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Greg Allen

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.

Allen was a key part of NPR's coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, providing some of the first reports on the disaster. He was on the front lines of NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, arriving in New Orleans before the storm arrived and filing on the chaos and flooding that hit the city as the levees broke. Allen's reporting played an important role in NPR's coverage of the aftermath and the rebuilding of New Orleans, as well as in coverage of the BP oil spill which brought new hardships to the Gulf coast.

More recently, he played key roles in NPR's reporting in 2018 on the devastation caused on Florida's panhandle by Hurricane Michael and on the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

As NPR's only correspondent in Florida, Allen covered the dizzying boom and bust of the state's real estate market, as well as the state's important role in the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections. He's produced stories highlighting the state's unique culture and natural beauty, from Miami's Little Havana to the Everglades.

Allen has been with NPR for three decades as an editor, executive producer, and correspondent.

Before moving into reporting, Allen served as the executive producer of NPR's national daily live call-in show, Talk of the Nation. Prior to that, Allen spent a decade at NPR's Morning Edition. As editor and senior editor, he oversaw developing stories and interviews, helped shape the program's editorial direction, and supervised the program's staff.

Before coming to NPR, Allen was a reporter with NPR member station WHYY-FM in Philadelphia from 1987 to 1990. His radio career includes working an independent producer and as a reporter/producer at NPR member station WYSO-FM in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Allen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977, with a B.A. cum laude. He began his career at WXPN-FM as a student, and there he was a host and producer for a weekly folk music program that included interviews, features, and live and recorded music.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, an outspoken and sometimes controversial figure in Florida and Washington, D.C., has died after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 84.

Hastings began his career as a civil rights lawyer. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to a U.S. District Court seat, making him Florida's first African American federal judge.

Scientists have identified a new species of mosquito in Florida. I's called Aedes scapularis. Lawrence Reeves, an entomologist and research scientist with the University of Florida, identified them among mosquitoes he collected near Everglades National Park in 2019.

It will be a year and a half before the first votes are cast in the 2022 midterms, but volunteers are already staffing phone banks to start organizing Florida's Democratic voters. Ken Telesco is in Seattle, but he's calling Democrats in Florida. When he gets someone on the line, which is rare, he launches into his appeal, "We're a Democratic organization just calling around to make sure you are registered to vote as a Democrat."

The National Hurricane Center says it will begin issuing Tropical Weather Outlooks in May, weeks before the June 1 beginning of hurricane season. The federal agency is also considering moving up the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Named systems have formed in the Atlantic prior to the official start of the season in each of the last six years. In 2020, there were two named systems before June 1, tropical storms Arthur and Bertha.

In Florida, Democrats are criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who they claim is allowing politics to play a role in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. DeSantis became testy when questioned by reporters at a vaccination event near Lakewood Ranch, an upscale community on Florida's Gulf Coast.

The vaccination event was the latest in a series of state-sponsored clinics at retirement communities. Under DeSantis' "Seniors First" initiative, the COVID-19 vaccine is being made available to everyone age 65 and over in Florida — an estimated 4.5 million people.

Elected officials in Florida are reacting strongly against media reports that the White House is considering imposing domestic travel restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19.

"It would be unconstitutional. It would be unwise and it would be unjust," Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday at a vaccination site in Port Charlotte, on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believe they have identified a new species of whale in the Gulf of Mexico. The Rice's whale is a filter feeder that can grow to 42 feet. It's also critically endangered. There are believed to be fewer than 100 of them left.

It was only in the 1990s that scientists first determined that a small whale population was living in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico year-round. Marine biologists thought they were Bryde's (pronounced "broodus") whales, members of a species that lives in warm waters around the world.

States are taking steps to tighten security at their capitol buildings following a warning by the FBI to prepare for armed protests in the days leading up to the the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Many state capitals have already seen protests by people upset by President Trump's loss in the election.

On Wednesday, the president put out a statement responding to reports of more demonstrations.

The FBI and Washington, D.C., Metro police are asking the public for help identifying some of the people involved in assaults, break-ins and vandalism at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The FBI is asking anyone with information to submit it here, along with any photos or video.

President Trump recently signed an order extending a ban on drilling in U.S. waters in the Atlantic. But in the Bahamas, a small company has received permission to begin doing exploratory drilling just 150 miles from the Florida coast.

From the Carolinas to Central America, many are glad to see the end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It set a number of records, including the most named storms.

Cruise lines may begin sailing again from U.S. ports under rules released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency is allowing a "No Sail" order to expire at midnight Saturday.

Theme parks in California say new state guidelines will keep them closed indefinitely, affecting hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses across the state. The presidents of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks say they're considering all options to speed their reopening, including potential legal action.

The disagreement among elected officials over how to respond to the coronavirus is playing out, not just in the nation's capital, but also in the states. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis surprised local officials last month when he lifted all statewide COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

He said the peak of the state's COVID-19 cases were months in the past, and that measured steps to reopen the economy hadn't caused the spike many had predicted. That's why he said it's time to allow bars, restaurants, even movie theaters to open at full capacity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended a ban on cruises from U.S. ports. The new "no sail" order, issued late Wednesday, expires Oct. 31.

Miami-Dade County says it will not fully comply with a decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift most restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus, saying it's too soon to safely reverse the precautions.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, speaking Tuesday with local medical advisors, and in a conference call with White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the county has declined because it has reopened very slowly.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is lifting all restrictions on businesses statewide that were imposed to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Most significantly, that means restaurants and bars in the state can now operate at full capacity.

The Miami Dolphins say 13,000 fans will be allowed in their home stadium when the NFL season begins next month. Miami is one of just a handful of NFL teams so far that have announced plans to allow fans to attend. The stadium also hosts the University of Miami Hurricanes, who have been cleared to play with fans present when their season begins on September 10.

For the fourth day in a row, Florida set a record for the number of COVID-19 deaths with 257 deaths reported Friday. A total of 6,843 people in Florida have died so far from the coronavirus.

Epidemiologists say that number will keep rising following the surge in cases seen over the past six weeks.

Florida reported its largest number of deaths in a single day from the coronavirus: 173 on Thursday. The state says 10,249 people tested positive for the virus.

In Florida, hospitals are being stressed by the surge of coronavirus cases. Florida reported 11,466 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 128 deaths of residents. It was the fourth day running the state saw more than 100 deaths.

The spike in cases is most acute in the Miami area. Miami-Dade County accounts for nearly a quarter of Florida's 327,241 cases.

On Friday, Miami-Dade County's daily "dashboard" report showed the number of patients admitted with COVID-19 at nearly 120% of intensive care unit capacity.

In Florida, an additional 10,181 people tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the state's total to more than 301,810 cases. Florida has averaged more than 10,000 cases a day for the past week, and some public health experts said the peak is still weeks away.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Florida posted its highest number of deaths yet from the coronavirus Tuesday. The state's Department of Health reported 132 deaths and 9,194 new positive cases.

It followed two days when Florida registered its highest number of new COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, Florida saw 15,300 cases, the most so far by any state.

Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

Florida's surge of COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing down. The state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record Thursday, with 10,109 cases, surpassing Saturday's record of 9,585 cases. That brings Florida's total confirmed coronavirus cases to nearly 170,000 and a death toll of 3,617 (with 67 new deaths reported Thursday).

As it struggles to control a rising number of new cases of the coronavirus, Florida took a dramatic step, suspending the consumption of alcohol on the premises at bars statewide. Officials in Texas took a similar step Friday, requiring bars to close at noon and be available only for takeout and delivery. The order in Florida came as the state recorded another spike Friday.

In Florida, where there's a surge of new COVID-19 cases, officials are divided over what to do about it. The state saw 2,783 new cases Tuesday. It was the third time in the past seven days that Florida set a new daily record.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republican officials, including President Trump, say the rising number of new cases was expected and is mostly the result of increased testing. Florida is now testing more than 200,000 people a week, more than double the number tested weekly in mid-May.

Thirteen-foot-high floodwalls could line part of Miami's waterfront, under a proposed Army Corps of Engineers plan being developed to protect the area from storm surge. The $4.6 billion plan is one of several drafted by the Corps of Engineers to protect coastal areas in the U.S, which face increased flood risks stoked by climate change. Similar projects are already underway in Norfolk, VA and Charleston, SC.

Over the last week, Florida has seen rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Since last Tuesday, the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus totaled more than 1,000 each day. Saturday's total of 1,426 positive tests was the most since early April.

A similar rise in new cases is happening in other states, including North Carolina, Texas and California. It's leading to worries that as businesses reopen and stay-at-home orders are lifted, relaxed guidelines could lead to new outbreaks and even a second wave of infections.

Several theme parks in Florida will open their doors to guests again over the next few weeks and have crafted plans they hope will keep employees and others safe from spread of the coronavirus.

SeaWorld received approval for its plan to reopen its parks on June 11. The plans are expected to be quickly approved by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Universal Orlando has already received the go-ahead from local and state officials for its plan to reopen its parks on June 5.

It appears theme parks will soon be welcoming guests in Florida. Local officials approved reopening plans for Legoland in Winter Haven and the Universal theme parks in Orlando.

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