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.

Ways to Connect

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After missing his entire first season at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon desperately wants the city to get the stadium finished for baseball in 2017.

But just in case, Solomon has apparently let Hartford officials know that he has options -- and one of them is to take his team elsewhere.

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats say they won’t play a single regular season game in the city for which the team is named, making official what has been all but certain for weeks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Six years after he was convicted on charges that he took a bribe in one scheme and tried to extort a city developer in another, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has gotten a reprieve from the state’s highest court.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The legal battle between the city of Hartford and the developers of its stalled and shuttered minor league ballpark has now begun in earnest.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford's stalled baseball stadium said they'll need more than twice as much money as the city has left to finish the park for the minor league Yard Goats. 

CENTERPLAN COMPANIES

A day after Hartford's stadium developer said he was about to put a settlement proposal on the table for the entire $350 million downtown project, the head of the city's stadium authority said he wouldn't trust it if he got it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford’s stalled minor league baseball stadium want to hold off on the grocery store they agreed to. But Mayor Luke Bronin now says they may have bigger problems -- and he doubts the people at Centerplan Construction have the ability to finish the rest of the ambitious downtown development project. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Leaders of most of Hartford's municipal unions say they want to work together to negotiate their health benefits. This comes as the city is trying to get more than $15 million in concessions from its workers. 

Hartford Police Department

Hartford police arrested two men last week after a wild car chase that began in the city, ended in West Hartford, and left at least one officer injured. But the case has taken a turn, and state prosecutors said they are investigating whether police used excessive force at the time of the arrest -- "kicking or stomping one of the arrestees after that person was handcuffed," according to the Hartford Police Department.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The kicked-out developer of Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium said it has just stepped away from a different project in the capital city. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is terminating the city’s relationship with the developer of its still-unfinished minor league baseball stadium, a move that he said Monday leaves a “slim” chance that the Hartford Yard Goats will play at all in their home stadium this year. 

All eyes in Hartford are on the new minor league baseball stadium, but that’s not the only thing that’s a cause for concern in the $350 million downtown development project. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Tensions between the city of Hartford and the developer building a new publicly-funded minor league baseball stadium have never been higher. The city said it has lost confidence and is putting the developer's insurer on notice, and the developer says the city shares the blame. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of the city's new minor league baseball park will not meet Tuesday's deadline to deliver a substantially complete stadium, and the planned opening day of May 31 for the Hartford Yard Goats likely won't happen, according to the chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Tuesday is the day that Hartford’s new minor league Dunkin' Donuts Park is technically supposed to be done. On Monday, I took a tour. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

When it comes to understanding heroin and opioid deaths, data matters. But across the country, medical examiners and coroners vary widely in just how much information they provide on death certificates.

Steve Lyon / Creative Commons

A new study of recent police data finds significant racial disparities in traffic stops in some Connecticut police departments. In this third in a series of stories, WNPR has this report on the analysis that was released this week. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this second story in a series, we visited a police department that has taken a hard look at its numbers and made some changes.

Chris Yarzab / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this first story of a series, we speak with a man who is suing the Bridgeport police for an allegedly unlawful search. 

Centerplan Companies

The developers of the new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Hartford said they’ll be mostly finished with construction in two weeks, but the city's representative said that's unlikely. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Beth Ostrowski spends most of her day in her car.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Creative Commons

The city of Hartford and Trinity College have resolved a legal dispute over whether the school should be allowed to use artificial turf for new athletic fields. The move avoids a fight between a new administration and one of the city's biggest stakeholders.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR (file photo)

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants to close next year’s budget deficit by laying off 40 city employees, demanding millions in union concessions, draining every last dollar from the city’s rainy day fund, and not raising the tax rate. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

In 2013, a public affairs firm made a strong accusation in court, claiming that a state-related agency rigged a public bid when it chose to do business with the firm of Tom Ritter -- a former Democratic House Speaker in the Connecticut legislature. Now, a state court judge has again weighed in, saying the antitrust claim doesn’t have merit. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A one-time insurance executive who defrauded the city of Hartford, the state and others of over $2 million was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison Wednesday. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin took office in January, and his honeymoon is officially over. The mayor is trying to figure out a way to balance the city’s budget. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Thursday was supposed to be the home opener for Hartford’s new minor league baseball team, the Yard Goats. 

epSos .de / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s national distracted driving awareness month again, which means police will be out on the state’s roads and highways checking to see if you’re using your phone while you're driving. But it’s a targeted effort and not all police departments participate. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford HealthCare has opened a new addiction treatment center in Cheshire as part of an effort to battle opioid addiction in as many communities as possible. 

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