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.

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When a Done Deal Isn't

Jul 3, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The city of Hartford is changing its plans for how to build, and pay for, a new minor league baseball stadium downtown. The mayor and the city council now plan to ask developers and private investors to weigh in. 

Jupiterimages/Photos.com / Thinkstock

Much has been written about whether the city of Hartford should have its own box in the new proposed baseball stadium its considering building to house the New Britain Rock Cats.

City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's plan to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the heart of downtown is facing more scrutiny from the city council. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It may be baseball season.

It's also political primary season.

When it comes to the ballpark in Hartford, two opposing candidates for state senate have two very different views. 

City of Hartford

The city of Hartford has said it looked at other city locations for a new minor league baseball stadium -- including a location on Market Street, the sometimes-home of Cirque du Soleil.

Now, there are some documents to back that up. 

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.

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