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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Animals
4:39 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Florida's Manatees: Big, Beloved And Bitterly Contested

A manatee swims underwater in the springs of Crystal River, Fla. — home to a group of residents who have sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, demanding that the agency consider removing the animals from the endangered species list.
Amanda Cotton iStockphoto

They're large, even ungainly. But there may be no animal more beloved in Florida than the manatee.

Sorry, dolphins. It's the manatee that is the state's official marine mammal. But as manatees meander through Florida's shallow bays, rivers and canals, they often encounter people. And that's where problems arise.

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Business
3:38 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Marvel's New Hero Wants To Save The World — And The Citrus Industry

A new comic features Captain Citrus teaming up with the Avengers to defeat a villain. The new superhero, who uses the power of the sun to generate "energy items," is sponsored by Florida's citrus industry.
Florida Citrus

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 3:40 pm

Marvel's latest superhero, Captain Citrus, draws his power from the sun and hails from a Florida orange grove. And here's his true origin story: He was developed by Marvel for Florida's citrus growers, who hope the hero will use his powers to help them sell more orange juice.

Captain Of An Industry

Marvel's successful films and comics, from Spider-Man to The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy, have made them a hit with not just audiences, but also businesses.

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Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

SeaWorld Hopes New Orca Habitats Will Stem A Tide Of Criticism

Visitors watch an orca performance at SeaWorld in San Diego this year. The company has seen attendance slip in the year since the release of a documentary film critical of the company's captive whale program.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 7:00 am

It's been a strong business year for the nation's theme parks, with a notable exception: SeaWorld.

The company, which has parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., saw its attendance drop in recent months. The company blames that, in part, on fallout from Blackfish, a documentary film that's critical of SeaWorld's treatment of its captive killer whales.

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Education
5:50 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 11:31 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Politics
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Florida Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Florida is getting ready for an unusual governor's race. Like incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican, Charlie Crist is running for a second term as governor. In his first term, Crist was also a Republican.

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The Salt
1:40 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The 'Greening' Of Florida Citrus Means Less Green In Growers' Pockets

An orange showing signs of "citrus greening" this spring in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:42 pm

Orange juice has been an important part of breakfast tables since the 1950s, after development of frozen orange juice concentrate made it both convenient and affordable. Back in the 1960s and '70s, TV spokeswoman Anita Bryant even told Americans that "breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."

But today, sales are the lowest they've been in decades.

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Around the Nation
2:56 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Pesticides Used On Florida's Mosquitoes May Harm Butterflies

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:53 am

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

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Politics
2:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Fla. Judge Orders Lawmakers Back To Work On A New Congressional Map

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:33 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Politics
2:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Great Blue Hope: Michelle Nunn Tries The Improbable In Ga.

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn greets campaign volunteers at South DeKalb Community Achievement Center in Decatur, Ga., on May 13. The U.S. Senate race in Georgia is one of the most closely watched in the country.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:31 pm

Georgia has been considered safely red territory for more than a decade. But there's a new energy among Democrats in the state, where candidate Michelle Nunn represents the party's best chance of winning a Senate seat in years.

This is Nunn's first run for public office, but she's far from an unknown in a state where her father, Sam Nunn, is a Democratic icon who represented Georgia in the Senate for more than two decades.

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Legal Battle Looms Over Florida Congressional Districts

Florida's state capitol. A redistricting plan crafted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tallahassee was partially thrown out by a state judge.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:18 pm

With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.

A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.

The question now is when.

Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Fate Of Decades-Old Cigar Factory Dangles By A Phrase

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUSIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Tampa was once known as Cigar City. Today, there's just one cigar factory left. The J.C. Newman Company makes cigars in Tampa the way it has for more than 80 years on machines made in the 1930s. Now, as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the company's owners and employees are worried new federal regulations may put them out of business.

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Code Switch
1:09 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Miami Stores Enjoy Thriving Business From Cuban Shoppers

Serafin Blanco's discounted clothing store in Hialeah advertises its cheap deals. Cuban customers take their purchases back to Cuba to give to relatives or to sell, Blanco says.
Greg Allen NPR

On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah, Fla., is just as close to Havana. And now, more than ever, Cubans are flocking to Hialeah to shop, taking advantage of the relaxed travel restrictions.

"There are more Cubans here than any place besides Cuba," says Serafin Blanco, who owns a discount clothing store there.

Through these shopping expeditions, Cuba's emerging entrepreneurs can buy goods their customers need and can't find in their country — legally skirting the 50-year-old trade embargo.

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Around the Nation
3:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Goods Sold In Cuban Shops Often Come From Florida Stores

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In recent weeks we've been reporting on changes in Cuba. One is Cuba's small but growing private sector. The government is letting entrepreneurs open their own businesses, which leaves many trying to find the goods their customers want. The U.S. trade embargo means you can't just order from a distributor in Florida. But Cubans can still get U.S. goods. NPR's Greg Allen visited stores in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah is just as close to Havana.

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Around the Nation
3:31 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Florida County Goes To Court Over 'Acid Fracking' Near Everglades

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:20 pm

In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking.

Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment.

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Latin America
4:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Travel Freedom Raises Questions About U.S. Policies Toward Cuba

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 10:47 am

After being away for decades, many members of the first generation of Cuban-American exiles are returning to their native land. But there are still many uneasy with the relaxed travel restrictions.

NPR Story
1:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

With Cash And Fat Fryers, Americans Feed Cuba's Growing Free Market

A man stands in line at Miami International airport to board a charter flight to Havana, Cuba. Travelers often fly to Cuba from the U.S. with piles of goods, despite a decades-long trade embargo.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:38 am

Every day, you can see signs of a subtle change in relations between Cuba and the U.S. at Miami International Airport.

More Cubans than ever before are coming to the U.S. to visit, and the number of Cuban-Americans traveling back to the island is also at record levels. With all the visitors, money and goods are now traveling to the island from the United States.

It's a legal loophole in the 50-year-old trade embargo — one that's having a real impact on Cuba's economy, and allowing Cuban-Americans to become investors in Cuba's emerging private sector.

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Around the Nation
3:33 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Florida's New Regional Rail Service Raises Residents' Concerns

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 5:26 am

Florida East Coast Railway plans to start construction on an passenger line linking Miami with Orlando. Residents in towns through which the train passes worry about the impact on their communities

Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Entrepreneurs Buzzing Over Medical Marijuana In Florida

One of three marijuana plants growing in the backyard of a 65-year-old retiree from Pompano Beach, Fla. He grows and smokes his own "happy grass" to alleviate pain.
Carline Jean MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:05 am

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing for some form of medical marijuana.

Florida appears poised to join the club. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use.

If it passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. But cannabis entrepreneurs from around the country are already setting up shop in the state.

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Around the Nation
3:40 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Orlando Steps Up To Make Its Streets More Pedestrian-Friendly

Florida is home to the country's four most dangerous large metro areas for pedestrians, according to a new national study. Orlando tops the list, followed by Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami, pictured above.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:39 pm

Semoran Boulevard in Orlando, lined with gas stations, strip malls and bus stops, is a good example of what's wrong with the roads in this busy Florida city.

It's the most dangerous street in a city that ranks No. 1 in the nation for pedestrian accidents, according to a recent national study. There have been 28 crashes involving pedestrians — and six deaths — on this stretch of road over the past seven years.

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

An Underwater Race To Transplant Miami's Rare Corals

Close-up of a star coral rescued by Coral Morphologic from a reef in Miami's shipping channel.
Courtesy of Coral Morphologic

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:18 pm

A lab just off Florida's Miami River has become the base for an unusual lifesaving operation.

A group of scientists there is on an urgent mission to save as many corals as it can before the marine creatures are destroyed as part of an underwater excavation of Miami's shipping channel. The channel — set to be dredged and deepened on Saturday — is home to a thriving coral reef.

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Around the Nation
3:28 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Koch Foundation Criticized Again For Influencing Florida State

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Florida, there are questions about whether a conservative political group has too much influence at a public college. Florida State University rewrote its agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation after some on campus complained that the relationship undermined the school's academic integrity. But critics say it still gives donors with their own agendas too much influence in the classroom. NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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News
2:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 9:17 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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Movies
1:15 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Tampa Hosts Bollywood's Biggest Stars At Annual Awards Show

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

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 10:04 am

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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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Florida's Freshwater Springs Attract Vacationers

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:20 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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History
3:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Developer To Preserve Ancient Tequesta Village In Heart Of Miami

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

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

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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Politics
3:27 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

After Setbacks, Florida Governor Courts Latino Support

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

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:58 pm

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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Sports
2:52 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Greyhound Racing May Be Headed For The Finish Line

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

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:08 am

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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Environment
4:02 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

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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Politics
3:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

In Closely Watched Congressional Election, GOP Wins In Florida

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 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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Business
12:58 am
Mon March 10, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:20 am

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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