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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.

While the state of Florida is set to execute the first person in more than a year and a half, 150 other Death Row inmates await new sentences.

The death penalty was put on hold in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Hurst v. Florida that the process applied for sentencing someone to death was unconstitutional. 

Roughly 260 sex offenders have registered as their residence the intersection of Northwest 36th Court and 71st Street, on the edge of Hialeah and Miami.  The closest house is four blocks away and the only buildings here are squat warehouses.

The state of Florida is poised to execute the first person in more than a year and a half this Thursday, August 24. 

Florida has one of the largest prison populations in the U.S. As of 2016, there were 99,000 people incarcerated in the state. The number peaked in 2011 with roughly 102,300 people in prison.

Lawyers in Florida have a new leader - Michael Higer, a South Floridian has taken over as the Florida Bar's 69th president.

Higer is in his first month of a one-year term leading the 104,000 lawyers in the Florida Bar.

The Bar regulates the lawyers licensed to practice in Florida and provides training and services for its members. 

As of March 13, 2017, Florida has a death penalty again.

Though the sentence is law again in Florida, many inmates continue to live on Death Row without knowing if they will ultimately die by the state’s hand or not.

Javier Vivo helps carry passengers’ bags and pushes wheelchairs at Miami International airport’s J Terminal, welcoming international travelers to the area. When he was hired as a part time employee, he wasn’t given a choice whether to take his company’s health insurance or not. It was take it or leave the job. When Vivo tried to use his insurance at the emergency room to take care of a stomach issue, though, he found out the insurance card did not give him access to much of an insurance plan.

Floridians can now change the Florida Constitution from their couches, at least for the next few months.

The Constitution Revision Commission has started accepting suggestions for amendments to the state’s governing document online.

The 37-person Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) meets once every 20 years and is tasked with figuring out what changes or additions need to be made to Florida's governing document in order to bring the state through the next 20 years.

If you Google the phrase “Miami inmates,” you’ll likely find stories about criminals and statistics about prisoners.

But a project called View-Through is trying to trick the Google search algorithm and introduce poems written by incarcerated South Floridians to those results.

Once every 20 years a group of people gets together to change the Florida Constitution, the most fundamental law of the state. That’s happening right now and anyone can be a part of those discussions as the group holds two meeting in South Florida.

Most people in Florida who get food stamps are required to work in order to keep them.

A bill (HB 23) that’s slated to be heard by the full state House of Representatives would increase the penalties if people fail to meet those requirements. A now-competing bill in the state Senate would strike these penalties.

Across the country, people have an estimated $10 billion  riding on the outcome of the men’s NCAA basketball championship.

Only a tiny part of that is being done legally, roughly 3 percent, according to the American Gaming Association. And while some states’ gambling laws are a bit gray, Florida’s gambling laws don’t leave a lot of questions on the matter.

New rules on how legal challenges to newly drawn legislative districts would work cleared their first hurdle in the Florida House on Wednesday after the full Senate passed along its version of the same bill.

Florida allows some of the easiest access to government records and meetings of any state in the country under the state's Sunshine Laws. 

People have a right to access state documents like minutes from meetings between government officials, foster care case files and environmental studies. Government meetings for the most part are open to the public for anyone to attend.

Every 20 years, a 37-person commission comes up with a list of amendments to the Florida Constitution.

The next cohort of the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) met on Monday for the first time,  in the Florida Senate chambers in Tallahassee.

The group will have a year to travel around the state and figure out what kinds of changes need to be made to the constitution. It already scheduled visits to Orange, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.

Why should a community fund free legal aid services for its low-income residents?

The Florida Bar Foundation is trying to make the case that these programs, which provide representation by civil legal aid advocates in cases directly affecting families, homes, incomes, jobs and access to vital services, should be funded because they are  good for the economy.

How are inmates supposed to transition to the world outside of prison? 

For one pre-release program at the Homestead Correctional Institution, the answer is in entrepreneurship. 

Florida is one step closer to reinstating the death penalty.

After a year of turmoil for the state’s death penalty, one Florida legislator is trying to rein things in a bit. House Judiciary Chairman Chris Sprowls has proposed a bill that would bring the state’s death penalty in line with several state court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have thrown the sentence into limbo.

See WLRN's documentary about Florida's death penalty in limbo here.

A new bill under consideration by the Florida Legislature would make it easier for defendants to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense when faced with use of force charges. 

For years, Florida laws have  had provisions for self-defense immunity, protecting people who use force in self-defense from being prosecuted. There are certain restrictions on where and when you are justified in using various kind of force in self-defense.

Three people were killed in 2015 because of what they looked like. In November 2016, signs saying “whites only” and “colored” were taped on the wall above water fountains at a Jacksonville high school.

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