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

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.

Florida Department of Corrections

The stark room that plays host to Florida's most severe punishment and the theater from which onlookers watch may be back in business soon.

The state Senate Thursday passed a bill finalizing procedures for sentencing someone to death in Florida. The bill, on its way to the governor’s desk, does not require a unanimous jury in handing down that sentence. Despite early signs that the Legislature might consider requiring a unanimous jury, the final language only requires 10 of 12 jurors to agree to sentence someone to death.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Deandre Benjamin was hanging out with friends in the courtyard of an apartment building in Overtown, Miami. Around 6 p.m. someone in a black car drove up and sprayed the area with bullets.

Benjamin was 17 at the time. His friend Julian Bryant—“Juju”—was also shot. Juju was standing right next to Benjamin and later died. Juju was 17.

Deandre Benjamin, who goes by his artist name Jus Dre, spoke about what happened the night of the shooting.

    

An edited excerpt of the conversation with Benjamin:

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

By now, their stump speeches are refined: They’ve got the jokes down, the stats memorized, and the crowds hyped. But as Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rounded out their Super Tuesday in Florida—which did not hold its primary that day—it was clear that Florida was a powerful state, not just in the general election, but also in the primary to be held on March 15.

Florida Dept. of Corrections

The death penalty might soon be back in Florida.

Legislation that sets up new guidelines on how to hand down that sentence passed a final Senate committee Thursday. Florida had to rewrite these procedures after the U.S. Supreme Court struck them down earlier this year.

Last week the Florida House passed a bill that requires 10 of 12 jurors to agree to the death sentence, but until Thursday's committee meeting, the Senate version would have required a unanimous jury.

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