Elaine Chen

Elaine is senior producer of news and public affairs at WLRN-Miami Herald News. She produces The Florida Roundup, a Friday news show, and works on building audience engagement around the issues we cover. Elaine moved from New York City, where she was a lawyer for the city government.  She put aside the legal briefs and discovery requests to be back in public radio.  Before WLRN, Elaine worked as a producer for public affairs shows at WNYC and WYPR.

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The Florida Roundup
9:12 am
Fri August 22, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Teens Charged With Trespassing On Ray Allen's Property

Ray Allen's lawyer criticized the Coral Gables police for treating the trespassing as a mere 'prank.'
Credit Miami Herald File

A Coral Gables woman found seven strangers standing in her bedroom in the middle of the night. After she screams, they run. The police do not arrest them. 

Some question the government's response after a group of Hispanic teenagers snuck into the home of former Miami Heat player Ray Allen.

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The Florida Roundup
11:10 am
Fri August 1, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Doctors Banned From Asking About Guns

Under the 2011 Firearms Owners' Privacy Act, doctors who ask about a patient's gun ownership could risk losing their license to practice medicine.
Credit Timmy Gunz / Creative Commons/Flickr

    

On The Florida Roundup: It’s been called the “physician gag rule” or a law that pitted “docs versus glocks.” And a recent federal appeals court upheld the 2011 state law prohibiting doctors from inquiring about patients' gun ownership. The Florida law was the first of its kind in the U.S.

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The Florida Roundup
10:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

The Florida Roundup: The Problems In Prisons

Inmate Darren Rainey, left, died in an excruciatingly hot shower as alleged punishment for defecating in his cell. A whistleblower suit filed this week concerns the death of inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo, right, imprisoned for credit card fraud and drug charges, who died after being repeatedly gassed by prison guards.

 

It has been two years since the death of a mentally ill prison inmate in a scalding-hot shower. No one has been charged in that death; the two officers who allegedly punished him with the shower are still working at the facility. The head of the corrections department says he's frustrated that an investigation isn't finished yet. But many question why his outrage about the death comes only now.

Miami-Dade’s mayor proposes a budget keeping the county tax rates steady but could cut jobs and hours for some county services.

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What's The Story?
1:19 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Power Of The Diaz-Balart Name, From Cuba To Miami

Three generations of Diaz-Balarts in political office: from left, grandfather Rafael was a mayor and legislator in Cuba; father Rafael was also in the legislature and an undersecretary of the interior in Cuba; and Lincoln and Mario have both served in the state legislature and U.S. Congress.
Credit Miami Herald, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart

 

Take our quiz on South Florida's political families.  

When immigrants leave their country, they usually leave their connections and name recognition behind. But that doesn’t apply to Cubans in South Florida, which is home to almost half of the U.S. Cuban population.

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Ocean Exploration
9:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Fabien Cousteau On His Underwater Aquarius Lab Mission

Credit The Miami Herald

The Aquarius Reef Base is the first (and only) underwater research laboratory in the world -- and it lies just under the tip of South Florida, about 60 feet below the surface of the Florida Keys.

WLRN and the Miami Herald spoke to Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, in a live online chat on what it's like to live, work and research from the depths of the ocean.   

Read more at: MiamiHerald.com 

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What's the Story?
12:40 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Join Us Thursday For South Florida Trivia!

As part of our new blog What's the Story? -- where we let your curiosity about South Florida guide our reporting -- we're hosting a night of trivia inspired by some of your questions!

Come meet us Thursday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Gramps in Wynwood at 176 Northwest 24th St. Teams of five or less are allowed. Every team gets a WLRN or Miami Herald team member!

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The Florida Roundup
11:37 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Florida Roundup: As Cuba Changes, Does U.S. Policy?

A fisherman walks the streets of Mariel. The Cuban government hopes expansion of the port will draw large cargo ships coming through the Panama Canal.
Credit David Gilkey/NPR

Both the U.S. and Cuba have relaxed travel restrictions so family visits are easier and more money is flowing to the island nation, so what’s next?  

NPR Morning Edition host David Greene joins us after spending a week in Cuba, talking with government officials, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers and fishermen.

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What's The Story?
5:56 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Listen: 5 Things Wrong With South Florida Bus Stops

Credit Vera Arias

For our What's the Story? project, a listener asked us:

Why doesn't every bus stop have a shelter?

And while working to answer that question, we asked our audience what their worst experiences were while waiting for buses in South Florida.

We came up with the five things wrong with bus stops in our area. Listen:

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The Florida Roundup
11:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Medical Marijuana's Sticky Web

The Governor signed the Charlotte's Web medical marijuana bill. Some Florida doctors will be able to start writing prescriptions on January 1. But how will the system work? 

And last week Jamaica’s prime minister announced the country will decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Other Caribbean governments look poised to follow suit. 

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LGBT Rights
1:34 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Miami Beach Will Offer Transgender Benefits This Fall

Miami Beach joins a small group of just 5 percent of cities across the country that offer transgender benefits.
Credit digital_rex / Creative Commons/Flickr

The City of Miami Beach will be the first in the state to offer transgender benefits to city employees, starting this October. The Commission voted unanimously last Wednesday to offer the coverage.

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The Florida Roundup
11:11 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Florida Roundup: This Week In South Florida Sports

David Beckham's group hasn't said the rejection of its second site will end its efforts to bring professional soccer to Miami.
Credit C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD

 

The search continues for a soccer stadium in Miami. The City of Miami tells David Beckham he cannot build on a bay front boat slip.  

But the beautiful game kicks off its quadrennial contest.  Has Brazil’s confidence on and off the field jeopardized success of the World Cup? And the Heat’s season is in jeopardy after losing two in a row to the Spurs.

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Explainer
4:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Listen: Does South Florida's Water Taste Funny?

Why does South Florida water taste funny? Or at least you think so.
Credit Cyndi Calhoun / Creative Commons/Flickr

How would you describe the flavor of water? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said it "tends to be tasteless." But you probably didn't feel that way when you tried the tap water outside your hometown. Why does water taste so different within the U.S., even within your own state?

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Saltwater
5:05 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

New Map Helps Water Managers Battle Salt

A cargo ship sails down one of Miami's many canals to the ocean. The canals are sometimes a source for saltwater intrusion into the region's groundwater.
Credit Elaine Chen

The U.S. Geological Survey and Miami-Dade County have mapped out the extent of saltwater seepage into our groundwater. The last comprehensive look was in 1995, and the good news is it hasn’t moved much since then.

South Florida is constantly battling against salt: keeping salty ocean water from getting into our groundwater.

The front in our battle, or the saltwater front keeps moving, mostly inland. As of 2011, it’s moved about 460 square miles inland in Miami-Dade. That is about 9 times the size of the city of Miami.

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Newscast
8:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014: Miami-Dade Dems Say No More Free Rides For GOP

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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The Florida Roundup
2:26 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Despite Record Surplus, Citizens Coastal Policyholders Likely To See Rate Increases

2005 was the last time a hurricane hit Florida. That year a string of storms and hurricanes drove several insurance companies out of Florida and thousands of homeowners to Citizens.
Credit NASA Astronaut Ron Garan

Now that the hurricane season's begun, state-backed insurer Citizens Property Insurance assures everyone, it’s in the best shape it’s ever been.

That may be cold comfort for former customers now with smaller insurers, or current customers living on the coast who may still see rate increases.

Citizens CEO Barry Gilway says after shedding thousands of policies, the company is in a very good position.

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