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.

Find this Person On

City of Hartford

There's a lot of work yet to be done before a minor league baseball stadium in the state's capital city becomes a reality. For starters, it has to be approved by the Hartford city council, and that won't likely happen until later this summer.

Mayor Pedro Segarra, however, isn’t waiting around for the city council to act.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's new school superintendent held her first press conference on Monday. She said her top priority is to eliminate the achievement gap within Hartford's schools. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The debate over whether to relocate the minor league Rock Cats from New Britain to Hartford continues, and the Hartford's elected officials are now feeling some heat.

Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has called his plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." He's celebrated the plan as both good for Hartford's pride and for its pocketbook.

The city council doesn't necessarily have the final vote, however -- and not everyone likes it. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

Cliff / Creative Commons

City leaders say building a minor league baseball stadium in Hartford would spur economic development. Some of the numbers are based on ambitious assumptions. 

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

A bunch of numbers jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford. One of them is the jobs projection. 

City of Hartford

There are a lot of numbers that jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford – the 600 permanent, full-time jobs, the more than 9,000 seats, the 25-year deal, the $500,000 annual rent payment to the city. But there’s also the price tag itself. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford has announced a 25-year deal to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city. The move, celebrated in one city, is not so popular in the other. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republican Tom Foley, who self-funded his 2010 campaign for governor, has decided that he'll apply for public financing this time around. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Both the Democratic and Republican endorsed candidates for governor have said they've raised enough money to qualify for public campaign funds, but either of them has actually applied. 

CT-N

In 2012, Connecticut repealed the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was changed. That doesn't mean more people won't end up on death row.  A man convicted of a 2006 triple murder was sentenced to death last week. 

Michelle Malven/iStock / Thinkstock

Edward Yergeau, a patrol sergeant with the Hartford Police Department, has seen how changing attitudes about mental health has actually changed outcomes.

"Ten years ago," Yergeau said, "you either arrested a person, or threw them in the ambulance, and you were done with them. That was it." 

Access Health CT

A new poll by a non-profit working to get people health insurance coverage say that a lack of understanding hindered Obamacare enrollment for at least one demographic groups: Latinos. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Hartford Monday to speak with high school seniors about paying for college.

vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

One part of the Affordable Care Act has become less affordable: call centers. Maximus, the company that runs the phone banks to enroll people in Connecticut, originally said it would charge the state $15 million over roughly three years.

The state now says the cost of that contract could nearly double. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Single adults on Medicaid will soon be able to get therapy someplace other than a clinic. A bill passed by lawmakers last week aims to make the coverage available this year. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new poll shows Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy tied with Republican Tom Foley in the race for governor, and Malloy's approval rating is still below 50 percent.

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? It can be a delicate situation to decipher, and it's been a big concern in Connecticut since the Newtown shootings of 2012.

Lance Newkirchen, a regular patrol officer in the town of Fairfield, is also specifically trained to respond to mental health calls. On a recent weekday, he headed out in his patrol car for a follow-up call.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With the state's legislative session now over, Governor Dannel Malloy met with reporters to discuss which bills were passed, and which weren't. Malloy told reporters that he got most of what he asked for in this short session. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Efforts to change the state's laws regarding access to public information have apparently stalled. That comes as good news to those who advocate for freedom of information. 

Jon S / Creative Commons

Some of the state's municipal leaders have pushed for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on printed public notices. But it seems unlikely that lawmakers will pass a measure before the session ends on Wednesday. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Affordable Care Act is all about getting people health insurance. Once they're insured, there's another hurdle: getting them access to care. That's a particular problem for people living on low incomes.

It's even more of a problem for the poor who seek behavioral health care. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Even Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra doesn't like the idea of selling more than $30 million in parking assets to balance his budget, but he said it's the only option he's got left. 

e-Magine Art / Creative Commons

This is just a test. But imagine that a something really nasty is spreading around the state.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra presented a budget that increases taxes, cancels a class of police officers, and raises new money by selling off some of its parking assets. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next year's municipal budgets across the state are beginning to take shape. In Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra will present his budget to the city council on Monday. It's got a big hole in it. 

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