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.

Pages

Winter Storm
1:19 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

As Cold Approaches, State Urges Residents to Seek Shelter

Credit David Silverman/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

The new year's first winter storm is threatening the state, and parts of Connecticut could get more than ten inches of snow.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Message to Earl O'Garro: The State is Coming for Its Money

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit Town Of Marlborough

Lawyers for the state are moving to seize property owned by embattled Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro, according to the office of the state attorney general.

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Newtown Report
4:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Kane: Options Would Have Been "Extremely Limited" to Prevent Lanza's Actions

Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Late last week, state police released the thousands of documents that made up their investigation into the Newtown shootings. Even though more is now known about the gunman who killed 20 children, six educators, his mother, and himself, it doesn't appear that anything gunman Adam Lanza did before December 14, 2012 could have gotten serious attention from law enforcement.

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Newtown Investigation
3:14 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

What Does State Police Newtown Report Reveal About Lanza's Medical History?

Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, in Newtown on December 14, 2012.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last month, the state prosecutor who investigated the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown released his much-awaited report.

Now, the state police have released a report of their own into the shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead. Officials said they are redacting the state police file, which is several thousand pages long.

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Newtown Investigation
1:04 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Could the Privacy of Adam Lanza's Medical Records Be Waived?

A scene from the home of Adam Lanza provided in the state's attorney's report on the December 14, 2012 shootings in Newtown.
Credit State of Connecticut

One of the enduring questions in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting is whether Adam Lanza's mental health contributed to his decision to kill 20 children, six educators, his mother, and himself. But privacy laws have gotten in the way of answering it.

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Malloy Visits WNPR
7:27 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Malloy Says Connecticut Hired Contractor to Find Fraud

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state could lose $170 million over the next two years in fraud and abuse at the Department of Social Services. But Governor Dannel Malloy said the state has hired an outside contractor to help stem the losses.

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Access Health CT
4:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

State: Obamacare Enrollment Surging Before Deadline

Credit BrianAJackson/iStock / Thinkstock

Officials running the state's new health care exchange say thousands of people are enrolling for insurance as Monday's deadline draws near.

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Affordable Care Act
3:43 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Just Because You Started An Obamacare Application Doesn't Mean You Finished It

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan.
Credit Christine Stuart / CT News Junkie

If you want to be insured under Obamacare come January 1, Monday is your deadline to enroll. But the agency running the program fears that some people may think they've signed up when they actually haven't.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
1:15 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

More Answers About Hartford Treasurer's NYC Visit

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Ever since news broke that a federal grand jury was looking into dealings between insurance broker Earl O'Garro and the city of Hartford, there's been a question: How well do O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud know each other? Now we have a few more answers. 

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O'Garro and Cloud
8:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hartford Auditor: a Problem Like Cloud's Could Happen Again

The City of Hartford's Internal Audit Commission.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

An auditor for the city of Hartford said he has no confidence that the kinds of protocol breaches that got the city treasurer and former finance director in trouble won't happen again.

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Affordable Care Act
2:44 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Highs and Lows for Access Health CT

Kevin Counihan
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's rollout of the Affordable Care Act has gotten its share of praise. But it's had its share of challenges, too.

Kevin Counihan runs Access Health CT, the agency handling the state's implementation of the new health care law. He said of the more than 300,000 people without insurance in Connecticut, over 47,000 have enrolled for coverage since October 1.

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Juvenile Law
3:52 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

State Numbers Show Fewer Young People in Adult Prisons

Mike Lawlor.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state said that a new law aimed at getting juveniles out of the adult prison system is working. It's called the "raise the age" law and was fully implemented last year.

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Newtown: One Year Later
10:45 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Looking Back, Malloy Recalls His Own Panic

From left, Governor Dannel Malloy, Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra, and President Barack Obama at a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School on December 16, 2012.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

Governor Dannel Malloy was quick to say that he didn't, and doesn't, want to make what happened in Newtown about him.

Still, on that day, Malloy was at the center of the story.  

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Newtown: One Year Later
8:24 am
Fri December 13, 2013

One Year After Newtown, Still No Answer To 'Why'

A crime scene photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a rifle in the master bedroom in Adam Lanza's house.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:52 am

As Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sped from Hartford to Newtown nearly a year ago, the death toll kept rising. When he arrived on the scene, he found himself in charge — and it fell to him to answer the question: How long should family members have to wait to learn that their loved ones were gone?

Malloy decided that he was going to do what he thought was right. Still, standing in front of more than two dozen families gathered in a firehouse, he doubted that it was.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
3:09 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

O'Garro Owes State Another $264,000

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

It turns out that Earl O’Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford, owes the state a lot more money than we first thought.

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Newtown Prepares
10:07 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Wanting Peace and Quiet: Newtown Officials Ask for Space

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra.
Credit via WTNH

The first anniversary of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School is just days away. As the community braces itself, it's also asking the members of the media to do its job, and then leave as soon as possible. 

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The Fate of Eddie Perez
11:46 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Court Orders Two New Trials For Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez

Eddie Perez walks to court with family and supporters.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state's appellate court has thrown out the 2010 corruption convictions of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and ordered two new trials.

The court ruled that there was a enough evidence to convict Perez, but that the trial court judge made a procedural error that merits two new trials. Perez was convicted over three years ago on separate charges relating to bribery and extortion while he was mayor. A judge sentenced him to three years in prison.   

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:48 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Hartford Releases Documents Given to Federal Grand Jury

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Last month, the city of Hartford gave a series of documents to a federal grand jury looking into the business dealings of troubled insurance broker Earl O’Garro. Now, the city has released those documents publicly.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
12:51 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

For O'Garro, Debts Large and Small

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The line of people who want their money from Earl O'Garro continues to grow.

O'Garro is the man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation looking into $670,000 in missing taxpayer money. The city of Hartford paid him to pay its insurance bills, and he apparently never did.  

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Sandy Hook Investigation
6:24 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Task Force Tries to Balance Victim Privacy and Public Information

Don DeCesare, the panel's co-chair.
Credit CT-N

A state task force met today as it works to find ways to balance victim privacy with freedom of information laws. But consensus is still hard to come by.

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Judge Orders Release of Newtown 911 Tapes

The Associated Press is reporting that a state court judge has ordered the release of 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But the tapes won't be immediately unsealed.

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Ethics In Hartford
4:52 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Ethics Codes, Labor Law, and Adam Cloud

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford city auditors have said that Treasurer Adam Cloud had an apparent conflict of interest when it came to his family's business relationship with a city insurance broker. But this isn't Cloud's first run-in with the ethics code.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
5:59 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Cloud's Attorney Sheds Light on NYC Hotel Stay

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, we reported that there were unanswered questions about a receipt for a New York City hotel room billed to the city of Hartford. On the reservation were city treasurer Adam Cloud and embattled insurance broker Earl O'Garro -- two men named in a federal investigation into nearly $700,000 in missing taxpayer money.

Now, Cloud's attorney is providing some answers. 

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One Family's Story
3:05 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Coming Home From Typhoon Haiyan

Jack and Fe Shanahan, who live part of the year in Enfield, recount surviving Typhoon Haiyan inside their Tolosa home.
Mark Mirko Hartford Courant

Typhoon Haiyan reportedly killed more than 4,000 people and affected millions more when it struck the Philippines nearly two weeks ago. Among those touched by the storm were Jack and Fe Shanahan, a Connecticut couple with a home in one of the heavily affected towns.

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Hartford Development
11:45 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

New Downtown Housing Planned for Old Hartford Buildings

111 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford, one of the buildings in question.
Credit City of Hartford

There are two office buildings in downtown Hartford that have long been vacant. Now, developers are about to buy them and turn them into something the city's core desperately needs: housing.

Hartford's recent wave of downtown investment has yielded a few lessons. One is that the city needs more rental housing downtown. More housing brings more people, and more people are what's needed to make a healthy downtown tick.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:49 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Courant: O’Garro’s Wife Felt He Would Kill Her

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie broke news this weekend that Earl O'Garro had been arrested by state police earlier this month.

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Hartford Insurance Controversy
11:45 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Unanswered Questions About Cloud, O'Garro, and a Trip to NYC

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford continues to buzz with questions about insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city treasurer Adam Cloud, and nearly $700,000 of missing taxpayer money. Now there are unanswered questions about a 2012 trip to New York City.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:38 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

State Revokes Insurance License for O'Garro, Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Earl O'Garro has lost his state insurance license, and his company has lost its license, too.  The state said O'Garro never responded to an extensive eleven-count complaint filed against him last month. As a result, the state has revoked the licenses he and his company held to sell insurance.

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Insurance Scandal
10:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

O'Garro Speaks

NBC Connecticut's George Colli snagged a one-on-one interview with Earl O'Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

Sandy Hook Investigation Continues
3:40 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Lack of Newtown Report Frustrates Malloy

Malloy faces reporters and talks about the delay of the Newtown report.
Credit Jeff Cohen/WNPR

It's been nearly eleven months since the school shooting in Newtown that left 20 children and six educators dead. And prosecutors have yet to release their report into the crime.

Read more

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