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

HistoryMiami

Before basketball, the sport to behold in Miami was boxing. That love of sport captured the imagination well beyond the sunny sands and palm trees. Fifty years ago this week, Charles "Sonny" Liston fought Cassius Clay for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The beloved 22-year-old boxer from the 5th St. Gym stepped into this fight as Cassius Clay and people say he emerged as Muhammad Ali.

Go back in time, put on your best outfit and take your place beside the ring:

Phillip Pessar/Flickr

In our If I Were Mayor interview with Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, we asked him a few questions about the state of homelessness in the area.

Perez Art Museum Miami

The news about the smashed pot at the Perez Art Museum Miami has now reached as far as France, China and even Romania. The green-and-peach pot created by Ai Weiwei as part of a 16-pot installation has been valued by the museum at $1 million.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

When Sen. Marco Rubio was growing up, his parents gave him an edict:

“From a very early age they used to tell us, ‘tu tienes que estudiar,’ which means, ‘you have to study.’ So growing up I don’t ever recall not considering going to college,” Rubio told an audience at Miami Dade College on Monday.

Wilson Sayre

After a night-long count a few weeks ago, Miami-Dade County has just released the newest numbers. In total, 4,156 homeless people live in Miami-Dade County. Eight-hundred and forty people are living on the street, about the same as previous counts.

But this census also tallies the number of homeless sleeping in shelters, in hotels and transitional housing. That number is 3,316, about 200 more than in August and 353 more than last year. Most of those people were in hotels or motels, placed there as part of a program designed for struggling families.

Creative commons courtesy of Flickr user Images_of_Money

Workers wages and salaries grew 2.4 percent over the past 12 months. That's down from 2.6-percent growth half a year ago. Which not only means there has not been a lot of growth, but that what we have had is slowing.

On top of that, total compensation, which includes things like salaries plus health benefits and bonuses, has not been growing at a comparable rate.

As the wage growth slows, other costs of living like housing, food and transportation continues to rise at a much higher rate--putting more pressure on peoples’ pockets.

Wilson Sayre

According to the federal government, "enough" is a simple, five-figure amount: $23,850. That's the poverty line. It marks a distinction between who is poor and who is not, who doesn’t have enough money to make ends meet and who does.

But over the past month, I've asked you to tell me what you think it really takes to live in South Florida. Your answers averaged about $47,600 a year -- almost exactly twice the federal poverty level.

Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

Wilson Sayre

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in seven South Floridians can't afford the food they need to stay healthy.

Creative Commons via Flickr user d'n'c

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney for Miami-Dade County, says she had never heard of any criminal cases involving human-trafficking victims in Miami.

Wilson Sayre

On the surface, taking public transportation in South Florida is unquestionably cheaper than driving.

But there are hidden costs associated with a commute, stemming from the amount of time behind a wheel or sitting on a bus, and the value of your time in both financial and immaterial terms.

I wanted to find out: At what point is it more valuable to drive than to take public transportation?

Bob Adelman

Today, Florida’s poverty rate is just over 17 percent and the city of Miami’s hit 29.5 percent in the most recent Census data. At the end of the 1960s, poverty levels in the South hovered around 18 percent of the population.

It was during that time when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent much of his energy organizing what he called the "Poor People's Campaign." It worked to achieve economic justice and equality for poor people -- a disproportionate number of whom were black.

Something about housing stats in particular seems a bit more voyeuristic than say, just the average age of a neighborhood's residents. Housing numbers create a figurative window into people’s private spheres that is a bit uncomfortable at times, but the stats help visualize in a different way the place we call home.

Here's a list of websites that map different aspects of Miami's housing market:

Wilson Sayre

Foreign investors have been gobbling up properties all over South Florida, often paying with cash. And banks are less willing to take a risk with families who need financing in lieu of cash.

This affects the percentage of income South Floridians spend on housing, because when it's harder to purchase a house, more people rent. And when more people are renting, rent prices go up.

For six years now, home-seeker Lionel Lightbourne has been looking for a home with his wife and the seven kids they have between them, aged 15 to 28.

Creative Commons via Flickr

The discount grocery store Aldi is opening up four new locations in South Florida: Palm Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hialeah and Miami Gardens. In order to staff those locations, the discount grocer is holding hiring fairs throughout the area on Jan. 15 and 16.

Though it looks like a typical grocery store on the outside, a few things inside might throw you off your shopping routine. The first thing you’ll probably do is try to grab a cart. At Aldi, you have to rent it. The $.25 asking price isn’t much, but it's one of the many differences between this and any other grocery store.

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