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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.

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.

What happens when you expose a Florida resident to mosquitoes, screw worms or gators?

This is the time of year when here at WLRN we like to look back at all the news that happened over the past year and remember the stories that we found especially entertaining – the stuff that got us laughing or shaking our heads around the newsroom.

Obamacare’s namesake came to Miami-Dade County Thursday afternoon to talk about the Affordable Care Act, just a few weeks before the program’s fourth open enrollment period starts.

President Barack Obama, before heading to a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Miami Gardens, spoke to a large crowd of mostly students at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.

Florida is an outlier when it comes to sentencing people to death.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Solar energy is a hot issue again in Florida.


Florida was in the spotlight again for its death penalty procedure this week when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the way the Sunshine State hands down death sentences.

In Florida, Alabama and Delaware, juries can recommend the death penalty if more than half the jurors agree; In other states, either the jury decision has to be  unanimous or  a jury isn't used at all in sentencing.

There’s a big legal gray area in Florida when it comes to ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Technically they’re operating illegally, but local counties have turned a blind eye to their operations, which in Miami are now hitting the one-year mark.

 This is the third part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Every Tuesday, a giant blue bus parks in front of the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Miami Gardens. Inside looks like a doctor’s office with a reclining exam chair and anatomical charts. You only know that it’s not a traditional office when it shakes as people get on and off.

This is the second part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Before the pain in her arms started, Cynthia Louis would get up each morning, sit on the edge of her bed and fix her shoulder-length hair. In the mirror above her dressing table where her hair products and pins are neatly aligned, she would brush out her curled hair to frame her face.

This is the fourth and final part of our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

This is the first part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

The Florida Supreme Court has reached a groundbreaking decision about inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes they committed while they were still kids.

The decision makes 2012's Miller v. Alabama apply retroactively. It was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled mandatory life sentences without the opportunity for release were cruel and unusual.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Florida $84.3 million to support homeless services and housing facilities across the state.

Nationwide, HUD gave $1.8 billion, making Florida the sixth-largest recipient, trailing New York and California.

Health care advocates gathered across Florida today — in Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Miami — calling on the state to accept federal funds and expand its Medicaid program.

A handful of people gathered in outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Miami, several with big black circles painted under their eyes, making them appear sickly. Others wore face masks with slogans like “no coverage equals death” written on them.

  Efforts to regulate homeless activities and services in Fort Lauderdale have come under a microscope over the last couple months as advocate Arnold Abbott fights new city regulations on how and where food can be distributed to the homeless.

He is now battling that law in court after receiving three citations for continuing his food services illegally. A Broward County judge has since suspended the ordinance until early February.

 

Florida’s minimum wage will be going up Jan. 1, but the increase won’t necessarily put more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers. The 12 cent increase from $7.93 an hour to $8.05 an hour is not meant to increase wages, it’s just supposed to make sure wages aren’t decreasing due to inflation.

The new Florida minimum wage is almost a dollar more than the federal minimum wage, but still not the $10.10 President Obama was championing for all workers last year.

Anti-Amendment Two groups in Florida are using Halloween to highlight what, in their opinion, is another strike against the legalization of medical marijuana: marijuana-infused treats called “edibles.”

A record number of homeless students are attending Florida schools according to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education. Almost 70,000 kids in the state were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year, a 10 percent increase compared to the national average of 8 percent.

However, most of those kids are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which acts as a clearinghouse for many social services available to the homeless.

A record number of homeless students are attending Florida Schools according to new numbers out from the U.S. Department of Education. Almost 70,000 kids in the state were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year, a 10-percent increase compared to the national average of 8-percent.

However, most of those kids are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which acts as a clearinghouse for many social services available to the homeless.

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