NPR: Greg Allen

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and human interest features. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.

Allen was a key part of NPR's coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, providing some of the first reports on the disaster. He was on the frontlines of NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, arriving in New Orleans before the storm hit and filing on the chaos and flooding that hit the city as the levees broke. Allen's reporting played an important role in NPR's coverage of the aftermath and the rebuilding of New Orleans, as well as in coverage of the BP oil spill which brought new hardships to the Gulf coast.

As NPR's only correspondent in Florida, Allen covered the dizzying boom and bust of the state's real estate market, the state's important role in the 2008 presidential election and has produced stories highlighting the state's unique culture and natural beauty, from Miami's Little Havana to the Everglades.

Allen has spent more than three decades in radio news, the first ten as a reporter in Ohio and Philadelphia and the last as an editor, producer and reporter at NPR.

Before moving into reporting, Allen served as the executive producer of NPR's national daily live call-in show, Talk of the Nation. As executive producer he handled the day-to-day operations of the program as well as developed and produced remote broadcasts with live audiences and special breaking news coverage. He was with Talk of the Nation from 2000 to 2002.

Prior to that position, Allen spent three years as a senior editor for NPR's Morning Edition, developing stories and interviews, shaping the program's editorial direction, and supervising the program's staff. In 1993, he started a four year stint as an editor with Morning Edition just after working as Morning Edition's swing editor, providing editorial and production supervision in the early morning hours. Allen also worked for a time as the editor of NPR's National Desk.

Before coming to NPR, Allen was a reporter with NPR member station WHYY-FM in Philadelphia from 1987 to 1990.

His radio career includes serving as the producer of Freedom's Doors Media Project — five radio documentaries on immigration in American cities that was distributed through NPR's Horizons series — frequent freelance work with NPR, Monitor Radio, Voice of America, and WHYY-FM, and work as a reporter/producer of NPR member station WYSO-FM in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Allen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977, with a B.A. cum laude. As a student and after graduation, Allen worked at WXPN-FM, the public radio station on campus, as a host and producer for a weekly folk music program that included interviews, features, live and recorded music.

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4:21pm

Fri May 2, 2014
News

Amid New Details Of Botched Execution, A Timeline Of Final Hours

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Oklahoma has released new details about the botched execution this week of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. It took 43 minutes for Lockett to die, and his death came from a heart attack after the execution was halted. In a moment, we'll hear about how lethal injection became the standard method of execution in the U.S. First, here's NPR's Greg Allen with the latest on Oklahoma's investigation into what went wrong.

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3:15am

Fri April 25, 2014
Movies

Tampa Hosts Bollywood's Biggest Stars At Annual Awards Show

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 12:04 pm

Bollywood star Anil Kapoor (right) engages the mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn in a dance during a press conference for the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

India's Bollywood film industry is known for romantic, over-the-top musicals that increasingly are reaching a world-wide audience. To highlight the international appeal, the industry holds its annual awards ceremony every year outside of India.

This year, Bollywood, its glittering stars and its legions of fans, have come to Tampa, Fla. It's the first time the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards have ever been held in the U.S.

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5:17am

Tue April 15, 2014
Around the Nation

Florida's Freshwater Springs Attract Vacationers

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. If I say Florida and Spring Break, you might be conjuring images of beaches, cocktails, theme parks. Well, some of our reporters have been sending suggestions for more off-the-beaten-path destinations and NPR's Greg Allen takes us to Florida and the state's fresh waters springs.

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5:25pm

Tue April 8, 2014
History

Developer To Preserve Ancient Tequesta Village In Heart Of Miami

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

A series of postholes sit on a site that some call a major archeological find, once home to a Tequesta village. A developer wants to build on the site, but agreed to preserve the village.
Greg Allen NPR

In downtown Miami, amidst the office buildings, shops and high-rise condos, visitors will soon be able to see a site historians are calling Miami's birthplace.

The spot where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay used to be home to the Tequesta tribe, which is where Spanish explorers who first arrived in Florida in the early 1500s encountered them. Today, that spot is the heart of downtown Miami.

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4:30pm

Tue April 1, 2014
Politics

After Setbacks, Florida Governor Courts Latino Support

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:58 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott recognizes a visitor in the gallery during his March 4 State of the State speech at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
Phil Sears AP

In Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is running for re-election, he's got a few things going for him. The state's economy has rebounded from the recession and he's on track to raise at least $100 million for his reelection bid.

But Scott's campaign has recently run into trouble with an important group of voters — Hispanics.

Latinos make up just 14 percent of Florida's electorate. But, as a bloc of voters, they have the power to swing elections statewide.

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4:37pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Sports

Greyhound Racing May Be Headed For The Finish Line

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

Greyhound racing has been on a downward trend for decades.
Greg Allen NPR

On a weekday afternoon at the Mardi Gras Casino near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., most guests are inside at the relatively new card tables and slot machines. Outside, at the 5 p.m. post time, only about a dozen people are in the grandstand.

This is what they're waiting for: The handlers lead out the greyhounds. The dogs are loaded into their starting boxes. Then eight greyhounds run in the first of 18 races.

Greyhound racing, a sport in decline, is still hanging on, mostly in Florida. But a bill gathering steam in the Legislature may hasten its demise.

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6:16pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Environment

Oil Industry Gets An Earful As It Eyes Florida's Everglades

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm

Drilling companies have new interest in southern Florida's Big Cypress preserve. The prospect of large-scale operations and possibly fracking worries environmentalists and residents.
Sue Cocking MCT/Landov

As oil production goes, Florida isn't much of a player. The state produced less than 2 million barrels last year, which is how much oil Texas pumps from its wells each day.

That's about to change as the revolution in oil drilling technology comes to Florida.

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5:09am

Wed March 12, 2014
Politics

In Closely Watched Congressional Election, GOP Wins In Florida

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A special election for a congressional seat on Florida suggests trouble ahead for Democratic candidates who backed Obamacare in swing districts. Republican David Jolly claimed victory last night in a congressional district that includes part of St. Petersburg, beating a strong Democratic candidate, Alex Sink. As NPR's Greg Allen reports, the results aren't encouraging for Democrats looking ahead to the fall midterm elections.

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2:58am

Mon March 10, 2014
Business

Big Investors Boosting Home Prices, And Not Everyone's Pleased

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:20 am

ReBOUND Residential in Florida has bought multiple properties like this one, a formerly bank-owned home in Sunrise, Fla., as investment properties. The houses are now bringing steady returns as rentals.
Greg Allen NPR

It's taken several years, but in many parts of the country, home prices are nearly back to where they were at the peak. In places like Florida, where the housing recession hit hard, home prices rose last year by one-fifth or more.

A major factor in the price rise is hedge funds, private equity firms and other large investors. They've moved aggressively into the residential market over the past two years, buying tens of thousands of distressed properties, often at bargain prices.

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6:11pm

Fri February 7, 2014
All Tech Considered

Technology Tracks Crews Through The Fog Of Wildfire

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

Crews work a controlled burn in Geneva, Fla., in December. The state's forest service has rolled out a system to track equipment during fires, and hopes it can eventually be used to pinpoint firefighters, too.
Joshua C. Cruey Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

For crews fighting wildfires, the ability to get accurate information quickly is crucial. A breakdown in communication was one factor in a fire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last year, and in the deaths of two Florida firefighters in Arizona in 2011.

Florida officials hope to address some of those communication problems with a new tracking system designed to keep tabs on crews in the field.

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6:17pm

Thu February 6, 2014
Around the Nation

Another Florida Case Puts 'Stand Your Ground' Back In Court

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Michael Dunn (right), who faces first-degree murder charges in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, stands with his attorney Cory Strolla (left) at Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Bob Mack Florida Times-Union/Landov

They're events that took just several minutes, but in a courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, prosecutors and the defense laid out different versions of how Michael Dunn, who is white, came to shoot and kill Jordan Davis, a black teen.

It was in 2012, the day after Thanksgiving, that Davis, 17, and three friends stopped at a gas station and convenience store in Jacksonville. They were in an SUV and were playing their music — loud.

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5:01am

Mon February 3, 2014
Law

Murder Trial Reminiscent Of Zimmerman Case To Begin In Florida

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. A trial begins today in a case that once again puts a spotlight on Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law. That's the law that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves without first trying to retreat. The law came to national attention a couple of years ago when a Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

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5:23am

Sat January 25, 2014
Around the Nation

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music — Literally

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 12:14 pm

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes received 6,700 weapons from the Mexican government, from which he sculpted instruments.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Pedro Reyes says being Mexican is like living in an apartment where an upstairs neighbor has a leaking swimming pool.

"Just what is leaking," says Reyes, "is hundreds of thousands of guns."

He wants people to think about the availability of guns in the United States, and the impact that has in Mexico.

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5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Code Switch

Poll Findings: On Cuban-Americans And The Elusive 'American Dream'

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:11 am

Cuban immigrants are handed forms to fill out by an immigration and naturalization official in Miami on Dec. 3, 1984, so they can become permanent residents of the United States.
AP

Among Latinos, no group may have achieved the American dream as fully as Cuban-Americans.

Since arriving here, as a community, they've prospered. Surveys show they graduate from college at greater rates and have higher levels of homeownership than most other Latino groups.

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3:25am

Thu January 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Florida Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Child Seizures

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 4:57 pm

Marilyn Budzynski takes care of her 20-year-old son, Michael, in Eustis, Fla., in September. Michael suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
Tom Benitez MCT /Landov

Florida may soon become the latest state to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. Advocates there are gathering signatures to put a medical marijuana referendum on the fall ballot.

But Florida's Legislature may act sooner to allow residents access to a particular type of marijuana. Advocates say the strain called Charlotte's Web offers hope to children with severe seizure disorders.

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6:24pm

Wed January 15, 2014
Animals

Months After 'Blackfish' Release, Controversy Over SeaWorld Grows

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:11 pm

Two killer whales fly out of the water during a show at SeaWorld Orlando's Shamu Stadium in 2010.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

The documentary Blackfish made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered last January, and got more attention when it was released in theaters over the summer. But it didn't reach its largest audience until October, when millions watched it on CNN.

It's a powerful documentary that focuses on Tilikum, the male orca who pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. In telling the story, Blackfish relies heavily on interviews with former SeaWorld trainers like Samantha Berg.

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6:18pm

Thu January 2, 2014
It's All Politics

Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won't Resign After Rehab

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:32 am

U.S. Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla., at a Capitol news conference on July 9.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

It was November when Republican Trey Radel, a first-term congressman from Fort Myers, Fla., was charged with cocaine possession — a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.

A few days before Christmas, fresh from a month in rehab, Radel held a news conference with his wife by his side. He apologized and said that alcohol, not cocaine, is his main problem, and that's what he was treated for.

But the main point of his news conference was to say that he would not step down from Congress.

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4:43pm

Fri December 27, 2013
The Salt

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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6:18pm

Fri December 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Robot 'Olympics' Test Machines On Human Skills

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Atlas, a humanoid robot, is competing against 16 other robots in a Pentagon-sponsored contest this weekend.
Greg Allen NPR

Under throbbing loudspeakers at a NASCAR track south of Miami, vaguely humanoid robots with two legs, four legs and tank treads take up garages that normally house race cars.

The robots, along with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin, NASA and 13 other teams from around the world, are in Homestead, Fla., for the robot Olympics on Friday and Saturday.

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4:20pm

Mon December 16, 2013
The Salt

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Hermine Ricketts says she gardens for the food and for the peace it brings her.
Greg Allen NPR

In tropical South Florida, it's growing season. Temperatures are in the 80s, there's lots of sun and good rain, and normally, Hermine Ricketts' plants would already be in the ground.

"By now, this should be probably Red Sails lettuce, which is a beautiful color lettuce, or purple mizuna, which is a beautiful filigreed purple leaf," she says.

But this year, Ricketts' vegetable planting has been derailed by a legal fight over what she can plant and where she can plant it.

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5:19am

Fri December 13, 2013
The Salt

USDA Steps Up The Fight To Save Florida's Oranges

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:52 am

Oranges ripen in a Plant City, Fla., grove on Wednesday. Growers in Florida, Texas and California are worried about citrus greening, a disease that makes the fruit bitter and unmarketable.
Chris O'Meara AP

The citrus industry is facing a crisis. It's called citrus greening — a disease that has devastated orange production in Florida since it first showed up eight years ago. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new effort to try to control the disease before it destroys the nation's citrus industry.

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3:19am

Tue December 3, 2013
Fine Art

For Miami, A New Art Project, Complete With Drama

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

The boats of For Those in Peril on the Sea, by artist Hew Locke, hang in the entrance hall of the Perez Art Museum Miami, which opens this week.
Daniel Azoulay Perez Art Museum Miami

Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.

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5:39pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Around the Nation

Florida Tribe Re-Creates Daring Escape From The Trail Of Tears

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Willie Johns holds a photo of Polly Parker, his great-grandmother.
Greg Allen NPR

This week, a group of Seminole Indians in Florida is commemorating an important historical event — when a Seminole named Polly Parker organized and led an escape from federal troops more than 150 years ago.

It came at a time when Indians were being deported to the West in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Florida's Seminoles call themselves the "unconquered people" because, through three wars with federal troops, they resisted deportation to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi.

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3:17pm

Fri November 15, 2013
Around the Nation

Once An Ancient Village, Soon An Entertainment Complex?

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:07 pm

In the middle of downtown Miami, archaeologists excavate a site holding evidence of a more than 1,000-year-old Tequesta Indian village.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As work began on one of the last pieces of undeveloped ground in Miami's fast-changing downtown, archaeologists uncovered the site of an American Indian village. It was already centuries old by the time Columbus arrived in the New World.

The question now for the city and the developer of the planned entertainment complex is how much of the site will be preserved.

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3:06am

Tue November 12, 2013
Environment

Key West Awash With Plans For Rising Sea Level

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:00 pm

A cyclist rides past buckled asphalt in Key West, Fla., after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Key West experienced widespread flooding with the storm surge.
Lynne Sladky AP

Florida — especially South Florida — is very flat and very low, and in places like Miami Beach and Key West, buildings are just 3 feet above sea level. Scientists now say there may be a 3-foot rise in the world's oceans by the end of the century.

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2:56am

Thu October 10, 2013
Environment

Whatever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:49 am

Mechanical harvesters cut sugar cane on U.S. Sugar Corp. land in Clewiston, Fla., in 2008, the same year the state struck a deal to buy most of the company's Everglades holdings.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.

"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.

That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.

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5:21pm

Tue October 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

In Florida, Insurer And Nonprofits Work On Enrollment

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 7:05 pm

Nonprofits are looking to help people sign up for insurance coverage in Florida.
iStockphoto.com

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other Republican leaders have worked to block the Affordable Care Act since it was first proposed.

As Tuesday's opening of enrollment approached, Florida's Health Department said it wouldn't allow navigators and others to use its offices to educate and counsel people on the new law.

But others are eager to help. "We're ready to serve our community," says Efraim Monzon, director of a Florida Blue retail center in Miami. "We've been ready since 2010 when we heard it was coming."

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3:42am

Thu September 26, 2013
Environment

With Murky Water And Manatee Deaths, Lagoon Languishes

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:06 am

Biologists Laura Herren and Brian Lapointe bag red sea grass at Shorty's Pocket, a site in the Indian River lagoon. Manatees have died from eating the toxic macro algae.
Courtesy Brian Cousin FAU Harbor Branch

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

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3:18am

Wed September 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

Florida Makes Spreading Word On Health Care Law A Challenge

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:01 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has questioned efforts to use federally funded navigators to help people enroll for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
John Raoux AP

At a community center named for Florida civil rights pioneer Carrie Meek, a few dozen members of Miami's National Church of God gathered over the weekend for a tea party — and to hear from a special guest, Monica Rodriguez of Enroll America.

The organization is working to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that will let people without health insurance shop for coverage starting Oct. 1.

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5:44pm

Thu September 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Florida Officials Swat At Mosquitoes With Dengue Fever

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:29 pm

In 2010, Florida health officials looked for mosquito larvae in vehicle tires where water had collected. As many as 15 cases have been found in Stuart this year.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Public health officials in Florida are once again scrambling to contain an outbreak of dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes.

Until 2009, when it surfaced in Key West, the tropical disease hadn't been seen in Florida in more than 70 years.

Now there are concerns dengue may establish a foothold in the state.

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