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
2:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Florida Tea Party Likes Gingrich's Tough 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
12:20 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 8:19 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
3:59 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 12:19 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
6:00 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Political Tourists Make N.H. Their Vacation Spot

Originally published on Sun January 8, 2012 8:16 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
1:27 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
9:33 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 4:27 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
2:00 am
Thu January 5, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 4:39 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
4:13 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 12:25 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
2:45 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 6:07 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
8:24 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 4:26 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
12:35 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Gingrich Ups Romney At Iowa Chocolate Factory

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:03 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
1:55 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
8:54 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 5:10 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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It's All Politics
6:35 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 10:12 am

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
1:24 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
10:01 pm
Sun December 25, 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 5:16 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
12:52 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
2:50 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 6:46 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
10:01 pm
Wed November 30, 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
6:21 am
Sat November 19, 2011

Children Of Cuba Remember Their Flight To America

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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Politics
1:24 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 7:07 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
1:19 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
11:28 pm
Fri September 30, 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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Rick Perry
12:42 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Social Security: The 'Third Rail' No More?

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry attend a rally earlier this month in Newport Beach, Calif. Though some Republican voters have doubts about Perry, recent polls show it's not because of his stance on Social Security, which he's called a "Ponzi scheme."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

It's often been called the "third rail" of American politics. If so, many of those running for office this political season are living dangerously.

Social Security — what's wrong with it and how to fix it — has become part of the political debate in the presidential primary season. Most candidates say they have plans to reform it, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gone further, saying that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie."

Although Perry may be running into resistance from Republican voters, it's not because of his stand on Social Security.

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Economy
8:02 am
Mon September 26, 2011

As Puerto Rican Economy Lags, Some Question Cuts

Plaza del Mercado is a lively gathering place in Rio Piedras. But many shops have closed because of the struggling economy.
Greg Allen NPR

With its white sand beaches and tropical weather, for visitors, Puerto Rico is close to paradise. But for those who live there, the past decade has been difficult. For most of that time, Puerto Rico has been in a recession.

To see Puerto Rico's economy up close, a good place to start is Rio Piedras. It's a former suburb, now a bustling neighborhood in Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Sat September 24, 2011

In Upset, Herman Cain Comes Out On Top Of Florida Straw Poll

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks before Florida's straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Saturday. Cain won the straw poll with 37 percent of the vote.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 11:58 pm

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain pulled off an upset Saturday in the Florida straw poll: He took 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast, easily beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Perry came in second with 15 percent of the vote; and Romney took third, with 14 percent.

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Mitt Romney
1:41 pm
Fri September 2, 2011

In Florida, Romney Looks To Outshine His Rivals

Everyone likes to be loved, and when campaign season comes around, Florida gets more than its share of adoration.

"This is just a state that's like the whole country," said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "I love Florida, love being here, love the people of this state, in part because you understand what makes America America."

So far, Florida is returning his affection. He leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican candidates in the polls here, in part because he has been here a lot and built a good organization.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Crashes Into East Coast

Originally published on Sat August 27, 2011 8:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hurricane Irene has arrived. The storm has already struck parts of North Carolina. Some 200,000 people there are without power. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged caution as Irene moves up the East Coast.

Secretary JANET NAPOLITANO (HOMELAND SECURITY): Irene remains a large and dangerous storm. People need to take it seriously, people need to be prepared.

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U.S.
10:01 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Puerto Rican Governor Faces Opposition To Pipeline

Demonstrators march during a May 1 protest against the proposed construction of a 92-mile gas pipeline in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno has made the project a central goal of his administration, despite protest from communities affected.
Ricardo Alcaraz AP

If you think your monthly electric bills are high, be thankful you don't live in Puerto Rico. An island where nearly all energy sources must be imported, the U.S. territory has residential power costs that are double those on the mainland.

To help bring down the cost of energy, Puerto Rico's governor is pushing an ambitious plan to build a 92-mile-long natural gas pipeline.

But that plan has run into significant opposition in Puerto Rico and in Congress.

Homes In The Pipeline's Path

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America's Mayors: Governing In Tough Times
1:10 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

In Miami-Dade, Economic Upheaval Ushers In Change

Carlos Gimenez, shown at a cafe earlier this year on Election Day, won a recall election that was part of a national wave of voter anger over taxes.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Part 6 of a 6-part series

The economic upheaval of the past several years has had a big impact on the nation's politics — from the president down to the precinct level.

In Florida's Miami-Dade County, it's changed the whole tone of local government.

Carlos Gimenez has been a fixture here for many years — as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, and before that as city manager and fire chief in the City of Miami.

But now he suddenly finds himself in a new job.

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