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

Alex Villar

Cuban coffee -- in white styrofoam containers, its brown liquid leaking through the lid, accompanied by tall stacks of thimble-like cups -- is everywhere in Miami.

If you talk to the drinkers at small cafeteria windows called "ventanitas," the older Cubans will say you’re not Cuban if you don’t drink the coffee. To round out the traditional Cuban look, they pair a cup with a white guayabera button-down shirt.

Although, today you'll also find young non-Cubans who are equally devoted to the drink, such as Caylee Otto, a 26-year-old from Pittsburgh.

Cuts to food stamps for over 3.5 million Floridians went into effect Friday, Nov. 1. And more could be coming through the pipeline soon.

Increases in food stamps, which are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), were approved as part of the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to the economy. And those increases have run out.

For a family of four, the cuts translate to $36 per month or a total loss of $396 per year. Cuts to benefits in Florida are the third largest.

Creative Commons via Flickr user Jim Fischer

UPDATE 11:15 a.m. Oct. 31: In the latest development of the City of Miami's request to revisit the Pottinger case, Federal Judge Federico Moreno has officially called for an evidentiary hearing.  This means both sides will present data and witnesses who will attest to whether the landscape for the homeless in Miami has, in fact, changed. The judge has the ability to reopen the original settlement if the change is significant enough.

Wilson Sayre

The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is trying to do its part to help seniors navigate the health insurance maze.

Yesterday, the department kicked off a series of health fairs to be held all over the county as part of their Active Adults program.

Health service providers gave short presentations about how they can help to navigate the complicated health system -- tips about how to get the most out of coverage and ways to avoid health care fraud.

Wilson Sayre

James Lature spends much of his time between North West 16th and 17th Streets behind the ACE Hardware store. It’s as close to home as it gets.

Born in South Carolina and raised in Miami, he has spent the last 20 years getting to know the streets of the city by sleeping on them most nights.

Creative Commons via Flckr wallyg

UPDATE 5:10 p.m. Oct. 4, 2013: Six firms have responded to the RFQ before today's deadline, among them Kim Briesemeister’s Redevelopment Management Associates.

A board of both city employees and people outside of government will rank the companies, though no timetable is in place for the review process.

------------------

As communities change, so too must the institutions that govern them. One change in particular has raised a few eyebrows.

Wilson Sayre

A battle over plans to build a new Walmart in Midtown Miami continued Wednesday night before the city's Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board.

Although both sides of the issue attended the meeting, the focus instead was squarely on the numbers, two in particular: 21 and 27. These are the zoning ordinances that govern the use and design of land in midtown.                                                         

Creative Commons via Wikipedia User Ed Brown

Florida's new law banning texting while driving went into effect on October 1.

Governor Rick Scott signed SB 52 into law back in May, making Florida the 41st state to ban texting while driving. To some, though, the law does not go far enough.

The brunt of the new law is meant to deter drivers from sending or reading text messages. But it bans pretty much anything that requires "manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters." So no emailing, searching the Internet, or dialing a phone number.

Wilson Sayre

More than 60 activists huddled in the shade during a rally on Sunday in support of an amendment to the Miami-Dade County human rights ordinance. They were joined by faith leaders including Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Unity on the Bay and All Souls' Episcopal Church.

Wikimedia Commons User Dtobias

The Miami City Police Department is having trouble hiring new police officers.

The city's police department has had its share of recent challenges: criticism over the number of civilian deaths, questions about civil rights violations and ongoing monitoring by the U.S. Justice Department.

And city commissioners are worried. For the past three years, the police department has been operating with 40 to 100 fewer officers than what the city commission has budgeted. Currently, 1,100 of 1,144 police positions are filled.

The Problem

Creative Commons via Flickr / Shawn Walton

After a period of economic decline, Miami's Overtown is getting a booster shot.

On Thursday, the city's Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) approved a joint plan that would cede two city blocks to a team of developers in the hopes of rejuvenating a stretch of land in one of Miami's core neighborhoods.

Wilson Sayre

At a solemn ceremony today, the North Campus of Miami Dade College dedicated a new memorial to honor those lost in the attacks on 9/11. 

The memorial is about 10 feet high. On top of the base, which is supposed to represent the Pentagon, there is a granite column with three sides. Each side has the name of a place that was attacked on Sept. 11 along with a quote of remembrance. On top of the column is a two foot piece of what looks like an I-beam with a large nail sticking out of it. 

Bob Adelman

Editor's Note: Below are Americans with South Florida connections who went to hear the Rev. Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous "I Have A Dream" speech in Washington, D.C., one of the most significant civil rights events in history.  Their bios are compiled from public and private sources. Listen to what they have to say. 

SHIRLEY JOHNSON

Pages