CT. Now, it appears that site is live

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Gun Control
8:48 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Gun Law Poses New Questions About Those Who Break It

Joel Cramer.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It appears thousands of Connecticut residents may have failed to comply with the state's new gun registration law. The state banned the sale of certain so-called assault weapons after the Newtown shootings, and created a registry for residents who already own them.

Failure to register is a felony, but officials have no way to identify the new group of criminals, and no plans to round them up.

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Gun Control
4:21 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Law Stubs Toe On A Tough Unknown: Who Owns The Guns?

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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