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.

Pages

It's All Politics
3:29 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Outspoken Alan Grayson Gets Another Chance In Congress

After losing his bid for re-election in 2010, Democrat Alan Grayson of Florida is back in Congress after winning a safer district.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:24 am

Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.

After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.

'The People United'

Read more
Politics
8:44 am
Wed December 26, 2012

After Beating Allen West, House Freshman Faces New Fight

Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., speaks during a news conference introducing 37 of the newly elected House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Of the eight new seats that Democrats picked up in the House of Representatives in November, four of them come from Florida.

Democrats were aided by a big turnout for President Obama, plus new rules that helped erase a Republican advantage in how districts are drawn in the Sunshine State.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

President Obama's re-election sent a message to state capitals: The war over the president's health care overhaul is finished.

Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law.

Read more
U.S.
3:22 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

Mission Diversify: CIA Begins LGBT Recruiting

The CIA is looking to employ a community it historically rejected.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:06 pm

As part of the CIA's efforts to diversify its workforce, the spy agency is reaching out to a group that once was unable to get security clearance — lesbians and gay men.

Earlier this week, CIA officials held a networking event for the Miami gay community sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the CIA.

Read more
U.S.
6:14 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Will Florida Pythons Slither To Rest Of The U.S.?

A Burmese python coils around the arm of a hunter during a news conference in 2010 in the Florida Everglades. New research suggests that the pythons won't spread through the American Southeast, as previously believed.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:42 pm

There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.

Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.

Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:58 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Republican Lock On Florida's Cuban-American Vote May Be Over

American and Cuban flags in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 8:07 pm

For Republicans ruminating over why their party lost the presidential election, here's something else to digest from the swing state of Florida. Cuban-Americans — long a reliable Republican voting bloc — split almost evenly between Mitt Romney and President Obama, according to at least one group's exit polls.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Florida's Most Populous County Finishes Vote Count

A Miami-Dade Elections Department employee tallies absentee ballot reports in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:53 pm

It only took two extra days, but Florida's Miami-Dade County has finished counting votes in the presidential election.

Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley said Thursday she was pleased to announce that the state's most populous county, with more than 2.5 million people, was "the first of the large counties to complete its tabulation process."

Townsley was referring to three other large counties — Broward (population 1.8 million), Palm Beach (population 1.3 million) and Duval (population 870,000) — that were still tallying absentee ballots.

Read more
Statewide Races
3:20 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Florida's New Battleground: The State Supreme Court

Speaking at the University of Florida in Gainesville, state Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis said Florida's courts should be independent. Lewis is one of three justices fighting to keep his seat.
Matt Stamey Gainesville Sun /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

In Florida, Supreme Court justices are nominated by a commission and appointed by the governor. Every six years, they're up for retention. Voters decide whether to keep them on the bench or let them go.

Since the system was put in place in the 1970s, retention votes have been pro forma affairs, with justices doing little fundraising or campaigning.

But this year is different.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Legal Battle Surrounds Florida Early Voting Dispute

Floridians stand in line during the last day of early voting in Miami on Saturday. A judge extended early-voting hours in one Florida county Sunday after Democrats sued to allow more time.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 5:49 pm

Early voting ended in Florida on Saturday. But on Sunday, some county elections officials opened their offices to allow people to vote using absentee ballots.

In Miami-Dade County, elections officials opened the office for over-the-counter absentee voting, but then inexplicably shut down. A couple of hundred waiting voters began chanting and pounding on the doors. An hour later, the office reopened.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera Charged In Ethics Probe

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., talks during a freedom for Cuba march in Miami on Feb. 24, 2011.
Alan Diaz AP

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., was charged Wednesday by Florida authorities with alleged ethics violations while he was in the state Legislature, perhaps imperiling his bid for re-election to the House in an already tight contest.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:47 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Florida's Dozier School For Boys: A True Horror Story

Dick Colon, one of the White House Boys, walks through grave sites near the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. Several men who suffered abuse and severe beatings believe the crosses mark the graves of boys who were killed at the school, victims of punishments that went too far.
Phil Coale AP

Over the past decade, hundreds of men have come forward to tell gruesome stories of abuse and terrible beatings they suffered at Florida's Dozier School for Boys, a notorious, state-run institution that closed last year after more than a century.

Known as the "White House Boys," these 300-some men were sent as boys to the reform school in the small panhandle town of Mariana in the 1950s and 1960s. They have joined together over the years to tell their stories of the violence administered in a small building on the school's grounds they knew as the White House.

Read more
NPR Story
5:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Venezuelans In Fla. Face 900-Mile Trip To Vote

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 8:58 am

Venezuelans go to the polls Sunday in an election that will decide if President Hugo Chavez remains in power. Polls indicate it's his most serious electoral challenge since taking office nearly 14 years ago, and it's mobilizing large numbers of voters in Venezuela — and in the U.S.

Nearly 20,000 Venezuelans living in Florida are registered to vote, and most arrived in the past decade, since Chavez took power. He upended the old power structure, installing a socialist government that seized property and nationalized industries.

Read more
The Message Machine
5:24 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Campaigns Targeting Hispanics, But With Tight Focus

A volunteer hands out buttons before first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a Hispanic caucus on Sept. 5 in Charlotte, N.C.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:17 pm

Read more
It's All Politics
3:35 am
Tue October 2, 2012

In North Carolina, Latino Voters Could Be Crucial To Winning The State

A sign directs voters to polls at a polling station on Nov. 4, 2008, in Shallotte, N.C.
Logan Mock-Bunting Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:24 pm

In this year's presidential campaign, $11 million has been spent so far on ads targeting Hispanics, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

That's eight times the amount spent four years ago on Spanish-language ads, and it's focused in just a handful of battleground states: Florida, Nevada, Colorado and, perhaps most surprisingly, North Carolina.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:53 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Investigation Dims GOP's Hopes For Holding On To House Seat In Fla.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., speaks in Coral Gables in November 2010. Rivera is under investigation by state and federal authorities for allegedly misusing campaign funds.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:20 am

Democrats in Florida think they have a chance in November to take back some congressional seats now held by Republicans. Near the top of the list is the 26th Congressional District near Miami.

It's a largely Hispanic district currently represented by Republican David Rivera. Although just a freshman in Congress, Rivera is a well-known Miami politician. Before being elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Legislature and shared a house with longtime friend Marco Rubio.

Read more
Law
5:20 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Likely To Remain

Sandra Boden holds a photo of her son, Jason, during a Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection hearing. Prosecutors told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the person who shot and killed Jason.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:19 pm

A panel in Florida tasked with examining the state's "Stand Your Ground" law is unlikely to suggest that any major changes are needed.

Since it was convened in May, members of the task force have held meetings at locations around the state. At almost every meeting, they've heard impassioned testimony from people like David Boden, whose son, Jason, was killed in a shooting. Prosecutors in West Palm Beach told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the shooter.

Read more
News
3:30 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Princess Cruises Says Video Disproves Guilt

Princess Cruise Lines, which operates the mammoth cruise ship Star Princess (above), is being sued after allegedly ignoring a Panamanian fishing boat in distress. Two men died when the boat sank; one man survived.
Dan Peled AP

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:17 am

The owners of the Star Princess cruise ship say that they have new video evidence that proves they are not responsible for ignoring a stranded fishing vessel 100 miles off the coast of South America in March.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Torrential Rains Threaten Gulf Coast

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Water has been slopping over at least one levee in Louisiana this morning. The levee is down the Mississippi River from New Orleans, near the place where Hurricane Isaac came ashore. So far, the storm has caused street flooding along much of the Gulf Coast and left hundreds of thousands of people without power. But the full-scale of its effects will depend in part on just how long Isaac sticks around.

Read more
Presidential Race
5:27 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Despite Delay, Republican Stage Is Set In Tampa

Workers prepare for the Republican National Convention inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 9:32 am

After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.

Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:19 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Hurricane Andrew's Legacy: 'Like A Bomb' In Florida

Florida National Guardsmen keep people in line at a food distribution center in Florida City, Fla., on Aug. 27, 1992. Many residents of the Dade County farming community lost their homes to Hurricane Andrew.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:46 am

Twenty years ago, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. changed the face of South Florida.

Hurricane Andrew wiped out communities south of Miami, killing 15 people when it struck in 1992. Dozens more died from injuries stemming from the storm and its aftermath.

Adjusted for inflation, the 1992 storm was, after Katrina, the second costliest storm in U.S. history. It also changed how we forecast and respond to hurricanes.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

GOP Platform Anti-Abortion Language Includes No Exceptions For Rape, Incest

Republican National Committee officials on Monday unveiled the stage inside of the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for the Republican National Convention.
Tim Boyles Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:47 pm

In Tampa, Fla., a week ahead of their national convention, Republicans are drawing up their party platform. There are muted disagreements over a few issues, such as immigration and same-sex marriage. But at least within the platform committee, one of the least controversial issues discussed this week is abortion.

With little discussion, the committee on Tuesday adopted the same anti-abortion language it included in GOP platforms in 2004 and 2008. It seeks passage of a constitutional amendment that would extend legal rights to the unborn, essentially banning abortion.

Read more
Education
4:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Tax Credit Scholarships Reignite Voucher Debate

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 9:23 am

In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.

The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.

Read more
Election 2012
6:27 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Will Florida Seniors Accept Ryan's Medicare Vision?

An audience member looks on during a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in St. Augustine, Fla., on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.

But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.

Read more
Politics
4:24 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Will Tea Party Star Marco Rubio Get GOP VP Nod?

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

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

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.

Read more
Science
2:01 am
Tue July 17, 2012

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

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

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

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.

Read more
Dead Stop
3:52 am
Tue July 10, 2012

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.

Read more
Health Care
5:53 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Results Of Court's Decision Will Be 'Devastating'

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

To Florida now, where yesterday's Supreme Court decision came as a complete shock to some elected officials. Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott and his administration have done as little as possible to comply with the law. But now that the Supreme Court has acted, NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami that Florida officials have some tough decisions ahead.

Read more
Election 2012
3:06 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Obama's Immigration Move Disrupts Rubio's Dream

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

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

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.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:07 am
Fri June 1, 2012

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

"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

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

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.

Read more
Law
5:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Fla. Judge Blocks Parts Of Voter Registration Law

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 2:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to Florida, where a federal judge has blocked portions of a new election law that was causing a lot of debate. That law had put tough restrictions on groups conducting voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote stopped registering votes(ph) in the state. Those groups challenged the new law in court. And yesterday, Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the groups. He called the rules onerous and unconstitutional.

Read more

Pages