Alejandra Martinez

Alejandra Martinez is the associate producer for WLRN&rsquo's Sundial. Her love for radio started at her mother’s beauty shop where she noticed that stories are all around her - important stories to tell.

When she took her first audio storytelling class in college, she was sold to the world of public radio journalism. She feels that audio blocks out the world and creates a single intimate connection.

This native Texan began her radio career interning for Latino USA in New York City where she reported stories on Texas politics, immigration, culture and arts. She then worked with KUT Austin’s NPR station as an intern and later a producer where she produced stories, worked on social media content and special projects, including launching the KUT Book Club. She participated in NPR’s Next-Generation Radio project, a week-long digital and radio journalism boot camp, where she covered Houston’s recovery post-Hurricane Harvey.

Ale graduated from The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism in December 2017 and moved to Miami shortly after. She considers herself a coffee fanatic, a bookworm and the queen of digital. When she moved to South Florida and noticed all the Instagram-able spots around town she fell in love. She was amazed by the huge Latino population and rich culture of the region and has a true desire to share the stories of what make South Florida so great.

Connect with Alejandra on Twitter: @_martinez_ale and send her pitches at amartinez@wlrnnews.org

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber want companies to bid for the chance to build a monorail connecting their two cities.

The Miami-Dade County Commission voted on Monday to move forward with the bidding process for the project; there’s now a six-month bidding process. That comes after Malaysian gambling company Genting submitted an unsolicited proposal two months ago to build the monorail. 

A new proposal to build a monorail that would connect the City of Miami and the City of Miami Beach, was presented at the Miami Beach commission meeting earlier this week. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is worried that Genting, a Malaysian casino company, is leading the bidding process. It was an unsolicited proposal, which means many of the details are not available yet to the public. Mayor Gelber joined Sundial to discuss why he disagrees with the plan.

  

Who says there's no romance left in the newspaper industry? 

"Constant Craving" follows the story of Justine Lavoie, a journalist and publisher of the St. Augustine newspaper, in her quest to save her publication from financial doom. The making-or-breaking of her family's legacy ends up in the hands of Rafael Menendez de Aviles, Miami’s richest man, who could ruin or help her. 

Fifty years ago, an estimated 530 million people gathered around their TVs to watch astronauts take off from Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center on the Apollo 11 Space Shuttle for the first mission to the moon. 

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.”

If you love movie posters -- the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach is taking a trip back in time to Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Moxey is quite extrodinary.

The Miami teen launched her own cupcake company at the age of seven. She also founded the "Taylor Moxey Foundation," which educates youth through the power of reading, and published her own book, "The Adventures of Taylor the Chef." About two years ago she created a mini-library from a former shipping container at Omni Park, near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. She is now working on opening more in Broward County, and internationally in Haiti and El Salvador. 

Students from across the country are in Miami this week for a three-day event, called "This Is Zero Hour: The Youth Climate Summit." It's being hosted by the international youth climate advocacy organization Zero Hour, a group of 25 students who are striving to protect the environment. 

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava is calling for Homestead Detention Facility to be shut down. "This is a national disaster, we're being called kidnappers around the world," she said on Sundial.

Cava, a Democrat representing the county's district 8, was at the Homestead Detention Facility with Democratic presidential candidates Senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand last week. Only Cava was able to take a one-hour tour inside the Homestead children’s detention center, making her the first sitting commissioner from South Florida to do so.

Colombian-American actor and comedian John Leguizamo will soon gives South Florida a history lesson that might, in his words, "light fire under people's butts." 

After his son was bullied in 8th grade, Leguizamo felt it was necesssary to give his son the tools to defend himself. In his one-man show, "Latin History for Morons," Leguizamo mixes humor and political rhetoric as he traces thousands of years of history. He calls it "weaponizing his son with information."

The first night of the 2019 Democratic Debate is over. On Wednesday, 10 presidential hopefuls tried to make their case in Miami. Topics included immigration, gun reform and climate change. The Miami Herald’s David Smiley was at the debate and joined Sundial to give a recap.

The threat posed to Floridians by climate change is a daily reality: rising seas, hotter temperatures, more flooding and stronger hurricanes.

Democratic candidates are in South Florida ahead of the first Democratic presidential debates taking place Wednesday and Thursday nights in Miami. The topic of immigration is already front and center.

Flamenco remains a quintessential component of Spanish culture. It is both song and dance and originated with gypsies in the Southern region of Spain called Andalusia. Some of the greats include Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla and Federico García Lorca. And now Rosalía, who's combining traditional flamenco with new elements like hip- hop and pop and different beats.

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