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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News
5:44 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Miami-Dade County Trying To Count Homeless Children

Miami-Dade County's iCount hopes to identify the number of homeless kids living within it's boarders.

By the end of January, all four South Florida counties will have conducted their yearly homeless counts as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The numbers help local homeless initiatives figure out where to put their resources and if there have been any major shifts in the demographics of its homeless population.

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Feature
6:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Could A New Tool Put Miami-Dade On A Track To End Homelessness?

Stock photo courtesy of Flickr user Jim Fischer.
Credit Jim Fischer / Flickr CC

Volunteers will go out late Thursday night to count the number of homeless people living on the streets of Miami-Dade County. Many of the 840 tallied last year are the hardest to help because they’ve been homeless for so long.

But the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust has implemented a new tool members think could put a serious dent in the number of street homeless going forward. It’s called the VISPDAT, the Vulnerability Index Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool.

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News
1:23 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Health Care Activists Call For Medicaid Expansion

Mariamee Rodriguez and her daughter both fall into the Medicaid "coverage gap."
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Health care advocates gathered across Florida today — in Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Miami — calling on the state to accept federal funds and expand its Medicaid program.

A handful of people gathered in outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Miami, several with big black circles painted under their eyes, making them appear sickly. Others wore face masks with slogans like “no coverage equals death” written on them.

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Medicaid
4:53 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Federal Judge Rules Florida In Violation Of Medicaid Laws For Kids

A federal judge has ruled Florida's medicaid is in violation of several laws when it comes to medical care for children.
Credit StockMonkeys / Wikimedia (stockmonkeys.com)

After nearly a decade-long fight, a federal judge ruled that Florida’s Medicaid program violates several federal laws when it comes to healthcare for children.

Judge Adalberto Jordan found the care provided through the insurance program for the poor failed to “promote quality of care or equal access” for kids.

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News
2:33 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Guide Meant To Help Homeless Advocates Fight "Homeless Hate" Laws

Arnold Abbott has become the public face of efforts to overturn laws that some say criminalize the homeless.
Credit Lynne Sladky / El Nuevo Herald

  Efforts to regulate homeless activities and services in Fort Lauderdale have come under a microscope over the last couple months as advocate Arnold Abbott fights new city regulations on how and where food can be distributed to the homeless.

He is now battling that law in court after receiving three citations for continuing his food services illegally. A Broward County judge has since suspended the ordinance until early February.

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Sports
4:40 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Swimming Hall Of Fame Inductees Won't Be Celebrated In Fort Lauderdale

The International Swimming Hall of Fame will close its doors this March.
Credit Creative Commons / Wikimedia

Thirteen swimmers, divers, coaches, and other contributors to aquatic sports will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in June. The group will make up the 51st class honored with the distinction but will be the first to receive that honor in Santa Barbara, Calif., instead of Fort Lauderdale.

The Hall of Fame quarreled with the city over the proposed $40 million redesign of its current facilities. Claiming to be left out of the process, the Hall decided to move out.

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News
8:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Florida's Minimum-Wage Increase Not Meant To Raise Incomes

The Florida minimum wage will increase 12 cents to keep up with inflation in the state.
Credit Zack Mccarthy / Flickr

 

Florida’s minimum wage will be going up Jan. 1, but the increase won’t necessarily put more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers. The 12 cent increase from $7.93 an hour to $8.05 an hour is not meant to increase wages, it’s just supposed to make sure wages aren’t decreasing due to inflation.

The new Florida minimum wage is almost a dollar more than the federal minimum wage, but still not the $10.10 President Obama was championing for all workers last year.

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Christmas
5:47 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Searching For Home In South Florida Eggnog (Variants)

The Sayre Family eggnog recipe.
Credit Joan-Ellen Deck

For the rest of this year, we're bringing you holiday scenes from South Florida homes during the holidays. The snippets of international culture are little homages to our hometowns' diverse ways of celebrating the end of another year and all the holidays that heralds.

As I write this, there are just two shopping days left before Christmas. That is plenty of time to grab armfuls of Publix-brand eggnog, if that happens to be the tradition in your house.

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Wish Book
12:59 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

New Wheels, New World: A Quest For Mobility In Florida City

Going outside and for rides are treats for Rockcale "Rocky" Wiggins, front, who has been diagnosed with scoliosis and cerebral palsy, but getting in and out the car is extremely tiring and difficult.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Rockale ‘Rocky’ Wiggins has never been able to talk, but that hasn’t prevented him from communicating with those around him with his massive, infectious smile.

At dinner, he couples the smile with raucous laughter that at times poses a challenge for the mashed potatoes and green beans trying to go down.

“You can’t stop him for laughing for nothing,” says Sharon Milton, Wiggins’ guardian and aunt. “Even during the middle of the night he gets to laughing. Even last night about 11 o’clock, I heard a noise and was like, ‘Is that Rocky?’ ”

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Art
5:56 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Fairchild Hopes Chihuly's Colorful Glass Works Will Bring Crowds

Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Large, colorful, fanciful glass works now dot the lush landscape of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. The pieces are Dale Chihuly’s encore to his 2005 installation at the gardens.

For this year’s show — the largest-ever for the internationally renowned artist — thousands of pieces of glass were installed at 24 sites in, among and even hanging from trees and plants. Other pieces appear to float in ponds around the gardens.

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News
2:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Three Days Of Police Brutality Protests In South Florida

Protestors in Miami on Sunday walk on a deserted I-195.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Until this past weekend South Florida had been relatively quiet amid a large, nationwide protest movement in response to several killings by police officers.

That changed Friday, when around 400 protesters shut down Interstate-195 in Miami. It was rush hour during Art Basel weekend.

There was a smaller protest in Fort Lauderdale -- around 100 people -- on Saturday and another Sunday in Miami maxing out at 200 people.

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News
10:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

#ShutItDown, #BlackLivesMatter Protest Of Police Killings Blocks Art Basel Traffic

At the closing of the protest, a line of people stood holding a sign saying "black lives matter."
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Protests in Miami and Fort Lauderdale shared the spotlight with Art Basel this weekend.

During Friday rush hour, around 400 people gathered in Midtown Miami, eventually moving to completely block Interstate-195.

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Art Basel
6:57 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

On Scrap Wood, Broken Doors And Shag Carpets, Purvis Young Painted Overtown

A piece of Purvis Young that features horses, a common symbol for freedom in his work
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Amidst all the new and cutting-edge art on display at Art Basel and surrounding fairs, an exhibition of late painter Purvis Young’s work is a well-deserved resurrection.

“A Man Amongst the People: A Purvis Homecoming” is the first art show in the newly renovated Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown. The exhibition represents a homecoming for work made by the former Overtown resident.

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Books
1:05 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Botany Tour For The Book Fair: Stories From Michael Largo

Michael Largo in front of a Blue Agave, which is used to make tequila. The agave blooms once, for three days just before it dies.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Say you walk into an office building. On the reception desk is a nice, lush, green-leafed plant with white dots on it. You think, “how nice and outdoorsy.”

Chances are it's a deathly, toxic plant called a "dumb cane."

That's one of the tidbits included in Michael Largo's most recent publication, "The Big, Bad Book of Botany." It’s an encyclopedia-style book about botany sprinkled with surprising, funny and historical tales of plants.

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Libraries
2:32 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Using Hip Hop To Bring South Floridians Into The Library

Samira Rojas shows off her poem about pollution at the Hip Hop Shakespeare Workshop.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

By setting a few soliloquies from Hamlet to a beat, Oscar Fuentes - also know as the Biscayne Poet - showed that the poetry in rap songs is not all that different from Shakespeare.

It was part of the Hip Hop Shakespeare workshop at the Arcola Lakes branch library in Liberty City. 

“Shakespeare has always been like a highbrow of literature and the language,” Fuentes says, “and today you have amazing writers, amazing hip-hop writers that are not given the credit they deserve as intellectuals.”

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