Jeff Cohen | Connecticut Public Radio
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Jeff Cohen

News Director

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director.

 

In addition to covering state and Hartford city politics, Jeff covered the December 2012 Newtown shootings and the stories that followed. In 2012, Jeff was selected by NPR and Kaiser Health News for their joint Health Care In The States project. Much of his reporting has aired nationally on NPR. As news director, Jeff began The Island Next Door -- Puerto Rico and Connecticut After Hurricane Maria, which has won several awards, including one national and two regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

 

Jeff began as a reporter for The Record-Journal in Meriden, Conn. before moving to The Hartford Courant, where he won a National Headliner Award for a story about the ostracized widow of the state's first casualty in Iraq; wrote about his post-Katrina home in New Orleans; and was part of a team that broke stories of alleged corruption at Hartford City Hall that led to the arrest of the city’s mayor. His work has also appeared in The New York Times.

Jeff lives with his wife and two daughters, whose haircutting incident brought the family more notoriety than journalism ever will. He's written two children's books, and he likes hiking, whitewater kayaking, napping outside, and making bread and wine.

Ways to Connect

Chion Wolf / WNPR

National uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act is making state officials nervous, and the CEO of Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange, has told his board that he fears insurers could back out of the marketplace the state created. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has released his $612.9 million budget proposal to the City Council, one that avoids layoffs, cuts funding to most community organizations, assumes more labor concessions, understaffs departments, and still has a $49 million hole.

But there's no more to cut, Bronin said, without compromising the city. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will present his budget to the City Council Monday, and he's projecting a $50 million hole. But he said a lack of clarity about the state budget is making the city's job harder. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The mayor who wanted it is gone. The developer who built it is gone. And the plans to build around it are on hold. But finally, after a year of delay, Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is about to have its first minor league game. 

Keith Allison flickr.com/photos/keithallison / Creatiive Commons

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently urged cities, counties, and states to honor federal immigration detainer requests, saying if they don’t, they could lose federal money. Specifically, if an immigrant here illegally is arrested, he wants local law enforcement to continue to hold onto that person until federal immigration officials can pick them up.

But Connecticut officials say it’s not that easy -- and it may not be lawful. 

@SeemaCMS / Twitter

Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have officially failed, and President Donald Trump said he's waiting for the health insurance marketplace to explode. But what will that mean for Connecticut?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal plans to zero out funding for something called Community Development Block Grants -- money that goes from the federal government to states and municipalities to use as they see fit.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The city of Hartford is in the midst of another search for a school superintendent and it’s down to two finalists. But Mayor Luke Bronin recently floated the idea of another person at the last minute, and the move concerned at least one board member. 

Michelle Lee flickr.com/photos/michellerlee/7610741336 / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a proposal that would provide for paid family medical leave, and state Senate leaders from both parties are apparently working on compromise language. 

DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

The City of Hartford's police department is short on officers.  As one way to try and fix the problem,  the department is now opening a two-week application process just for city residents. 

Jackie Harris / WNPR

State lawmakers held a public hearing Thursday on a series of bills to benefit workers in Connecticut. One effort would increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2022, while another would mandate paid family leave. 

White House / Creative Commons

At a briefing with reporters Thursday morning, Governor Dannel Malloy was asked what he thought about the tension between Republican President Donald Trump, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, and the federal judiciary. Instead of tackling the issue, Malloy took on the president.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has included $125 million in his capital budget as part of an effort to remake the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The state says this is half of what is needed to bring the stadium up to date, but the plan could face Republican opposition. 

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

The University of Hartford is investigating an email sent to some campus accounts referencing white supremacy Saturday night, and its president is denouncing the missive. 

No one knows what will happen to the Affordable Care Act, or to coverage for the roughly 300,000 Connecticut residents insured under the program. But the state office in charge of the ACA is still making plans for the future – hoping to make the private marketplace more attractive for insurers.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The city of Hartford had a nearly 55 percent decrease in murders last year from the year before. But the city also saw a two percent increase in the number of non-fatal shootings in 2016 -- and that worries Police Chief James Rovella. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Months after the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered two new criminal trials in the corruption cases of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, Perez’s attorney is now seeking a dismissal. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Westbrook Village and Bowles Park are two old, falling-down public housing developments in the city of Hartford. For over a decade, there have been efforts to tear them down and build something new on their almost 130 acres near the West Hartford line. There’s about to be some movement. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A legal fight heated up last summer between state marshals and the Hartford Parking Authority. The question was whether the marshals could, by law, park their cars illegally while doing their jobs. That fight wound up in state court and the marshals lost. 

Connecticut Regional Development Authority

Officials in charge of the state’s XL Center in Hartford have approved a $250 million transformation of the building. But whether it happens and how to pay for it now falls to lawmakers and the governor. 

Centerplan Companies

Two years ago, the city of Hartford used eminent domain to take private land from a developer to be used for part of its baseball stadium development project. For that land, the city paid $1.98 million. But now, a state court judge has ruled that the figure wasn’t nearly enough. 

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

The Connecticut Supreme Court will hear an appeal in a case brought by Newtown families against gun maker Remington Arms. The families are arguing that the manufacturer shouldn't have marketed and sold military-style weapons to civilians.

Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Concerned by a spike in stolen guns in the city of Hartford, police are reaching out to legal gun owners in the capital city and asking them to take better care of their weapons.

Back9Network

It was just about a year ago that the partly state-funded, golf television station the Back9Network filed for bankruptcy. Since then, it has re-emerged as a smaller enterprise -- this time not as a lifestyle and entertainment network, but as a mobile golf app.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The state’s chief medical examiner told lawmakers Friday that his budgetary shortfall will cost his office its national accreditation and threatens its performance. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

No one wants the city of Hartford to declare bankruptcy. Still, it’s an option that -- given the depth of the capital city’s financial distress -- is on the table. But should the city eventually decide think bankruptcy is the only viable option, it would first have to get the governor’s consent. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

There's been a lot of talk about rigged elections, and state officials have dismissed it. But while Connecticut’s recent Election Day problems haven’t been about corruption, they have been about incompetence. 

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

A Facebook notification on Monday reminding people to register to vote is likely having a real effect. The state said it brought in 15,000 newly registered voters on that day alone. 

UW Health / Creative Commons

The state is looking for a transportation company to get low-income Medicaid patients to their medical appointments. This comes after legislators overrode a veto of a bill by Governor Dannel Malloy.

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. 

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