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

Veronica Montalvo/Facebook

Veronica Montalvo was born in Willimantic and has lived in Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury -- and, now, San Juan. She moved there earlier this year. And she weathered Hurricane Maria in her 300-year-old apartment building. She says the hours of howling winds were unbearable. The walls of her apartment were so wet they looked like they were crying. Part of her ceiling caved in.

And now, the aftermath.

Veronica Montalvo/Facebook

Verónica Montalvo nació en Willimantic y ha vivo en Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury, y, ahora vive en San Juan. Se mudó para allá a principios del año. Y aguantó al Huracán María en su departamento de un edificio de 300 años. Dijo que las horas de vientos huracanados fueron insoportables. Las paredes de su departamento estaban tan mojadas que parecía que lloraban. Parte de su techo cedió.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The first year of Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is complete, but the legal fights concerning the land surrounding it are far from over. On Monday, the city announced that it formally terminated Centerplan from further work. 

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Dr. Robert Fuller visited five primary clinics in Puerto Rico Wednesday -- gong clockwise around the island from San Juan to Arroyo and then north to Caguas.  

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Robert Fuller was loading his car with supplies in San Juan, getting ready to leave the battered capital for a trip inland to survey damage to local health facilities, when we caught up with him by phone.

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Robert Fuller estaba cargando su auto con suministros en San Juan, alistándose para salir de la golpeada capital en un viaje al interior para investigar los daños a las instalaciones sanitarias, cuando conversamos con él por teléfono.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Puerto Ricans emerge from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, family members back in the continental U.S. are desperately trying to get in touch. In Connecticut, political leaders are focused on both how to rebuild, and how to find their loved ones.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As the state continues to operate without a budget, the impact on the city of Hartford only get more dire.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Not long after the state Supreme Court tossed his original felony convictions and ordered two new trials in 2016, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez started getting a city pension worth $2,328.76 a month

Adavyd / Creative Commons

The Connecticut legislature approved a Republican-backed budget early Saturday, sending it to the desk of a governor who promises to veto it and prolonging the state's fiscal uncertainty.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is telling state elected officials that, absent a state budget, the city will run out of money in 60 days and will likely file for bankruptcy. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he accepted a bribe from one contractor and tried to extort another, ending a decade-long saga that forced him from office in 2010, changed this city’s political landscape, and forever linked his “local boy does good” story with the word corruption. 

Gwen Everett / WNPR

A mother of four who has lived in the U.S. for 24 years is refusing to abide by a deportation order to her native Guatemala and has taken sanctuary in a Connecticut church. 

JJ flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/ / Creative Commons

Bridgeport police have settled a lawsuit brought by a man who was stopped, searched, and ticketed as he drove his boys home from little league and pizza two years ago.  

Progressive Animal Welfare Society / Creative Commons

Bats eat an enormous amount of bugs. It’s the kind of feeding that keeps pests down and agriculture stable.

But a newly updated report from the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality says the cave-dwelling bat population is down, and that’s a reason for concern.

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