Best FM Radio Personality 2015 | Afrika | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

From 2 to 6 p.m., Power 96 is home to the Queen. Afrika Perry — of DJ Laz cohost fame and current afternoon-drive dominance — rocks South Florida airwaves weekdays with a perfect mixture of old-school booty music and new-school hits. Afrika is well known in the South Florida music industry for her in-depth interviews, which are aired live and later archived for posterity on Power 96's website. Afrika's energetic and outgoing personality is always a welcome sound when getting into your car after a hard day at work, and her conversation between jams makes for an easy listen when stuck in Miami traffic. Learning from a South Florida legend like DJ Laz has obviously rubbed off on Afrika: Her posts asking listeners to donate to causes like #BootCancer and her "Girl Talk" segments show that she is an all-around personality, not just a disc jockey. Keeping it fun and light for Miami listeners has been Power 96's specialty for decades, and Afrika continues that noble tradition.

Readers' choice: Elvis Duran

He's best known for producing renowned documentaries such as Cocaine Cowboys and The U, but homegrown filmmaker and provocateur Billy Corben is also a serious newshound with a startlingly effective Twitter presence. Corben has more than 35,000 followers, and his feed serves as its own Miami-centric internet force — funny or strange aggregations of shark attacks, bikini-clad grandmas getting arrested and other Florida insanity, hard-hitting engagement with Miami-Dade politicians over police misconduct or local corruption, plus sharp commentary on everything from University of Miami sports to civil rights. In other words, if it's important to Miami, Corben is probably tweeting about it. (In fact, he even made some judicial South Florida history by inspiring a defense attorney to request a mistrial after Corben had tweeted during jury duty; the verdict stood, and Twitter rejoiced.) His feed is so prolific it's a wonder Corben has time to do anything else.

Readers' choice: Pepe Billete,

Trying to pin down Edwidge Danticat as a writer is like trying to encapsulate her maddening, tragic, and beautiful homeland in just a few words. The Haitian-American is the rare writer who can move effortlessly between fiction and nonfiction, gritty realism and magic-tinged short stories and even young-adult fiction. In her novels and nonfiction, she fearlessly explores themes of national identity and the Haitian diaspora, intertwining the two difficult subjects with issues of gender and family relationships. Take, for example, Danticat's second book, Krik? Krack!, a collection of short stories that tells the fictional tales of nine Haitians, exquisitely detailing the pain and brutality of living under a dictatorial government while celebrating the resilience of Haitians. The book garnered a National Book Award nomination, which was followed in 2009 by a MacArthur Fellowship. For her next book, Danticat has taken inspiration from the Magic City. Untwine — due for release this fall — tells the story of identical twin sisters and is partially set in Miami.

Hialeah conjures many things for Miami-Dade residents: legit Cuban food, crooked city government, unnavigable urban sprawl. But how about a hotbed of literary fiction? Believe it, thanks to native daughter Jennine Capó Crucet, who is positioned to become the definitive voice of the city. Her first book of short stories, How to Leave Hialeah, gave voice to the tales of Hialeah's Cuban abuelos and parents as they explored the identity of first-generation Cuban-Americans. And though Capó Crucet never shies away from the seediness of her hometown or the often-difficult lives of its residents, she writes her subjects with the humor and empathy of a native. How to Leave Hialeah garnered Capó Crucet an Iowa Short Fiction Award, and New Times named it one of its books of the year. Capó Crucet continues her exploration of Cuban identity in her first novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers. Slated for an August release, it's a must-buy so you can say you read Capó Crucet before she was really famous.

We're going to come clean. This paper should have hired Carol Marbin Miller. Many years ago, New Times spoke with her. She was moving to South Florida and wanted a job. But we tarried. And that was it. She caught on with the Miami Herald instead and went on to cover the State of Florida's child welfare morass like no one ever thought possible. Now Marbin Miller and co-author Audra D.S. Burch have picked up just about every major prize in America for their series Innocents Lost, which documents how nearly 500 children died of abuse or neglect over six years in families that had a history with the Florida Department of Children & Families, the state agency tasked with protecting children. Both Burch and Marbin Miller are amazing reporters. We salute them. And hey, Carol, if you ever want a job...

Parents often scare their kids into believing that not everything they see on television is real. But what about the news, Mom and Dad? Huh? Sure, it's a risk putting your trust in certain news organizations and reporters, but when it comes to Andrew Perez on WPLG Local 10, it's a risk worth taking. The Miami native is not only informative but also devilishly handsome. Perez has been a part of the Local 10 team for a little more than a year since uprooting from his three-year stint at WALA-TV in Alabama, where he won an ABBY Award for his series about a missing mother. The field reporter films his segments live, from the scene of a recent neighborhood shooting, outside courthouses, in the middle of Calle Ocho festivals — you name it, Perez has been there. And like any true modern-day journalist, Perez constantly uses Twitter to update viewers. Plenty of behind-the-scenes shots and breaking-news tweets fill his feed, so if you can't catch him on your TV set, you can still get your local news fix via social media.

Reporting the news is hard enough, but it takes a true professional to handle a statewide-televised debacle with class and humor. And debacles don't get much higher-profile than 2014's "Fangate," when a Florida gubernatorial debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist almost didn't happen as the two bickered over whether Crist could bring an electric fan onstage. Luckily for viewers, Eliott Rodriguez was the moderator. Without his calm and collected response, the night could have ended in catastrophe instead of a well-deserved drubbing of the two childish candidates. That natural ability to handle on-air spontaneity like a boss is part of what has given the CBS 4 News noon and 6 p.m. anchor his journalistic success. A University of Miami alumnus, the Cuban-American has made his career in the 305. Aside from a short stint with the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia, Rodriguez has worked for almost every major newspaper and TV news station in the Magic City, including the now-defunct evening paper the Miami News, the Miami Herald, NBC 6, and ABC 10. But his longest-running tenure has been with CBS 4. Throughout his 16 years there, Rodriguez has covered almost every major breaking news story, including Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign announcement at the Freedom Tower in downtown. The news junkie has also won two Emmy Awards and four Edward R. Murrow Awards for his work, among other honors. With decades of experience covering every single area of Miami, Rodriguez is like the godfather of local TV news.

Readers' choice: Belkys Nerey

Karlene Chavis might not be the most recognizable meteorologist in Miami — she joined the WSVN Channel 7 team only about a year ago. Plus, Chavis normally sticks to the weekends, getting up bright and early with the South Florida retirees who are about the only people desperate to know the weather forecast at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. But it's not Chavis' fine weekend forecasts that have earned her status as Miami's favored meteorologist this year. One singular event rocketed Chavis to the top of South Florida's radar: Pitbull's New Year's Revolution. Yes, Chavis was lucky enough to have been chosen to deliver weather forecasts between segments of Mr. Worldwide's nationally televised lip-sync and canned-joke marathon. And Chavis proved to be a true pro, reminding revelers they were blessed to be at the 305-appropriate celebration. After all, just consider how cold it was in the rest of the country that night. Chavis handled the national audience with aplomb while teetering on the highest of high heels while saying words that baffle the average Miamian: "snow," "sleet" and "freezing rain." Chavis' job that night was a quintessentially Miami challenge: being a professional and keeping a straight face while the city did its weird and wonderful thing around her. Bienvenida a Miami, Karlene.

"Seidenberg cross-sights past Olesz in the far side, tipped out on front. He shoots, he scooores! Beyoncé had one of the greatest music videos of all time!" No other radio play-by-play sportscaster in the National Hockey League can effortlessly tie in Kanye West's infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards snafu to a Florida Panthers goal, but making pop-culture references every time the Cats light the lamp is Randy Moller's signature style. The only radio play-by-play announcer in the NHL with a history in the game, Moller, a former Quebec Nordiques first-round draft pick, retired from his athletic career in 1995 as a Panthers defenseman before switching to the radio booth. While Moller notched more than 800 NHL games, the veteran is best known in these parts for blurting out hilarious plays across the airwaves on 790 the Ticket, quoting movie lines ("He scores! Run, Forrest, run!") and even rap lyrics ("Leopold from the blue line! Drop it like it's hot!") after every Panthers goal. Moller makes all Cats games the most entertaining sport you've ever listened to — even if you're not into watching dudes chasing pucks on ice.

Readers' choice: Dan Le Batard

You might not know his name, but you definitely know his voice. Just in case it's not ringing a bell yet, here's a reminder: Goooooooaaaaaaal! Andrés Cantor, a legendary soccer broadcaster with a world-class bellow, was born in Argentina and went to college in California. He established himself as a legend during World Cups of yore, especially the 1994 contest in the U.S. when his lungs of God became known to American fans. Since then, there have been talk-show appearances, film cameos, Emmy Awards, and Geico and Volkswagen commercials. Like many a successful Hispanic media personality, Cantor is loaning his golden vocals to Miami-based Telemundo, for whom he anchored coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. Cantor has deep Miami roots: He settled into his first place, near Coconut Grove, in the late '90s and last year bought a Miami Beach condo — or should we say, a Miami Beach condoooooooooo!

Readers' choice: Don Francisco

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®