Orlando Sentinel Conversations

74 EpisodesProduced by Orlando Sentinel: Orlando News

Orlando Sentinel Conversations aims to keep you up to date on what makes Central Florida tick. We cover news, politics, entertainment, crime, communities – whatever is on the mind of those that call Orlando and its surrounding communities home.

74 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

First thoughts on 'Hamilton' opening night (Ep.74)

January 22nd, 2019


'Hamilton' just opened its three-week run at the Dr. Phillips Center. Orlando Sentinel theater critic Matt Palm was there to see it. He sits down with entertainment editor Todd Stewart to talk about the performance.

Behind-the-scenes look at SeaWorld's Sesame Street, peacocks in Audubon Park (Ep. 73)

January 22nd, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019:

  • Exclusive hard hat tour of SeaWorld’s Sesame Street.
  • The Audubon Park home where …

2019 theme park expectations — Star Wars, Harry Potter and price hikes, Zillow to buy Orlando home directly (Ep. 72)

January 18th, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.

  • 2019 theme park expectations: Universal's Harry Potter ride, Disney's Star Wars and …

Author Gilbert King discusses the Groveland Four pardon (Ep.71)

January 17th, 2019


Florida’s Clemency Board granted pardons to the men known as the Groveland Four — Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas — on January 11, nearly 70 years after a young white housewife accused …

Florida teacher shortage, Predators to return, 2019 economic forecast (Ep. 70)

January 17th, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.

  • Education reporter Leslie Postal on the Florida teacher shortage. More than 2,200 …

Fans are scrappy and hungry for 'Hamilton' (Ep.69)

January 17th, 2019


It is almost impossible to escape the buzz surrounding 'Hamilton.' Theater writer Matt Palm sat down with three fans of the production ahead of its three week run in Orlando to find out why they won't miss their shot to …

2018 Central Floridian of the Year finalists, arts funding, guns on campus (Ep. 68)

January 16th, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

  • 2018 Central Floridian of the Year finalists
  • Lawmakers and cultural leaders …

An atheist and a pastor discuss religious freedom (Ep. 67)

January 16th, 2019


Today — January 16 — is National Religious Freedom Day. To mark the day, Orlando Sentinel Community Conversation columnist Shannon Green sat down …

Orlando home sales nose-dive, Orlando City/Pride news (Ep. 66)

January 15th, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

  • Orlando homes sales nose-dive in December, finish down for year
  • Rejected Florida …

Horse that escaped death sentence, Parramore Farmers Market (Ep.65)

January 14th, 2019


Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update for Monday, Jan. 14, 2019:

  • Reporter Kate Santich on the miracle horse that escaped 'death sentence' now …

Groveland Four pardoned, rage rooms, Crealde's Night of Fire (Ep.64)

January 11th, 2019


Shutdown impacting NASA contractors, Girl Scout cookies about to ruin your diet, Fact or Fake

January 10th, 2019


DeSantis inauguration, Orlando Winter Fringe, Groveland Four, and lying politicians (Ep. 62)

January 9th, 2019

Orlando Sentinel Now afternoon update:
  • Columnist Scott Maxwell’s takeaways from DeSantis inauguration,
  • Arts writer Matt Palm on Orlando Fringe …

Brothers share musical bond (Ep. 61)

November 28th, 2018


Opera Orlando's Gabriel and Grant Preisser chat with Orlando Sentinel arts writer Matt Palm about working together, mentoring and competitive …

Making finances fun with Stacking Benjamins money geek (Ep. 60)

November 21st, 2018


Joe Saul-Sehy, host of the finance-oriented podcast Stacking Benjamins, talks about Orlando’s financial picture, cool fintech apps that “trick” users …

Why are Florida elections so messy? (Ep. 59)

November 17th, 2018


Bad ballot design. Votes by email. Under votes. Over votes. Orlando Sentinel politics editor Steven Lemongello, columnist Scott Maxwell and senior …

Greenwood Cemetery sexton retires, but keeps stories alive (Ep. 58)

October 30th, 2018


Greenwood Cemetery sexton Don Price is retiring on Halloween. He shares some tales about Orlando’s past and tells Orlando Sentinel reporter Ryan …

Doctor speaks about the realities of physician burnout (Ep. 57)

October 19th, 2018


A recent study found that 80 percent of Florida physicians have experienced burnout at some point in their career. Dr. Amaryllis Sanchez is one of those physicians. She sat down with Orlando Sentinel health reporter …

Cross-country trip by bike: 3,569 miles in 31 days (Ep. 56)

October 15th, 2018


Avid cyclist Mary Shanklin shares her experience biking 115 miles a day over more mountains than a Florida girl should climb. She talks with Orlando …

Daredevils Bello and Anneliese Nock talk tempting fate (Ep. 55)

October 11th, 2018


How fast does one have to fly over a helicopter to not get sucked into its spinning blades? Daredevil Bello Nock  knows. The stunt performer and his death-defying daughter, Anneliese, talk to Orlando Sentinel reporter …

Venom: Spider-Man villain with no Spider-Man? (Ep. 54)

October 5th, 2018


Venom is all teeth and tongue in his return to the big screen. Tom Hardy takes over as the symbiote in “Venom” opening Oct. 5. Two superhero comic book fans discuss the complicated relationship between Sony and Marvel …

Father chronicles son’s decade-long battle with opioids (Ep. 53)

September 25th, 2018


Rick Van Warner, CEO of the locally based Tijuana Flats restaurant chain, knows all too well the human toll of the opioid epidemic in the country. …

Florida Scrub-Jays — saving a disappearing piece of Florida (Ep. 52)

September 19th, 2018


In the 1990s, Bruce and Cathy Brown left corporate America to start a native plant nursery in Lake County, where they soon discovered a rare Scrub-Jay pair nesting among abandoned orange groves. They talk to Orlando …

Once a sex worker, minister now advocates for women still in the trade (EP. 51)

September 12th, 2018


Tiara Kelley is a transgender woman who used to be a sex worker but has since left the lifestyle and now ministers to other women who currently work as sex workers. Orlando Sentinel reporter Michael Williams talks with …

Hour 6 recap: ‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ — our podcast (Ep. 50)

September 11th, 2018


The final hour of of the six-part “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” picks up after George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of 17-year-old …

Halloween Horror Nights ready for the ‘80s – but not totally (EP.49)

September 6th, 2018


This year's Halloween Horror Nights lineup has a bit of a 1980s vibe for the 2018 edition of the event. Orlando Sentinel theme park reporter Dewayne Bevil talks with Universal's Charles Gray, one of two show directors …

Hour 5 recap: 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' (Ep. 48)

September 4th, 2018


The fifth hour of “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” focuses on how George Zimmerman’s defense crafted their case which ultimately leads to …

Journalist April Ryan on chaos, retaliation covering Trump White House (Ep. 47)

August 29th, 2018


Journalist and author April Ryan talks with Orlando Sentinel television writer Hal Boedeker about covering the White House in the time of President Trump. She discusses her new book “Under Fire,” her relationships with …

Hour 4 recap: 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' (Ep. 46)

August 28th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel television writer Hal Boedeker and breaking news editor Jeff Weiner discuss the fourth hour of "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.

This episode starts with opening statements in the George …

Hour 3 recap: 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' (Ep. 45)

August 14th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel television writer Hal Boedeker and breaking news editor Jeff Weiner discuss the third hour of "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. Mark NeJame, a local defense attorney and legal commentator who …

Orlando firefighter brings the heat to ‘Food Network Star’ (Ep. 44)

August 10th, 2018


Orlando firefighter Manny Washington just wrapped his run on the ‘Food Network Star’ competition. He talks with Orlando Sentinel food writer Lauren …

Local Monster Jam driver Bari Musawwir brings Zombie to Triple Threat Series (Ep. 43)

August 8th, 2018


Ocoee resident Bari Musawwir, brings monster truck Zombie to the Orlando debut of Monster Jam Triple Threat Series  on Aug. 18 at Amway Center. He …

Hour 2 recap: 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' (Ep. 42)

August 7th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel television writer Hal Boedeker and breaking news editor Jeff Weiner discuss the second hour of "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin …

Hour 1 recap – ‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ (Ep.41)

July 31st, 2018


Orlando Sentinel television writer Hal Boedeker and breaking news editor Jeff Weiner discuss the first hour of "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented Trayvon’s …

Coming Monday – A discussion about ‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ (Ep.40)

July 26th, 2018


The documentary “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” debuts Monday, July 30, on Paramount Network and BET, exploring race, the stand your ground …

Orlando artist skinny dips with sharks on new ‘Naked and Afraid’ (Ep. 39)

July 24th, 2018


Worlds collide on Discovery Channel: “Naked and Afraid” combines with Shark Week to create “Naked and Afraid of Sharks.” Orlando Sentinel television …

Orlando scientist explores travel, relationships in first novel (Ep. 38)

July 19th, 2018


Experience India and Pakistan with the help of Orlando scientist Dr. Siobhan Malany who recently wrote her first novel “Mehendi Tides.” The book is inspired by Malany’s travels in Asia as a teenager. Orlando Sentinel …

Gatorland’s Savannah Boan (Ep. 37)

July 11th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Marco Santana talks with Gatorland ambassador Savannah Boan about the Gatorland Global initiative, lessons learned from her pet crocodile monitor (don’t fall asleep with it in your bed), her …

Tracking Puerto Rican migration: Families, students forced to flee

June 29th, 2018


Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, forcing many to flee the island. Orlando Sentinel reporter Bianca Padro Ocasio talks with UCF Sociology …

Gay wrestler discusses coming out, impact of Pulse tragedy (Ep. 35)

June 12th, 2018


The Orlando Sentinel’s combat sports reporter Jay Reddick talks with wrestler Mike Parrow about his journey becoming a professional wrestler and how he found the strength to come out as gay. He wears the number 49 on …

Ripley's "buyer of stuff" shares insider's look at job – believe it or not (Ep. 34)

June 7th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Dewayne Bevil talks with the "buyer of stuff" for Ripley Entertainment. Edward Meyer is vice president of exhibits and archives for the Orlando-based company and after 40 years is set to retire …

Christina Grimmie: The Murder of a Rising Star preview (Ep. 33)

June 6th, 2018


The murder of Christina Grimmie in Orlando, FL, shocked the world. In the coming weeks, the Orlando Sentinel will take you behind the police tape in …

First female SWAT officer, chief deputy are trailblazers at Osceola Sheriff's Office (Ep. 32)

June 5th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Michael Williams talks with two trailblazers at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Michelle Sayers is the first …

'Nontraditional' foster families recruited to fill critical need (Ep. 31)

May 30th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Kate Santich talks with Steven Arauz, who decided to become a foster dad when he was 26 and single, and Glen Casel, CEO of the nonprofit Community Based Care of Central Florida, who is leading …

Can bears and humans coexist peacefully? (Ep. 30)

May 24th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Steve Hudak talks with Mike Orlando, of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, about efforts to ensure people and bears coexist safely. They discuss bears in SUVs, bluff charges, …

Using the immune system to fight cancer (Ep. 29)

May 22nd, 2018


Orlando Sentinel health reporter Naseem Miller talks with Dr. Mark Socinski, the executive medical director of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, about immunotherapy and what these groundbreaking drugs mean in the …

Maitland author James Ponti wins big at 'murder prom' (Ep. 28)

May 17th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel TV writer Hal Boedeker talks with Maitland author James Ponti about winning big at 'murder prom' with Edgar Award, giving back to the Central Florida community, what’s next for character Florian Bates …

Slain teen’s mom seeks 5 angels that received son’s organs (Ep. 27)

May 15th, 2018


Stefano Steenbakkers Betancourt was 17 when he was murdered in an attempted carjacking in Dorado, Puerto Rico. For the past five years, his mother, Zorimar Betancourt, has been on a mission to reunite with the five …

Orlando Fringe Festival – How to Fringe like a pro (Ep. 26)

May 9th, 2018


A sneak peek at Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Ep. 25)

May 7th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel theme park reporter Dewayne Bevil talks about the making of Toy Story Land with Disney mastermind Kathy Mangum and Robb Alvey of Theme Park Review. This one goes to California and back and features …

Keeping Central Florida schools safe (Ep. 24)

May 2nd, 2018


The Parkland shooting in South Florida spurred many to act. Among them are two Central Floridians — a parent and an administrator — looking for …

Joe Rohde, Disney’s Animal Kingdom mastermind (Ep. 23)

April 30th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel theme park reporter Dewayne Bevil chats with Joe Rohde, mastermind of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The famed Imagineer with the iconic earring talks about how Disney made the jump from the Magic Kingdom to …

UCF’s Hannah Sage talks 'Jeopardy! College Championship' (Ep. 22)

April 25th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel television reporter Hal Boedeker talks with UCF sophomore Hannah Sage about her time on  ‘Jeopardy! College Championship. Hannah …

'Avengers: Infinity War' — The rise and demise of Marvel superheroes (Ep. 21)

April 24th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Trevor Fraser and Julian Chambliss, a history professor at Rollins College, geek out about all things Marvel. Try to keep …

13 actresses unite in performance to fight gun violence (Ep. 20)

April 19th, 2018


13 actresses unite in performance to fight gun violence (Ep. 20)

Lauren Gunderson, the most produced playwright in America, is making her new play …

Orlando teacher swims 164 miles from Sanford to Jacksonville (Ep. 19)

April 17th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel journalist Kayla O’Brien talks with Luther Davis, a physics and astronomy teacher at Lake Mary High School, about his 180-mile …

More mediocrity with 'A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan' – Part 2 (Ep. 18)

April 11th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Hal Boedeker continues his talk with Daniel Dennis and Tom Vann of “A Mediocre Time With Tom and Dan” in advance of the premiere of a documentary about them at the Florida Film Festival. They …

A mediocre talk with 'A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan' stars – Part 1 (Ep. 17)

April 9th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Hal Boedeker talks with Daniel Dennis and Tom Vann of “A Mediocre Time With Tom and Dan” in advance of the premiere of a documentary about them at the Florida Film Festival. They discuss the …

Valencia College play puts transgender community in spotlight (Ep. 16)

April 5th, 2018


Valencia College hopes to shed some light on the transgender community with their production “Transition.” The Sentinel’s theater writer Matt Palm …

Orlando Magic ready for inaugural esports draft (Ep. 15)

April 2nd, 2018


The Orlando Magic have jumped into the esports world, creating the Magic Gaming esports franchise. They are one of 17 teams in the NBA 2K esports league – a league made up of video-game playing athletes. And much like …

Key evidence in trial of Pulse gunman's widow (Ep. 14)

March 28th, 2018


With Noor Salman's jury set to deliberate her fate, the Orlando Sentinel's Jeff Weiner breaks down the case with reporters Gal Tziperman Lotan and …

Hurricane Maria: 6 months since the storm (Ep. 13)

March 27th, 2018


In the days after Hurricane Maria ravaged their island, Orlando might have sounded like the Promised Land for Puerto Ricans — there was help waiting at the airport, an availability of FEMA housing vouchers and …

The Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards: Orlando’s best restaurant is . . . (Ep. 12)

March 15th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel food writer Lauren Delgado talks with Lordfer Lalicon, one of the owners and chefs at the nine-seat sushi & sake bar located in Orlando’s Audubon Park. Then find out which restaurants won the top …

Central Florida’s female chefs change kitchen culture (Ep. 11)

March 12th, 2018


Chefs and restaurants owners say the #MeToo movement and gender debates across the nation have begun to transform the restaurant industry. The …

A conversation with professional video gamer Hungrybox (Ep. 10)

March 7th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel journalist Rich Pope talks with top-ranked esports gamer Juan DeBiedma — also known as Hungrybox — about how a Jigglypuff explosion charted his career course, his Super Smash Bros. Melee god status and …

Breaking down the case: United States of America v. Noor Salman ( Ep. 9)

February 28th, 2018


Nearly two years after 49 people were killed at Pulse nightclub, the trial of Noor Salman, the widow of the shooter, is set to begin. Orlando …

A conversation with UFC fighter Josh Emmett (Ep. 8)

February 22nd, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Jay Reddick chats with featherweight Josh Emmett ahead of his UFC Fight Night main event bout against Jeremy Stephens. They discuss airboat tours, trash talking and his strategy to bring home …

Is gun violence a public health crisis? (Ep. 7)

February 22nd, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Naseem Miller talks with Dr. Marc Levy, a local pediatric surgeon, who has made it his mission to find middle ground while …

A conversation with culinary Hall of Fame honorees Trina Gregory-Propst, Scott Joseph (Ep.6)

February 15th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel food reporter Lauren Delgado talks with Culinary Hall of Fame honorees Trina Gregory-Propst of Se7en Bites and blogger Scott Joseph …

The importance of “Black Panther” in today's world (Ep. 5)

February 13th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel reporter Trevor Fraser talks with Julian Chambliss, a professor of urban history and pop culture at Rollins College, about the …

'Oh, Florida!' author Craig Pittman on why the Sunshine State is weird (Ep. 4)

February 8th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel Managing Editor John Cutter talks with Craig Pittman, author of “Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” about why some see Florida as a punchline and others …

Why the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch is so important (Ep. 3)

February 2nd, 2018


Orlando Sentinel space reporter Marco Santana talks with Dale Ketcham, Space Florida’s Chief of Strategic Alliances, and Dr. Addie Dove, a UCF physics professor, about the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, Elon Musk’s love of …

Central Floridian of the Year Dave Green (Ep. 2)

January 31st, 2018


The Orlando Sentinel's Kate Santich talks with the 2017 Central Floridian of the Year Dave Green about how he is reinventing the way we battle hunger.


For more information on this podcast and all our Orlando …

“49 Pulses” Director Charlie Minn (Ep. 1)

January 24th, 2018


Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell talks with documentarian Charlie Minn on why he felt compelled to make a film about the Pulse nightclub massacre. 

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