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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Around the Nation
2:44 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 6:59 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
5:33 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 5:24 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
8:04 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 10:33 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
4:27 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 6:00 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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U.S.
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

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

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 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.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:24 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 8:07 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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U.S.
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:15 pm

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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U.S.
3:22 am
Tue February 5, 2013

One-Way Tickets To Florida: Puerto Ricans Escape Island Woes

Miguel Fontanez Sr., the owner and founder of Pioco's Chicken in Kissimmee, Fla., serves customers at his restaurant. He opened the restaurant 11 years ago, and it has become a hub for the area's large Puerto Rican community.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:09 pm

Puerto Rico's population is dropping. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

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Animals
3:13 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

A wood stork soars over its nest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Fort Myers, Fla., in 2008, as baby wood storks wait in their nest for an adult to bring food.
Peter Andrew Bosch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 6:16 pm

The last few years have been especially tough in South Florida for wading birds such as egrets, herons, ibises and wood storks that feed and nest in the region's wetlands.

The problem is there are fewer wetlands, and the last few years have been dry, reducing water levels in critical areas.

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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Estimated Costs Drive Debate As Florida Weighs Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks in Fort Lauderdale in May.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Florida and several other states are wrestling with a decision: whether to expand Medicaid.

When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last year, the court said states could opt out of that part of the law. But it's key. It would provide coverage to millions of low-income Americans who currently have no health insurance.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's concerned about how much expanding Medicaid would cost. But others charge the governor is exaggerating.

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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'

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Politics
8:20 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

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 8:44 am

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.

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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.

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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.
6:18 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
Election 2012
5:01 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Tea Party Favorite Allen West Concedes Florida Race

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:14 pm

Two weeks after votes were cast, Tea Party firebrand Allen West conceded he lost his Florida Congressional race to Democrat Patrick Murphy. He was one of just a few Tea Party activists to be defeated.

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.

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It's All Politics
4:25 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
Election 2012
5:05 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Florida Still Tallying Ballots With Obama In The Lead

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Election 2012
5:18 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Long Ballot Ties Up Florida Voters At The Polls

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. We're going to check in now with a couple of our reporters at polling stations around the country. We'll hear in a moment from Colorado. First, to Florida. NPR's Greg Allen joins us from College Park Baptist Church in Orlando. Hi, Greg.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Hi, Lynn.

NEARY: What are you hearing from voters there today, Greg?

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Election 2012
5:41 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Florida's Early Voting Outcome Differs From 2008

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On Election Day, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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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.

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It's All Politics
5:37 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.

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House & Senate Races
5:26 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Allen West Faces Challenge After Redistricting

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Among the hundreds of races underway for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most expensive and nastiest is in a district on Florida's Atlantic Coast. Although he's just a freshman, Republican Allen West is known nationally for his Tea Party conservatism, his frequent appearances on Fox News and his provocative statements. He once called House Democrats members of the communist party.

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Election 2012
5:14 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Obama Campaign Looks To Black Churches In Fla.

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 6:41 am

In the closely contested battleground state of Florida, the Obama campaign is trying to drive up the number of votes from its base. A key mechanism is the network of black churches throughout the state.

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.

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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.

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Election 2012
4:23 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Florida, Obama In California

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney's campaign spent almost the whole month of September in freefall. Almost nothing he did seemed right and almost everything was criticized, at least in part because he was trailing in the polls. That's a perception that feeds on itself. Then came last week's presidential debate, and surveys over this past weekend show the race much tighter. Now we watch to see what happens next.

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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.

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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

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