Wilson Sayre


Wilson Sayre was born and bred in Raleigh, N.C., home of the only real barbecue in the country (we're talking East here). She graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she studied Philosophy.

Sayre took a year off school to live in a Zen monastery in Japan and quickly realized that a life of public radio would be a bit more forgiving. Upon returning to the States, she helped launch a news program at UNC’s college-radio station, WXYC. Through error and error, she taught herself how to make radio stories.

She worked with NPR member station WUNC in Chapel Hill, interning for The Story with Dick Gordon. Then she went on to help to run WUNC's Youth Radio Institute, teaching at-risk teenagers how to make radio.

Sayre likes to keep chickens, pickle okra and make sound collages.

Sayre initially came down to WLRN in 2013 for a reporting fellowship. After that, she decided she couldn't leave. She's continues her a mission to get more Miamians to wear overalls and say y'all.


Latin America Report
11:40 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Radio Martí Turns 30 – But Is Anyone In Cuba Listening?

Anchors broadcasting news from Radio Marti's studios.
Credit Charles Trainor / Miami Herald

May 20, 1985: Ronald Reagan was president. Madonna was topping the charts. And Radio Martí went on the air.

The Miami-based, federally-funded station began beaming Spanish-language news and entertainment into communist Cuba 30 years ago today. It was a sort of tropical version of Radio Free Europe – a Cold War effort to transmit information beyond the control of the island's totalitarian Castro regime.

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11:51 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Smoldering Liberty City: Remembering The McDuffie Riots

National guardsmen stand watch outside a looted store.
Credit State Archives of Florida

Thirty-five years ago, Miami's Liberty City was smoldering -- flames leapt from the shells of cars while people looted businesses.

Eighteen people died, and more than $100 million worth of property was destroyed.

The McDuffie Riots were more violent than what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, but there are lots of similarities.

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6:49 am
Fri May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015: Newscasts

Today in the news you heard:

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7:48 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Will Ride-sharing Apps Make Cabs Come Tumbling Down?

Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

UPDATE: The Miami-Dade County Commission has canceled the May 19th workshop on ride-sharing, but most expect the meeting to be rescheduled.

There’s a big legal gray area in Florida when it comes to ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Technically they’re operating illegally, but local counties have turned a blind eye to their operations, which in Miami are now hitting the one-year mark.

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6:48 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Customers Are Grumbling With Spirit Airlines

Spirit is seeing high rates of complaints, which they say is in part because of their business model.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Eric Salard (https://flic.kr/p/rRgdfK)

Despite being a little bit better at keeping on schedule, airlines are facing more complaints from customers, according to the latest Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report.

Spirit Airlines, the Miramar-based budget airline, had the second-worst rate of complaints in March among all 13 reporting carriers, including AmericanAirlines, which operates U.S. Airways. Only Colorado-based Frontier Airlines had more reported grumbling customers than Spirit.

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5:19 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Miami-Dade Housing Summit Looks Into Mixed-Income Housing

Liberty Square housing project will be demolished, increasing concerns about the availability of public and affordable housing.
Credit Creative Commons

After plans were announced to raze the Liberty Square housing projects in Miami's Liberty City, residents and housing advocates were concerned about where the projects' inhabitants would move to as low-income housing in the city dwindles.

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2:26 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Tri-Rail Plagued With Delays

Tri-Rail has suffered from a 58-percent on-time rate.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Phillip Pessar (https://flic.kr/p/dRMFdd)

Over the past month, the commuter rail service Tri-Rail has been plagued with delays, including a number of fatal collisions with cars and pedestrians, and mechanical breakdowns.

This has resulted in an on-time rate of about 58 percent, a far cry from the 90-percent-rate industry standard Tri-Rail strives for.

The delays are in part due to a long-anticipated takeover of operations of the train’s rail corridor.

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4:08 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

National Parks Continue To See More Visitors

People who visited Everglades National Park in 2014 contributed over $104 million in economic impact to the surrounding community.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Erik Cleves Kristensen (https://flic.kr/p/puLn7s)

In a new report from the National Park Service, almost 3 million people walked, boated, bird-watched or were dragged by a parent to one of the four national parks and reserves in South Florida: Big Cypress, Biscayne National, Dry Tortugas and Everglades.

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O, Miami
12:54 am
Fri April 24, 2015

With Shadow Puppets, Federico Garcia Lorca's Poetry Comes To Life

Julia Miller (left) and two other puppeteers create a scene in "My Soul's Shadow."
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Behind two white screens on a concrete loading dock with no air conditioning, six overhead projectors hum away. People quietly dart around, picking up what look like small cutouts of faces and figures. They place them on the projectors and with almost imperceptible motions move then across the hot screens.

Sometimes a person stands in front of the projectors, his crisp profile forming a silhouette on the other side of a white screen. He interacts with the shadows of these various cut outs - opening a drawer, taking the bite of a giant apple or falling out of a boat.

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Falling Into The Gap
1:41 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Medicaid: For The Loafer-Wearing Special Interests Or For The Neediest Floridians?

Cynthia Louis at a free mobile health clinic, one of the few places she can go to get health care as a person in the "coverage gap."
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

This is the fourth and final part of our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Cynthia Louis is a big fan of President Obama. A collage of pictures of the president is propped up against the living room wall along with pictures of her children and a certificate of appreciation from her church.

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Falling Into The Gap
8:17 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Selling Eggs For Medicine: Tradeoffs People In The Gap Make For Health Care

Cynthia Louis in one of Florida International University's Neighborhood HELP Program parked in parking lot of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

 This is the third part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Every Tuesday, a giant blue bus parks in front of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens. Inside looks like a doctor’s office with a reclining exam chair and anatomical charts. You only know that it’s not a traditional office when it shakes as people get on and off.

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Falling Into The Gap
6:00 am
Tue April 21, 2015

The Barriers People In The Coverage Gap Face To Get Care

Cynthia Louis with her beloved perm.
Credit Wilson Sayre

This is the second part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Before the pain in her arms started, Cynthia Louis would get up each morning, sit on the edge of her bed and fix her shoulder-length hair. In the mirror above her dressing table where her hair products and pins are neatly aligned, she would brush out her curled hair to frame her face.

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Falling Into The Gap
12:37 am
Mon April 20, 2015

What It's Like To Be In The Health Coverage Gap In Florida

Cynthia Louis, 57, is one of an estimated thousands in Miami-Dade who are uninsured but would receive Medicaid if the Florida Legislature would approve it.
Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

This is the first part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

The Affordable Care Act was originally supposed to cover a lot more people in Florida than it has. When Florida chose not to expand Medicaid, about 850,000 people were left without insurance.

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Health Care
12:26 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Floridians Affected By The Health Coverage Gap

Credit Miami Herald

Thousands of South Floridians too poor to afford health insurance on their own are going without.

These people end up in what is called the "coverage gap" because they earn too little to get help buying health insurance under Obamacare, but they don’t qualify for Medicaid.

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12:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Which One Is Better: Miami Or Miami Beach?

Credit Photo on left by Wyn Van Devanter, right by Katie O'Connor / Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/5idr27)

Miami Beach is celebrating its centennial on Thursday with a giant concert with performances by Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli and Flo Rida.

And while non-South Floridians and some sports anchors might not realize there's a difference between Miami and Miami Beach, people who live in each city hold a lot of pride for their hometowns. And sometimes, it leads to rivalry.

So my colleague John O'Connor and I each took up the cause for our side of the causeway. Take a listen for what lovers of each city had to say:

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