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.”

Ways to Connect

The Sundial Book Club is reading Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" this March. The book, which is a favorite for high school students across the country, takes place in the real Central Florida town of Eatonville and follows a middle-aged black woman named Janie Crawford. 

Eatonville is a special place for writers who make annual pilgrimages to honor Hurston and her contribution to American literature. There's an annual festival and a museum dedicated to Eatonville's favorite daughter. 

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

Mark Richt announced his retirement as the head coach for the University of Miami football program last December and the school didn't waste time looking for his replacement. There was only one name that mattered and he had just taken a job as the head coach at Temple.

RAJANISH KAKADE / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

From toothbrushes, to water bottles, to straws, plastics are a part of everyday life. And yet the damage they cause to oceans and wildlife is well established. 

Long overlooked in the history of Key West is the influence of the Jewish community on the island city. From cigar factories in the 1880s to smuggling and immigration, Arlo Haskell's book “The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries” goes back almost 200 years to tell the forgotten story.

Brynn Anderson / AP

Forty-three students and teachers who survived the Parkland massacre on Feb. 14, 2018 have published a compilation of writing, photography and art.

Miami Herald File AP

It's true. I gave up the NFL for one whole season. At first, I must admit it was hard. It was extraordinarily hard. Those first Sundays, I would turn on the game almost by reflex. Then I would turn it off and forced myself out of the apartment to find a distraction. But, as time passed, I learned to fill my weekends with other activities and personal pursuits. Like what? Well, the obvious. I read more. But, that's not all. I finished the first draft of my novel. I listened to a lot of podcasts and even started working on one of my own. So yeah, it got a lot easier to let go of the game.

Alejandra Martinez

The Sundial Book Club's January title "Jesus Boy" is a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy, Elwyn Parker, who is a piano prodigy and devout Christian. In the book, Parker finds himself entangled in a taboo relationship with an older woman in the church. Most of the story takes place in Opa-locka at a church.

Miami Herald

Miami prosecutors said they will not file any charges in a cockfighting investigation citing "serious ethical concerns" about the tactics used by the animal rights group that went undercover to find the ring.

Silas House / Courtesy

Key West is a popular locale for writers to set their stories. Beyond the aquamarine waters and swaying palm trees, the Keys provide openness, tolerance and isolation.

Those are among the reasons why author Silas House decided to set his novel in the southernmost city in the United States. The November title for the Sundial Book Club, "Southernmost" is the story of Asher Sharp, a former preacher in a small Tennessee town who kidnaps his own son after losing a custody battle. Of course, they end up in Key West.

Adrienne Arsht Center

Name three of the most infamous villains of literature or pop culture in the last century and it's likely that you'll mention, or at least think about, Dracula.

The 19th-century character, though not as popular in its early years, has spawned a love-affair with the dark and mysterious creatures, vampires. They are, today, widely celebrated in books, television shows and movies more than 100 years after Bram Stoker brought the character to life in the pages of his novel.

Miami Herald

South Florida voters will need to do some homework before heading to the ballot box in the upcoming November general election. Some voters may have more than one page of items and races to vote on. That includes 12 amendment items to be considered for inclusion in the state constitution.

Some of those amendments are actually more than one item that had to be bundled together as to not have too many items on the ballot. A couple of those are being challenged in court.

Brian Vest / Courtesy

One year ago, South Florida awoke to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma.

The storm had slammed into the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm, bringing catastrophic winds and rain. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm surge and tide produced flooding of 5 to 8 feet in the Lower Keys and winds reached 120-mph in Big Pine Key.

The storm left piles of torn down trees, couches, porta-potties, refrigerators, furniture and other debris across the islands.

Over the past year, South Florida has worked to rebuild. WLRN's Sundial producers traveled to the Keys to talk to Lynda Wells, Douglas Mader and Brian Vest, three Florida Keys residents with one mission: to help improve the lives of people in their community after the hurricane.

You can hear/read their stories below. 


WLRN

On July 13, Walter Edward Stolper, a Nazi sympathizer, was caught in the act of pouring gasoline around his Miami Beach condo unit with the intent of igniting it. He was originally charged with attempted arson, but that was elevated to attempted murder. Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates says the case is likely to be considered a hate crime.

"[Stolper's] got two very powerful prosecution teams, the state and the feds looking at him," Oates said Wednesday on Sundial. "And again we avoided a tragedy because someone heard something and alerted law enforcement." 

Miami Herald

Students in South Florida could soon have an app to help them with their mental health. Teacher Samantha Pratt came up with the idea as a way for students to find help dealing with personal or school stressors. The app, called Klickengage, would also let teachers know the mental states of their students before the school day gets underway.

Ben Sorensen

Fort Lauderdale made national headlines last year when bulldozers cleared out a homeless encampment in Stranahan Park. Before that the city had become part of late night talk show fodder after authorities arrested then 90-year-old Arnold Abbott for feeding the homeless in areas not designated for that activity.

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