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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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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4:59am

Wed August 28, 2013
Law

Florida Asked To Reimburse George Zimmerman For Court Costs

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More than a month after he was acquitted on murder charges, George Zimmerman - or at least his lawyers - are headed back to court. Zimmerman is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. His lawyers are asking the state of Florida to reimburse their client for court costs incurred during his murder trial - costs, they say, might be as high as $300,000.

NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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6:02pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Fla. Balks At Insurance Navigators As Obamacare Deadline Nears

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:02 pm

The federal government has awarded about $67 million in grants to groups around the country that will help people shop for health coverage. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the guidelines for these so-called navigators are inadequate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

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3:12am

Wed July 31, 2013
U.S.

In Florida, A Clash Over Exhuming Bodies At Reform School

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:32 pm

Metal crosses mark graves at the cemetery of the former Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. Investigators in Florida using ground-penetrating radar and soil samples say there are nearly 100 unmarked graves on the grounds.
Michael Spooneybarger Reuters/Landov

Researchers at the University of South Florida are fighting with the state over access to the grounds of a now-closed reform school.

For decades, the Dozier School for Boys was notorious for the harsh treatment boys received there. Now, a forensic anthropologist and her team want permission to exhume dozens of bodies they found in unmarked graves, but are meeting resistance from state officials.

White House Boys

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3:00am

Mon July 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Miami Beach Preservationists Battle Glitterati Over Homes

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:35 pm

This house owned by a plastic surgeon and his wife, a cast member on The Real Housewives of Miami, is the poster child for efforts to stop runaway demolitions in Miami Beach.
Courtesy of Arthur Marcus

Some of Miami Beach's quietest and most historic neighborhoods can be found in a chain of small islands connected by a causeway. On Di Lido Island, a community of homes built 50 and 60 years ago is being torn down and replaced, lot by lot. On one street alone, five houses currently are slated for demolition.

Daniel Ciraldo stands across the street from two '60s-era houses that will soon be demolished and replaced by a new home nearly double their combined size.

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5:21am

Fri July 26, 2013
U.S.

Zimmerman Juror Says He 'Got Away With Murder'

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 7:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Another juror has now spoken out about the George Zimmerman trial. The only minority on the panel says she believes the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin got away with murder. Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month. During the trial, the judge ordered that jurors' identities remain confidential; and that order has not yet been lifted.

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6:40pm

Fri July 19, 2013
Law

Florida Governor Stands Firm On 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:30 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to protesters Thursday in the Capitol in Tallahassee. Scott told the protesters that he won't ask lawmakers to revamp the state's controversial self-defense law.
Phil Sears AP

In the days after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, protesters camped out at Gov. Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee, calling for a meeting.

When Scott met with protesters on Thursday, one of the group's leaders, Philip Agnew, asked the governor to convene a special session of the Legislature to look at repealing the state's stand your ground law.

"It is the time for leadership," Agnew said. "The world is watching. Most definitely, the nation is watching. And you have the opportunity to stand tall above the rest."

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7:16am

Sat July 13, 2013
News

Zimmerman Jury Deliberates

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A six-person jury in Sanford, Fla., is deliberating today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. He's the neighborhood watch volunteer who's charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. After three weeks of testimony and more than 50 witnesses, the jury heard closing arguments from prosecutors and defense yesterday.

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4:42am

Thu July 4, 2013
Law

Zimmerman Trial Takes July 4 Off, Case Resumes Friday

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's get an update now on the Trayvon Martin murder case being held in Sanford, Florida. The state is expected soon to wrap up its case against George Zimmerman. He's the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the unarmed teenager. In a week and a half of testimony, prosecutors have painted a picture of Zimmerman as a wannabe cop, someone who profiled Trayvon Martin and then, after he shot Martin, tailored his story to fit Florida's self-defense law.

NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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8:00pm

Wed June 26, 2013
Science

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

The psyllid, discovered eight years ago in Florida citrus groves, has been problematic for researchers and farmers alike.
University of California, Davis AP

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

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4:46am

Tue June 25, 2013
Law

Prosecutors Begin Their Case Against Trayvon Martin's Killer

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 11:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Sanford, Florida today, prosecutors continue making their case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who last year shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. In opening statements yesterday, prosecutors described Zimmerman as a vigilante who wanted to rid his neighborhood of people who didn't belong there.

Zimmerman's lawyers say he acted in self-defense. From Sanford, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

Read more

6:10pm

Mon June 24, 2013
Law

George Zimmerman's Murder Trial Begins In Florida

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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4:30am

Mon June 10, 2013
Law

Jury Selection To Begin In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:08 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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6:39am

Sat June 1, 2013
Environment

New Maps Aim To Raise Awareness Of Storm Surge Danger

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 12:39 pm

Streets flooded in the Staten Island borough of New York after Superstorm Sandy hit in October. The storm caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.
John Minchillo AP

Hurricane season begins Saturday, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an active season, with perhaps seven to 11 hurricanes.

With memories of last year's destruction from Hurricane Sandy still fresh, meteorologists are working on ways to improve how they forecast storms and communicate warnings to the public.

When Sandy was making its way northward in the Atlantic and began to turn toward the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center tried to emphasize the danger that storm surge posed for residents, especially those near New York City.

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4:40pm

Tue May 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

How A Florida Medical School Cares For Communities In Need

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

With community-based health care a central part of its curriculum, Florida International University's medical school turned an RV into a mobile health clinic so that students could treat families in neighborhoods where medical care is scare.
Greg Allen/NPR

If it's a Monday, you can usually find Dr. David Brown parked next to a lake in Miami, spending the day inside a 36-foot-long RV. He's not on vacation.

Brown is chief of family medicine at Florida International University's medical school. The RV is the school's mobile health clinic.

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4:04pm

Mon April 29, 2013
It's All Politics

Rubio Tries To Convince Conservatives He Hasn't Been Duped

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at a Capitol Hill news conference with the Senate's "Gang of Eight," the bipartisan team pushing an immigration overhaul, on April 18.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In the current debate over revamping the nation's immigration laws, there may be no elected official with more on the line than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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5:13am

Mon April 29, 2013
Around the Nation

States Question What To Do With Surging Tax Revenue

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:07 pm

Across the country, state budgets are back in the black after years of belt-tightening and spending cuts. From California to Florida, in nearly every state, the economic recovery has produced a surge in tax revenue.

For governors and state legislators, that's produced a new question: how to spend the money.

The past three years have not been easy ones for elected officials. Nearly every state requires them to produce a balanced budget. And with declining revenue from sales, property and income taxes, that has meant big spending cuts.

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2:44am

Fri April 19, 2013
Around the Nation

As Florida Bill Looks To Aid Feral Cats, Opponents Claw Back

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 6:59 pm

The Miami-based Cat Network operates a program that traps, neuters and releases feral cats back to their colonies. A bill before the Florida Legislature would offer legal protection to those programs.
Greg Allen NPR

In state legislatures around the country, lawmakers are debating important subjects — education reform, election laws, gun control and abortion. But in Florida, one of the hottest issues to come before the Legislature this term involves cats.

There, lawmakers are considering a contentious bill that would offer legal protection to groups that trap, neuter and return feral cats to their colonies.

An Alternative To Shelters

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5:33am

Sat April 13, 2013
Environment

Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:24 pm

A glass-bottomed boat glides along water in Silver Springs, Fla. The springs, once a major tourist destination, have declined both in volume and in water quality.
Greg Allen NPR

Before Disney World, Silver Springs in Central Florida was for decades one of the state's most popular tourist destinations.

Even if you've never visited Silver Springs, you might have seen it. The 1960s television show Sea Hunt was filmed here, as were countless movies, including Tarzan and Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The crystal clear water of Silver Springs made it invaluable to Hollywood. Guy Marwick, the founder of the Silver River Museum, says it drew more than 1 million visitors a year.

Read more

8:04am

Tue April 2, 2013
Around the Nation

Cuban Dissident Blogger Seeks To Unite Castro's Cuba With Miami's Cuba

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:33 am

Yoani Sanchez, internationally known dissident blogger from Cuba, listens to a question as she speaks at the Freedom Tower in Miami on Monday.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

For Cuban-Americans, Miami's Freedom Tower is almost a holy place — a former immigration intake center where thousands came in the 1960s after they fled the island's communist rule.

But across the street from the hall, where Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez spoke Monday, there were protests. A dozen anti-Castro activists repudiated some of Sanchez's past comments, including her support for lifting the long-standing U.S. embargo of Cuba.

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4:27pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Around the Nation

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:00 pm

Baseball fans watch an exhibition spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spring training contributes $35 million to the local economy.
Julio Cortez AP

For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.

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6:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
U.S.

Florida Atlantic Donation Sparks Outrage, But University Doesn't Budge

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Florida Atlantic University says it's standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there's a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties.

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3:24am

Fri February 22, 2013
Crisis In The Housing Market

In Miami, A New Condo Boom Revives Hopes Of Housing Recovery

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:07 am

Brickell CityCentre is a new project that includes retail, offices and two condo towers. In all, some 19 condo towers are going up in downtown Miami, just seven years after the housing market crash.
Greg Allen NPR

Here's a headline that may sound familiar: Miami is in the middle of a condo boom.

Just seven years ago, Miami had a similar surge in condo construction. But it all came crashing down. There was an international banking crisis, and the Florida real estate bubble burst — taking down investors and many developers.

But new towers are once again reshaping the city's skyline.

Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant with Condo Vultures, says 19 condo towers are now in the works in Miami, with 7,000 total units.

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