© 2022 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Senator Jeff Brandes On Criminal Justice, A New Report On Hate Groups & Student Culinary Competition

The Education Fund
A student team at the 2018 "Taste of Education" competes in the pastry category.

Senator Jeff Brandes has been a leading voice in the Florida Legislature calling for drastic changes to the state’s criminal justice system. In late January, Sen. Brandes filed and sponsored Senate Bill 642, “Florida First Step Act,” a new law that would aim to reduce criminal sentences by allowing judges to depart from mandatory minimums for drug trafficking charges. The bill is modeled on federal legislation signed by President Donald Trump last year. Sen. Brandes joined Sundial to talk about how Florida could soon see major reforms to its criminal justice system.


A new report by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has found a 30 percent increase in hate groups across the country over the past four years.  “The Intelligence Report” also highlighted a number of groups in South Florida. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, joined Luis Hernandez on Sundial to explain the growth of hate groups, how the SPLC defines hate groups and the influence the internet has in radicalization.

You can read the full report here.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, middle school and high school students with culinary ambitions will gather at Marlins Park to participate in The Education Fund’s Top Chef Competition, “Taste of Education.” There will be 30 teams from 17 culinary programs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools that will be making scrumptious bites including, shrimp and grits, ceviche, jerk cranberry meatballs, and BBQ sliders. They will be judged by top South Florida chefs, like Pastry Chef Letty Alvarez, who is the founder LA Sweetz in Miami Lakes and will be competing for $20,000 in cash prizes that will be awarded to their school’s culinary program. Mercy Vera is a culinary teacher in Coral Gables Senior High and Kelvis Colina is a senior student at the school who will be participating with his team in the competition. Chef Letty, Mercy and Kelvis joined Sundial to talk about the competition. You can find ticket information here.

Stay Connected
Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.