Jeff Cohen


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.

Ways To Connect

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The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Negotiations are continuing to close the deal that would bring a $350 million development -- and a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats -- to Hartford. One sticking point is whether union labor will build the project. 

Dr. Jack Ross is used to seeing potentially lethal viruses, and he is used to putting patients into isolation. Still, Ebola is different.

"I think, for any hospital today, Ebola represents one step higher than anything else, if we had to do it," says Ross, who directs infection control for Hartford Healthcare's five hospitals in Connecticut.

On a tour of Hartford Hospital, Ross explains how his Ebola control plan would affect various parts of the facility — from the emergency room, to the intensive care unit, to the floors of rooms where patients stay.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Whether or not Hartford's city council decides to move ahead with a $350 million development project just north of its downtown is about a lot of things.  It's about entertainment and amenities and opportunity and jobs. It's also about the future, and everybody sees the future differently.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

People who have something to say about the baseball stadium proposal in Hartford have another chance to say it. There's another public hearing Monday night. WNPR recently toured the site with developers from Centerplan to talk about their $350 million vision for Hartford.

Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

There's a new statewide hotline for Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence.


The next election for Hartford's mayor is over a year away, but competition for Mayor Pedro Segarra is already beginning to emerge -- and a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy is considering a run. 

Urban Design Associates

A consultant for Hartford's city council says the baseball stadium development "has the potential to create a new neighborhood" with "considerable" benefits for the city.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A day after Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission voted against the plan to bring a stadium to Hartford, a different agency has voted to support it. But not before Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra apologized for the way the process has unfolded.

iStock / Thinkstock

It's a trifecta this week for those who like public meetings about the proposed ballpark in Hartford (don't all click at once).

On Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission met and gave a non-binding smackdown to the stadium that anchors the $350 million project. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Just as the effort to build a baseball stadium in downtown Hartford appeared to be gaining support, the project was delivered a blow Tuesday night. The city's own Planning and Zoning Commission voted against it. 

Hartford Redevelopment Agency

The effort to build a minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford continues. On Tuesday night, a city commission considers whether a stadium is consistent with the city's long-term planning. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

The state is rolling out a new campaign to get people talking about a topic they typically avoid: suicide. 

In 2013, there were more than suicides in Connecticut. According to the state, it's a number that has stayed relatively constant over time, and it's also a number that's lower than the national average. On the one hand, that's good news. On the other, fewer suicides would be even better.

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After months of debating whether the city should build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding projects, the question still remains: Can one of the state's poorest cities afford this? 

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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?

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

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

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

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. 

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, and he comes from Connecticut.