Sam Turken

Intern, Summer 2018

After living in North Carolina the past four years, Miami native Sam Turken is back in the city he’s always called home.

Sam is a proud Miami Beach Senior High alum and a recent graduate of Duke University where he studied journalism, public policy and history. He caught the public radio bug four years ago when he covered a gun buyback in Miami while on his spring break. Since then, he’s produced audio pieces on race, social justice and public housing. He enjoys using sound to tell rich and intimate stories.

A former managing editor of The Duke Chronicle, Sam has digital experience covering a range of other topics. He’s investigated the absence of female managers in Duke men’s basketball program and reported on enrollment imbalances within public schools in Durham, N.C. He’s also interned with WBUR in Boston and Fusion, written for the Raleigh News & Observer and worked for the Duke Reporters’ Lab.

When Sam isn’t doing journalism, he enjoys the outdoors. He runs, plays tennis and soccer and spends time around the bay and ocean—something he wasn’t able to do while in college. You may also spot him riding his bike around Miami’s streets.

Ways to Connect

Sam Turken / WLRN

People experiencing homelessness in Miami now have access to a new bathroom after the city on Wednesday opened up its first permanent toilet in Downtown. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Miami ranks 29th on a list of cities for how well it integrates immigrants, according to a new annual assessment by the bipartisan group New American Economy. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday he plans to protect the environment if elected, including restoring the Everglades and ending algae blooms near Lake Okeechobee.

But he refused to explicitly state whether he believes in climate change. 

The former U.S. Rep. toured the Everglades in Broward County on an airboat to learn more about efforts to improve water flow through the National Park.

Peter Haden / WLRN

The state commission that’s investigating the Parkland school shooting discussed on Wednesday ways to improve school safety, agreeing that middle and high school campuses should always have at least one police officer present.

Elementary schools, however, could have an armed guardian instead of an officer or sheriff’s deputy, the panel decided. 

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which meets at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, is beginning to draft recommendations as part of its report that will serve as a statewide guide to advance school security. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

WLRN interns spent some time this summer looking at how the idea of gender is changing in South Florida. This story is part of their project.

Teenagers often spend their afternoons at the West Palm Beach Police Athletic League playing sports, watching movies and using computers.

But on one Monday afternoon in July, a group of middle and high school boys did something different. They participated in a discussion about rape and how not to objectify women.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The state commission investigating the Parkland school shooting has conducted 300 witness interviews so far. But there's at least one more high profile witness to go: former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer Scot Peterson. 

Peterson was the Broward Sheriff's Deputy on duty during the shooting on Feb. 14. He resigned shortly following the shooting, after surveillance video revealed that he did not enter the 1200 building to engage the shooter during the massacre. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Tropical storm Gordon drenched South Florida on Labor Day, knocking out power for thousands and putting a damper on a holiday that is usually a boon for tourism and many businesses.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Activists and state elected officials rallied on Saturday outside the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, calling for an end to gun shows at the center. 

Protestors waved signs and chanted as they faulted the Fair for allowing the gun shows to continue at the fairgrounds in Tamiami Park for more than three decades. 

While the center is home to the annual Youth Fair in the spring, the nonprofit — the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Inc. — leases the property from the county and holds other events there throughout the year. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Jeff Forsythe could not stop laughing at the boaters.

He sat on a grassy hill near the Black Point Marina boat ramp with his wife and son. The ramp was too crowded for him to trailer his own boat into the water on this Sunday before the Fourth of July.

Instead, he joined more than a dozen others watching and jeering at boaters using the ramp.

Jose A. Iglesias / El Nuevo Herald

Donna Shalala won the Democratic nomination for the 27th U.S. congressional district in South Florida Tuesday, setting up a key showdown that will determine the fate of a long-held Republican seat.

  

Shalala, a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the University of Miami, edged past a crowded field with 32 percent of the vote.

She will now try to turn the seat Democratic after more than two decades with it under the control of Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring.

Sam Turken / WLRN

The former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro says Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum can bring Democrats together and improve health care and public education across the state. 

Gillum campaigned with Castro across South Florida on Saturday as part of his statewide bus tour before the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

In an interview with WLRN, Castro—who is considering running for president in 2020—praised Gillum's honesty and progressive platform. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Officials from the Florida Democratic Party met with black South Floridians on Saturday to discuss the importance of voting and to train them how to mobilize other voters ahead of the midterm elections in November.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Tampa's mayor visited Miami Thursday to learn more about a rail system that could potentially add a new transportation link between Florida's three largest cities. 

Mayor Bob Buckhorn toured the Brightline station in Miami with Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez before test-riding a train to Fort Lauderdale. Buckhorn wanted to see how the railway operates as Brightline works to expand its service into the Tampa Bay area. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

Real estate broker Gabriel Miranda thought it could take a while to sell unit 905.

The vacant condo is in Echo Brickell, a recently-built, sleek residential tower that overlooks Biscayne Bay and Key Biscayne. The building has elevators for cars, an enormous aquarium in the main lobby and a $42 million penthouse.

Sam Turken / WLRN

A Broward County school board member says a recent comment she made about the 2017-18 school year was taken out of context. 

Parents of the victims of the Parkland school shooting claimed on Aug. 9 that board member Donna Korn recently said that last school year was the best Broward County has seen despite the massacre.

But in a release on Monday, Korn said soundbites of her statement from an interview during the State of the County address were cut short. She said her comment was actually praising the performance of Broward County's school principals. 

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