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
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

DCF, Shakespeare And The Lieutenant Governor

“What’s important is to have a great lieutenant governor,” Governor Scott said at a press conference announcing the appointment of Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera as lieutenant governor. But, Scott added, “I love the fact he’s Hispanic.”
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

On The Florida Roundup: After a nine-month vacancy, Gov. Rick Scott picks a new lieutenant governor.  Miami-Dade property appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera becomes the first Hispanic to hold the position.   

The governor’s other announcement this week was a $40 million increase for the Department of Children and Families and child abuse investigations, after the deaths of dozens of children who had contact with the agency. But is money the issue? Or the constant turnover in who leads DCF, which still has an interim secretary?

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If I Were Mayor
8:52 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado Responds To Your Ideas

What would you do if you were in charge of Miami?

Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors themselves.

We spoke with Miami mayor Tomás Regalado who won a second term last November.

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Peabody
5:33 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Peabody award application for Session 2013 coverage

Every year, WLRN-Miami Herald News confronts the challenge of how to cover the state legislative session, a 60-day bonanza in Tallahassee, hundreds of miles away from our audience.  The task is particularly difficult in Florida, where the general population ranks among the lowest in the nation for civic engagement, according to the National Conference on Citizenship. In 2013, we took a different approach by looking at what issues are of the most interest and importance to our audience. That’s what we mean by News as a Shared Experience.  

 

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The Florida Roundup
12:12 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Slot Machines In Downtown Miami?

The Genting Resort World, which owns the former site of the Miami Herald, hopes that by down-scaling to include only slot machines, it can increase its odds.
Credit Credit Lynn Kelley Author / Creative Commons/Flickr

Place your bets.  A new push is on for new gambling in South Florida. We look at the new idea that could bring slot machines to the bay front in Miami.  

Also, Florida is the first state to execute a prisoner in 2014 with the killing of Thomas Knight, one of the longest-serving inmates on death row.

And fifty years after declaring war on poverty: how much is enough to live on in South Florida?

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The Florida Roundup
11:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

The Year Ahead For South Florida

What are your predictions for Florida in 2014?
Credit april-mo / Creative Commons/Flickr

 

2014 is a big election year for the Sunshine State.  The governor’s race is expected to be a very expensive one. Jobs and the economy will be key issues.  And in the statehouse, medical marijuana, the cost of hurricane insurance, and water quality all are on the legislative agenda.

In our first show of the year, we'll look at what issues and news will be important in 2014.

 

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The Florida Roundup
12:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Take Our First Annual News Quiz On South Florida Stories From 2013

Images from some of the big stories from 2013 in Florida. Do you remember them?

    

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Snow In Miami
2:57 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

PHOTOS: This Is How South Florida Babies React To Snow

The older children, here a group of 2- to 3-year-olds, are excitedly waiting to play in the snow at a preschool in Little Havana.
Elaine Chen WLRN

When I got an email from my daughter’s preschool, titled "Snow Day!" I was confused. In the Northeast, where I grew up, snow days mean the school is closed. Do South Florida schools use fake snow days as an excuse to close? The message was even more confusing:

Eight tons of SNOW will be delivered to our preschool straight from the North Pole! The cost of bringing in the snow is $1,500.00 so for this special activity the cost per child is only $15.00.

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The Florida Roundup
12:02 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Florida High Court Approves Of New Drug Mix Used For Executions

Florida was second only to Texas in the number of people executed.
Credit Florida Department of Corrections/Doug Smith

On The Florida Roundup: The state Supreme Court approves a controversial new drug mix used in executions of Death Row inmates. Plus we look at the latest reports cards on South Florida public schools.

Join Tom Hudson as he speaks with Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida, Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press, Sammy Mack of WLRN-Miami Herald News and Patricia Mazzei and Melissa Sanchez of the Miami Herald.

Share your thoughts on the week’s news below in a live chat  curated by our digital editor Maria Murriel.

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The Florida Roundup
12:15 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Handcuffs And A Handshake: A Roundup Of This Week In South Florida

Alex Saleh, owner of 207 Quickstop, a convenience store in Miami Gardens, had hours of video footage showing police questioning or arresting black customers, who, records show, had committed no serious crime.
Credit Alex Saleh

 

Allegations that Miami Gardens police harassed and intimidated black employees and customers at one convenience store has led to the resignation of that city’s police chief. Julie Brown from the Miami Herald says that the city's police chief, who is black, is actually a rarity: nearly all of the commanders and most squad officers are white and Hispanic, although Miami Gardens is predominantly black.

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Art Basel
8:20 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

#WhatIsArt Project: Do You Know It When You See It?

Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" (1917) prompted lots of debate about what was considered art, although it is now generally considered an icon of 20th-Century art. Can you identify which one is the masterpiece? Hint: It's not the goth one.
Credit Elaine Chen / WLRN

The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Do You Want To Vote On Dope?

If state Attorney General Pam Bondi doesn't get her way, Florida could see signs like the one above.
Credit KayVee.INC / Creative Commons/Flickr

On The Florida Roundup: The Florida Supreme Court listens to arguments over allowing a public referendum on legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in Florida.

And Miami’s art party hits full force with a new museum.

Host Tom Hudson speaks with NPR’s Greg Allen, Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida, Tim Padgett and Alicia Zuckerman of WLRN-Miami Herald News, and Patricia Mazzei of The Miami Herald. 

Art Basel
6:13 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

#WhatIsArt? Project: These Are Our First Creative Memories

Recall the days when you made art almost every day? Tell us the first creative thing you can remember by tweeting us with #Whatisart.
Credit Tom Hudson

As Art Basel Miami Beach gets underway, we’re thinking about what it means to be an artist. Though many would deny being an artist, we have all probably experienced a time when we embraced the title: childhood.

We asked our staff, “What’s the first creative thing you can remember doing?” The answers prompted lots of fun conversations about early aspirations to be the next big animator, choreographer or roller coaster designer. Try it with your friends.

And let us know on Twitter @WLRN using #whatisart.

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If I Were Mayor
4:58 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine Responds To Your Ideas

Philip Levine, the new mayor of Miami Beach and a cruise ship media CEO, spent about $2 million on his campaign. A little over 11,000 people voted in the election.

For our If I Were Mayor project, we asked what you would do if you were in charge of your town. Now, after the elections, we’re taking your ideas to the mayors. I spoke to Philip Levine, who was sworn in as the new mayor of Miami Beach Monday, Nov. 25.

This is Levine's first time in elected office; he is the CEO of a multi-million dollar cruise ship media business. 

Here are highlights from that interview:

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The Florida Roundup
2:48 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Thousands Demand Resignation Of Haitian President Martelly

Monday was a national holiday marking Haiti's fight for independence, but many marked the day by protesting against corruption and delays in legislative and local elections under Haitian President Michel Martelly (center).
Credit European Parliament / Creative Commons/Flickr

    

On our rundown: violent protests by thousands against Haitian President Michel Martelly, the Dominican Republic’s decision to strip the citizenship of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and allegations that the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Gardens police are engaging in racial profiling. Plus: we look at how the Miami Book Fair has grown since it began 30 years ago.

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Miami Book Fair International
9:07 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Tweet Us A Poem: Your Co-Authored Poem With Richard Blanco

Credit Elaine Chen

From our prior literary projects, we know South Florida has a lot of aspiring bards. So in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Miami Book Fair International, we asked you to help us tweet-compose a poem. 

Richard Blanco -- a Miami-raised poet who wrote the presidential inaugural poem this year -- started us off with the first line: "Why the stars?  Well, just look up, look"

We left the rest up to you. Read the result below.

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