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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Insurance
5:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

State Officials Pleased With Affordable Care Act Enrollment Numbers

Jim Wadleigh, executive director of Access Health CT.
Credit Twitter

This is the second year of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. The state said it has nearly exceeded its goals. 

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Bushmaster
5:31 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Newtown Lawsuit Aims to Hold Gun Makers, Sellers Responsible

A Bushmaster rifle was found in a Sandy Hook elementary school classroom after Adam Lanza's attack.
Credit State of Connecticut

An injured teacher and the families of nine others who were killed in Newtown in 2012 are planning to file suit against the gun industry. 

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Mental Health
3:08 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

When Focusing on Academics, Not Emotional Health, Isn't Enough

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's child advocate, in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators, and himself.

But experts are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza. 

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Substance Abuse
9:29 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Yale Study Considers Treating Addiction as Chronic Disease

Credit Mark Wragg/iStock / Thinkstock

According to a new Yale study, addiction is a chronic disease that is treated like an acute illness. But what if we treated it differently, with longer-term goals? 

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Hartford History
9:10 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Senate Vote Nears on Making Hartford's Coltsville a National Park

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra in October 2013 announced a plan to borrow $5 million and build more apartments at the former Colt factory.
Credit David Panagore

The effort to turn Hartford's historic Colt gun factory into a national park is continuing. 

A century and a half ago, the Colt complex was where Sam and Elizabeth Colt made the revolver. Now, it's a fundamental part of the country's industrial history, and supporters want to turn it and some of the surrounding neighborhood into a national park.

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Election 2015
3:37 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Hartford Mayoral Possibilities Start to Emerge

Hartford City Hall.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Hartford's mayoral election is a year away, and while Mayor Pedro Segarra hasn't yet said whether he'll run, others are considering a run.

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Fair Compensation
8:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

In Hartford Eminent Domain Case, Property Owner Wants More Money

One of several properties being taken from a private landowner by the city of Hartford.
City of Hartford

The real estate investor who owns land the city wants to take for its $350 million baseball stadium development project said the city's $1.9 million offer is "wholly inadequate."

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Details
3:22 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

For Hartford Stadium Development, Another Do-Over

A rendering of a planned stadium in downtown Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

If you like process, you'll love this story.

Earlier this week, we reported that the city of Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission had to do a do-over and re-vote on part of the $350 million plan to build a baseball stadium and related development Why? Because it didn't follow state law and give proper notice on an important stadium zoning vote in late October. So, it's voting again.

Now, a second city board, the Hartford Redevelopment Agency, has to re-vote, too. 

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Politics
3:47 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

After Lawsuit Regarding Baseball Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Credit Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

It's time for a do-over.

The city of Hartford will hold a second meeting on zoning changes related to its $350 million baseball stadium development, because its first meeting did not meet state public notice requirements. 

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Baseball in Hartford
2:03 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Hartford Stadium Critic Files Suit, Alleges Procedural Error

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium in Hartford.
City of Hartford

The New Britain Rock Cats want to play baseball in Hartford in April 2016, so when it comes to building their new stadium, every day matters. Now a new lawsuit says the city, in its haste, didn’t follow the law

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Holiday Safety
11:30 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Connecticut Organization Reminds Holiday Drivers Not to Drink

Jenson Lee Creative Commons

The holidays can be happy, but they can also be a dangerous. Safe driving advocates are renewing their campaigns to separate drinking from driving. 

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Open Enrollment
4:17 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

State: Demand High for Obamacare Insurance

The Access Health CT enrollment center storefront in New Britain.
The Connecticut Mirror

The second round of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act is underway. State officials say they've enrolled nearly 12,000 people in health insurance in the sign-up period's first week. 

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Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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Drugs
9:28 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Forum in Middletown Examines Substance Abuse and the Effect on the Young Brain

Rebecca A. and Matt Eacott both shared their stories of addiction and recovery.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Young human brains are delicate, developing things. A panel last week in Middletown focused on how the brain can be affected by drugs, alcohol, and technology. 

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Talky Tina
2:55 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Need Help With Obamacare in Connecticut? Meet Tina

An avatar named Tina greets users visiting accesshealthct.com.
accesshealthct.com

Have a question about the Affordable Care Act? Meet Tina.

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Curveball
10:33 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hartford Files to Take Land By Eminent Domain for Baseball Stadium Project

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium near downtown Hartford.
City of Hartford

The City of Hartford said it's unable to reach an agreement to buy three acres of land it needs as part of its baseball stadium development project. So, instead of buying it, it's just going to take it

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Obamacare
10:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Begins This Week

A barber in a television ad for Access Health CT.
Credit Access Health CT

Open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act begins this Saturday. By the state's calculations, the first year of Obamacare cut the number of uninsured in Connecticut in half. Of those who remain, remove the roughly 70,000 people who won't ever enroll in health insurance, and that leaves about another 70,000 to go. 

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Voting Problems
4:02 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Hartford Voter Registrars Under Fire

The Hartford Registrars of Voters office in City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Following a disastrous day in which voters across the city of Hartford were turned away from the early morning polls, there's a lot of talk about how to avoid this kind of mess in the future. 

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Election 2014
3:02 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Dannel Malloy Says He'll Likely Win Connecticut Governor's Seat

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a "likely" victory at his campaign headquarters in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy hasn’t officially won re-election, but he told supporters in Hartford early on Wednesday morning that, when all of the votes are counted, he’ll be on top. 

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Election 2014
4:45 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

State Democrats Use "Social Pressure" to Get Out the Vote

A political mailer from state Democrats.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Kiernan Majerus-Collins is a Democrat from West Hartford. He's gotten two mailers from state Democrats and one from an outside organization, and they want him to know that they're watching his voting habits. 

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First Lady
11:46 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Supporters Turn Out to Greet Michelle Obama Stumping for Gov. Malloy in New Haven

Rachel Vereen-Bellamy waits for Michelle Obama.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A recent poll shows Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, doing better among women than men. And he’s doing just fine with Rachel Vereen-Bellamy, who came to the gym at the Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven to see him. If we’re being honest, she really came to see Michelle Obama. 

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Gene Wilder
8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

"Blazing Saddles," and Gene Wilder, 40 Years Later in Stamford

Superfan Ria Scalish, at left, with her husband.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

It's been 40 years since the release of the Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles. I recently went to an anniversary screening and in the audience was one of the movie's stars: Gene Wilder.

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Election 2014
7:29 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Tom Foley Fears Push Towards State Health Insurance; Nancy Wyman Says He's Wrong

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has made implementing the Affordable Care Act a priority, something not all governors across the nation have done. With the election just a few days away, we spoke with Republican Tom Foley to get his view on the nation's new health care law. 

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Transportation
8:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

An Answer to "Are We There Yet?" on Connecticut Highways

Some state highway signs now give travel time to motorists.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

If you're driving on one of the state's major highways and you see one of those electronic message boards overhead, it may now offer you something new: real-time information about how long a trip will take. 

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Journalism
5:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Yale Holds Talk on Investigative Reporting in Time of Surveillance

Steve Coll speaks at Yale Law School.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The case of Edward Snowden sparked worldwide discussions about the reach of government into the personal, and technological, lives of its citizens. One of those discussions continued at Yale Law School on Tuesday. 

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Election 2014
12:35 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Gov. Malloy: "You Don't Have to Love Me"

Gov. Dannel Malloy said on Where We Live, "I'm a porcupine."
Heather Brandon digital illustration/Chion Wolf photo WNPR

Voters don't show a whole lot of love for either Republican Tom Foley or Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. A recent poll showed them both with what's called "low favorables." Another study says the campaign is pretty negative.

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Development
12:45 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Hartford City Council Approves Baseball Stadium Deal

The Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A majority of the Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a baseball stadium and related development to downtown Hartford.

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Baseball Development
10:30 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

In Voting to Redevelop a Part of Hartford, Is Three a Majority of Six?

Downtown North in Hartford, an area where city officials are planning to develop a baseball stadium with housing and amenities.
City of Hartford

Who's ready for a quiz?

As the Hartford City Council geared up to vote on the plan to build a baseball stadium and other development, the city's redevelopment agency was meeting across the hall. A few weeks back, this same agency -- under pressure from Mayor Pedro Segarra -- voted to give the city land it needs to build its $350 million project.

There are six members on the board and one vacancy. Only five votes were made. Of them, three voted in favor. So here's the question: What's a majority of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency? Depending on the answer, the agency may have to vote again.

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Election 2014
10:09 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Bill Clinton Returns to Connecticut to Stump for Malloy

Former President Bill Clinton Speaks to Malloy Rally in Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With recent polling showing Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy in a close race with Republican challenger Tom Foley, each candidate is bringing in high-powered political talent to try and rally the vote. On Monday night, it was former president Bill Clinton's turn.

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Hartford
5:46 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Unions Will Build Hartford Baseball Stadium, and Could Increase Its Cost

Mayor Pedro Segarra (r) and Rock Cats owner Josh Solomon (center) at a recent public hearing.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford's city council will likely approve a deal to build a new minor league baseball stadium on Tuesday, and there’s one new change to the deal: union laborers will do the work. The developer has said that tweak could easily add ten percent to the stadium's cost. 

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