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

5:53pm

Wed January 15, 2014
Animals

Months After 'Blackfish' Release, Controversy Over SeaWorld Grows

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:11 pm

Two killer whales fly out of the water during a show at SeaWorld Orlando's Shamu Stadium in 2010.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

The documentary Blackfish made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered last January, and got more attention when it was released in theaters over the summer. But it didn't reach its largest audience until October, when millions watched it on CNN.

It's a powerful documentary that focuses on Tilikum, the male orca who pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. In telling the story, Blackfish relies heavily on interviews with former SeaWorld trainers like Samantha Berg.

Read more

5:19pm

Thu January 2, 2014
It's All Politics

Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won't Resign After Rehab

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:32 am

U.S. Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla., at a Capitol news conference on July 9.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

It was November when Republican Trey Radel, a first-term congressman from Fort Myers, Fla., was charged with cocaine possession — a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.

A few days before Christmas, fresh from a month in rehab, Radel held a news conference with his wife by his side. He apologized and said that alcohol, not cocaine, is his main problem, and that's what he was treated for.

But the main point of his news conference was to say that he would not step down from Congress.

Read more

4:43pm

Fri December 27, 2013
The Salt

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

Read more

6:18pm

Fri December 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Robot 'Olympics' Test Machines On Human Skills

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Atlas, a humanoid robot, is competing against 16 other robots in a Pentagon-sponsored contest this weekend.
Greg Allen NPR

Under throbbing loudspeakers at a NASCAR track south of Miami, vaguely humanoid robots with two legs, four legs and tank treads take up garages that normally house race cars.

The robots, along with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin, NASA and 13 other teams from around the world, are in Homestead, Fla., for the robot Olympics on Friday and Saturday.

Read more

3:45pm

Mon December 16, 2013
The Salt

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Hermine Ricketts says she gardens for the food and for the peace it brings her.
Greg Allen NPR

In tropical South Florida, it's growing season. Temperatures are in the 80s, there's lots of sun and good rain, and normally, Hermine Ricketts' plants would already be in the ground.

"By now, this should be probably Red Sails lettuce, which is a beautiful color lettuce, or purple mizuna, which is a beautiful filigreed purple leaf," she says.

But this year, Ricketts' vegetable planting has been derailed by a legal fight over what she can plant and where she can plant it.

Read more

5:19am

Fri December 13, 2013
The Salt

USDA Steps Up The Fight To Save Florida's Oranges

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:52 am

Oranges ripen in a Plant City, Fla., grove on Wednesday. Growers in Florida, Texas and California are worried about citrus greening, a disease that makes the fruit bitter and unmarketable.
Chris O'Meara AP

The citrus industry is facing a crisis. It's called citrus greening — a disease that has devastated orange production in Florida since it first showed up eight years ago. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new effort to try to control the disease before it destroys the nation's citrus industry.

Read more

3:19am

Tue December 3, 2013
Fine Art

For Miami, A New Art Project, Complete With Drama

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

The boats of For Those in Peril on the Sea, by artist Hew Locke, hang in the entrance hall of the Perez Art Museum Miami, which opens this week.
Daniel Azoulay Perez Art Museum Miami

Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.

Read more

6:17pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Around the Nation

Florida Tribe Re-Creates Daring Escape From The Trail Of Tears

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Willie Johns holds a photo of Polly Parker, his great-grandmother.
Greg Allen NPR

This week, a group of Seminole Indians in Florida is commemorating an important historical event — when a Seminole named Polly Parker organized and led an escape from federal troops more than 150 years ago.

It came at a time when Indians were being deported to the West in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Florida's Seminoles call themselves the "unconquered people" because, through three wars with federal troops, they resisted deportation to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi.

Read more

3:29pm

Fri November 15, 2013
Around the Nation

Once An Ancient Village, Soon An Entertainment Complex?

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:07 pm

In the middle of downtown Miami, archaeologists excavate a site holding evidence of a more than 1,000-year-old Tequesta Indian village.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As work began on one of the last pieces of undeveloped ground in Miami's fast-changing downtown, archaeologists uncovered the site of an American Indian village. It was already centuries old by the time Columbus arrived in the New World.

The question now for the city and the developer of the planned entertainment complex is how much of the site will be preserved.

Read more

3:06am

Tue November 12, 2013
Environment

Key West Awash With Plans For Rising Sea Level

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:00 pm

A cyclist rides past buckled asphalt in Key West, Fla., after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Key West experienced widespread flooding with the storm surge.
Lynne Sladky AP

Florida — especially South Florida — is very flat and very low, and in places like Miami Beach and Key West, buildings are just 3 feet above sea level. Scientists now say there may be a 3-foot rise in the world's oceans by the end of the century.

Read more

4:54am

Thu November 7, 2013
Around the Nation

'Homesick Hijacker' To Appear In Miami Courtroom

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:11 am

Nearly 30 years ago, William Potts hijacked a plane to Cuba. He is scheduled to be in court in Miami on Thursday. It's the first time he's been in the U.S. for nearly three decades.

5:42pm

Tue November 5, 2013
Code Switch

Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 8:57 pm

In 2010 and 2011, there were more than 1,000 school-related arrests in Broward County. Nearly three-quarters of them were for non-violent misdemeanors.
iStockphoto.com

In Florida, one of the nation's largest school districts has overhauled its discipline policies with a single purpose in mind — to reduce the number of children going into the juvenile justice system.

It's a move away from so-called "zero tolerance" policies that require schools to refer even minor misdemeanors to the police. Critics call it a "school to prison pipeline."

Civil rights and education activists say the policy can be a model for the nation.

Read more

5:43pm

Mon November 4, 2013
It's All Politics

Now A Democrat, Ex-Florida Gov. Crist Tries To Get Old Job Back

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces Monday in St. Petersburg that he will run for governor as a Democrat.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Florida's governor's race just got more interesting. The state's former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, announced in St. Petersburg on Monday that he's entering the race as a Democrat.

Crist is running against Florida's current Republican governor, Rick Scott, a conservative elected with strong Tea Party support.

At a rally to kick off his campaign at a park overlooking Tampa Bay, Crist was unapologetic about his change in parties.

"Yeah, I'm running as a Democrat," he said. "And I am proud to do it."

Read more

8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Code Switch

Fusion Wants Young Latinos To Turn On Their TVs

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:47 am

A countdown clock at Fusion's Miami studio tracks the time until the network's Monday launch.
J Pat Carter AP

The generation now coming of age in the U.S — sometimes called the millennials — is the largest ever. They pose a problem for television broadcasters: Many millennials watch little or no live TV.

On Monday, ABC and Univision are joining forces to launch a cable channel that hopes to change that. Fusion plans to attract a young audience by blending news with entertainment and humor. And it's aiming for a specific group of millennials — young Latinos.

Read more

2:56am

Thu October 10, 2013
Environment

Whatever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:49 am

Mechanical harvesters cut sugar cane on U.S. Sugar Corp. land in Clewiston, Fla., in 2008, the same year the state struck a deal to buy most of the company's Everglades holdings.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.

"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.

That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.

Read more

Pages