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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4:03am

Tue August 7, 2012
Politics

Will Tea Party Star Marco Rubio Get GOP VP Nod?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., listens at left as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Aston, Pa., in April. Republican leaders from Jeb Bush to John McCain have touted Rubio for vice president.
Jae C. Hong AP

Among the Tea Party successes in the 2010 congressional elections was U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He is now one of those on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's short list of possible running mates.

For any political party, Rubio would be worthy of consideration for vice president or a higher office. He's smart, good-looking and charismatic. The Cuban-American is a plus for Republicans, a party that polls show has been losing ground with Hispanics.

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2:01am

Tue July 17, 2012
Science

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 12:25 pm

Researchers Sylvia Earle (left) and Mark Patterson are trying to raise funds to save the Aquarius Reef Base.
Greg Allen NPR

While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.

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3:52am

Tue July 10, 2012
Dead Stop

A City's History Writ Small, In One Cemetery

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:07 pm

On Florida's northeast coast, trams filled with families and school groups run constantly in St. Augustine, hitting nearly all of the old city's historic sites.

But down a side street lies an important piece of St. Augustine's history most visitors don't see, because it's only open one day a month.

"This is Tolomato Cemetery. It was formerly the parish cemetery for what is now the cathedral parish," says Elizabeth Gessner, who heads the cemetery's preservation association.

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3:06am

Wed June 20, 2012
Election 2012

Obama's Immigration Move Disrupts Rubio's Dream

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:19 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., leaves the stage after speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on May 31 in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

With a single policy directive last week, President Obama took control of an issue of special importance to Hispanics this election year. Obama announced illegal immigrants younger than 30 who are brought to the U.S. as children and who meet other standards will not be subject to deportation.

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11:07am

Fri June 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Judge, Justice Department Weigh In On Who Can Vote In Florida

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:34 pm

"I Voted" stickers are left ready for voters at a polling station on Jan. 31, the day of Florida's presidential primary, in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

In Florida, a battle is heating up on several fronts over who will be allowed to vote in the upcoming primary and the November general election.

In Tallahassee, a federal judge has blocked state elections officials from enforcing tough restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives.

And in Washington, the Justice Department has sent a letter to Florida telling it to immediately halt efforts to purge from the voting rolls people suspected of being noncitizens.

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3:40am

Thu May 31, 2012
It's All Politics

World War II Vet Caught Up In Florida's Voter Purge Controversy

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:56 pm

Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old veteran of World War II, was one of the voters targeted by Florida as a potential noncitizen. Internicola was ordered to prove his citizenship or lose the right to vote. He is flanked by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to stop the purge of voter rolls immediately.
Taimy Alvarez MCT/Landov

Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida's Broward County. He recently received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen or be removed from the voting rolls.

Internicola says he was "flabbergasted."

"To me, it's like an insult," he says. "They sent me a form to fill out. And I filled out the form and I sent it back to them with a copy of my discharge paper and a copy of my tour of duty in the ETO, which is the European Theater of Operations."

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3:19am

Thu May 24, 2012
Election 2012

Obama Seeks To Gain Support Among Military Voters

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:38 pm

President Obama returns a Marine's salute as he boards the Marine One helicopter Wednesday. Obama traveled to Colorado Springs for the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.
Charles Dharapak AP

Historically, the veteran and military vote has gone Republican. In 2008, for example, while losing the presidency, John McCain — a war hero — won 55 percent of this vote.

This year, the Obama campaign thinks it can close the gap.

For one thing, neither candidate is a veteran. And the campaign is hoping to capitalize on a generational change in the military. Four years ago, although he lost the veteran vote overall, President Obama won among vets under age 60.

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3:18am

Mon May 14, 2012
Election 2012

In Florida, Registering Voters A Whole New Game

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 8:05 am

Melli Romero (right), a canvasser with the National Council of La Raza, works outside La Mia Supermarket in Miami on May 9.
Greg Allen NPR

Six months before the presidential election, the Florida ground game is already under way.

In political terms, the ground game is the process of mobilizing voters and getting them to the polls. And the first step is registering people to vote.

But in Florida this year, there are tough new restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. The restrictions already appear to be having an impact on the number of people who are registering to vote.

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3:37am

Wed May 9, 2012
Law

Fla. Court To Rule: Can A Lawyer Be Undocumented?

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:22 am

Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, passed the Florida bar exam in 2011. Now, the bar says it will admit him only with approval from the state Supreme Court.
Kathleen Flynn

It sounds like a typical American success story: A young boy becomes an academic standout, an Eagle Scout and high school valedictorian. Later, he attends college and then law school, all on full scholarships.

But Jose Godinez-Samperio's story is not typical. He's an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — and now he's fighting to be admitted to the Florida bar.

Godinez-Samperio was just 9 years old when he came to the U.S. with his parents. They entered the country legally, but overstayed their visas and settled in the Tampa area.

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7:03am

Wed May 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Task Force Evaluates Consequences Of Stand Your Ground Law

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:39 am

The group was convened by Florida's governor and legislative leaders. The move comes after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, was shot to death by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Since the law's passage in 2005, there's been growing concern about the law among police, prosecutors and judges.

3:33am

Thu April 19, 2012
Latin America

Cruise Ship Didn't Aid Drifting Boat, Passengers Say

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:09 pm

Bird-watcher Jeff Gilligan snapped this photograph of a small boat in distress. Gilligan and others say the cruise ship he was traveling on did not stop to help the stricken craft.
Jeff Gilligan

It was international news recently when a small fishing boat was found adrift in the Pacific Ocean, several hundred miles from the Panama town where it launched. After 28 days at sea, only one of the three men who had been onboard was still alive. The other two died from lack of water and exposure.

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8:00am

Sat April 14, 2012
Around the Nation

Sanford, Fla., Sighs In Relief And Looks Forward

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 11:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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4:00am

Thu April 12, 2012
Around the Nation

Zimmerman To Plead Not Guilty In Teen's Death

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The man who authorities said could not be charged with a crime will now face charges.

MONTAGNE: George Zimmerman is expected in court today in Sanford, Florida. Special prosecutor Angela Corey says she plans to charge him with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed high school student.

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4:00am

Thu April 5, 2012
Around the Nation

Fla. Task Force Examines Stand-Your-Ground Law

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 6:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Martin Luther King was assassinated 44 years ago this week. When people in Miami held a rally to mark that anniversary, local activist Billy Hardemon brought up the killing of another Martin.

BILLY HARDEMON: Two Martins that died too young, Trayvon and Martin Luther King.

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3:01am

Tue April 3, 2012
Television

Media Outlets Adapt To Growing Hispanic Audience

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic community has created another boom — in Hispanic media. In recent months, several major media players have announced plans to join the competition for the Hispanic television audience. There's a new Hispanic broadcast TV network coming, plus a host of new cable channels aimed at Latinos.

The numbers tell the story: According to the census, the U.S. Hispanic population jumped by more than 40 percent in the past decade. The nation's 50 million-plus Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the TV-viewing public.

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4:36pm

Sun April 1, 2012
Around the Nation

Fla. Cases Test 'Stand Your Ground' Law's Limits

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 10:25 pm

Since the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin made Florida's Stand Your Ground law the subject of national debate, one of the legislators who helped write it, Rep. Dennis Baxley, has been adamant in his belief that the law simply doesn't apply in this case.

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3:00pm

Thu March 29, 2012
Law

Neighborhood Watch Under Fire After Teen's Death

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We begin this hour by exploring two questions that arise from the killing of Trayvon Martin. He's the 17-year-old shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month in Sanford, Florida. In a few minutes, we'll hear from two parents whose children were killed, and how they coped with the sudden media spotlight.

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12:01am

Mon March 26, 2012
Latin America

Some Cuban-Americans Wary As Cuba Welcomes Pope

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 3:05 am

A man rides his bicycle past a billboard welcoming Pope Benedict XVI, just days before his arrival, in Havana, Cuba. Pope Benedict's trip to Latin America includes Mexico and Cuba.
Javier Galeano AP

In 1998, when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Cuba, few Cuban-Americans made the pilgrimage across the Florida straits.

But when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, hundreds of Cuban-Americans will be on hand in Santiago de Cuba when he celebrates Mass.

Carlos Saladrigas is well-known in Miami's Cuban-American community. He's a prominent businessman and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group, an organization working to make Cuba a free and open society. He'll be in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square for Mass.

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6:04am

Sun March 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Sunshine State Bets On Sunset For Health Care Act

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 11:26 am

Louisa McQueeney manages a small business in Lantana, Fla., shipping gift food and produce. She believes the new health care law could bring down her employee health care costs, but Florida Gov. Rick Scott disagrees, and he's leading the battle to strike down the law in court.
Greg Allen NPR

No state has worked harder to stop the federal health care overhaul than Florida. Hours after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law two years ago, Florida led 12 other states in a federal court challenge. Eventually, a total of 26 states signed on.

The Supreme Court will hear the case this week. Meanwhile, Florida's governor, Rick Scott, has rejected more than $35 million in federal grants to help the state prepare for the new federal program.

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5:53am

Sat March 24, 2012
Politics

Medicare Cuts: 'End As You Know It' Or Future Gift?

Vice President Joe Biden speaks about Republicans' proposed changes to Medicare, at Wynmoor Village retirement community in Coconut Creek, Fla., on Friday.
Luis Alvarez AP

Democrats lost no time in attacking the budget plan House Republicans introduced Tuesday. The plan saves money by overhauling Medicare, but Democrats argue it will destroy the program.

One of the Democrats leading the charge is Vice President Joe Biden. Taking on the role of candidate, Biden was in Coconut Creek, Fla., giving the second in what he promises will be a series of campaign speeches challenging the Republicans.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
U.S.

'Stand Your Ground' Law In Focus After Teen's Death

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, even if the shooter, George Zimmerman, is arrested for the death of Trayvon Martin, a conviction could be hard to get because of the controversial law that Kathy mentioned in her report. Let's take a closer look at that law. It's called Stand Your Ground and it allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves when confronted with a threat of violence. It's been on the books in Florida for several years. And as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami, it was a source of controversy long before the Martin shooting.

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5:12am

Mon March 19, 2012
Law

Florida Challenges Medicaid Spending 'By Force'

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 2:44 pm

Florida's Gov. Rick Scott, seen here speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, says of Medicaid, "It is absolutely not sustainable. If we do nothing, this line will bankrupt our state."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

When the Supreme Court hears arguments over President Obama's health care law next week, one item on the table will be a program that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

Medicaid, a joint federal-state program that provides health care for the poor, was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be greatly expanded and provide coverage for millions of uninsured, including low-income adults without children.

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12:07pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Politics

For Marco Rubio, V.P. Prospects Bring New Scrutiny

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 8:04 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month. The first-term Republican has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Throughout the Republican presidential primary season, whenever there's talk about a short list of possible running mates, one name is nearly always at the top — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Rubio has only been in the Senate for a little more than a year, but his appeal is obvious. He's a young, charismatic, conservative Hispanic.

But as his national profile has risen, he has become a target for Democrats and advocacy groups who say he doesn't represent Latino voters.

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3:00pm

Mon February 20, 2012
NPR Story

Lawsuits Flying Over Florida's Redistricting

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Florida, members of Congress and the state legislature are scrambling to decide what districts they'll run for in this year's election. The legislature recently released maps that redraw the districts. It's a once-in-a-decade process every state goes through to reflect population changes since the last census. Because of its growth, Florida is gaining two seats, but there is bipartisan unhappiness with the maps. And NPR's Greg Allen reports that the battle over how they were drawn may ultimately be decided by the courts.

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4:24pm

Mon February 13, 2012
U.S.

U.S. Watches Closely As Oil Drilling Begins Off Cuba

Fishermen work near the Scarabeo-9 oil rig off the coast of Cuba. U.S. officials are concerned about the potential impact in the case of a spill.
Javier Galeano AP

There are big plans for oil exploration in the Caribbean, not far off the coast of Florida. A Spanish company recently began drilling in Cuban waters — just 55 miles from Key West.

The well is the first of several exploratory wells planned in Cuba and the Bahamas. The drilling has officials and researchers in Florida scrambling to make plans for how they'll respond in case of a spill.

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5:41pm

Thu February 9, 2012
Economy

Birthplace Of 'Robo-Signing' Eyes Deal Critically

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:57 pm

A for-sale sign hangs in front of a Homestead, Fla., home. In 2009, Florida lawyer Tom Ice deposed a bank employee who admitted to signing hundreds of mortgage documents in a day without reading them.
J. Pat Carter AP

From the beginning, Florida lawyer Tom Ice says he realized the mass signing of mortgages was more than just a paperwork problem.

"I suspected then, and I suspect now, that we were really just touching the tip of the iceberg," he says.

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12:01am

Tue January 31, 2012
Election 2012

The Golden Age: Florida Primary Centers On Seniors

Judy Youngblood of Jacksonville, Fla., appears at a rally at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel Monday, wearing earrings she made from campaign buttons supporting Newt Gingrich.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?

Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.

If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.

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8:00am

Sun January 29, 2012
Around the Nation

Fla. Restaurant Puts National Politics On Local Stage

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:43 pm

The Fish House, a restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., has become a regular stop for GOP candidates. Mike Huckabee and John McCain came by in 2008 and Joe Scarborough has done his Morning Joe show here. In fact, as congressman, Scarborough used to play on weekends in the restaurant's house band. NPR's Greg Allen goes behind the scenes at the Fish House.

6:18am

Sat January 28, 2012
Mitt Romney

'Battling Was Won': Romney Gets Boost In Florida

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:07 pm

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno endorsed Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

After his second-place finish in the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney arrived in Florida armed with money and organization. He's used both to stop Newt Gingrich's momentum. With three days until the primary, polls give Romney a solid lead over Gingrich in Florida.

Florida is a big state, but Romney and Gingrich's paths have crossed often this week. There were the two debates, and in Miami on Friday, Romney, like Gingrich, spoke to the Hispanic Leadership Network.

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3:53pm

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Heading Into Final Fla. Swing., GOP Candidates Keep Courting Latino Voters

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Fresh from a confident debate performance, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was jaunty as he campaigned at the Hispanic Leadership Network's lunch in Miami on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Fresh from Thursday night's debate, the two leading Republican presidential candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, traveled across Florida on Friday.

Gingrich and Romney spent the morning in Miami, where they are both looking to shore up support from Florida's Hispanic community.

Gingrich started the day talking to an influential business group, the Latin Builders Association. Later, he spoke before the Hispanic Leadership Network — a group devoted to building Republican support among Latinos.

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