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

The Genting Group

The Miami Beach city commission unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that outlines its reservations about a proposed tax-funded transit system across Biscayne Bay linking the city with Miami.

The measure concerns the feasibility of the “baylink” transit service and the intentions of the Malaysian casino company, Genting, which submitted an unsolicited proposal to Miami-Dade County to build the system across Biscayne Bay. Miami Beach commissioners now await Miami-Dade's final decision on the project.

Miami Herald File

The Miami Beach city commission reviewed on Monday a possible plan to build a tax-funded transit system across Biscayne Bay connecting the city with Miami.

Sam Turken / WLRN

A South Florida nonprofit continued a 24-year tradition Saturday night with a prom that provides local LGBTQ youth with an open space to be themselves.

More than 60 teenagers and young adults attended the “Once Upon A Time” themed prom at the North Shore Community Center in Miami Beach. The event was open to youth of all sexual identities and featured dancing to hip hop and Latin music, singing and a drag queen performance.

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN News

Fears of widespread immigration raids in South Florida appeared to dissipate without major actions on Sunday - but left migrant communities and advocates with renewed reason to come up with different strategies to deal with deportation of themselves or close family members.

In West Kendall, longtime immigrant rights advocate Nora Sandigo was praying she wouldn’t get a call on Sunday from any of her more than 1,500 children.

“Today we haven’t seen anything major,” she said in Spanish. “We hope it stays like this for the next few days.”

Sam Turken / WLRN

Volunteers planted more than 200 trees at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park  in hopes of creating more habitat for migratory birds and native animals.

The plantings at the beach have been a ritual for environmental activists and volunteers for the past decade. They have been gradually converting an area that was once cleared for development into natural forests with strangler figs, lantana and other native trees and shrubs.

Sam Turken / WLRN

More than 50 union workers who prepare food for flights at Miami International Airport protested on Wednesday for higher wages and better working conditions.

Chanting and waving signs that read “One Job Should Be Enough,” the workers called on their employer, LSG Sky Chefs, to raise their wages from an average of $12.95 per hour to at least $15 per hour. The employees included cooks and porters who prepare food and supplies at nearby kitchens and drivers who load the food on to American Airlines, Delta and United flights.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Two additional Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies have been fired for their response to the Parkland school shooting.

Sheriff Gregory Tony announced Wednesday the completion of an internal affairs investigation that reviewed the performance of seven officers who responded to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.    

Miami International Airport

Hundreds of union workers who prepare food for flights out of Miami International Airport are voting whether to strike for higher wages.

The workers employed by LSG Sky Chefs have been submitting ballots Thursday and Friday, and the union representing them—Unite Here Local 355—expects the vote to pass.

The employees include cooks who prepare food at kitchens near the airport to drivers who load the food on to American Airlines, Delta and United flights. The union says the workers make an average of $12.95 per hour. They want to see wages rise to at least $15 per hour.

Sam Turken / WLRN

After meeting on Thursday, Broward County and Hollywood commissioners still disagree over where to put a new 911 communications tower. 

The meeting between both sets of lawmakers was the latest highlight of a nine-month battle between the county and city over the location of the 911 tower. The Broward commission has wanted the tower placed in the county-owned West Lake Park but has needed the city’s approval to build the tower there.

Miami Herald

Thunder cracked and roared over Miami Beach this weekend, but there wasn't a drop of rain for miles. The sound that rang out above the city came courtesy of the jet engines and shining wingtips of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. 

Thousands of people came to watch the third annual Hyundai Air and Sea Show, which showcased the military's Blue Angels and left people awe-struck across the island as they watched the deftly executed aerial manuevers overhead. 

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made a campaign stop in South Florida on Monday, meeting with local students and holding a fundraiser in Wynwood where he discussed several national issues affecting the region.

During a nearly 20-minute speech in front of more than 70 people, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said his candidacy marks an opportunity to “change the channel” in Washington and make politics more accountable.

Sam Turken / WLRN News

More than 150 beachgoers, activists and elected officials joined hands at noon Saturday on the shore of Miami Beach to call for more environmental stewardship and to protest against offshore oil drilling and fossil fuels.

“What we’ve got are a bunch of people who care about the world, and we’re standing together along the water to say, ‘This is our beach, this our world.' To say, 'Yes to clean renewable energy,'” said Sam Van Leer, president of the non-profit Urban Paradise Guild.

Sam Turken / WLRN

More than 60 people gathered in between racks of clothes and jewelry at a Neiman Marcus Thursday night to discuss a Florida industry that is quickly growing and attracting new business—cannabis.

The networking event and seminar involved lawyers, accountants and other professionals who see opportunities in the cannabis sector and want to capitalize. They discussed state regulations for cannabis companies with people already involved in the industry and challenges new businesses can face.

Sam Turken / WLRN

More than 100 climate activists, South Florida elected officials and local residents gathered Tuesday evening to discuss the Green New Deal, the ambitious congressional plan to combat climate change. Many attendees left the town hall optimistic that the goals of the proposal are achievable, despite significant obstacles.

“It’s as aggressive as it needs to be,” said Daniella Vargas of Fort Lauderdale. “Anything that is going to make the changes that we need to make has to be that ambitious, if not more.”

WLRN

The 29th annual Fleet Week is continuing in Broward County through the weekend, as Navy sailors participate in community projects and take thousands of people on tours of their ships docked at Port Everglades.

The celebration is meant to showcase the military to residents. In addition to going aboard the Naval vessels, people can attend Navy concerts on Saturday and Sunday. The event coincides with the annual Fort Lauderdale Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.

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