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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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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immunization awareness
2:01 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Doctor Advises Not to Avoid Vaccines

Credit United States Army Corps Of Engineers

Doctor Ulysses Wu, the chief of infectious diseases at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, said there are lot of things out there that can kill us. "Diptheria," he said, "tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilous influenzae, pneumococus, meningicocus..." 

Wu said immunizations against those diseases are one of the greatest advances in medical science known to mankind. 

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Health Equity
3:49 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Obamacare, Doctor Pay, and the Access to Care

Dr. Doug Gerard in his New Hartford office.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Affordable Care Act is about insuring the uninsured. Insurance is one thing, but actual access to a doctor or a provider is another.

One variable plays an important role in determining the quality of care that patients will get: how much doctors are paid. 

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State Senate
10:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

For Some Political Incumbents, the Races Are Real

Democrats Shawn Wooden, Sen. Eric Coleman, and Len Walker at a candidate forum in Hartford Thursday night.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Good government advocates sometimes lament how easy it is for incumbent politicians return to office, often uncontested. That's not always the case, though. One long-time, Democratic state senator is facing two challengers from within his party. 

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Show me the money
2:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

For Development Around Stadium, Hartford Wants Federal Funding

Here's what Hartford city hall says the neighborhood could look like.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford officials recently held a pre-bid conference for developers and others interested in building a new minor league stadium and its surrounding neighborhood. While the city fielded questions about available land and other infrastructure improvements it has in mind, one big question sticks out: "Have you identified promising sources of federal or state funds?"

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Affordable Care Act
4:44 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Federal Courts Weigh in on Obamacare Subsidies

Credit jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

Should the federal government help Americans pay for their new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act? That's a question being tackled in courts across the country. Two of them have issued very different rulings. 

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Taking Aim At Segarra
7:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Protesters Rally, Speak Against Hartford Baseball Stadium Proposal

Protesters at Hartford City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

About 50 people opposed to plans for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford held a march and protest Monday. 

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Playing Ball
3:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

For Stadium, Hartford to Buy Back Land It Once Owned

A rendering of the proposed baseball stadium.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra needs to buy two acres of vacant land to help make his plan for a minor league baseball stadium a reality. That land, however, has a complicated history. 

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National History
12:24 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Celebrating Sam Colt Is a Delicate Affair

Jack Hale, senior warden at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Guns have a long history in Connecticut. They've also been the focus of a great deal of recent debate. Both that history and the debate are now at the heart of delicate discussion: how do you plan a birthday party for Sam Colt, the man who made the gun that won the West? 

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What's Done is Done?
9:44 am
Thu July 3, 2014

When a Done Deal Isn't

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Done deal": two words used together that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra probably wishes he hadn't used. Now he's in a position to explain just what he meant when he said the deal to build a minor league stadium in Hartford for the New Britain Rock Cats was, in fact, done.

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One, Two, Three
9:55 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Residents Came to Speak, and Sing, About Baseball

People packed a room at the Hartford Public Library to hear from, and to speak to, Mayor Pedro Segarra about his baseball stadium plan.
Jeff Cohen WNPR News

Mayor Pedro Segarra and the city have spoken a lot about their plans to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford. Hundreds of people gathered at the Hartford Public Library to discuss Segarra's plan.

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Deadline Approaches
3:10 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Want to Build a Stadium and a Neighborhood? You'd Better Hurry

View of the proposed baseball stadium and surrounding development.
City of Hartford

Developers who want to build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in the capital city aren't going to have a relaxing July.

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Paying for baseball
1:28 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Hartford Baseball Consultants, Lawyers Were Paid $240,000

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra hired three consultants and one lawyer for a total of about $270,000 as he held closed-door negotiations to bring a minor league baseball team to Hartford. UPDATE: The city has corrected its numbers.  It now says the total was just under $240,000.

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How Affordable Is The ACA?
7:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Obamacare Agency Changes Course, Releases Public Information

Some of the responses to our Freedom of Information request.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

One dollar and 22 cents. That's how much Access Health CT, the state's health insurance marketplace, pays its call center operator for each minute it spends on the phone helping someone navigate the Affordable Care Act.

It's also a number that Maximus, the call center operator, has tried to keep from public disclosure for months.

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