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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Districts
4:42 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Redistricting Means Change For Hartford

On Wednesday, lawmakers redrew the district lines for the state house and senate. That means some change for the city of Hartford. House Speaker Chris Donovan said Wednesday that, for the first time in 30 years, Windsor will have a house district in which its residents are the majority. That was the good news. The bad news for Hartford, though, is this. The same number of people will be representing the capital city -- but, in all likelihood, one of those representatives won't be from Hartford anymore. Matt Ritter represents the city's West End. He said the census is to blame.

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Hartford's Market
3:59 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

The Market At Hartford 21? Still Closed.

Districts
3:31 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

CT Mirror: Lawmakers To Ask Supreme Court For More Time For Redistricting

State lawmakers are meeting this hour to try and finalize boundaries for state legislative districts and federal congressional elections. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, there's a midnight deadline, and the question of how to draw the lines for the US House of Representatives is still unresolved. New district lines for state representatives and senators have apparently been agreed upon.  But according to Mark Pazniokas of the Connecticut Mirror, it now appears that the bi-partisan redistricting commission will ask the state Supreme Court for more time to figure out how to draw the state's five congressional districts.

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CT Whalers
6:46 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

NHL Hockey In XL Center? Consultant Report Says It's Unlikely

Photo: ctwhale.com

Last week, Howard Baldwin made a splash when he proposed putting more than $100 million into the XL Center with the goal of bringing an NHL hockey team back to Hartford.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a report commissioned by the state in 2006 says that no amount of renovations could retrofit the arena to the standards of the NHL. Baldwin is the chairman and CEO Whaler Sports & Entertainment.  He says that a refurbished XL Center would create 1,500 new jobs a year and boost economic activity in downtown Hartford.  Baldwin wants to update the arena's seating, concessions areas, mechanical systems, and surrounding streetscapes.  And a video promoting his vision says the upgrade... "...provides the economic foundation to enable NESE to pursue a National Hockey League franchise in Hartford."

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Transportation
3:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Busway Gets Federal Funding, Construction To Begin In Spring

Federal transportation officials have officially committed $275 million for a busway from New Britain to Hartford.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, state officials say construction will begin this Spring. The state says that when the busway opens in 2014, it will be a bus-only stretch of road with 11 stops and service every three to five minutes, carrying an estimated 16,000 passengers a day.  The half-billion dollar project has drawn criticism from those who say it's too costly to those who say it's the wrong transportation plan to begin with.  At a press conference, Governor Dannel Malloy defended the busway as he celebrated it.

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Transportation
6:38 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Protest Briefly Closes Interstate On Ramp

Chion Wolf/WNPR

More than 100 people chanting and carrying signs marched through downtown Hartford yesterday, calling for jobs, public safety and infrastructure investment, and an end to corporate greed.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the march was part of a national protest to declare an economic emergency. The culmination of the rally was to be the occupation of a busy onramp to Interstate 84.  On the way there, people from labor groups, community organizations, and the Occupy Hartford movement talked about what brought them out.

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Energy
4:31 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Two Storm Panel May Rethink How Utilities Pay For Infrastructure Costs

Chion Wolf Photo

The panel looking into the state's response to two damaging storms this year heard from electricity providers today/yesterday. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the panel want to know what needs to happen to keep the lights on the next time weather strikes. Executives from United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power appeared before the panel. Joe McGee is the body's co-chair, and he was particularly interested in two areas of inquiry.  First, he wanted to know whether the prospect of fining utilities could prompt them to do more before a storm approaches. 

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Affordable Care Act
1:48 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Supreme Court to Decide Case on Federal Health Care Reform

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether it's constitutional to make Americans buy health insurance -- and if not, whether the rest of the health care overhaul can take effect.  The court's announcement means some uncertainty for Connecticut and states across the country.

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Jobs
3:43 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Hartford Searches For New Police Chief

In September, Hartford's police chief announced he'd be retiring at the end of the year.  Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, city officials say a new chief won't be selected by the time the old one leaves. Daryl Roberts is retiring after 30 years on the force and more than five years as the city's chief. His contract expires on December 31.  Roberts announced his retirement just before Mayor Pedro Segarra released the results of an outside investigation that said the police department had serious management issues.

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Weather
5:28 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

After Storms, Middletown Arboretum Takes A Hit

Weather
4:32 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Open Hearth Sells Wood, Warms Homes

Prison
2:52 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Main Page For Leaving Prison: A WNPR Series

Here are links to our recent WNPR series called Leaving Prison.

Part One: Getting Ready To Leave

Part Two: Release Day

Part Three: A Train To Virginia

Prison
3:54 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Leaving Prison: A WNPR Series

Jobs
2:43 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Malloy Releases Bipartisan Agenda On Jobs

Governor Dannel Malloy has unveiled the agenda for next week's special legislative session on jobs.  And as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, he says the plan has bipartisan support. Malloy called for the session over the summer, in part because he wanted the state to present a unified front on economic development.

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Breast Cancer
3:54 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

CT Mirror: Ubiquity of 'Pinktober' Evokes Strong Responses

Turn on an NFL game this month and you're likely to see linebackers sporting pink cleats and gloves. Buy groceries and you'll have your choice of products -- from yogurt to mushrooms -- in pink packaging. As the Connecticut Mirror and WNPR's Jeff Cohen report, "Pinktober" and breast cancer awareness month have people's attention. Breast cancer is among the most common forms of cancer and kills about 40,000 people a year in the U.S.  But it's not the leading cause of death for men and women -- that's heart disease.

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Jobs
3:48 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Malloy Talks Jobs In North Hartford

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is getting ready for a special session next week focused on jobs.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Malloy spoke with religious leaders in Hartford Monday about how to bring more of those jobs to the state's cities. Malloy sat at the head of a table of leaders of the greater Hartford faith community, and he came to reiterate what he says is his commitment to job creation in the state's urban centers. But people like Rev. Josh Pawelek wanted more.

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Hartford
4:16 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

City Treasurer, Mayor Reach Agreement On Personnel Issue

Photo: City of Hartford

In Hartford, city officials have been wrestling with a possible ethical issue for months.  The question was whether the city treasurer should be allowed to supervise his wife.  Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, city officials say an agreement is near.

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Depression
4:01 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Mental Health Advocates Stress Screening

More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression, but fewer than half seek treatment.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Thursdsay/last week was National Depression Screening Day -- a push to get more people to the doctor's office. David Wheeler is a clinical psychologist at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield.

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Politicians
4:16 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

The Bully Pulpit Of Public Office

Transportation
3:20 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Hartford's Star Shuttle Spared

Hartford
5:15 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Segarra, Cloud: Working To Avoid Appearance Of Conflict Of Interest

In Hartford, the mayor and the city treasurer are working to resolve a staffing issue that both say could look like a conflict of interest. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

The concern is the treasurer's office, where Adam Cloud was appointed treasurer earlier this year. But also in that department is his wife, Nicole Plessy-Cloud. She works as a supervisor.

In an outside legal opinion sought on the matter in January, attorneys said that the situation didn't violate the city's ethics code -- but that it could should Cloud make any decisions about his wife's pay or advancement.

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Jobs
3:29 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Hartford Police Chief To Retire

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts has announced he is leaving the department at the end of the year when his contract expires.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Roberts has served as chief since July 2006 and is a 30-year veteran who worked his way up from patrol.  A city native, he was the hometown pick to replace Patrick Harnett -- the New Yorker who served before him.   And he's been known as a chief who speaks his mind about his city -- where young people and guns too often find their way to one another. But he's also had a rough go of it.

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Public Safety
2:55 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

State To Review Two-Plate Policy For Top Elected Officials

Copepodo via Flickr Creative Commons

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Hartford
4:38 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

New Downtown Grocery Store Closes

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