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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It's All Politics
10:49 am
Fri July 10, 2015

It's Back To The Drawing Board For Florida's District Maps

Florida's Supreme Court says the state's maps have to be redrawn for eight congressional districts, but many more will be affected as well.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 1:26 pm

Florida is a state with nearly a half million more registered Democrats than Republicans. You wouldn't know it, though, from the state's seats in Congress — 17 of the 27 congressional seats are held by Republicans.

A lot of factors play into that: the concentration of Democrats in urban areas, the talent Florida's Republican Party has for turning out its voters. But another factor is how the congressional district maps are drawn.

In a momentous ruling Thursday, Florida's Supreme Court has scrambled those maps just over a year before the next election.

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Business
4:35 pm
Tue July 7, 2015

Carnival Receives U.S. Permission To Operate Cruises To Cuba

Originally published on Tue July 7, 2015 10:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Environment
4:28 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

On The Rebound, Panthers Prowl Expanding Swath Of Land In Florida

Panthers roam in rural Collier County, in southwest Florida. As the Florida state animal's population has grown, wildlife officials may seek to take the panther off the endangered species list.
Courtesy of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

In Florida, the official state animal triggers mixed feelings. The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years. From a low point in the 1970s when there were only about 20 panthers in the wild, the species has rebounded.

Now, nearly 200 range throughout southwest Florida. And some officials, ranchers and hunters in the state say that may be about enough.

Florida panthers are a subspecies of the cougar or mountain lion. They're slightly smaller than their cousins, but like them, the panthers need lots of room to roam.

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Economy
5:08 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Puerto Ricans Fear Troubled Economy Will Inflict Real Pain

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 3:44 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Latin America
5:45 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Puerto Rico's Governor Seeks To Delay Debt Payments

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 7:14 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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U.S.
5:12 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

For Same-Sex Marriage Opponents, The Fight Is Far From Over

People gathered near the White House on Friday evening to see it lit in rainbow colors as a commemoration of the Supreme Court's ruling to legalize same-sex marriage.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 8:20 am

The Supreme Court decision Friday that upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry was one for the history books. Obergefell v. Hodges was exalted by gay rights groups and their supporters, and condemned by those who believe that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman.

Opponents of same-sex marriage say that the fight is far from over.

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Media
4:37 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Univision Cancels Miss USA Over Donald Trump's Mexico Comments

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 1:49 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Sights Set On The White House, But It Started In West Miami

Marco Rubio speaks to supporters in West Miami in 2010 before declaring his candidacy in the U.S. Senate.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 1:24 pm

Marco Rubio, at just 44, is the youngest major presidential candidate in the 2016 field. The Florida senator is one of the rising stars of the Republican Party — and the roots of that rise started in a small city just outside Miami.

West Miami is less than a square mile. It's a tight-knit community of just over 6,000 people. This is where Marco Rubio grew up.

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U.S.
3:32 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Broke And Barred From Bankruptcy, Puerto Rico Seeks Outside Cash

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 7:58 am

The island of Puerto Rico is caught in an economic crisis. While the rest of the U.S. is seeing economic growth, Puerto Rico is struggling to emerge from nine years of recession. The poor economy has spurred hundreds of thousands to leave the island.

The U.S territory is more than $72 billion in debt, running low on cash and on the verge of default.

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U.S.
3:33 am
Mon June 1, 2015

10 Years Since Katrina: A Look Back At The Busiest Hurricane Season

The National Hurricane Center introduced a new storm surge forecast map this year. This map, centered on New Orleans, is a prototype.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 10:26 am

Ten years ago, the U.S. experienced its busiest hurricane season ever recorded. The year saw 28 named storms — 15 of them hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast. Four major hurricanes hit the U.S. in 2005, beginning in July with Hurricane Dennis.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Puerto Rico Wants To Grow Your Next Cup Of Specialty Coffee

Elena Biamon holds coffee berries grown on her farm near Jayuya, a town in Puerto Rico's mountainous interior.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:48 pm

Puerto Rico used to produce some of the best coffee in the world — but that was more than a century ago.

Today, Puerto Rico's coffee crop is just a fraction of what it was then, and little is exported. But there's a movement on the island to improve quality and rebuild Puerto Rico's coffee industry.

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Energy
3:50 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Power Problems: Puerto Rico's Electric Utility Faces Crippling Debt

PREPA's Central Palo Seco power station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The utility's bondholders want to raise rates. That's a challenge when the median income is about half that of Mississippi, yet the U.S. territory's energy costs are among the highest in the nation.
Alvin Baez-Hernandez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 11:07 am

As a U.S. territory with tropical weather and beautiful beaches, Puerto Rico has a lot going for it. But there are downsides to living on an island. A big one is the cost of energy.

All the electricity on the island is distributed by the government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, also known as PREPA. Power on the island costs more than in any U.S. state, except Hawaii.

And that's not the biggest problem.

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Food
2:27 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Dalma Cartagena teaches a class on agricultural science to elementary-school students in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. "I'm preparing them to make good decisions when it comes to the environment and healthy foods," she says.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:55 pm

Although it's a tropical island, perhaps surprisingly, Puerto Rico produces very little of its own food. After decades of industrialization, the U.S. territory imports more than 80 percent of what's consumed on the island. There are signs, though, the trend is changing.

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Business
4:31 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

In Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis, There Are No Easy Solutions

Protesters gather April 30 outside Puerto Rico's Capitol building in San Juan to oppose Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla's budget proposal. The plan would raise taxes to help cover the state's massive debt.
Ricardo Arduengo AP

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 8:45 am

The island of Puerto Rico is many things: a tropical paradise, a U.S. territory and an economic mess. After years of deficits, state-owned institutions in Puerto Rico owe investors some $73 billion. That's four times the debt that forced Detroit into bankruptcy two years ago. The bill is now due.

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U.S.
9:42 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Lowering A City's Homeless Population — By Forcing The Homeless Out

The city of Hollywood, Fla., bought the Homeless Voice shelter from its owner, a longtime advocate for the homeless who agreed to stay away from the city for the next 30 years.
Greg Allen

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 11:19 am

It's been a week of goodbyes at the Homeless Voice in Hollywood, Fla. For nearly 13 years, this rundown, 22-room hotel operated as a homeless shelter.

On most nights, hotel manager Christine Jordan says, more than 200 homeless men and women stayed here, some sleeping on mats in the cafeteria.

"We called this the emergency level ... almost 40 people in here every night," she says. Some stayed for free and others paid on a sliding scale. "[Now], everything's gone. I can't cry anymore."

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Animals
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'Super-Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

The male Asian subterranean termite (brown abdomen) and the female Formosan subterranean termite (orange abdomen) are surrounded by their hybrid offspring (eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers) in an eight-month-old colony.
Thomas Chouvenc University of Florida

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:19 pm

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

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U.S.
6:27 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Record Number Of Inmate Deaths Has Florida Prisons On The Defensive

Latandra Ellington, 36, was serving time for tax fraud at Lowell Correctional Institution when she died.
Florida Department of Corrections

A record number of inmates – 346 people — died behind bars in Florida last year.

Most were from natural causes, but a series of suspicious deaths have raised questions about safety in the prisons. Federal and state law enforcement agencies are now investigating why so many inmates have been dying.

Latandra Ellington, 36, was serving time for tax fraud at Lowell Correctional Institution in central Florida when she died. Algarene Jennings, Ellington's aunt, believes she was murdered.

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U.S.
8:26 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Razing Liberty: Miami's Gambit To Fix A Crime-Plagued Neighborhood

Liberty Square, a 700-unit low-rise complex, is in the heart of one of Miami's most crime-plagued neighborhoods. Miami officials recently announced plans to demolish the building and relocate residents to new public housing.
Nadege Green WLRN

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 3:52 pm

In Miami, officials have announced plans to replace a troubled public housing complex.

Liberty Square, in the heart of one of Miami's most crime-plagued neighborhoods, will be demolished; residents will be relocated to new public housing. Officials say it will improve living conditions and reduce violent crime.

Residents like the county's plan, but worry it may be the latest in a string of broken promises.

A Storied History

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Science
4:43 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Can You Dig It? More Evidence Suggests Humans From The Ice Age

Students Patrick Rohrer, Sarah Warthen, Alix Piven and Lauren Urane are led by Mercyhurst University Archeologist Andy Hemmings. Their project has picked up where Florida's State Geologist Elias Sellards left off in 1915. Sellards led an excavation of the site where workers digging a drainage canal found fossilized human remains.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

In Florida, archaeologists are investigating a site that a century ago sparked a scientific controversy. Today, it's just a strip of land near an airport.

But in 1915, it was a spot that became world-famous because of the work of Elias Sellards, Florida's state geologist. Sellards led a scientific excavation of the site, where workers digging a drainage canal found fossilized animal bones and then, human remains.

Andy Hemmings of Mercyhurst University is the lead archaeologist on a project that has picked up where Sellards left off a century ago.

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Sports
4:37 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Thaw In U.S.-Cuba Relations Comes To Baseball

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 7:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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