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, 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.

Pages

Baseball
4:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As Twins Leave and Rockies Enter, Rock Cats Say Change Won't Alter Development Plans

Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

As public debate continues over whether to build a new Hartford stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, there's this news: the club's affiliation with the Minnesota Twins is over, and it is now linked with the Colorado Rockies. 

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Conspiracy Trial
12:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rowland Declines to Testify in His Own Defense as Trial Nears End

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

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Baseball Economics
4:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New Dollar Figures On Proposed Hartford Ballpark

Credit Zane Hollingsworth (Flickr Creative Commons)

A day before a significant public hearing on whether to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra has released new numbers explaining just how much it will cost.

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Conspiracy Trial
3:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

John Rowland Got Paid, But For What Job?

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the main questions for the jury in the case of former Governor John Rowland is this: was his consulting contract with a nursing home business the real deal, or was it a “pretext” designed to funnel him money for work on a 2012 congressional campaign?

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Conspiracy Trial
8:52 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Rowland

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland leaving the New Haven federal courthouse with his family.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

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Details
5:40 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Hartford City Council Awaits Final Ballpark Numbers

City of Hartford

The challenge with negotiating a $350 million development deal in a hurry is negotiating a $350 million development deal in a hurry. That's what's happening with the effort to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford -- a plan that includes building not just a stadium, but a lot of other buildings, too.

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Conspiracy Trial
3:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Brian Foley Says Rowland Did "Real Work" for His Business

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven on Monday.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The attorney for former Governor John Rowland took aim at his chief accuser in court Tuesday morning, trying to establish the idea that Rowland was unaware of any scheme to hide payment for his campaign work.

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Conspiracy Trial
6:00 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Brian Foley Testifies He Hid Campaign Work By Rowland

Brian Foley outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Brian Foley, the husband of a 2012 Republican congressional candidate, told jurors that he wanted to hire former Connecticut Governor John Rowland for campaign services, but the risk of hiring a convicted felon posed a big political hurdle.

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Dealmaking
4:31 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Paying For Hartford's New Stadium and Neighborhood Developments

Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced he had picked a developer to build a new minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in a new, $350 million project. As the deal moves to the city council for its review, however, there are still a lot of questions. 

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Conspiracy Trial
8:16 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Trial Unfolds in New Haven for Former Connecticut Governor Rowland

Former Gov. John G. Rowland leaves federal court with his family and legal team
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The federal corruption trial of convicted felon and former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland began in earnest Wednesday in New Haven.

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To Build, Or...
9:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Hartford's Segarra Picks Stadium Developer

Credit City of Hartford

Just a few months after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that the city would spend up to $60 million of its own money to build a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, the mayor announced Tuesday that he has picked a developer who will foot the entire bill

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Housing for Families
3:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Hartford Cuts Funding to Homeless Shelter

The Marshall House Family Shelter in Hartford lost some city funding.
Salvation Army

The city of Hartford recently cut $100,000 from a homeless shelter as part of its effort to keep taxes down and avoid layoffs. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he's still hoping find money to undo the cut. 

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Health Insurance
9:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Head of Access Health CT to Leave for Federal Job

Kevin Counihan announces his departure, alongside Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With open enrollment for the next round of the Affordable Care Act just three months away, the Department of Health and Human Services has a picked a new CEO for healthcare.gov, and he comes from Connecticut.  

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Use of Force
8:08 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Malloy Calls Hartford Police Officer's Use of Taser "Inappropriate"

Malloy and area police chiefs speak at a forum at Hartford's Faith Congregational Church on Friday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Police are still investigating an incident from last week in which a police officer used a stun gun on a city teenager. The family has called the use of force unnecessary.   

Members of community gathered to discuss the incident on Friday night, and Governor Dannel Malloy said he thought the use of the Taser was inappropriate. 

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Freedom of Information
2:53 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Hartford Stadium Gathering May Have Violated State Public Meeting Laws

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Officials from the city of Hartford held a meeting Thursday to discuss proposals to build a new baseball stadium. That gathering, however, appears to have violated the state's laws governing public meetings. 

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New Concert Venue
4:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Infinity Hall Opens in Hartford

Inside Infinity Hall Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Downtown Hartford now has a new music venue, as Thursday was the grand opening of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro. 

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Baseball
2:28 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Britain Says Rock Cats Have Paid Back Taxes

The New Britain stadium for the Rock Cats.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Josh Solomon, the owner of the minor league New Britain Rock Cats, has paid the city $164,569.26 in back taxes for its baseball stadium, the city said in a press release.

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Infant Mortality
8:28 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Connecticut Lawmaker Wants Renewed Focus on Safe Havens Law for Infants

State Rep. Pam Sawyer addresses reporters about the Safe Havens law.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

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Transportation
8:43 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Officials Praise New Buses for CTfastrak

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman announces the arrival of the new CTfastrak bus.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

CTfastrak, the bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, won't start running until early 2015. On Monday, state transportation officials already started showing the buses off. 

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Playing Ball
4:41 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

New Britain Says Rock Cats Could Face Eviction

Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

The New Britain Rock Cats want to move to Hartford, and that deal is still in the works. For now, their home is in New Britain, and they're on the road to eviction. 

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Wooden Loses
11:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

With a Baseball Stadium in Play, Coleman Wins Senate Primary

Sen. Eric Coleman (D) celebrating his primary victory Tuesday night.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR News

Democratic state Sen. Eric Coleman won the Tuesday primary for his seat despite a spirited challenge.  And the question of whether to build a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford figured prominently the race.

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Election 2014
6:20 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Races Show "Real Action" on Primary Day

Shawn Wooden, Sen. Eric Coleman, and Len Walker at a recent debate.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Tuesday is primary day across the state. All eyes will be on the Republican race for governor between businessman Tom Foley and state Senator John McKinney, but a series of legislative races have also gotten some attention. 

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Race for Governor
10:47 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Petitions Signed, Now Pelto Waits

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wednesday was the deadline for people who want to petition their way onto the November gubernatorial ballot to submit their petition signatures to the state. Jonathan Pelto was one of them. 

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Batter Up
9:36 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Two Developers Want to Build Hartford's Baseball Stadium

Credit Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

The city of Hartford announced Wednesday that it will consider three of the four stadium-related proposals it received last week. 

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Affordable Care Act
3:37 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

State Says Obamacare Has Cut Uninsured Rate By Half

Gov. Dannel Malloy discusses new data on rates of people without health insurance in the state.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

More than half of the state residents who signed up for new insurance under the Affordable Care Act didn't have insurance beforehand. That's according to new data released Wednesday by Access Health CT -- the state's health insurance marketplace. 

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Maternal Infant Outreach
9:13 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Hartford Hospital Cuts Funding to Program for New Mothers

Credit George Ruiz / Flickr

The city of Hartford and two hospitals jointly fund a program to check in on new mothers and their infants in their homes. The goal is to reduce infant mortality rates. But one of those hospitals has told the city it is pulling out. 

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Brewpark?
4:03 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Hartford Gets Four Development Proposals in Stadium Effort

An aerial rendering provided by the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company.
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Four proposals have been submitted to the city of Hartford as it tries to figure out whether to build a new minor league baseball stadium downtown. 

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Development
5:50 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Hartford Stadium Proposals Due Friday

Credit City of Hartford

The discussion over whether to build a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Hartford is about to heat up again. Friday is the deadline for developers to submit their proposals for a stadium and other surrounding buildings. The city is trying to figure out what, if anything, to release to the public.

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Gathering Data
4:02 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

How Polls Are Evolving Online

Credit Cali4beach

A recent online poll showed Republican Tom Foley leading Governor Dannel Malloy by nine percentage points in the race for the state's top office. The nature of the poll itself, though, is stirring discussion. Here's why. 

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