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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Environment
1:42 am
Thu September 26, 2013

With Murky Water And Manatee Deaths, Lagoon Languishes

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

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:06 am

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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Shots - Health News
1:18 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Florida Makes Spreading Word On Health Care Law A Challenge

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

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:01 am

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.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Florida Officials Swat At Mosquitoes With Dengue Fever

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

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:29 pm

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.

Read more
Law
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Florida Asked To Reimburse George Zimmerman For Court Costs

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

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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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Fla. Balks At Insurance Navigators As Obamacare Deadline Nears

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

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 8:02 pm

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.

Read more
Latin America
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Top Foreign Real Estate Buyers In Miami Are Brazilians

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen, in Miami. To gauge the impact of Brazilians here, you only need to go downtown and look up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

ALLEN: Just a few years after the housing downturn, in Miami, once again, cranes and construction crews are hard at work building high-rise condominiums. Thousands of units are going up all over town, and many are being built for Brazilians.

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U.S.
1:12 am
Wed July 31, 2013

In Florida, A Clash Over Exhuming Bodies At Reform School

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

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 10:32 am

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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Around the Nation
1:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Miami Beach Preservationists Battle Glitterati Over Homes

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

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:35 am

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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Law
4:20 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Florida Governor Stands Firm On 'Stand Your Ground' Law

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

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:30 pm

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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News
6:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Zimmerman Not Guilty On All Charges

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 10:12 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News, I'm Rachel Martin. It took more than 16 hours of deliberations but last night, a jury in Sanford, Fla., pronounced George Zimmerman not guilty. Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year, faced two charges - second-degree murder and manslaughter. The jury's verdict came nearly 17 months after that February night when Zimmerman and Martin had a confrontation that ended with the teenager dead from a single, fatal gunshot.

Read more
News
5:16 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Zimmerman Jury Deliberates

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

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.

Read more
Law
3:03 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Takes July 4 Off, Case Resumes Friday

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:48 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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Science
6:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

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

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:34 am

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.

Read more
Law
4:23 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Prosecutors Begin Their Case Against Trayvon Martin's Killer

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:10 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
Law
4:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

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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Law
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Sanford, Florida, jury selection begins today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with the shooting death of a 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, last year. Police, at first, declined to charge Zimmerman because of Florida's Stand-Your-Ground law. It gives immunity to people who use deadly force in self defense.

Read more
Environment
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

New Maps Aim To Raise Awareness Of Storm Surge Danger

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

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 10:39 am

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Federal Forecasters To Juggle Active Hurricane Season With Sequester

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

How A Florida Medical School Cares For Communities In Need

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

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:15 pm

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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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Rubio Tries To Convince Conservatives He Hasn't Been Duped

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

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:48 pm

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Around the Nation
2:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

States Question What To Do With Surging Tax Revenue

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:07 am

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:44 am
Fri April 19, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

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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Environment
3:33 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists

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

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 3:24 pm

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
Around the Nation
4:26 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Company Withdraws Naming Rights Offer For FAU Stadium

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For Florida Atlantic University, a recent decision to sell the naming rights of its new football stadium to the GEO Group, turned from being a cash windfall to a PR disaster. When FAU's president announced the deal, she called GEO, a private prison corporation, a wonderful company. Not everyone agreed. Students, troubled by allegations of abuse at some facilities, held protests and now the deal has been called off.

From Miami, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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Around the Nation
6:04 am
Tue April 2, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:33 am

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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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

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

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:00 pm

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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Business
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Cruise Industry Stays Confidently Afloat Amid Major Accidents

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If the cruise industry is smarting from some recent PR disasters, it's not letting on. Executives are gathered in Florida this week for Cruise Shipping Miami, a big conference. It's been a month since an engine fire on the Carnival Triumph knocked out the ship's power, leaving it stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Cable networks seem to carry every moment of the drama, as the ship and more than 3,000 passengers were towed slowly to port.

Read more
Business
3:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Cruise Ship Leaders To Discuss Industry's Future

Leaders of several cruise lines are meeting in Miami on Tuesday to discuss the state of the industry. The conference comes after a series of setbacks, including a cruise ship losing power for days in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S.
4:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

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

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 9:04 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.

Read more
Crisis In The Housing Market
1:24 am
Fri February 22, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:07 am

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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