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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Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Fla. Tea Party Likes Gingrich's Bold Leadership Style

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As we've been reporting on the program this morning, Mitt Romney went on the attack at the GOP presidential debate in Florida last night. His target was rival Newt Gingrich, who was forced to defend his record as House speaker and later as a consultant to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich denied charges of influence peddling that were leveled by Romney. And Gingrich said he was the type of bold, tough leader Washington needs.

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Election 2012
2:20 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Florida's Winner-Take-All Primary Heats Up GOP Race

GOP presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicks off his Florida campaign with a rally at All-Star Building Materials in Ormond Beach, Fla., Sunday. Romney starts his Florida primary campaigning after having lost to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina on Saturday.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 10:19 am

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the tally stands at 1-1-1. Over the weekend, former House speaker Newt Gingrich re-established himself as a presidential contender with a resounding victory in South Carolina's primary.

He beat second-place finisher former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by more than 12 points. That means Romney, Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have each won a nominating contest. Now all eyes are on Florida.

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Politics
5:59 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Florida's Unpopular Governor Retools His Image

Florida Gov. Rick Scott delivers the State of the State address to a joint session of the Florida Legislature last week.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 2:19 pm

One thing you can say about Florida's economy: It's not quite as bad as it was a year ago.

When the state's new governor, Republican Rick Scott, took office, Florida faced a $3.5 billion budget shortfall. A year later, Scott is working with the Legislature to close a still-daunting $2 billion budget gap.

But Scott has another challenge: overcoming his image as one of the nation's most unpopular governors.

Private Sector Background

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Political Tourists Make N.H. Their Vacation Spot

Originally published on Sun January 8, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the days leading up to Tuesday's primary, with so much political activity compressed into such a small state, New Hampshire is pretty much nirvana for anyone fascinated by politics. Yes, all the candidates are there. But so are reporters, pundits, researchers, and as NPR's Greg Allen discovered, political tourists.

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Not Officially Republicans, 'Undeclared' Voters Could Sway N.H. Race

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman shakes hands with voters following a business lunch campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. on Jan. 5.
JESSICA RINALDI Reuters /Landov

In Tuesday's primary, many of those showing up to vote will not be registered as Republicans. In New Hampshire, voters unaffiliated with either party can vote in the primary.

So-called "undeclared" voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats in the Granite State, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electorate. That makes New Hampshire's independent vote a tempting, but elusive target.

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Around the Nation
11:33 am
Thu January 5, 2012

The Race To Dig Deeper Ports For Bigger Cargo Ships

A container ship prepares to leave the Port of Miami in 2010. Plans are under way to deepen the port to 50 feet to attract bigger ships coming from the Panama Canal, but they've recently been put on hold after environmental groups filed a petition.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:27 pm

In 2014, when expansion of the Panama Canal is complete, a new generation of superlarge cargo ships will begin calling on the East Coast. Cities like New York; Savannah, Ga.; and Miami are vying for the new business, as they race to deepen their ports and expand their facilities to accommodate the new ships.

But some of the cities are running into significant challenges. In Miami, where plans are under way to deepen the port to 50 feet, dredging is a hot topic. Some see it as a great business opportunity. To others, it's a threat to the environment.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu January 5, 2012

GOP Candidates Rush To N.H. Ahead Of 1st Primary

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. People have been making campaign stops in New Hampshire for months. But now the campaign intensifies for the nation's first primary. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is favored, but other Republican candidates are looking for a strong showing in next Tuesday's voting, and most are crossing the state this week.

NPR's Greg Allen has been following along.

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Newt Gingrich
6:13 am
Sat December 31, 2011

For Gingrich, A Week Of Attacks And Falling In Polls

Newt Gingrich wipes away a tear while speaking about his deceased mother Friday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 2:25 pm

It's been a week of marathon campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: five or six campaign events each day, hitting Rotary meetings, pizza restaurants and coffee shops.

With the caucuses just days away, it's time for closing arguments in Iowa. Gingrich says his argument is that he's a supply-side conservative with experience both in balancing the budget and in making government work.

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States Of The Economy
4:45 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Fla.'s Economic Pain, Anger Could Shape 2012 Race

The housing market collapse has taken a toll on Florida families and may affect how they vote in the presidential election.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Florida is once again poised to play an important role in selecting the president in 2012. Its Republican primary on Jan. 31 is the nation's fourth nominating contest.

But Florida is a very different state than it was four years ago. It is reeling from the housing collapse — more than 200,000 homes are facing foreclosure — and suffering from an unemployment rate well above the national average.

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It's All Politics
10:24 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Across Iowa, Gingrich Highlights His Experience As Poll Numbers Slip

Newt Gingrich speaks Wednesday at Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:26 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich started Thursday's Iowa campaigning with a stop in Sioux City at The Coffee Works. Only about a dozen customers were there, but he was questioned critically by one about his comments on reforming the federal judiciary.

Linda Santi told Gingrich she didn't appreciate him "politicizing" the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision that found unconstitutional a state law banning gay marriage. Santi said the decision was in accordance with the state constitution. Gingrich ended the conversation with: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

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Election 2012
2:35 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Gingrich Ups Romney At Iowa Chocolate Factory

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 8:03 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen in Sioux City.

At every stop in Iowa, former House speaker Newt Gingrich touts his experience. He calls himself a supply-side conservative who worked with Ronald Reagan in the '80s, and again as House speaker in the '90s, to revive the economy.

But he's not averse to a good photo op.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

ERIKA JENSEN: OK. Oh, you got a little drips.

NEWT GINGRICH: I'm still dripping.

JENSEN: Yup.

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It's All Politics
3:55 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Complaining About Rivals' Attack Ads, Gingrich Fires Back Off The Air

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich heads for a caffeine fix with his wife Callista at Jitters Coffee Bar as he makes a campaign stop at the Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa on Dec. 28.
Charles Dharapak AP

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Wednesday renewed his pledge not to run any negative ads in the closing days of the campaign for the Iowa caucuses. But campaigning in Mason City, Gingrich said that won't stop him from personally attacking the record of his opponents.

Gingrich spoke at a mall in Mason City and afterward grabbed a skim milk café au lait from the Jitters coffee bar.

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It's All Politics
10:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Under Attack, Gingrich Struggles To Regain His Stride In Iowa

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich complained about negative ads against him during a campaign stop at the National Toy Farm Museum on Dec. 27 in Dyersville, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 7:10 pm

If you're in Iowa this week, you'll need to watch out for campaign buses. Several Republican candidates are on bus tours of the state — including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Negative Ads Chip Away At Gingrich's Standing

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich continues his bus tour of Iowa. After leading in the polls, he's had setbacks in recent days. Negative campaign ads by his opponents have hurt him with some voters. And on Tuesday, the former House speaker found his message side tracked by new disclosures involving the divorce from his first wife.

It's All Politics
8:35 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Santorum Goes Hunting For Pheasants — And Votes — In Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum celebrates after shooting a bird at Doc's Hunt Club in Adel, Iowa on Dec. 26.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:12 pm

With just one week until the caucuses, Republican presidential candidates will be everywhere in Iowa this week. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are all riding buses around the state while Ron Paul makes multiple appearances — a last-minute bid to motivate Republicans to come out and vote for them next Tuesday.

But no candidate has spent more time in Iowa than former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The day after Christmas was a holiday for most, so Santorum went hunting — with cameras.

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Election 2012
3:24 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Rick Santorum Hunts For Iowa's Pheasants, Votes

With just a week until the Republican caucuses, presidential candidate Rick Santorum spent the day in Iowa hunting — for pheasants and votes. Although he's worked hard in Iowa, he's not won over the group he's targeted: social conservatives.

Sports
12:01 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Horse Breeders Seek To Rein In Bets On Barrel Races

Barrel racing champion Charmayne James rides during a demonstration at a new arena in Gretna, Fla., that plans to hold wagering on the sport.
Brendan Farrington AP

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 7:16 am

At rodeos, barrel racing has long been a popular event. Riders, often young women, race their horses in a cloverleaf pattern around barrels in an arena. Using quarter horses, the sport has grown in popularity in recent years and has its own circuit of races and competitive riders.

But in Gretna, Fla., a plan to turn barrel racing into a betting proposition has run into opposition. Quarter horse breeders and trainers are suing to stop it, saying the new event could destroy their industry.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

New Rules Turn Up Heat On Florida's Redistricting

History shows us that elections can turn on details — a momentary lapse during a debate, the design of a butterfly ballot, who oversees a recount. That's why so much attention is being paid this year in state capitals to redistricting.

Every 10 years, congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn to reflect changes in population.

Although many states have already finished redistricting, Florida is just getting started. And it's turning into a heated political battle.

Defining 'Gerrymandering'

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Around the Nation
4:50 am
Mon December 5, 2011

In Fla., Cautious Hope For Everglades Protection

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says his administration will focus on restoring the Everglades. There are skeptics, however, because Scott oversaw cuts to restoration programs in his first year in office.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 8:46 am

At the annual dinner of the Everglades Foundation recently, there was a surprise guest: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor made a brief appearance before the group with some reassuring words.

"We are absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens for the Everglades," he said.

It's a new focus for the Republican, a businessman who's a relative newcomer both to Florida and to politics. After taking office earlier this year, his statements and actions suggested he saw environmental protection not so much as a goal, but as a problem.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu December 1, 2011

In Miami, Plans For Mega-Casinos Bring Hope And Ire

An design rendering shows the Genting Group's proposed casino and resort complex on Miami's Biscayne Bay. The Malaysian developer's plans are meeting resistance in Florida, where casinos are tightly controlled.
Resorts World Miami

A high-stakes gamble is playing out in Miami, where a Malaysian developer, the Genting Group, plans to spend more than $3 billion to build what it touts as the world's largest casino.

And that's just the opening bid. Other big names in the gaming industry have joined an effort to persuade Florida to approve what are being called "destination casinos."

But there are many opponents to expanding gambling in the state, including religious groups, hotels and restaurants, and The Walt Disney Co.

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Around the Nation
8:21 am
Sat November 19, 2011

Pedro Pan: Children's Life-Altering Flight From Cuba

At Miami's airport, children from Cuba meet George Guarch, who worked for the Catholic Welfare Bureau in the city. Guarch took displaced children to temporary camps in Miami.
Operation Pedro Pan Group

Operation Pedro Pan shaped the lives of a generation of Cuban-Americans. Between 1960 and 1962, the program airlifted more than 14,000 Cuban children from Havana to the U.S. Fifty years later, those children are recalling how that flight changed their lives.

In Miami this weekend, a group of Cuban-Americans — now in their 50s and 60s — are gathering to commemorate the flights that took them from their homeland to America.

The journey began in early January 1959, after Dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the country. Fidel Castro arrived in Havana soon after and took control.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

In Swing Through Sunshine State, Cain Struggles To Regain Momentum

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain greets supporters at a campaign rally outside of Wings Plus on Wednesday in Coral Springs, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates in Miami to the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana on Wednesday. While there, he had a cup of Cuban coffee, sampled a croquette and, playing to the largely Cuban-American crowd called out, "Freedom for Cuba!"

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Shots - Health Blog
4:38 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Fluoride In Drinking Water? No Thanks, Says Florida County

Public health officials say the evidence is solid that fluoridated drinking water helps protect teeth.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 10:15 am

The federal Centers for Disease Control calls fluoridated water one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. But many people still aren't convinced.

In Florida, opponents recently persuaded Pinellas County commissioners to stop adding fluoride to the water supply — a practice the county began in 2003. By the end of the year, Pinellas will once again be the largest county in Florida without fluoridated water.

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Politics
4:16 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Allegations Don't Hinder Cain's Tea Party Support

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 6:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

More than a week after presidential candidate Herman Cain was confronted with sexual harassment accusations, he appears to be holding on to his base of support. Most polls show him still leading the other Republican candidates.

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Around the Nation
6:44 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Fla. Utility Customers Pay Now For Future Power

Regulators in Florida recently gave two utilities permission to begin charging customers for nuclear plants that won't be completed for at least a decade. To encourage development of nuclear power, Florida allows utilities to charge customers upfront for the costs. Now here's a movement there to rethink that policy.

Education
4:21 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Students Born To Illegal Immigrants Sue Over Tuition

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 8:44 pm

A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Miami by Florida residents being charged out-of-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities. The students are American citizens — children who were born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants — and they say Florida's regulations violate their constitutional rights.

Wendy Ruiz, a 19-year-old sophomore at Miami Dade College with a 3.7 grade point average, has a plan. She expects to graduate later this year with a two-year associate's degree in Biology.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

Muslim Activist Challenges Fla. Republican's Views

There's no member of the Republican freshman class in Congress more outspoken than Florida Rep. Allen West.

Since he was elected last year, West has become a strong voice on Capitol Hill for fiscal restraint, socially conservative values — and responding to the threat posed by Islamic extremists.

On the topic of Islam, West has been particularly controversial. He calls it not a religion but a "theocratic political ideology" that's a threat to America.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Florida Law Tightens Voting Rules, Angers Advocates

An immigrant signs a voter registration information card at a booth set up at a rally in downtown Miami in 2007. If a new law is upheld, the time period groups have to turn in new voter registrations will be reduced from 10 days to two.

Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 10, 2011 9:07 pm

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan group with a distinguished history. It was founded in 1920, just months before the U.S. Constitution was amended giving women the right to vote.

The Florida chapter of the League was founded two decades later and since the beginning, has worked to educate and register new voters.

But now, the group says, a new law makes it impossible for it to carry out one of its core missions: registering new voters.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Rubio's Veep Prospects Could Be Fueling Boycott Of GOP Debate

A dispute involving Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and the nation's largest Spanish-language TV network, Univision, has spilled over into the presidential primary. At least five Republican presidential candidates say they will not take part in a debate planned by Univision in January, before the Florida primary.

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Election 2012
1:28 am
Sat October 1, 2011

Florida Faces Protests Over Early Primary Date

This December, along with the holidays, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire can also look forward to lots of visits from presidential candidates. The primary calendar now looks like it will start early in January—first with the Iowa caucuses, followed closely by New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and then, by month's end, Florida.

On Friday, officials in the Sunshine State announced they were scheduling their presidential primary on Jan. 31 — breaking party rules and forcing four other states to move up even earlier to maintain their places in the batting order.

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