Luis Hernandez

Host, Sundial/ Afternoon Anchor

Luis Hernandez is an award-winning journalist and host whose career spans three decades in cities across the U.S. He’s the host of WLRN’s newest daily talk show, Sundial (Mon-Thu), and the news anchor every afternoon during All Things Considered.

Luis joined the WLRN newsroom in 2014, and he’s no stranger to life in South Florida. He is a true Florida kid. He grew up in Palm Beach County, spent Hurricane Andrew in a closet in Doral, and has spent almost 40 years as a resident of the Sunshine State.

Before arriving at WLRN, Luis spent four years at KNPR in Las Vegas, as the host of the daily talk program, State of Nevada. While there, he worked to increase the station’s reach within the Hispanic community. He covered the 2012 presidential election from “Sin City,” as well as environmental issues, immigration policy, and the recovery from the 2008 housing disaster.

While working at WUFT, he mentored students from the University of Florida’s celebrated journalism program. He has spent roughly 14 years now in public broadcasting.

Before entering the realm of public radio, Luis worked in news and sports for Clear Channel Communications in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville. He also spent two years in television at LeSea Broadcasting in Denver, Colorado.  

When he’s not behind the mic or on the phone with sources, he spends his free time trying to finish his “great American novel.”

Jorge Quinteros / Flickr via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Julian Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is in South Florida this week for the National Urban League Conference.

Castro spoke with WLRN about the latest decision by HUD to put pressure on cities that receive federal dollars to do more to provide fair housing. Below is an edited version of our conversation.

Brad Balukjian / Wax Pack Book

For millions of kids there were few experiences like getting a new pack of baseball cards. There was a simple but euphoric joy in tearing the thin metallic wrapper, being hit by the wafting smell of stale sugar and feeling the hard stock, glossy cards between your fingers.  

Brad Balukjian was one of those kids in the 1980s. He bought his first deck in 1986, a year that included players such as Dwight Gooden, Ken Griffey and Eddie Murray. Recently, the freelance writer came up with an idea. He bought a pack of 1986 Topps cards on Ebay -- unopened. 

El Nuevo Herald

COMMENTARY

Every year DolFans get giddy. 

"This is the year we break through, this is the year we finally contend -- or at least get to the playoffs," we think. But this year really does feel unique considering the moves Miami has made during the offseason. There's that and, come on, eventually this team has to turn it around.

It has been hard being a Dolphins fan. But one Harvard blog thinks the pain may be near an end. 

Miami Herald

Florida remains one of the states with the highest foreclosure rate, according to a new report from real estate firm RealtyTrac. The Sunshine State has four of the five metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates: Tampa, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Ocala.

But compared to last year, foreclosures are down and, according to Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac, a lot of the bad loans that led the nation into the housing crisis are cycling out of the system.

Miami Herald

Four male students are accused of raping a mentally disabled girl in a janitor's closet at North Miami Senior High earlier this year. The cases are making it through the legal system, but it turns out there may have been another rape at the school months earlier. 

The students accused — Kenoldo Alexis, Derek Bynum, Steven Joseph and David Lombard — are between 15 and 18 years old. Court records say the four slipped into the closet with the girl and gang-raped her. 

The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga covered the story. Hear an interview with her below.

Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit this week -- with the state legislature as their target. The coalition claims lawmakers shortchanged environmental spending in this year's budget, going against the will of the voters.

The coalition is made up of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida. These groups claim lawmakers put millions of dollars that should go to buying land for conservation efforts, and used it for expenses not allowed by Amendment 1.

FBI Files

In the early 20th century, kidnappings were a scourge on the nation.

The Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping of 1932 epitomized a time of widespread fear -- the taking of the famous aviator's son resulted in the FBI's involvement, and later the Federal Kidnapping Act, granting the Bureau jurisdiction in these cases.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

It started with a trickle, a couple dozen people organizing signs and props at the Metromover station near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Eventually, it grew to a few hundred. These were protestors from groups like Occupy Miami, Green Party of Florida and GMO Free Florida.

The groups were marching in solidarity for labeling of genetically modified foods, or what has become known as GMOs. One of the biggest manufacturers of GMOs, and the main target of the criticism from this weekend's protest, is Monsanto.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

Yes, David Beckham's people are back in Miami to talk about a stadium. No, there's still no answer as to whether or not a deal is ready to be made. 

Beckham's group is meeting with University of Miami President Donna Shalala, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and MLS Commissioner Don Garber today to talk about another possible site for a stadium. This time they're looking at a possible partnership between Beckham's group and the University of Miami.

What you heard on WLRN today.

 

Six years ago Puerto Ricans like myself were told to get a new birth certificate. Officials said the old certificates were at risk of being stolen and sold on the black market. 

It turns out the new security-enhanced certificates may not be that safe, either. I recently spoke with Alfonso Chardy of el Nuevo Herald about some recent cases in Miami that may point to a new rash of certificate thefts and fraud.

Have the issues of identity theft not been resolved by the new certificates?

DANIEL BOCK / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Florida wildlife officials are hosting another snake hunt, but they don't want to call it a hunt. It's the Python Challenge. It's not likely to put much of a dent on the growing population of the invasive species, but that doesn't mean the event will be a failure.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

Ever wonder what Beethoven or Mozart might think if they were asked to assemble a score for the newest edition of a Playstation video game?

Scott Flaven, the visiting conductor at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, says video game music is rapidly becoming the forefront of music composing.

So students got together and decided to create an ensemble of music from their favorite video games. Some of the games that inspired them include Portal, Bioshock, Super Mario Bros. and Pong.

Southern Poverty Law Center / http://www.splcenter.org/Year-in-Hate-and-Extremism

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are currently 784 hate groups nationwide. Those groups can be anything from Ku Klux Klan to neo-Nazis to black separatists and anti-LGBT groups. All of them are listed in the SPLC's The Year In Hate and Extremism report.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

There's always something that can take us back to our childhood in an instant. It could be a toy, a song or maybe a game.

For many kids growing up in the early and mid-20th century on the streets of New York, or Boston or Philadelphia, that game was stickball. The streets, the parks and the alleyways became Yankee Stadium, or Fenway Park or Connie Mack Stadium. Stickball was as big as most major sports for kids in their early teens.

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