Jeff Cohen


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


A Connecticut couple filed suit earlier this year alleging that they had been duped into investing a substantial amount of money into the Back9Network -- a golf lifestyle channel that eventually ceased its operations. Now, a judge this week has ruled that their lawsuit can proceed.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Citing concerns over absentee ballot voting, embattled Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is threatening legal action to ensure that all votes in Wednesday's Democratic primary are properly counted. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez was convicted on several corruption related charges over five years ago. He's since fought the verdict. And now the state's highest court has announced it will hear Perez's appeal next month. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A place like Hartford has its challenges. If you live in the city, you’re far less likely to have a high school diploma than your suburban neighbors. Same with a college degree. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

When Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra began his early rhetorical push, he used a decent amount of "us versus them" talk.

Edward / Creative Commons

As homicide rates in Hartford and other cities across the country spike, some are asking whether one high-profile shooting can breed another. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford's new minor league baseball stadium celebrated a construction milestone Tuesday. The first steel beams have been delivered and put in place. But a new report says that getting the job done in time to play in April could come at a price. 

David Edwards / Creative Commons

A new report is out that scores doctors based on their rates of complications for elective procedures. But some physicians and critics say the effort, while helpful, is limited by the data that it uses. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

For a year, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has taken criticism that his minor league baseball stadium plan was hatched in secret without state input. But now new details are coming out about who knew what and when -- stoking tension between Segarra and Gov. Dannel Malloy. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Earl O’Garro, the insurance broker who prosecutors allege defrauded the city of Hartford, the state, and others out of roughly $1.5 million, is asking a judge to delay his trial by two months

State of Connecticut

Long lines at the state Department of Motor Vehicles persist, a week after offices reopened following a major computer systems upgrade. And Governor Dannel Malloy is asking for patience. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three charges in a new federal indictment, and it appears both sides are preparing for an October trial.

Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes /

A federal grand jury has brought more charges against Earl O'Garro, the insurance agent who prosecutors say made off with more than $1 million from the state and the city of Hartford.

eskaylim/iStock / Thinkstock

The legislature recently made it harder for parents to stay on Husky, Connecticut's version of Medicaid. The state said that around 1,200 people risk losing their insurance coverage at the end of the month if they take no action.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his team are using some polarizing rhetoric as they try to hold on to Hartford city hall. Segarra is casting this as a race between "us" and "them," while others are calling it a fight for Latino pride.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's Democrats are gearing up for a primary fight in September. Two days after walking out of a nominating convention, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced a slate of candidates for city council that he hopes will force a primary against the Democratic party's endorsed candidates.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's Democrats endorsed Luke Bronin to be their mayoral candidate Monday night, but only after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra declined the nomination, stormed out of the convention, and told his supporters they'd take their fight to the street. 

Hartford’s Democrats hadn’t even started their meeting to pick candidates for the fall, and the yelling had already begun.

And it was all about Franchesca Roldan.

mrceder / Creative Commons

Hartford's town committee meets Monday to endorse its slate. And it's unclear how it will respond to the recent news regarding Treasurer Adam Cloud. / Creative Commons

When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed campaign finance filing records for Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud, investigators didn't say what they were looking for. But the commission has recently stepped up its enforcement of a rule that governs how investments advisors contribute to public campaigns. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed campaign finance records from Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud, just days before the city's Democrats meet to endorse a candidate for the upcoming election.

There have been 18 deaths so far this year in the city of Hartford. There were 19 in all of last year, and how to best keep the city safe is a big priority for Mayor Pedro Segarra.

But one of Segarra's chief political challengers is pointing to the baseball stadium the city is building and says the mayor has his priorities all wrong. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A spike in violence in the city of Hartford has already left 18 people dead this year. 

Barbara Krawcowicz / Creative Commons

On Thursday, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra asked Governor Dannel Malloy for more state detectives, inspectors, and other manpower to help him deal with the current spike in violent crime and deaths in the city.

"This is literally a public safety issue and I respectfully ask for an expedited response," Segarra wrote.

On Friday, Malloy wrote back. And he's not giving Segarra what he wants. Not yet, at least. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The race for Hartford's mayor is entering its final stretch before the city's Democratic party makes its pick. But even a powerful supporter of Mayor Pedro Segarra said it's increasingly likely that the mayor will lose the nomination to challenger Luke Bronin.   

Mike0112358 / Creative Commons

Summertime concerts at big venues in Hartford often mean underage drinkers.  To help combat the problem, the Hartford City Council just accepted a federal grant to pay for police overtime.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

Advocates for the poor have argued that the state takes too long to process food stamp applications, and that people should have a right to sue. State attorneys have pushed back. But last week, a federal appellate court ruled that applicants can in fact file a class action against the state. 

Charlie Smart / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their team logo on Wednesday, featuring a feisty goat chewing on a baseball bat.

The nostalgic colors and lettering refer to Hartford sports history -- the Whalers -- and the old New Haven-Hartford-New York train line logo. A "yard goat" is a term for a type of rail car.

Patrick / Creative Commons

As part of the special legislative session that just wrapped up, lawmakers approved an extra $20 million for economic development in the city of Hartford.


A video has surfaced on social media of what appears to be a Hartford police officer holding a man from behind while another hits him repeatedly in the leg -- at least ten times -- with a stick. Police are investigating the incident, but the department's response since the incident has been praised by the local branch of the NAACP.