Wilson Sayre

Reporter

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.

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Florida East Coast Railroad
11:33 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Overtown Rail Crossing Is Hotspot For Arrests, But Most Are Dismissed

Florida East Coast Railway cops have notched hundreds of trespassing arrests at one section of track in Overtown alone — with few convictions and much criticism.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

On any given day in Overtown, dozens of people walk down Northwest 17th Street headed toward a homeless shelter, bus stops or a supermarket on the edge of downtown.

But first, pedestrians in this poor Miami neighborhood cross a little-used railroad track just east of Northwest First Avenue. And every time they do, they run the risk of getting arrested. 

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Environment
11:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Scientists Worry Warmer Keys Waters Might Harm Corals

The water off the Florida Keys is two degrees hotter than 100 years ago according to a new USGS study.
Credit USGS

  Late-summer waters off the Florida Keys are two degrees hotter than a century ago, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The report compares two periods of summer-month water temperature: historic data from lighthouse keeper records from the late 1800s and three decades of recent temperature data.

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Environment
7:26 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Could Your Sunscreen Be Harming Ocean Life?

A new study out suggests some chemicals in sunscreen may harm marine organisms.
Credit Creative Commons / Photo: Flickr user David Trawin

  While sunscreen is essential in protecting South Florida beach goers' skin, a new study from the Spanish National Research Council shows the skin protectant might also be killing off life in the ocean.

The study focuses on an aspect of sunscreens rarely looked at for its environmental impact: the nano-particles that block ultraviolet rays from baking our skin, including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Those chemicals can be found in sunscreens available at any corner drugstore.

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Movies
3:15 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

O Cinema To Take Over Miami Beach's Byron-Carlyle Theater

The Wynwood location of O Cinema was the first location of the independent movie theater.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Joe Anzalone

The Miami-based independent movie theater O Cinema will open its third location this fall, in Miami Beach. The City of Miami Beach commission anonymously approved an agreement Wednesday allowing O Cinema to take over management of the Byron-Carlyle Theater.

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Governor's Race
4:11 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Clinton Stumps For Crist, Hopes To Get Voters To Polls

Former President Bill Clinton talked to a crowed of Crist supporters about the need to get out the vote if a Democrat is to take the governor's office.
Credit MiamiHerald.com

Last Friday, former President Bill Clinton acknowledged to a crowd of Charlie Crist supporters a major challenge: to get voters, specifically in South Florida, out for the non-presidential election this Nov. 4.

Clinton was speaking at a downtown Miami hotel. He talked about the need for a Florida governor who will support key Democrat issues -- expanding Medicaid, preparing for rising seas and increasing the minimum wage -- but stressed the public's role in the election.

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Wages
2:28 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

In Florida, Labor Not Doing Well This Labor Day

Credit Flickr / elycefeliz

Labor Day was created to celebrate the country’s labor movement and its social and economic achievements, but a new study from FIU’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) may dampen some of this year’s celebration.

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IKEA
7:29 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

IKEA Comes To Miami-Dade

IKEA will open it's secon largest story in Miami-Dade Wednesday.
Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

The line for the new Miami-Dade IKEA has been in place for two days and boasts tents, fans, and a lot of IKEA passion.

The Swedish store’s location, adjacent to Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, will start selling it’s affordable, assemble-yourself, modern furniture. At 416,000 square feet, the store will be the second largest in the country and also have Florida’s biggest solar panel array on its roof.

Tony Grandson got to IKEA at 5 a.m. on Monday. As the first person in line of about 40 people, he has a chance to win bragging rights and a brand new sofa.

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Overtown
7:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

How A Historic Theater Is Using Band Camp To Revitalize Overtown

Kids practice at the inaugural South Florida Marching Band Precision Camp in Overtown.
Credit Wilson Sayre

For the past few decades, Miami’s historically black Overtown neighborhood has struggled with crime and poverty. Sharing in that decline was the Lyric Theater, where figures like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Celia Cruz once graced its stage.

The old theater, though, has a new vision and through kids programming, hopes to change the image of Overtown emblazoned in the not-too-distant memory of South Floridians.

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Animal Services
6:02 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Miami-Dade Starts Building Bigger Animal Shelter

Rescue dogs like this one will have a new home in the Fall of 2015.
Credit Wilson Sayre

  Stray animals in Miami-Dade county will soon have a new home come fall of 2015. County Animal Services broke ground Friday on a new facility that would double the amount of space it has now.

Every year, Animal Services cares for more than 27,000 homeless dogs and cats, but that volume has pushed the current facility to its capacity.

Getting to this point, though, has been a bit of a battle.

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Gay Marriage
6:14 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

First Federal Judge In Florida Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

Christian Ulvert, one of the plaintiffs who sued to have their same-sex marriage recognized in Florida, explains how the ruling affects him and his partner, Carlos Andrade.
Credit Wilson Sayre

  A federal judge in Tallahassee has ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the 16th state to do so.

This is the first federal ruling to come out of Florida, but like the four state district judges who have ruled on the constitutionality of the ban, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle immediately stayed his decision.

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Schools
2:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Bomb Threat Leads To Backpack Ban In Pembroke Pines School

A Pembroke Pines middle school banned backpacks Thursday after a bomb threat.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Rog01

Some middle schoolers in Broward County were asked to go without their backpacks to school Thursday.

Pembroke Pines police and Broward County Schools determined that an email to a teacher at Silver Trail Middle School alluding to a bomb was credible enough to do a full search of the school.

This threat is the second of its kind: the same message was sent to the same teacher in April. In that instance the school was evacuated

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Libraries
5:10 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Some Libraries In Miami-Dade May Open Every Day

Some Miami-Dade libraries may be open all days of the week in the fall.
Credit Creative Commons

Several of the biggest libraries in Miami-Dade may stay open seven days a week in October.

The interim director of the libraries has released a tentative library schedule based on what county budget commissioners tentatively passed in June. It gives the libraries almost 53 million, more than last year.

The extra money will allow the five largest branches to add Sunday service, meaning they’ll be open every day of the week.

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Everglades
8:04 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Loxahatchee Is First Wildlife Refuge To Host Recreational Gator Hunting

This year's alligator hunting season is a historic one, with the opening of the first National Wildlife Refuge in the country to recreational gator hunting.
Credit Wilson Sayre

This past weekend was the start of the two-and-a-half-month alligator-hunting season in Florida. It was also the first time the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge opened its gates to recreational gator hunting. It's the first wildlife refuge in the country to do so.

Of the 1,203 people who applied, only 11 were granted permits, each for two gators. Half of the permit holders started their hunt Friday at the much-anticipated opening.

THE CONTROVERSY

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News
8:27 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Miami Joins In Protests Against Use Of Police Force

People across the country have protested the killing of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A year after Israel Hernandez's death, how police use force is a tender subject.
Credit Wilson Sayre

About 75 people gathered in downtown Miami Thursday evening to protest and stand in solidarity against the killing of Michael Brown. The black teenager was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

A group called the Dream Defenders and other activists marched a few blocks to the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, chanting lines like "hands up, don't shoot."

The Miami protesters empathized with Ferguson residents, having just passed the first anniversary of the death of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez's death at the hands of police.

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Development
4:57 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

The Roller Coaster Off Of I-95 May Soon Come Down

The Dania Beach Hurricane, the largest wooden roller coaster in Florida, may be coming down.
Credit Kenny Malone

The days may be numbered for the giant wooden roller coaster off I-95. The iconic Dania Beach Hurricane, which closed down in 2011, may soon have a new owner who has no intention of keeping it around.

Aventura-based Master Development has a contract on the land underneath the millions of feet of wood and concrete to build what it calls DaniaLive. The development will include shops, a hotel, restaurants and apartments.

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