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

GiantsFanatic / Creative Commons

Connecticut towns and cities are mandated by law to publish public notices in local newspapers.  But that could soon change.

In Hartford, a state court judge has allowed a civil case over whether former Mayor Eddie Perez can collect his city pension…to continue. Attorney General George Jepsen said he's pleased with the decision. He says a judge could eventually consider whether Perez is entitled to a portion of his pension. "At some point, if the issue goes to trial, the issue of how much of Mayor Perez's pension should be revoked will be something the judge will consider." Perez was found guilty last year on corruption charges.

Courtesy Rick Hartford/Hartford Courant

Chion Wolf/WNPR

In Hartford, convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez is gone from city hall.  But he’s not gone from city politics.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, former Perez allies are questioning the judgment of current Mayor Pedro Segarra. Segarra says it’s kind of strange to be criticized by allies of the man who's going to prison. “To blame me for transactions that were done by the previous administration by members of the previous administration are a little bit incoherent.” Perez was found guilty of taking a bribe from a city contractor last year.

STEPHEN DUNN / HARTFORD COURANT

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra gave his state of the city speech Monday night.

Photo by Mira Hartford via Flicker Creative Commons

Looks like if you have overdue -- the wrong kind of "outstanding" --  parking tickets in Hartford, this could be your chance. From the press release it sounds like you’ll be able to pay the ticket but not the related fees. Release is below.

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HARTFORD ANNOUNCES PARKING TICKETAMNESTY PROGRAM
—NEWS ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25—
4:00 p.m. — Mayor Segarra and the Hartford Parking Authority will announce a Parking Ticket Amnesty Program for the month of March.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's decision earlier this week to intervene in the board of education's search for a superintendent continues to reverberate.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

Chion Wolf Photo

One day after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra upended the search for a school superintendent at the last minute possible, the chairman of the city's board of education sat down with WNPR and expressed his displeasure.

David MacDonald became chairman of the Hartford board of education just last week.  He said he was disappointed in Segarra's call on Tuesday for a national search.  MacDonald says that Segarra's concerns about the transparency of the search for a new superintendent showed great disrespect.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Hartford board of education is scheduled to meet Tuesday to pick a successor to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, who is leaving after this year.  But there's some concern in the community that the process was flawed.  The district’s spokesman has been advocating for one of the two candidates to take Adamowski’s place.

You might know the name Elizabeth Horton Sheff.  She's the Sheff in Sheff vs. O'Neill, the landmark school desegregation case in Hartford.

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy presented his plan to close the state’s $3.2 billion budget gap to a joint session of the state legislature today. 

Chion Wolf Photo

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra took over last summer after Eddie Perez was found guilty of corruption and resigned his office. Now Segarra is running for mayor, and he says Perez’s political allies are targeting him. Segarra appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live with John Dankosky. He suggested that efforts by at least one of his opponents, State Representative Kelvin Roldan, have the feel of Perez politics.

Front Street in Court

Feb 8, 2011
Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The retail development known as Front Street in Hartford is finally built and looking for tenants.  But the project took years to materialize, and now it's in court.

Front Street is a publicly-subsidized development that was geared to attract area people to downtown Hartford and the adjacent Connecticut Convention Center.  Here’s how George Royster puts it. He's an attorney for the state:

“Because people coming to Hartford with no place to go would not be likely to return to the convention center or the hotel if they had no entertainment or retail or places to eat.”

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is taking the city's schools superintendent to task for issuing a series of bonuses to district employees. Segarra says he understands the bonuses total about $2.7 million -- a figure that seemed to frustrated the mayor of this cash-strapped city. In a letter to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, Segarra said he wants to know why these bonuses were issued, what criteria was used in a awarding them, and who approved them.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

(photo: Hartford.gov)

The long-vacant hotel at the center of downtown Hartford's Constitution Plaza may soon have a new use. The city says the hotel commonly known as the Sonesta has sat vacant for at least a decade.  Now, a New York-based development groups says it plans to buy the building this week, invest as much as $20 million dollars, and turn the building into high-end apartments.

Joseph Klaynberg runs Wonder Works Construction and Development.  He says this will be his first investment property in Hartford.

A state court judge said she would not immediately rule on the lawsuit brought by Republican Martha Dean that tries to disqualify Democrat George Jepsen from the race for attorney general. Dean filed suit earlier this week claiming that Jepsen didn’t have the required legal experience to serve as attorney general.

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