Katie Lepri

Engagement Producer

Katie Lepri is WLRN's engagement producer. She previously covered city government and corruption, environment and the arts at the Miami Herald. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Florida International University.

She's been with the newsroom since July 2016.

Warren Browne / Discovery YMCA

Twenty-five years ago this week, Hurricane Andrew destroyed the Homestead area- including many of its daycare centers.

That’s when Sue Loyzelle stepped in.

She was the director of the local YMCA at the time. After the storm, she was tasked by the city to establish an emergency daycare center at Harris Field--right by the Air Force base in Homestead.

WLRN spoke to Loyzelle at the opening of HistoryMiami's Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later exhibit in our Miami Stories audio recording booth. Below is what she told us in the booth: 

Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew hurtled through South Florida. The Category 5 storm uprooted trees, washed boats ashore and destroyed thousands of homes. It caused an estimated $25 billion in damage.

But the hurricane didn't scare Kendall resident Camille Grace, a 47-year-old who worked in sales for Cayman Airways and taught night school. She put her storm shutters up and filled her two bath tubs with water in case she lost access to the precious liquid during the storm. 

Marcia Brod

Lenny and Marcia Brod clearly remember one sleepless night 25 years ago. It was the eve of Hurricane Andrew.

“We were novices,” said Marcia Brod, 67. “It was a first time any kind of hurricane was coming through that was significant.”

In 1992, they were raising their two kids in a new home located on 128th Street and Southwest 107th Avenue in Miami. They had barely planned for the Category 5 storm hurling toward South Florida. 

HistoryMiami

25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami, Lance O’Brian and his friend decided to wait out the storm in Miami Beach. Both surfers, they hoped to catch some good waves once the storm had passed.

HistoryMiami museum folklorist Vanessa Navarro spoke with O'Brian as part of a HistoryMiami research project called “What Makes Miami Miami?” The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, directed the project. Below is an edited excerpt of his interview:

NOAA

If a hurricane hit today, Isaias Torres and Leah Richter Torres would be together. They're married and just had a baby girl.

But 25 years ago, they were in completely different places.

Isaias, then a 13-year-old on his way into eighth grade, lived with his mom. During the storm, his parents, who had recently divorced, came together under one roof in Hialeah.

Leah, then 17, was on her way to study environmental engineering at the University of Florida. Her mom, dad and two little sisters got into the car to drive her to Gainesville the Friday before Andrew.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Growing up in Miami, Nanci Mitchell has been through a lot of hurricanes.

“I remember in high school, sitting on the back porch in the middle of one of the hurricanes, just screened in, and it was just neat watching the storm,” she said. “It was no big deal.”

But Hurricane Andrew was a different story.

In a conversation with her sister-in-law, who lived out of state, Mitchell, then 47, confessed that Andrew “was unlike any other.”

“There was nothing like this hurricane,” she said. 

Miami Herald

Bart Mackleen was in a state of disbelief when he heard about the devastation of southern Miami-Dade, called Dade County back then, after Hurricane Andrew. 

"This [the hurricane] took everything away," he said. "You couldn't recognize where you were." 

All evidence points out to the fact that the earth is warming and the climate is changing. In Florida, that means more unpleasantly hot days, rising seas and stronger storms. 

So, it may be time to read up on the subject, if you haven’t already. Some concerned members of the community have taken up learning how to teach others about climate change science and solutions. 

This week on the Florida Roundup Tom Hudson is joined by a panel of journalists to discuss race relations and hate, immigration and law enforcement, plus the expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida as the state battles an opioid epidemic.

Guests: Manny Garcia,  East Region executive editor for the USA TODAY Network; Nancy Ancrum, editorial page editor for The Miami Herald; Rick Christie, editorial page editor for The Palm Beach Post

PETER ANDREW BOSCH / Miami Herald

This week, a tale of two housing markets in South Florida, how we protect our wildlife and the case of Coral Gables versus Facebook over its critics on social media. 

Single family homes continue to rise in value across the region as do existing condos and townhomes. The median prices for each of those were up 8 percent in May compared to a year ago. 

On the other hand, condo flippers in Miami are falling flat as prices for new units drop. What’s holding back prices of some new condos while the rest of the housing market seems to be just fine? 

TIM CHAPMAN / MIAMI HERALD FILE

This week on the Florida Roundup, Tom Hudson spoke with Palm Beach Post reporter Lawrence Mower and Sergio Bustos, senior editor with Politifact Florida, about claims of voter fraud in South Florida. Also discussed: the environmental problems that came from a very wet rainy season and this weekend's controversial vote in Venezuela. 

Evidence of voter fraud is found in Palm Beach County, but not a suspect, while Broward County is accused of not doing enough to make sure its voting rolls are accurate. A state senator calls the media coverage of the investigation criminal. 

We've had mangoes on our mind all month. (Stay tuned for an upcoming story about mango chutney!)

Then we remembered Miami Spice month starts Aug. 1. So, to prepare for deals on delicious meals in South Florida, we asked two writers and a chef about their favorite food books. 

Katie Lepri / WLRN

This week on the Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson, Miami Dade Commission Chairman Esteban Bovo and Miami Herald reporter Doug Hanks addressed the county mayor's change of heart that led him to come out in support of rapid transit buses.

It’s Bastille Day! To celebrate the French national holiday, this week we asked some experts on France and the French language about their favorite books.

Share yours with us — or just tell us what you’re reading – by tweeting us @WLRN.

Travis Cohen, writer

Katie Lepri / WLRN

The All-Star Home Run Derby began 8 p.m. Monday night at Marlins Park in Miami. Baseball fans from across the country, from Boston to Philadelphia, Houston and Orlando, came to witness sluggers step up to the plate to compete in the derby.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was last year's champion. This year, he faced New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, and Dodgers' Cody Bellenger. 

Click on the photo gallery above to see some of the fans in full regalia to support their favorite teams. 

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