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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Emergency Care
8:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Connecticut's Emergency Rooms Earn a C Grade in New Study

Credit Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

A new study of emergency medicine ranks Connecticut 15th overall. One of the biggest concerns is wait time.

The study, by the American College of Emergency Physicians, gives Connecticut an average grade of C, saying the state has a low rate of fatal injury and its residents have generally good health. 

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Newtown
2:47 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Discussions With Adam Lanza's Father Continue

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.
Credit CT-N

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met Friday to discuss mental health and autism. As it did, it got an update from its chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, on his discussions with the father of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza. 

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New Watchdog
3:35 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Rapoport to Run Common Cause

Miles Rapoport
Credit Demos.org

Miles Rapoport, former state politician, has been named the new leader of national political watchdog group.

Rapoport will run Common Cause as of March. Common Cause describes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit organization with more than 400,000 across the country. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is Obamacare Working?

Access Health CT's New Britain storefront.
Arielle Levin Becker The Connecticut Mirror

The Affordable Care Act is the signature piece of the president's domestic agenda and it's now, finally, operational. The question is: Is it working? On Where We Live we talk Obamacare and ask whether it is doing what it promised - helping the nation's poor and uninsured. 

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Public Housing
5:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Hartford Housing Authority Scraps Plans For Major Development

Dwayne Patterson stands outside his apartment building at Bowles Park in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last summer, we told you the story of plans to knock down two of the biggest and oldest public housing complexes remaining in the city of Hartford. Officials at the Hartford Housing Authority hoped that developers would think big when it came to what's next.

But it turns out they didn't think big enough. 

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Wake of Newtown
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Speaking With Representative of Lanza's Family

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The head of the governor's commission studying the Newtown shootings said he is direct contact with the family of gunman Adam Lanza. 

The commission that met Friday is hoping to learn more about Lanza's medical history.

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Unpaid Wages
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

In Hartford Scandal, State Officials Seek to Arrest O'Garro

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / http://under30ceo.com

It's not getting any better for troubled insurance broker Earl O'Garro. The man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford may soon be arrested for not paying his employees. 

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Crime Trends
5:09 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Police Say Hartford Crime Went Down in 2013

Hartford gun crimes over time.
Credit HPD

The 2013 crime statistics from the city of Hartford are in. And police say most major crime numbers are down.

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These Old Houses
3:29 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Trying to Tackle Blight in Hartford

Mayor Pedro Segarra stands with city staff in front of a recently revamped home.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

In old cities with old housing, blight is a constant concern. Now, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is boosting a program to give residents money to fix up their homes. 

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Former Hartford Mayor
4:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Prosecutors Ask State Supreme Court to Take Perez Case

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
Credit WNPR File Photo

Prosecutors want the state supreme court to weigh in on the matter of former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez. 

Late last year, the state's appellate court ruled that Perez's trial judge made procedural errors in the original proceedings. It then ordered two new trials.

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Research
3:54 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Study: Tighter Gun Laws May Drive Gun Homicides Up

Credit Digital Vision / Thinkstock

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, there's been a lot of debate about whether tighter gun laws save lives. A new Quinnipiac University study says two such laws don't, and one may even cause gun deaths to rise.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
3:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

In 2011, Tension Between O'Garro and Former Employer

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

There are new questions about the business background of Earl O'Garro -- the insurance broker at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. 

In emails obtained from the city of Hartford, it's clear that O'Garro's former employer considered suing him once he left.

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:15 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newtown State Police Investigation Actually Concluded In September

Credit State of Connecticut

The state police have released the results of their investigation into last year's Newtown shootings. But some remain critical of how long it took them to do so.

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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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