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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Transportation
6:32 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

We Asked Miami-Dade Transit Why Not Every Bus Stop Has A Shelter

Not all bus stops have shelters like this one in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
Credit Miami-Dade Transit

There are about 8,000 bus stops throughout Miami-Dade County. But Miami-Dade Transit is only responsible for 3,300 -- municipalities are responsible for the approximately 5,000 that fall within city limits. Of the bus stops in unincorporated Miami-Dade, only about a third have a shelter.

Albert Hernandez is assistant director for the Division of Engineering, Planning and Development at Miami-Dade Transit.

He says the lack of shelters is apparently not due to money.

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Swimming
12:28 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Research Shows Black Kids at a Higher Risk of Drowning

Drowning is the number one killer of children under the age of four.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Florida has the highest rate of drowning in the country and for those younger than 4, water is the No. 1 killer aside from birth defects. But the danger is not spread equally among all children.

Overall, black kids drown at a much higher rate than other children. But among the youngest group of kids — younger than school age — whites and Hispanics fare worse. It’s around the 4 or 5 years old when those tides turn and black kids drown at about three times the rate of other children.

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Execution
8:54 am
Wed June 18, 2014

John Henry To Be One Of First Executed Since Botched Oklahoma Procedure

John Henry is set to be executed at 6:00pm Wednesday night.
Credit Florida Department of Corrections

UPDATE 6/19/2014 -- John Henry's execution was temporarily delayed waiting for a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which was denied. Henry was pronounced dead at 7:43pm.

Eddie Davis is the next person scheduled to be executed in the state. That will take place on July 10th.

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Florida is on track to execute its first inmate since the flawed and controversial execution in Oklahoma that led to an inmate’s heart attack.

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College
2:50 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

FAU To Start College Boot Camp To Improve Graduation Rates

Florida Atlantic University hopes to improve its graduation rates in order to collect.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Clemens v. Vogelsang

Florida Atlantic University has struggled recently with low graduation rates. To improve these numbers, the school is starting the JumpStart program, a college boot camp for students who might look like risky bets for graduating.

JumpStart grants students a conditional acceptance. They take two or three regular courses, and those who do well are officially accepted into the school.

Those who don’t make the grade get the experience, and their less-than-stellar GPA doesn’t follow them or FAU around.

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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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Newscast
9:02 am
Fri June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014: Daily Newscasts

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News you heard:

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Supreme Court
10:34 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

SCOTUS Chooses Not To Hear Florida Tobacco Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again chosen not to hear a case that has tobacco companies grumbling.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Phil Roeder

The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on a ground-breaking case out of Florida. Pitting Tobacco companies against smokers, this seems to be one strike against the corporations.

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against big tobacco companies in a decision that has come to be known as the Engle Case. Life-long smoker, physician, and Miami-Beach resident Howard Engle was the lead plaintiff.

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News
2:04 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Homeless Shelter For The John Does Hopes To Build Trust

The Open Door Shelter will provide a night's stay for those hardest to get off the streets.
Credit Wilson Sayre

The Salvation Army of Broward County has opened the doors to a new facility that could help up to 45 people every night. But the cots at the Open Door Shelter are more about building trust than getting sleep.

Alyse Gossman is the volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army in Broward County.

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Port of Miami
3:03 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Last Call For Coral: Researchers Save Port Coral From Dredging

Brain coral like this one can be found at the bottom of Miami's shipping channel.
Credit Creative Commons via WikiCommons

The hours are ticking down for researchers trying to preserve some of the coral at the bottom of PortMiami’s shipping channel. This dash to harvest some of the reef that has made a home there reflects changing attitudes toward marine preservation.

The port will begin dredging on Saturday to accommodate bigger ships going to and from the expanding Panama Canal.

Even though not all of the coral can be preserved, the harvesting will create some unique research opportunities.

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Latin America Report
6:31 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Riding The Beast: A Migrant Crisis President Obama Calls Urgent

The Beast carries half a million immigrants from Central America to the U.S. border each year.
Credit Keith Dannemiller / Photo courtesy of the International Organization for Migration. ©2014 IOM

There’s a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants who aim to cross into the U.S.

And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children—both with adults and alone—have been risking the journey. That prompted President Obama this week to warn of "an urgent humanitarian situation."

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Parking In Miami Beach Will Be Easier Now (Maybe)

Miami Beach hopes two new apps will make parking easier on the beach.
Credit Creative Commons

Every year, Memorial Day vacationers flock to Miami Beach for a whole lot of sun, sand -- and parking stress. Just in time to help reduce some of that hair pulling, the Miami Beach Parking Department has released two smartphone apps.

ParkMe helps drivers find nearby parking, and for some locations, how full a specific deck or lot is. The other, called Parkmobile,  lets drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.

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Prisons
10:22 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is There A Culture Of Abuse At Dade Correctional?

As Dade Correctional Institution comes under fire for not resolving a two-year-old death of an inmate, allegations of abuse and failure to hand reports have come to the surface.
Credit Creative Commons

Almost two years ago, Darren Rainey was found dead in a scalding-hot shower at Dade Correctional Institution. Despite several accounts that the 50-year-old, mentally ill inmate’s death was the result of abuse, no one has been held accountable, nor has the medical examiner completed an autopsy.

George Mallinckrodt was a psychotherapist who counseled inmates at Dade Correctional. He has filed a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Rainey’s death. Mallinckrodt talked with me as former employee about the culture of abuse he saw -- and fought -- at the prison.

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Services
5:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Should Lawyers Pay More Dues To Help The Poor Get Legal Aid?

The question of how the state funds legal services for the poor is coming to a head as one loose coalition asks for lawyers to pitch in more.
Credit Creative Commons

If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.

To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.

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Katharine The Great White
4:32 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Project Hopes To Give Sharks A Theme Other Than "Jaws"

A group is tracking great white sharks to try and shed some light on their lives.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Travelbag Ltd

South Florida beaches have a special tourist this season. But this one won’t be slathering on the tanning lotion. Boasting a couple hundred teeth and some killer ancestry, Katharine the Great White Shark is now swimming off the coast of Key Largo.

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Religion And Politics
7:49 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Festivus Man Wants To Bring Satanic Prayer To Deerfield Beach

Chaz Stevens is using Satanic prayer to protest a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user nzhamstar

Chaz Stevens is a South Florida activist who passionately disagrees with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a five-to-four split, the high court ruled that opening a town board meeting with prayer was constitutional.

So to poke fun at the decision, Stevens has asked Deerfield Beach to allow him to read a Satanic prayer to open a commission meeting.

The prayer goes like this:

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