Wilson Sayre


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.

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Joan-Ellen Deck

For the rest of this year, we're bringing you holiday scenes from South Florida homes during the holidays. The snippets of international culture are little homages to our hometowns' diverse ways of celebrating the end of another year and all the holidays that heralds.

As I write this, there are just two shopping days left before Christmas. That is plenty of time to grab armfuls of Publix-brand eggnog, if that happens to be the tradition in your house.

The New Tropic, Monica McGivern / via Facebook

"Best of 2015" lists have been circulating everywhere – best albums, worst movies and top headlines.

We at WLRN have been doing our fair share of that, but we also know that sometimes the most important things in people's lives are not the stuff of headlines – birthdays, new jobs or a big move.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

For many people the holidays conjure images of sledding, hot cocoa and fireplaces, even with the unusually warm winter up north this year. Of course, none of that makes much sense in Miami -- ever.

But there’s one aspect of the wintry holidays that’s here in Miami despite the 82-degree weather we’re expecting all week: outdoor ice skating.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Outside the Shops at Sunset Place, roughly 20 people gathered Monday night. They held candles – real and battery-powered – and quietly sang.

The song was not in the spirit of holiday celebration, but of labor struggle: “We Shall Overcome.”

In October, new owners acquired Sunset Place and changed the company hired for cleaning services. The new company chose not to hire the existing workers at the outdoor mall, effectively terminating them.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

The new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami is scheduled to open to the public in the summer of 2016. The new building is four times the size of the old location next to Vizcaya and will include a new planetarium, a 500,000-gallon aquarium tank and beautiful views of the city. Exhibit build-out is expected to start in early 2016, but we wanted to take a tour now to see what people can expect when it opens.

Take a listen to the walking tour.

Art Miami

Among the elaborate parties and gallery exhibits that come to South Florida every year for Miami Art Week, last year an usual heist became it’s own cause célèbre.

Art crimes make up a $6 billion industry worldwide and, in general, if stolen art doesn’t turn up within the first few months, it could be be a long time before it does. 


Art Miami 2014 was David Smith’s fifth time at the art fair with his Amsterdam-based Gallery, Leslie Smith. 

Jose Iglesias / Miami Herald

A woman in a beautiful red sari sits on a small stool; She holds a basket full of bright orange persimmons and tries to sell her wares. In a matter of seconds, though, water has risen to her calves, then her hips and then above her head.

Her clothes swirl around her as she tries to grab the floating fruit.

All of this happens in an elevator-sized tank for a performance art piece called Holoscenes  at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Workers at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Miami international airports joined with others across the country to fight for better working conditions Thursday. Workers at JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York, Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare and others joined in on the strike.

Most were pushing for higher wages, but the workers in South Florida wanted to send a message that the fight continues even after getting better pay.

Vaguely Artistic / Flickr/Creative Commons

Just two weeks after the last one, Tuesday is another election day in Miami-Dade County.

Two commission seats will be decided, one in Miami Beach the other in Miami, but you might not actually call the Miami race an election this time around.

Many cities in Miami-Dade County use a “majority” voting system,  which means that in order to win an election, you have to get 50 percent of the vote - the majority of the voters. But when elections, like those that produced  runoffs, have five or nine candidates, getting that majority can be difficult.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Immigrant workers are the focus of a new education initiative involving the country’s largest retailer. A project called New American Workforce launched Friday in Miami and will offer English-language instruction focusing on work-specific language skills.

The need is there: Roughly 1.5 million retail workers across the country have limited English-language proficiency.

Miami Dade College will design the curriculum that will be piloted in Miami, Houston and New York. 

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

  In a small classroom in Little Haiti a dozen people practice answering questions with their instructor. Questions like “how many constitutional amendments are there,” and “who’s your representative in the U.S. House.”  

These are possible questions on a test not everyone born in the United States could pass: the citizenship test.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

For the past two years, young men who’ve had run-ins with the law have served food out of the Vibe 305 food truck.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

The end is in sight for the construction at the new science museum in downtown Miami.

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is set to open in the summer of 2016 after closing the doors  this summer at its old location next to Vizcaya. 

Doug Smith / Florida Department of Corrections

Update 10/29/2015 11:55 p.m. -- Jerry Correll was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. Thursday night, ten minutes after the execution procedure began. He had no final words, but prison officials say his last meal consisted of a cheeseburger with ketchup, fried, and a Coke.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down an official denial of Correll's petition to stay the execution at 6:40 p.m. - after the execution was scheduled to begin, which delayed the proceedings.


Creative Commons via Flickr / danielvalle5 (https://flic.kr/p/a17DDB)

The shooting of Corey Jones in Palm Beach Gardens is the  most recent in a growing number of deaths at the hands of police officers in South Florida and throughout the United States. One of the many conversations prompted by these deaths is how officers systemically interact with and treat men and women of color in the community.