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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State Capitol
2:34 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

State Republicans Release Federal Subpoenas

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

News broke Thursday that federal agents are investigating state Republicans at the Capitol. Today, Republicans formally released three federal subpoenas that they received. Here they are.

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The Five Percent
3:18 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

To Change a City Charter, How Many Votes Is Enough?

Credit Chion Wolf, WNPR

How many people should have to vote to change a city's charter? 

That's a question being posed now at the state legislature. Last year, Hartford had some pretty significant reforms to its charter on the city's ballot. 

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Hard To Access
11:57 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Still No Obamacare Website for State's Spanish Speakers

From left, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, Kevin Counihan, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Spanish-language website that will enroll state residents in Obamacare is still facing delays. In fact, officials say it could be another two weeks until it is operational. 

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District Transition
5:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Kishimoto, Hartford's Reform Superintendent, Gets Another Job

Christina Kishimoto
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last year, Hartford's board of education decided against renewing the contract of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto beyond this coming June. Now, Kishimoto, a reformer who took the job after Steven Adamowski, is leaving.

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Hartford's Former Mayor
5:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

With Perez Convictions Overturned, What Happens to His Pension?

Eddie Perez in 2010.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

A state law says public officials can lose their pensions if they commit a crime related to their public office. But what happens if a conviction is overturned? That’s the question in the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

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Enrollments Continue
11:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Malloy Says State Exceeding Its Goals for Obamacare

Governor Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan, and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro at an event Monday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to insure more people at a lower cost. Affordability is still a moving target. At least in Connecticut, the enrollment numbers are looking good. State officials announced that they have beaten their goal of enrolling 100,000 people in the Affordable Care Act by March 31 by more than 20 percent.

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Wants Two New Trials
5:57 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Former Hartford Mayor Perez Files Papers With State Supreme Court

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

Attorneys for former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez have filed papers in the state's supreme court arguing that it should not get involved in his case.

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State of the State
4:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy, Legislators Get to Work

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

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Getting Covered
11:27 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Report: Newly Insured May Choose to Work Less Under Obamacare

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

Congressional budget experts say President Obama's new health care law will likely reduce the number of people who choose to stay in the workforce. 

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Public Notice
2:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Should Full Public Notices Be Allowed Online Only?

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released its list of legislative priorities for the year. One of them would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online, and not in newspapers. The move could save public money, but it is opposed by the state's newspapers.

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Housing
1:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Cuts Funding for Agencies That Provide Housing Support for the Severely Mentally Ill

Housing in Stamford.
Credit Carmine Salvatore/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has made a funding cut to housing that supports those with severe mental illness. Agencies that serve these clients said they'll have to look for creative ways to make up the difference.

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Need for housing
3:55 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Talks About Mental Health Priorities

Gov. Dannel Malloy talks about his mental health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to commit more than $7 million to mental health services annually.  The announcement comes as Malloy continues to roll out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
10:48 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Cloud Campaign Consultant Got Hybrid Insurance Job

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

A federal grand jury is looking into the business dealings of Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro. And from the beginning, what raised eyebrows was the relationship between O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud -- O'Garro did business with Cloud's family.

Now, there's another development. A woman who was a paid campaign consultant for Cloud's 2011 campaign also got a job with Hybrid.

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Legislative Session
10:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Announces Proposal for More School Security Funding

Governor Dannel Malloy at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Thursday.
Credit Office of Governor Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that his budget will include more money to improve school security across the state. Last year, over 600 schools got state funding. 

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
9:24 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Troubled Insurance Broker O'Garro Due in Court

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / http://under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the embattled insurance broker who is at the heart of a federal criminal probe, is due in state court Thursday on charges that he failed to pay his workers.

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Emergency Care
8:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Connecticut's Emergency Rooms Earn a C Grade in New Study

Credit Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

A new study of emergency medicine ranks Connecticut 15th overall. One of the biggest concerns is wait time.

The study, by the American College of Emergency Physicians, gives Connecticut an average grade of C, saying the state has a low rate of fatal injury and its residents have generally good health. 

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Newtown
2:47 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Discussions With Adam Lanza's Father Continue

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.
Credit CT-N

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met Friday to discuss mental health and autism. As it did, it got an update from its chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, on his discussions with the father of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza. 

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New Watchdog
3:35 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Rapoport to Run Common Cause

Miles Rapoport
Credit Demos.org

Miles Rapoport, former state politician, has been named the new leader of national political watchdog group.

Rapoport will run Common Cause as of March. Common Cause describes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit organization with more than 400,000 across the country. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is Obamacare Working?

Access Health CT's New Britain storefront.
Arielle Levin Becker The Connecticut Mirror

The Affordable Care Act is the signature piece of the president's domestic agenda and it's now, finally, operational. The question is: Is it working? On Where We Live we talk Obamacare and ask whether it is doing what it promised - helping the nation's poor and uninsured. 

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Public Housing
5:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Hartford Housing Authority Scraps Plans For Major Development

Dwayne Patterson stands outside his apartment building at Bowles Park in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last summer, we told you the story of plans to knock down two of the biggest and oldest public housing complexes remaining in the city of Hartford. Officials at the Hartford Housing Authority hoped that developers would think big when it came to what's next.

But it turns out they didn't think big enough. 

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Wake of Newtown
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Speaking With Representative of Lanza's Family

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The head of the governor's commission studying the Newtown shootings said he is direct contact with the family of gunman Adam Lanza. 

The commission that met Friday is hoping to learn more about Lanza's medical history.

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Unpaid Wages
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

In Hartford Scandal, State Officials Seek to Arrest O'Garro

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / http://under30ceo.com

It's not getting any better for troubled insurance broker Earl O'Garro. The man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford may soon be arrested for not paying his employees. 

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Crime Trends
5:09 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Police Say Hartford Crime Went Down in 2013

Hartford gun crimes over time.
Credit HPD

The 2013 crime statistics from the city of Hartford are in. And police say most major crime numbers are down.

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These Old Houses
3:29 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Trying to Tackle Blight in Hartford

Mayor Pedro Segarra stands with city staff in front of a recently revamped home.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

In old cities with old housing, blight is a constant concern. Now, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is boosting a program to give residents money to fix up their homes. 

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Former Hartford Mayor
4:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Prosecutors Ask State Supreme Court to Take Perez Case

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
Credit WNPR File Photo

Prosecutors want the state supreme court to weigh in on the matter of former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez. 

Late last year, the state's appellate court ruled that Perez's trial judge made procedural errors in the original proceedings. It then ordered two new trials.

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Research
3:54 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Study: Tighter Gun Laws May Drive Gun Homicides Up

Credit Digital Vision / Thinkstock

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, there's been a lot of debate about whether tighter gun laws save lives. A new Quinnipiac University study says two such laws don't, and one may even cause gun deaths to rise.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
3:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

In 2011, Tension Between O'Garro and Former Employer

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

There are new questions about the business background of Earl O'Garro -- the insurance broker at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. 

In emails obtained from the city of Hartford, it's clear that O'Garro's former employer considered suing him once he left.

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:15 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newtown State Police Investigation Actually Concluded In September

Credit State of Connecticut

The state police have released the results of their investigation into last year's Newtown shootings. But some remain critical of how long it took them to do so.

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