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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Latin America
3:45 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Puerto Rico's Governor Seeks To Delay Debt Payments

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 5:14 pm

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

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Economy
3:03 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Facing Massive Debt, Puerto Ricans Warned Belt Tightening Will Be Needed

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 4:10 pm

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

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The Two-Way
9:46 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Puerto Rico's Governor Wants Lenders To Wait For More Than $73 Billion Debt Payments

Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico, discussing the commonwealth's budget earlier in 2015.
Ricardo Arduengo AP

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 10:26 am

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Monday that international creditors need to lighten Puerto Rico's nearly $73 billion public debt burden.

In a televised speech, Garcia said, given the state of its economy, Puerto Rico's public debt is unpayable. He cited a report by a former chief economist of the World Bank that recommends lenders consider easier terms for the island. Padilla said he will go further and seek a multi-year moratorium on debt payments to allow the island time to rebuild its economy.

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U.S.
3:12 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 Sat June 27, 2015 7:56 pm

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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It's All Politics
6:22 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Univision Cuts Ties With Trump After Comments About Immigrants

Donald Trump is just a week into his presidential bid, and he is in hot water over comments he made about a key voting bloc, Latinos.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:23 am

Following comments Donald Trump made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential announcement last week, Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language TV network, has announced it is cutting ties with Trump and dropping plans to broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant.

Trump, the businessman and now-presidential candidate, co-owns the pageant.

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Media
3:18 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Univision Cancels Miss USA Over Donald Trump's Mexico Comments

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 11:49 am

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

It's All Politics
2:46 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 Mon June 22, 2015 8:32 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.
1:32 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Broke And Barred From Bankruptcy, Puerto Rico Seeks Outside Cash

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 5:58 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.
1:33 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 8:26 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
1:22 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 3:48 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
1:50 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 9:07 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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The Salt
12:27 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 5:55 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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Economy
3:11 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 6:45 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.
7:42 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 9:19 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
4:36 am
Thu March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Ads Counter Criticism Over Treatment Of Whales

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:18 pm

Two years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld continues to struggle. The film shone a critical spotlight on the theme park's treatment of its captive orcas, also known as killer whales.

Since then, SeaWorld has experienced a decline in profits. Attendance was down by a million people last year. But it is launching a new ad campaign aimed at restoring its image and winning back the public.

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Animals
4:04 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 1:19 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.
4:27 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.
6:26 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 1:52 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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Environment
2:18 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Florida Gov. Scott Denies Banning Phrase 'Climate Change'

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:07 pm

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

Around the Nation
3:34 am
Mon March 9, 2015

More Snakes Added To U.S. Banned Species List

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:56 am

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

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Science
2:43 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 8:40 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
2:49 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

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

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 5:33 pm

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

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Health Care
2:29 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Despite Political Resistance, Florida A Leader In ACA Sign-Ups

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 8:23 pm

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

Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Florida Health Officials Hope To Test GMO Mosquitoes This Spring

A couple of male, genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes take flight.
Dr Derric Nimmo/Oxitec

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 5:18 pm

The FDA is considering whether to approve the experimental use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help stop the spread of dengue fever and other diseases. Mosquito control officials in the region say they hope to get approval to begin releasing the insects in the Keys as soon as this spring.

There are few places in the United States where mosquito control is as critical as the Florida Keys. In this southernmost county of the continental U.S., mosquitoes are a year-round public health problem and controlling them is a top priority.

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Latin America
8:51 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Traveling To Cuba Getting Easier, But Expect Turbulence On The Way

Travelers wait to check in for charter flights from Miami to Havana at Miami International Airport.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 2:03 pm

New rules that went into effect on Friday mark the biggest change in U.S. relations with Cuba in more than 50 years.

While tourism remains off-limits, the Obama administration opened new opportunities in Cuba for banks, airlines, telecommunications companies and regular Americans.

For the first time in decades, under the new rules, Americans who don't have family on the island can travel to Cuba without receiving special permission from the U.S. government.

No Tourists Allowed — Yet

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U.S.
3:05 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Miami Rejects Hosting Cuban Consulate, But Tampa Wants It

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

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

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Parallels
2:36 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

As Rumors Spread, More Cubans Try To Reach The U.S. By Sea

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 3:06 pm

Since President Obama's announcement that he wants to normalize relations with Cuba, the U.S. Coast Guard says there has been a spike in the number of Cubans leaving their homeland on rafts and boats.

They're coming, officials say, because of a rumor in Cuba that the U.S. will soon change the policy that allows Cubans who reach the U.S. to remain in the country legally.

The commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami, Rear Adm. Jake Korn, says 481 Cubans attempted to reach the U.S. on rafts and boats last month — double the amount seen in December 2013.

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Law
3:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Same-Sex Marriages Start In Florida

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:31 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, Florida became the 36th state to legalize gay marriage after an extended legal battle in state and federal courts. NPR's Greg Allen was at the courthouse in Miami for today's ruling.

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Animals
1:50 am
Thu January 1, 2015

With Rescue Dogs In Demand, More Shelters Look Far Afield For Fido

Laurie McCannon, director of the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Mass., with a dog named Trina. Three-quarters of the dogs adopted from the shelter in 2013 were from out of state.
Shannon Mullen for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 8:37 am

Just north of Boston, the Northeast Animal Shelter is one of the largest private shelters in New England. Founded in the 1970s, it went through a big expansion about six years ago, building a new, 13,000-square-foot shelter with three isolation rooms.

The rooms were designed to house the increasing number of dogs the shelter transports from other states and Puerto Rico.

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Animals
2:36 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

No-Kill Shelters Save Millions Of Unwanted Pets — But Not All Of Them

Miami-Dade County's animal shelter takes in more than 28,000 dogs and cats each year. In 2012, the county adopted a resolution that the shelter would become a no-kill facility. But even no-kill shelters can euthanize up to 10 percent of their animals.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 9:25 am

It's been 20 years since San Francisco helped start a revolution: It became the first U.S. community to guarantee a home to every adoptable dog and cat.

Since then, the no-kill movement, as it's called, has been credited with greatly reducing the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized, from some 20 million down to about 3 million each year.

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