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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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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Swimming
4:37 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

How A New Swimming Pool Has Closed The Gap Between Rich And Poor In South Miami

Jalen Brown, 8 enjoys the new pool at the Murray Park Aquatic Center in South Miami. More than 100 people turned out for the grand opening of the park.
Credit Daniel Bock for the Miami Herald

At least once a week for about five months, Jalen Brown and other children from South Miami boarded a bus and took the 15-minute drive to Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove for swimming lessons.

Along the way the children, many of whom live in low-income housing, saw “mansions” they dreamed of living in and cars they hoped to afford one day.

The bus ride bridged a gap from their small, historically black community in South Miami to the affluent private school where swimming is part of the routine and not a privilege.

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News
6:53 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

After 46 Years, South Miami Gets Its First Pool

The pool in South Miami will be open from 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturdays through Wednesdays.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

After more than four decades, the City of South Miami now has its own public pool.

A long-time resident named Simon Codrington Jr. had been trying to get a pool built in his city since the 1970s.

Now, after several emotional speeches about the challenges of getting the pool built and the drownings that occurred in the interim, community members in South Miami quickly made themselves comfortable in the water.

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Immigration
6:28 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

DOJ Pushed Up Court Proceedings For Newest Unaccompanied Undocumented Children

A new Department of Justice policy works to get the newest unaccompanied minors who have crossed into the U.S. to court faster.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A new move from the Department of Justice hopes to jumpstart the court proceedings for some of the most recent unaccompanied minors to arrive in the United States. 

The speed, though, has many immigration lawyers alarmed.

The federal government’s new policy says many of the kids who have come into the country on or after May, 1, must have their first court hearing within 21 days from the start of their legal proceedings: the filing of their notice to appear in court.

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Parking
3:02 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Delray To Increase Parking Fee For Businesses

Delray Beach may look to businesses to shoulder more of the costs of building parking.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Omar_Bárcena

The City of Delray Beach is looking to increase the parking fee some business owners pay to help build parking garages or city lots.

The city dictates how many parking spots a business must have based on what it is and how big it is: an office needs one spot per 300 square feet while a restaurant needs six spots per 1,000 square feet. Each time the use of a building changes the incoming business must meet the new parking requirements.

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South Miami
9:13 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Ransom Everglades Offers Swim Lessons To Kids Without Pools

The partnership between Ransom Everglades School and South Miami hopes to teach life-saving swim skills.
Credit Wilson Sayre

  A few kids in South Miami, a city with no public pool, are getting the opportunity to take free swim lessons at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove.

Tina Scott, a pediatrician in South Miami, arranged the partnership between the city and private school to address the lack of swimming skills she regularly saw in her patients.

“One of the things that I do when I see patients is to ask about water: Do you live near water? Do you have a pool in your backyard? A canal? To make sure that the kids actually know how to swim,” she says.

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Youth
12:48 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Programs Offers Inner City Youths Professional Field Training

Some youth in Miami's inner city are paid to learn code though FACE's summer program.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Lindsey Bieda

FACE, a paid summer internship program for young adults, is wrapping up and showing off what its participants have been up to in the past six weeks.

The name of the program stands for film, arts, culture (and coding) and entrepreneurship. Participants choose an area of focus and pair up with industry professionals to develop and execute a project in that field.

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Liberty City
10:29 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Despite Pioneering Integration, Jumbo's Did Not Survive

Jumbo's owner has decided to fry his last shrimp after almost six decades.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Jumbo’s, a fixture of Miami's Liberty City, will serve its last batch of fried shrimp Wednesday. The diner has been open almost every hour since its first shift in 1955.

The restaurant gained a reputation for its bold move to integrate its staff in 1967, and owner Bobby Flam once saw a bustling dining room filled with black and white patrons. But the past decade has seen slowing business and crumbling décor.

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Homeless
5:35 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Survey Concludes Miami-Dade's Treatment Of Homeless Is "Mixed Bag"

Miami-Dade County was applauded for its method of funding homeless services, but dinged for some laws on its books
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

A new national report found a general trend toward criminalizing the homeless, and criticized the laws of some areas in Florida. The report, published by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, looked at how municipalities treat the homeless.

It found more and more cities have banned activities like sleeping on sidewalks, sitting in public spaces or storing personal possessions outside.

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