WNPR

Jeff Cohen

News Director

Jeff Cohen, Connecticut Public Radio's News Director, 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 has worked as a reporter, a host, and, since 2017, the station's news director.

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. In his role as news director, Jeff began The Island Next Door -- Puerto Rico and Conneticut After Hurricane Maria -- an ongoing, award-winning reporting project involving the entire Connecticut Public Radio newsroom. 

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 written two 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!, came out in June 2015.  He likes to make bread and wine.

Ways to Connect

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Connecticut's nonprofit service providers are trying to figure out how to improve their working relationship with the state in order to save money and enhance services.  Advocates for the state's non-profits gathered today/yesterday at the state capitol to talk about a recently released report that looks to answer this question: "How can we as a government smooth the path so that the non-profits can actually provide the services without having to worry so much about the bureaucracy and the red tape." That's Deb Heinrich.

GiantsFanatic / Creative Commons

Connecticut towns and cities are mandated by law to publish public notices in local newspapers.  But that could soon change.

In Hartford, a state court judge has allowed a civil case over whether former Mayor Eddie Perez can collect his city pension…to continue. Attorney General George Jepsen said he's pleased with the decision. He says a judge could eventually consider whether Perez is entitled to a portion of his pension. "At some point, if the issue goes to trial, the issue of how much of Mayor Perez's pension should be revoked will be something the judge will consider." Perez was found guilty last year on corruption charges.

Courtesy Rick Hartford/Hartford Courant

Chion Wolf/WNPR

In Hartford, convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez is gone from city hall.  But he’s not gone from city politics.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, former Perez allies are questioning the judgment of current Mayor Pedro Segarra. Segarra says it’s kind of strange to be criticized by allies of the man who's going to prison. “To blame me for transactions that were done by the previous administration by members of the previous administration are a little bit incoherent.” Perez was found guilty of taking a bribe from a city contractor last year.

STEPHEN DUNN / HARTFORD COURANT

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra gave his state of the city speech Monday night.

Photo by Mira Hartford via Flicker Creative Commons

Looks like if you have overdue -- the wrong kind of "outstanding" --  parking tickets in Hartford, this could be your chance. From the press release it sounds like you’ll be able to pay the ticket but not the related fees. Release is below.

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HARTFORD ANNOUNCES PARKING TICKETAMNESTY PROGRAM
—NEWS ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25—
4:00 p.m. — Mayor Segarra and the Hartford Parking Authority will announce a Parking Ticket Amnesty Program for the month of March.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's decision earlier this week to intervene in the board of education's search for a superintendent continues to reverberate.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

Chion Wolf Photo

One day after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra upended the search for a school superintendent at the last minute possible, the chairman of the city's board of education sat down with WNPR and expressed his displeasure.

David MacDonald became chairman of the Hartford board of education just last week.  He said he was disappointed in Segarra's call on Tuesday for a national search.  MacDonald says that Segarra's concerns about the transparency of the search for a new superintendent showed great disrespect.

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