WNPR

Jeff Cohen

News Director

Jeff Cohen, WNPR's News Director, 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 has worked as 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

Chion Wolf / WNPR

National uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act is making state officials nervous, and the CEO of Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange, has told his board that he fears insurers could back out of the marketplace the state created. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has released his $612.9 million budget proposal to the City Council, one that avoids layoffs, cuts funding to most community organizations, assumes more labor concessions, understaffs departments, and still has a $49 million hole.

But there's no more to cut, Bronin said, without compromising the city. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will present his budget to the City Council Monday, and he's projecting a $50 million hole. But he said a lack of clarity about the state budget is making the city's job harder. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The mayor who wanted it is gone. The developer who built it is gone. And the plans to build around it are on hold. But finally, after a year of delay, Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is about to have its first minor league game. 

Keith Allison flickr.com/photos/keithallison / Creatiive Commons

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently urged cities, counties, and states to honor federal immigration detainer requests, saying if they don’t, they could lose federal money. Specifically, if an immigrant here illegally is arrested, he wants local law enforcement to continue to hold onto that person until federal immigration officials can pick them up.

But Connecticut officials say it’s not that easy -- and it may not be lawful. 

@SeemaCMS / Twitter

Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have officially failed, and President Donald Trump said he's waiting for the health insurance marketplace to explode. But what will that mean for Connecticut?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal plans to zero out funding for something called Community Development Block Grants -- money that goes from the federal government to states and municipalities to use as they see fit.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The city of Hartford is in the midst of another search for a school superintendent and it’s down to two finalists. But Mayor Luke Bronin recently floated the idea of another person at the last minute, and the move concerned at least one board member. 

Michelle Lee flickr.com/photos/michellerlee/7610741336 / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a proposal that would provide for paid family medical leave, and state Senate leaders from both parties are apparently working on compromise language. 

DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

The City of Hartford's police department is short on officers.  As one way to try and fix the problem,  the department is now opening a two-week application process just for city residents. 

Jackie Harris / WNPR

State lawmakers held a public hearing Thursday on a series of bills to benefit workers in Connecticut. One effort would increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2022, while another would mandate paid family leave. 

White House / Creative Commons

At a briefing with reporters Thursday morning, Governor Dannel Malloy was asked what he thought about the tension between Republican President Donald Trump, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, and the federal judiciary. Instead of tackling the issue, Malloy took on the president.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has included $125 million in his capital budget as part of an effort to remake the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The state says this is half of what is needed to bring the stadium up to date, but the plan could face Republican opposition. 

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

The University of Hartford is investigating an email sent to some campus accounts referencing white supremacy Saturday night, and its president is denouncing the missive. 

No one knows what will happen to the Affordable Care Act, or to coverage for the roughly 300,000 Connecticut residents insured under the program. But the state office in charge of the ACA is still making plans for the future – hoping to make the private marketplace more attractive for insurers.

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