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
2:35 am
Fri December 5, 2014

A Miami School Goes From Blank Canvas To Mural-Covered

Leza One paints a mural on a wall of Jose de Diego Middle School in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. It's a project that coincides with the citywide Art Basel fair.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 12:07 pm

Miami's Jose de Diego Middle School, like many schools in South Florida designed to provide hurricane protection and energy efficiency, has few windows and large expanses of facade almost begging for decoration.

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Fine Art
4:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

How Private Collectors Helped Make Miami An Art Destination

Anselm Kiefer's Sprache der Vogel belongs to one of Miami's best-known private collections.
Collection Martin Z. Margulies

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:34 am

Miami has a lot going for it. But as a young city, the one thing it doesn't have is a great, publicly owned art collection. (Though it recently built a $220 million art museum to house one.) What Miami does have is some great private collections of contemporary art that are open to the public. Those private collections helped attract Art Basel, a yearly event that turns Miami into a giant art fair. Every December, Art Basel draws top galleries, top buyers and tens of thousands of visitors.

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Around the Nation
8:59 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Foreign Dollars Fuel A New Condo Boom In Miami

The $1 billion Brickell City Centre, currently under construction, will house condos, a hotel and a retail and entertainment complex. Condo projects are booming in Miami, financed mostly by foreign buyers.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 10:34 am

Few people track Miami development closer than Peter Zalewski. He runs Cranespotters.com, a business that keeps tabs on all the new construction proposed in downtown Miami.

In an area that covers less than 4 square miles, he notes, there's a lot going on. In "downtown Miami, we're looking at 69 towers, 18,400 units," all residential condominiums, Zalewski says.

If history is any guide, not all of the projects will be built. But Zalewski says there are other big projects coming that are likely to add to the total.

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It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

At GOP Governors Meeting, Immigration Casts A Wide Shadow

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (center) talks about recent Republican Party gains and the road ahead for the GOP as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry listen during a Wednesday press conference at the Republican governors' conference in Boca Raton, Fla.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:25 pm

More than two dozen members of the Republican Governors Association gathered this week in Boca Raton, Fla., to talk about policy issues and bask in their success after the recent midterm election.

Under New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's chairmanship, the RGA spent $130 million and achieved remarkable success at the polls: All but two Republican governors running for re-election won. And the GOP even won governors' races in deep blue states like Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

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News
7:11 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Jury Finds Tradition Is No Excuse For Brutal Hazing

Pam Champion (second from right) and Robert Champion Sr. (right), parents of Robert Champion Jr., listen as the guilty verdict against Dante Martin is read in an Orlando courtroom on Friday.
Red Huber AP

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 1:25 pm

A jury has rejected a defense argument that beatings of Florida A&M University band members were a band tradition. The panel found a former member of marching band guilty of felony hazing and manslaughter in one such beating.

Dante Martin is now looking at a possible sentence of up to 22 years in prison for his role in the death of Robert Champion. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Called "The Example" by band colleagues, Champion was an accomplished clarinetist, drum major and leader of the "Marching 100."

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Law
3:51 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Former Band Member Convicted Of Manslaughter In Hazing Death

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:41 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:55 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Billionaire Who Remade Retirement Living On A Massive Scale

Gary Morse, with wife Sharon, in 1999. Morse transformed a mobile home park in Florida into The Villages, a retirement community of more than 100,000 residents.
Stephen M. Dowell Orlando Sentinel

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:41 pm

Gary Morse, a visionary property developer, transformed a Florida mobile home park into the nation's largest retirement community. The billionaire died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Under Morse's direction, The Villages, northwest of Orlando, redefined retirement living. It's a community that is remarkable most of all for its size — home to nearly 100,000 residents living in dozens of communities, spread over an area the size of Manhattan.

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Law
4:22 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Former Band Member On Trial In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:30 pm

Three years after Florida A&M student Robert Champion died after a beating on a bus, a member of the university's marching band is on trial for manslaughter. Prosecutors say it was hazing. The defense says it was a tradition more akin to an athletic accomplishment — and one Champion joined in willingly.

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Law
4:29 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

ACLU Challenges Miami Law On Behalf Of Homeless Sex Offenders

This encampment under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, shown in 2008, was cleared out by authorities in 2009. It was home to sex offenders who were unable to find places where they were permitted to live under Miami-Dade County's strict residency law. Although this makeshift community was broken up, homeless sex offenders continue to camp out in other areas of the county.
David Adame AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 7:17 pm

Miami-Dade County's sex offender residency restrictions — some of the tightest in the country — drew national attention a few years ago when an encampment of sex offenders sprang up on a causeway in Biscayne Bay. After a public outcry, local and state authorities evicted several dozen people, mostly men, from that makeshift settlement.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

In More Cities, That Doggie In The Window Is Not For Sale

A puppy waits at an adoption event in Miami last year. The city is now considering a ban on the sale of puppies in retail pet stores. Cities and towns in several states have passed similar bans, aimed at cracking down on substandard, large-scale puppy breeders.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:47 am

Just about everyone loves puppies. But around the country, there's heated disagreement about where, and from whom, people can get one.

While the large national pet store chains don't sell dogs, other chains and shops do. But in several states, including Florida, cities are passing laws that ban puppy sales in pet stores.

At the Petland store in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, customers come in all day long to look at and play with the puppies. At this store, in fact, doggie accessories and puppies are all that owner Vicki Siegel sells.

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It's All Politics
2:24 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Florida Governor's Race: Familiar Faces, Big Money, Brutal Ads

Democrat Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor of Florida (left), and Rick Scott, the current Republican governor of Florida, listen to the moderators during a gubernatorial debate on Friday. The two are facing off in a tight race that's fueling a barrage of negative campaign ads.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:42 am

Florida is home to the most expensive race in the country this midterm election — one of the nation's closest and nastiest gubernatorial contests.

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Around the Nation
3:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Miami Uses Pumps To Battle Flooding From Sea Level Rise

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 7:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A couple times a year, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun produce so-called king tides. Climate change is raising sea levels, which means these big tides are becoming a problem. NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami Beach.

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Politics
7:35 am
Sun October 5, 2014

Republicans May Lose Grip On Florida Panhandle House Seat

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 12:51 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Law
5:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Michael Dunn Found Guilty In 'Loud Music' Killing

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Jacksonville, Florida, today, Michael Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music. NPR's Greg Allen reports this was Dunn's second trial in a case that drew national attention.

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Business
6:48 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Marvel's New Hero Wants To Save The World — And The Citrus Industry

A new comic features Captain Citrus teaming up with the Avengers to defeat a villain. The new superhero, who uses the power of the sun to generate "energy items," is sponsored by Florida's citrus industry.
Florida Citrus

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 4:40 pm

Marvel's latest superhero, Captain Citrus, draws his power from the sun and hails from a Florida orange grove. And here's his true origin story: He was developed by Marvel for Florida's citrus growers, who hope the hero will use his powers to help them sell more orange juice.

Captain Of An Industry

Marvel's successful films and comics, from Spider-Man to The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy, have made them a hit with not just audiences, but also businesses.

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Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

SeaWorld Hopes New Orca Habitats Will Stem A Tide Of Criticism

Visitors watch an orca performance at SeaWorld in San Diego this year. The company has seen attendance slip in the year since the release of a documentary film critical of the company's captive whale program.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 8:00 am

It's been a strong business year for the nation's theme parks, with a notable exception: SeaWorld.

The company, which has parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., saw its attendance drop in recent months. The company blames that, in part, on fallout from Blackfish, a documentary film that's critical of SeaWorld's treatment of its captive killer whales.

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Education
6:50 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Politics
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Florida Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Florida is getting ready for an unusual governor's race. Like incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican, Charlie Crist is running for a second term as governor. In his first term, Crist was also a Republican.

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The Salt
2:40 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The 'Greening' Of Florida Citrus Means Less Green In Growers' Pockets

An orange showing signs of "citrus greening" this spring in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 2:42 pm

Orange juice has been an important part of breakfast tables since the 1950s, after development of frozen orange juice concentrate made it both convenient and affordable. Back in the 1960s and '70s, TV spokeswoman Anita Bryant even told Americans that "breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."

But today, sales are the lowest they've been in decades.

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Around the Nation
3:56 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Pesticides Used On Florida's Mosquitoes May Harm Butterflies

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Fla. Judge Orders Lawmakers Back To Work On A New Congressional Map

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 1:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Politics
3:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Great Blue Hope: Michelle Nunn Tries The Improbable In Ga.

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn greets campaign volunteers at South DeKalb Community Achievement Center in Decatur, Ga., on May 13. The U.S. Senate race in Georgia is one of the most closely watched in the country.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

Georgia has been considered safely red territory for more than a decade. But there's a new energy among Democrats in the state, where candidate Michelle Nunn represents the party's best chance of winning a Senate seat in years.

This is Nunn's first run for public office, but she's far from an unknown in a state where her father, Sam Nunn, is a Democratic icon who represented Georgia in the Senate for more than two decades.

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Legal Battle Looms Over Florida Congressional Districts

Florida's state capitol. A redistricting plan crafted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tallahassee was partially thrown out by a state judge.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:18 pm

With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.

A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.

The question now is when.

Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Fate Of Decades-Old Cigar Factory Dangles By A Phrase

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUSIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Tampa was once known as Cigar City. Today, there's just one cigar factory left. The J.C. Newman Company makes cigars in Tampa the way it has for more than 80 years on machines made in the 1930s. Now, as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the company's owners and employees are worried new federal regulations may put them out of business.

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Code Switch
2:09 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Miami Stores Enjoy Thriving Business From Cuban Shoppers

Serafin Blanco's discounted clothing store in Hialeah advertises its cheap deals. Cuban customers take their purchases back to Cuba to give to relatives or to sell, Blanco says.
Greg Allen NPR

On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah, Fla., is just as close to Havana. And now, more than ever, Cubans are flocking to Hialeah to shop, taking advantage of the relaxed travel restrictions.

"There are more Cubans here than any place besides Cuba," says Serafin Blanco, who owns a discount clothing store there.

Through these shopping expeditions, Cuba's emerging entrepreneurs can buy goods their customers need and can't find in their country — legally skirting the 50-year-old trade embargo.

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Goods Sold In Cuban Shops Often Come From Florida Stores

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In recent weeks we've been reporting on changes in Cuba. One is Cuba's small but growing private sector. The government is letting entrepreneurs open their own businesses, which leaves many trying to find the goods their customers want. The U.S. trade embargo means you can't just order from a distributor in Florida. But Cubans can still get U.S. goods. NPR's Greg Allen visited stores in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah is just as close to Havana.

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Florida County Goes To Court Over 'Acid Fracking' Near Everglades

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 6:20 pm

In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking.

Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment.

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Latin America
5:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Travel Freedom Raises Questions About U.S. Policies Toward Cuba

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:47 am

After being away for decades, many members of the first generation of Cuban-American exiles are returning to their native land. But there are still many uneasy with the relaxed travel restrictions.

NPR Story
2:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

With Cash And Fat Fryers, Americans Feed Cuba's Growing Free Market

A man stands in line at Miami International airport to board a charter flight to Havana, Cuba. Travelers often fly to Cuba from the U.S. with piles of goods, despite a decades-long trade embargo.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:38 am

Every day, you can see signs of a subtle change in relations between Cuba and the U.S. at Miami International Airport.

More Cubans than ever before are coming to the U.S. to visit, and the number of Cuban-Americans traveling back to the island is also at record levels. With all the visitors, money and goods are now traveling to the island from the United States.

It's a legal loophole in the 50-year-old trade embargo — one that's having a real impact on Cuba's economy, and allowing Cuban-Americans to become investors in Cuba's emerging private sector.

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Around the Nation
6:26 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Florida's New Regional Rail Service Raises Residents' Concerns

Florida East Coast Railway plans to start construction on an passenger line linking Miami with Orlando. Residents in towns through which the train passes worry about the impact on their communities

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