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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1:20am

Tue November 6, 2012
Statewide Races

Florida's New Battleground: The State Supreme Court

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:18 am

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

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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3:49pm

Mon November 5, 2012
It's All Politics

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

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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1:46pm

Wed October 24, 2012
It's All Politics

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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4:47pm

Mon October 15, 2012
Around the Nation

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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4:50am

Fri October 5, 2012
NPR Story

Venezuelans In Fla. Face 900-Mile Trip To Vote

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:58 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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3:24pm

Tue October 2, 2012
The Message Machine

Campaigns Targeting Hispanics, But With Tight Focus

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:17 pm

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

1:35am

Tue October 2, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:24 am

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

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.

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3:34pm

Tue September 25, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:20 am

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

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.

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3:20pm

Thu September 13, 2012
Law

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

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:19 pm

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

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.

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1:30am

Mon September 10, 2012
News

Princess Cruises Says Video Disproves Guilt

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:17 am

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

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.

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4:34am

Wed August 29, 2012
Around the Nation

Torrential Rains Threaten Gulf Coast

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 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.

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3:27am

Sun August 26, 2012
Presidential Race

Despite Delay, Republican Stage Is Set In Tampa

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

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

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.

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1:19am

Thu August 23, 2012
Around the Nation

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

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:46 am

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

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.

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3:11am

Wed August 22, 2012
NPR Story

GOP Platform Committee Adopts Abortion Position

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

A deadline came and went yesterday and Todd Akin remains on the ballot for United States Senate in Missouri. On a radio program, the Republican said his party was overreacting in the effort to drive him out of the race.

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2:40pm

Tue August 21, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:47 pm

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

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.

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2:17pm

Wed August 15, 2012
Education

Tax Credit Scholarships Reignite Voucher Debate

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 7:23 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.

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4:04pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Election 2012

Will Florida Seniors Accept Ryan's Medicare Vision?

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

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

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.

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2:03am

Tue August 7, 2012
Politics

Will Tea Party Star Marco Rubio Get GOP VP Nod?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

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

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.

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12:01am

Tue July 17, 2012
Science

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:25 am

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

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.

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1:52am

Tue July 10, 2012
Dead Stop

A City's History Writ Small, In One Cemetery

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:07 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.

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