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

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Retired major league baseball player and Hartford resident Doug Glanville has been appointed to the state panel that sets standards for police officers. This comes two years after Glanville joined the national conversation on race and policing with an article he wrote, "I Was Racially Profiled In My Own Driveway." 

The Hartford police officer who allegedly kicked a handcuffed suspect in the head said he did so in order to get the suspect to lay flat on the ground. The officer said he lacked the latex gloves he needed to force the suspect down with his hands, so he used his foot, instead, according to a newly-released police report

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is continuing his effort to highlight the capital city's structural financial problems. And he's giving state lawmakers a few suggestions on how to fix them. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.

Philips Communications / Creative Commons

The legislature wants to save money on healthcare, and one issue has been whether it makes sense to penalize doctors who don’t keep costs down. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Last week, Hartford police released a video of one of its officers kicking a handcuffed man in the head. On Monday night, about 40 people marched from city hall to the home of the mayor to protest the police use of excessive force. 

Hartford police arrested Ricardo Perez and Emilio Diaz after a wild car chase that began in Hartford and ended in West Hartford back in June. But it’s what happened after the car chase that has led to a state investigation of the possible use of excessive force. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

David Dunn runs hiring for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he was born and raised, and for years, there's been a consistent complaint.

"Certainly for the last decade there has been a good deal of criticism from the community [and] a number of community-based organizations that our police department was not reflective of the community as a whole," Dunn said.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

State public health officials have released a list of 14 farms in Connecticut that got tainted beef from a Massachusetts slaughterhouse that is the source of an E. coli outbreak. 

Connecticut Mission of Mercy

The ninth annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is this Friday and Saturday in Hartford, and this year it could serve a couple of thousand people at the XL Center. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said his budget numbers are ugly. The more than $15 million in savings he was hoping for from union negotiations probably aren’t going to happen. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company. 

Drug Enforcement Agency

The rate of accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut grew again in the first six months of 2016, and the lab drug fentanyl is playing a big role in that. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The insurance company behind the ousted developers of Hartford's stalled minor league baseball stadium has agreed to take over and pay for the completion of Dunkin' Donuts Park in time for games in 2017, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday.

Hartford Fire Department

A state court judge has ruled that the city of Hartford owes more than $6 million to tenants who were eligible for -- but did not get -- housing relocation assistance after the city ordered them to leave their homes. Praising the decision, attorneys for the tenants said the administration of former Mayor Pedro Segarra all but ignored state law.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Editor's note: Gene Wilder died Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2014, WNPR's Jeff Cohen reported on a screening of "Blazing Saddles" with Wilder in attendance, followed by a Q&A with the actor. This was first published on October 30, 2014.

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.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is now offering free admission to all city residents. The program is called the Wadsworth Welcome. 

City of Hartford

Hartford’s total investment in its minor league ballpark and related developments is over $102 million, according to a new report by city auditors

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As lawyers for the city of Hartford negotiate restarting construction at Dunkin' Donuts Park, minor league baseball is losing patience. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A day after the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats publicly offered to loan the city the money it needs to complete its stalled baseball stadium, Mayor Luke Bronin has declined to take him up on it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Under intense pressure from Minor League Baseball, the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats said he has offered to loan the city the money it needs to finish Dunkin' Donuts Park in order to make sure ball is played in 2017. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants to reappoint Police Chief James Rovella. The city's police union is apparently not enthusiastic.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Architectural design work at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park will start again as early as Wednesday, a move Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said was an “important step” towards restarting construction at the shuttered, unfinished minor league baseball stadium. 

Wokandapix / Creative Commons

A driver chased by Hartford police got into a three-car accident in Bloomfield Sunday night and later died, Bloomfield police said Monday. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

State marshals are getting parking tickets in the city of Hartford, and they don’t like it. That’s because they say state law exempts them from tickets while they’re performing their duties. And now that fight has made its way to state court.