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 continued her a mission to get more Miamians to wear overalls and say y'all.

Ways to Connect

Creative Commons via Flickr / User: Tax Credits (https://flic.kr/p/chEwR9)

Ernest Bellamy is an architectural designer and native Miamian. At 32-years-old, he decided to go back to school to get his master's degree, but decided that even with a full ride to the University of Miami opportunities looked better outside of Miami.

He is one of the many individuals who have been affected by the prosperity gap that has grown in Miami-Dade County since 2000. That’s the overarching finding of a study we reported on when it came out from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center.

What is it

About this place

With

Sound and stories…

So salty.

That’s our ZipOde, a poetic ode to our zip code here at the studios in Miami: 33132.

Your zip determines the number of words in each line of the poem. So, for us, that’s three words, then three words, one word, three and two.

With our partner O, Miami poetry festival, we asked you to memorialize your own federally appointed numerical designation by writing ZipOdes.

More than 1,100 poems came in and they were a lot of fun to read.

FIU Metropolitan Center

  Poverty is up in Miami-Dade County and wages are about the same as they were back in 2010 when adjusted for inflation.

Those are just a few of the findings of a new comprehensive study of prosperity in the county coming out Wednesday from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center that paints a picture of the region that in many ways looks worse than during the height of the last recession.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

For the past year, Lucy Perry and her longtime boyfriend William Royal have lived beneath a traffic sign on the sidewalk along Southwest Second Street under I-95. With about four dozen other homeless people, they wait for a church group to come by and hand out styrofoam containers of food.

 

Perry, Royal and many others out on the street are among the 350,000 people who lost their food stamps this year because of new state rules that adults without children who can work must work in order to get the monthly assistance.

 

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

You are always in someone’s way on the nuclear submarine USS California.

People can only pass in the hall sideways. Head clearance isn't very generous, either. Most of the crew sleep in “racks” of three bunk beds that are hardly ever unoccupied. They call it “hot racking,” where men on different shifts rotate through their precious sleep time.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Let’s lure jobs from California to Florida. That’s the crux of a controversial radio ad airing in Los Angeles and San Francisco in advance of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s trip there next week for a “trade mission.”

But how that ad was paid for has raised some eyebrows.

Enterprise Florida, the state’s mostly taxpayer funded economic development agency, footed the bill. This comes on the heel of a difficult legislative session where its request for $250 million in economic incentive money was denied.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

South Florida drivers have a certain reputation and driving fast is a big part of that. Last year, 798,000 people in Florida were pulled over for speeding. A little more than 136,000 people used some version of a traffic school to mask the points on their license so that insurance premiums don’t go up.

And now, I am a part of that; I was going 88 in a 70-mile-per-hour zone in St. Lucie County.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will not be prosecuted for battery.

The announcement came Thursday from the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office confirming predictions that had been swirling the past few days.

After a campaign event last month in Jupiter Florida, a former reporter for Breitbart News Network, Michelle Fields, filed a police report claiming someone yanked her by the arm. Another reporter confirmed it was Lewandowski.

Lewandowski was later charged by police with simple battery, which is a misdemeanor.

Nalani Anderko

 “Dear Books and Books,” the letter starts in blue pen on a torn out piece of graph paper with the fringe still on it.

What follows is the most sincere apology for an act of teenage rebellion one could imagine.

A few weeks ago a girl dropped off an envelope in person to the Lincoln Road location of Books and Books. Inside, Nalani Anderko, the store’s manager, found this apology for stealing a copy of Agatha Christie’s book “Third Girl” back in the summer of 2014.

Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / User Arturo Pardavila III (https://flic.kr/p/ExeF2T)

The Miami Marlins kick off their season Tuesday.

And this year there’s a new guy who will be throwing the opening pitch. In January, Taiwanese baseball player Wei-Yin Chen signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Miami Marlins. And it seems like his entire home country signed on too.

Courtesy of Fusion

For the most part, mug shots are not a good thing, marked by bad lighting, slightly grainy resolution and a not-so-happy model. And yet, we seem to have a fascination with them in pop culture -- galleries of celebrity mug shots, hot mug shots and, of course, the most unflattering ones imaginable.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the national park system. And of course, South Florida is home to two big ones: Everglades National Park and the sometimes-misunderstood Biscayne National Park.

Until May 1,  a new tour offered by the Park Service and Miami-Dade County is trying to better familiarize people with watery Biscayne National.

  From the moment the boat, the Pelican Skipper,”pulls away from the dock, you realize how many animals we’re surrounded by here in South Florida

Courtesy of the artist

In a studio above a pizza place in Miami’s Design District, a film projects onto a screen. Scenes of life flicker past. The graininess and clothing style give away the time - late 1960s. But, the activities are familiar today: eating burgers, playing music with friends, taking a walk in the woods. For a brief moment a page with typewriter script flashes the name “Walden” on the screen.

This is Jonas Mekas’ seminal avant-garde film from 1969.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

There’s a lot that goes on outside the debates that were held in South Florida this week.

In a building, steps away from where the Democratic candidates stood on stage in front of the microphones and cameras at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus Wednesday night, is the campus cafeteria. Inside, skinny tables with blue tablecloths are set up in rows.

This is where the people behind those microphones and cameras write and report their stories. Benjamin Burstein got there around 7 in the morning, long before most reporters who didn’t show up until 5 p.m.

Department of Corrections

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a new pathway to sentence someone to death Monday. These changes came nearly two months after the U.S. Supreme Court took issue with Florida’s old system for handing down the sentence in the Hurst v. Florida case.

The basis for the decision was that in Florida the jury only recommended the death penalty. The judge  made the final decision. The high court found that that system violated the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. A question the court left unanswered was whether a non-unanimous jury recommendation was also constitutionally problematic.

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