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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Downtown Hartford
4:17 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Plan to Move Downtown Hartford Street Faces Opposition

Gold and Main Streets as seen from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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The End of Life
4:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Public Testifies on "Aid in Dying" Bill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative hearing was held Monday on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  The session brought emotional testimony from those both in favor and opposed. 

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Overdoses Rising
4:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Laced Heroin Seized in Hartford

A bag of heroin seized by Hartford police.
Credit Hartford Police Department

Hartford police said heroin-related overdoses are on the rise in the capital city, and they're trying to disrupt the drug's supply. Earlier this week, police arrested five people, and seized 2,000 bags of heroin. 

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Legislative Session
4:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

Governor Malloy speaks about the bill at the Trinity College Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young. 

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Wake of Newtown
5:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Restrict Public Information After Sandy Hook

State Sen. Eric Coleman chairing the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Credit CT-N

Two legislative committees met at the same time on Monday to discuss two very similar bills that would limit access to public documents. The bills are part of the state's response to the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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Legislative Session
6:20 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Poll Shows Support for Bill to Aid Suicide for Terminally Ill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A new poll shows Connecticut voters strongly support legislation allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

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Minimum Wage
5:47 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama Says Minimum Wage Hike Is Common Sense

President Barack Obama visited CCSU in New Britain to talk about raising the minimum wage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

President Obama traveled to Connecticut on Wednesday to call for a raise in the federal minimum wage by nearly three dollars an hour. 

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Wants To Raise The Wage
11:55 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Comes to Connecticut to Sell Minimum Wage

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama will visit Connecticut Wednesday to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The president wants the raise the base pay rate by nearly three dollars an hour.

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Access Health CT
7:31 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Connecticut Looks To Sell Its Obamacare Exchange To Other States

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, hopes to be able to market their expertise.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 11:14 am

Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT, is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens.

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Hartford's Former Mayor
9:58 am
Thu February 27, 2014

State Supreme Court Takes the Case of Eddie Perez

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, according to the court's clerk.

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Affordable Care Act
11:34 am
Mon February 24, 2014

State's Obamacare Website Now Up In Spanish

Credit Access Health CT

We recently told you about the challenge of getting a Spanish language enrollment website up and running for the state’s Obamacare agency, Access Health CT. Now, it appears that site is live

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Gun Control
8:48 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Gun Law Poses New Questions About Those Who Break It

Joel Cramer.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It appears thousands of Connecticut residents may have failed to comply with the state's new gun registration law. The state banned the sale of certain so-called assault weapons after the Newtown shootings, and created a registry for residents who already own them.

Failure to register is a felony, but officials have no way to identify the new group of criminals, and no plans to round them up.

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Gun Control
4:21 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Law Stubs Toe On A Tough Unknown: Who Owns The Guns?

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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State Capitol
2:34 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

State Republicans Release Federal Subpoenas

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

News broke Thursday that federal agents are investigating state Republicans at the Capitol. Today, Republicans formally released three federal subpoenas that they received. Here they are.

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The Five Percent
3:18 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

To Change a City Charter, How Many Votes Is Enough?

Credit Chion Wolf, WNPR

How many people should have to vote to change a city's charter? 

That's a question being posed now at the state legislature. Last year, Hartford had some pretty significant reforms to its charter on the city's ballot. 

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Hard To Access
11:57 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Still No Obamacare Website for State's Spanish Speakers

From left, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, Kevin Counihan, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Spanish-language website that will enroll state residents in Obamacare is still facing delays. In fact, officials say it could be another two weeks until it is operational. 

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District Transition
5:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Kishimoto, Hartford's Reform Superintendent, Gets Another Job

Christina Kishimoto
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last year, Hartford's board of education decided against renewing the contract of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto beyond this coming June. Now, Kishimoto, a reformer who took the job after Steven Adamowski, is leaving.

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Hartford's Former Mayor
5:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

With Perez Convictions Overturned, What Happens to His Pension?

Eddie Perez in 2010.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

A state law says public officials can lose their pensions if they commit a crime related to their public office. But what happens if a conviction is overturned? That’s the question in the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

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Enrollments Continue
11:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Malloy Says State Exceeding Its Goals for Obamacare

Governor Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan, and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro at an event Monday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to insure more people at a lower cost. Affordability is still a moving target. At least in Connecticut, the enrollment numbers are looking good. State officials announced that they have beaten their goal of enrolling 100,000 people in the Affordable Care Act by March 31 by more than 20 percent.

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Wants Two New Trials
5:57 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Former Hartford Mayor Perez Files Papers With State Supreme Court

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

Attorneys for former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez have filed papers in the state's supreme court arguing that it should not get involved in his case.

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State of the State
4:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy, Legislators Get to Work

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

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Getting Covered
11:27 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Report: Newly Insured May Choose to Work Less Under Obamacare

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

Congressional budget experts say President Obama's new health care law will likely reduce the number of people who choose to stay in the workforce. 

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Public Notice
2:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Should Full Public Notices Be Allowed Online Only?

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released its list of legislative priorities for the year. One of them would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online, and not in newspapers. The move could save public money, but it is opposed by the state's newspapers.

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Housing
1:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Cuts Funding for Agencies That Provide Housing Support for the Severely Mentally Ill

Housing in Stamford.
Credit Carmine Salvatore/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has made a funding cut to housing that supports those with severe mental illness. Agencies that serve these clients said they'll have to look for creative ways to make up the difference.

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Need for housing
3:55 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Talks About Mental Health Priorities

Gov. Dannel Malloy talks about his mental health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to commit more than $7 million to mental health services annually.  The announcement comes as Malloy continues to roll out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
10:48 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Cloud Campaign Consultant Got Hybrid Insurance Job

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

A federal grand jury is looking into the business dealings of Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro. And from the beginning, what raised eyebrows was the relationship between O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud -- O'Garro did business with Cloud's family.

Now, there's another development. A woman who was a paid campaign consultant for Cloud's 2011 campaign also got a job with Hybrid.

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