Sammy Mack

Sammy Mack loves public radio and public policy.

Mack is the Miami-based education reporter for StateImpact Florida. She is a St. Petersburg native and a product of Florida public schools. She even took the first FCAT.

Mack previously was a digital editor and health care policy reporter for WLRN - Miami Herald News, where she covered the public health and health policy beat. For two years, her health reporting with WLRN was supported by the grant-funded HealthyState.org project. She was selected as a 2012 fellow with the Kaiser Health News and NPR Health Care Reporting in the States project.

Her stories have also appeared on NPR, Monocle 24, the Miami Herald, Global Health, HealthNewsFlorida.org, Gambit Weekly, MAP Magazine, Gulfshore Life, Philadelphia Weekly, the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) and other outlets.

Mack’s work has been honored with Florida AP Broadcaster and SPJ Sunshine State awards. She’s collaborated on projects that have won an Emmy, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a Wilbur Award and a Dart Award. Mack was a writing fellow during the 2008 Poynter Summer Fellowship for Young Journalists.

She was recognized by her colleagues as the 2011 Herald Top Chef. She’s happy to share her recipe for garam masala macarons with lemongrass filling.

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Miami Book Fair International
2:50 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Tweet Us A Story: You Can Co-Author A Story With Junot Díaz

Tweet us a story!
Sammy Mack WLRN

Here at WLRN, we get excited about book fairs the way some people get excited about Fourth of July parades or Christmas pageants.

So this week, as the Miami Book Fair International descends upon our region and makes South Florida the center of the literary universe, we’re doing something special.  We want you to help us tweet a story.

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South Florida Voters
6:30 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Election Day: A Day Of Firsts In South Florida

Carlos Almeida (left), a 19-year-old sushi chef, was the first in line ahead of the 120 to 130 voters outside his precinct in Doral. He rode his bike to the polls at 3:30 a.m. because he didn’t want to wait all day on a recovering broken leg.
Doug Hanks

Tuesday may have been the second time Barack Obama won a presidential race, but Election Day was a day of many firsts here in South Florida.

We spoke to several first-time voters who were at the polls Tuesday. Some of the first-timers were young adults, finally old enough to vote in their first presidential election. Other voters were new American citizens.

Check out this slide show of first-time voter stories.

Live Blog: Election 2012
8:12 am
Wed November 7, 2012

From South Florida's Polls To The Election Results: Get The Latest Here

Poll workers had their jobs cut out for them on Election Day.
Credit Dan Grech

8:27 Ballot Measure and Big Races

Here are some things that happened at the top and bottom of the ballot last night.

First, 8 of the 11 ballot measures failed this year.

Only three of these ballot measures passed:

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Superbowl In Miami
7:52 am
Wed October 17, 2012

A 2016 Miami Super Bowl May Depend On A $225M Facelift For Sun Life Stadium

Super Bowl XLI, Feb. 4, 2007 in Miami. It rained.
Credit Chris Vicente on flickr

Miami is a finalist for Super Bowls in 2016 an 2017. Only problem: There are other finalists - San Francisco and Houston - and each has a younger, better-looking and better-equipped stadium. The possibility of hosting the big game, the Miami Herald reports today, may put some steam behind a drive for taxpayer-funded renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

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8:20 am
Tue October 9, 2012

B-Girls, Booze And The Russian Mob

Lead in text: 
The Miami Herald's Jay Weaver raises the curtain on a federal trial opening today. Allegations: Mobsters recruited sexy Eastern European women to separate men from their money at a series of Miami Beach clubs.
Miami Beach's "B-Girls" are back. But not as the sirens who seduced men in swank hotels like the Delano, to lure them to seedy private clubs on Washington Avenue so they could be plied with liquor and swindled.
2:09 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Updated: Reports Of Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez's Arrest

Lead in text: 
Reports that anti-Castro blogger Yoani Sanchez was arrested on her way to report on a sensitive manslaughter trial continue to come from secondary sources with no confirmation from the Cuban government. Supposedly, her husband and another blogger are also in custody.
(CNN) -- Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was arrested as she traveled to cover the vehicular homicide trial of a Spanish politician for a Spanish newspaper, a human rights activist told CNN. A family member of the well-known blogger said that Sanchez, her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, and another blogger, Agustin Diaz, were arrested in the eastern city of Bayamo, activist and dissident Elizardo Sanchez told CNN en Español.
Remembering Andrew
4:34 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

The Consul

The report Philip Grice, British consul-general, wrote about Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Click on the picture to read the full document. (Thanks to current consul-general, Kevin McGurgan, for showing us this document.)
Kevin McGurgan
  • A British diplomat and a diary of Hurricane Andrew.

There is a loud explosion as the roof is torn off. In my two years in Florida, this is the first time I have felt cold.

 

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Technology And Medicine
11:31 am
Fri September 14, 2012

How Telemedicine Works At Home

 

Every morning at 10:00 a.m., congestive heart failure patient Marilyn Yeats of Naples conducts her own health checkup with the help of a computer.

Call it a virtual visit. She uses a home health guide to send her vitals to her nurse in Tampa Bay via the internet.

“This program is having your own private nurse,” says Yeats.

HealthyState.org follows Yeats through her checkup and visits the behind-the-scenes of what happens to Yeats’ data.

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Remembering Andrew
11:47 am
Wed August 1, 2012

One Tough Little Girl

Susan Holtzman with a photo of her daughter, Elise.
Luc Cohen

For Susan Holtzman, the really terrifying parts of Hurricane Andrew didn’t begin until the day after the storm.  Susan was nine months pregnant at Baptist Hospital in Kendall.  It was the day before she was due to give birth.

She compares what she saw to a movie:

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Social Services Funding
11:37 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Funds Slashed For People With Disabilities

A network of Florida facilities that supports people with disabilities will lose nearly $1.6 million this year – just as the social services provided by the network are needed most.

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Medicaid Pilot
11:32 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Escaping Florida's Medicaid Experiment

Last year, Florida legislators passed a bill privatizing the state’s Medicaid program, moving recipients into managed care plans – a model patterned on a pilot program that’s been running in five counties since 2006.

The statewide change still needs federal approval – and for one family already living in a pilot county, it’s a troubling prospect.

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Under The Sun
9:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Islandia: South Florida’s Own Little Atlantis

A sign at Biscayne National Park shows a photo of younger Lloyd Miller shaking President Lyndon B. Johnson’s hand.
Sammy Mack

Fifty years ago, developers dreamed of turning a collection of isolated islands in the middle of Biscayne Bay into a resort destination. This year, the dream of Islandia quietly died.  The Miami-Dade County Commission stripped Islandia’s status as a city. In essence, they voted Islandia out of existence.

The city of Islandia is on Elliot Key. It was never populated by more than a hundred people.  Now the only people who live in Islandia are park rangers.

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Under the Sun
4:46 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Green Flashes, Rainbows And Other Atmospheric Mirages

Scientists attribute the green flash to refraction. This diagram shows how refraction works.
Patrick Meyers / Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Studies

Have you ever seen a green flash? It is said to happen as the sun dips below the horizon, creating an elusive green light that appears in the sky for a fleeting moment and then disappears. Many people believe the green flash is a myth, repeated for the benefit of tourists. Others swear by its existence. So is it real? If so, what causes it? Under the Sun reporter Sammy Mack – a skeptic when it comes to the green flash – headed to Key West to investigate this phenomenon.

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Under the Sun
1:11 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

No Simple Answer To Bullying In South Florida

Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bullying is not a new phenomenon. It has been around for decades, but schools across South Florida are reporting that the frequency and severity of the incidents are getting worse. In the past year alone, a West Palm Beach student was attacked in math class and a Deerfield Beach middle school student slipped into a comma after being kicked in the head.

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30th Anniversary of HIV
6:18 pm
Sun May 29, 2011

Growing Up With HIV

Credit digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net

At age 21, Jeff has legs like broomsticks under his nylon basketball shorts and his cheeks are hollow. Sitting at a table outside the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with two friends of about the same age, he looks young and fragile.

Jeff doesn't like telling people what's wrong. He doesn't like what they say when they learn he was born HIV-positive.

"They say, 'Oh boy, you gonna die,' " says Jeff, who doesn't want his last name used. "They call it 'die-slow,' you got that 'die-slow.' "

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