Maria Murriel

Digital editor

Maria edits WLRN.org and oversees all of WLRN's digital implications -- including interactivity-project management and radio-to-web conceptualization.

She likes hyphenating adjectives and working on weekends.

Maria started her South Florida media career at hyperlocal start-up and community-news blog Open Media Miami, a former partner of the Miami Herald covering the Biscayne Corridor. Her work in features multimedia journalism has also appeared in DRAFT MagazineBeached Miami, the Miami New Times' Cultist blog, Tasting Table Miami and the nationwide music blog Consequence of Sound.

Before finding her place in public radio, Maria helped launch the Sun Sentinel's start-up entertainment site, SouthFlorida.com. With her blog, the Lush Life, she became South Florida's first dedicated craft-beer reporter, and the only local woman on the beat.

Aside from the burgeoning local-beer industry, Maria's interested in telling stories of ethnic identity and how immigration shapes people's lives. She's a proud FIU grad with a bachelor's in religious studies, and she is director of alumni relations for the FIU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Follow Maria on Twitter at @mariamurriel, and on other networks at about.me/mariamurriel.

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Twitter Chat
3:59 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Ask Mayor Philip Levine: How Is Miami Beach At 100?

Pier Park in Miami Beach, 1957.
Credit Flashback Miami / Miami Herald

WLRN's Alicia Zuckerman and the Miami Herald's Joey Flechas brought Miami Beach residents' questions, along with their own, to Mayor Philip Levine last night.

You can see our Twitter chat about life on Miami Beach below or find it on Twitter at @WLRN using the hashtag #MB100

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Opinion
7:38 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Latest Univision Race Gaffe Shows Culture Gap

Rodner Figueroa
Credit Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

It happened again.

Spanish-language, Miami-area-based Univision -- the nation's fifth-largest television network -- has another racial insensitivity mess to clean up.

On Wednesday, Univision talk show host and fashion commentator Rodner Figueroa said first lady Michelle Obama -- America's first African-American first lady -- looks like an apocalyptic ape.

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MIFF
7:48 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Miami International Film Festival Changes Rules To Support Local Filmmakers

rakontur's "Dawg Fight" premieres with the Miami International Film Festival.
Credit MIFF / Courtesy

  One hundred and twenty-five films from 40 countries.

That's what the 32nd Edition of the Miami International Film Festival is all about. And festival organizers made a significant change this year. Previously, short films under thirty minutes made in Florida that had already premiered in the state weren't eligible to exhibit during the festival. This year, they are.

During a recent Florida Roundup, host Christine DiMattei spoke with South Florida film critic Hans Morgenstern about some homegrown filmmakers already causing a stir in the festival circuit:

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#FLSession2015
12:05 am
Mon March 2, 2015

The Sunshine Edition: The 2015 Florida Legislature

The Florida Historic Capitol.
Credit Michael Rivera (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] / Wikimedia Commons

The gavel falls Tuesday in Tallahassee, when Florida lawmakers officially begin the 2015 legislative session. The one item they have to do is pass a state budget -- and this year they have a $1 billion surplus, a growing state economy and a governor fresh off a re-election win.

Each spring for 60 days the Florida Legislature tackles a year's worth of state business. On the agenda this law-writing session are reforms to public-education testing, hundreds of millions of dollars of mandated spending on the environment and billions of dollars in federal money for health care.

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Internships
12:01 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A WLRN Intern?

Your local public radio station is on the hunt for summer interns. Interested? Here's the deal:

WLRN-Miami Herald News offers interns significant professional experience in a supportive environment. These are not coffee-making internships. Here are only some of the stories our interns have produced recently.

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Food Culture
3:46 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Why Honoring Locals At The South Beach Wine And Food Festival Matters

Chef Daniel Serfer of Blue Collar and Mignonette, South Florida Food 50 honoree.

About a year ago, the Miami Herald named business reporter Evan Benn its new food editor. He was appointed because Miami's paper of record noticed the importance of South Florida's booming culinary industry. 

That's an industry Benn is well connected with, and during this year's South Beach Wine and Food Festival, he's putting in the spotlight the people who make South Florida matter to the larger world of good cuisine.

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Cuba
2:02 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Cuban Relatives Bring Differing Views To The Dinner Table

Chris Alvarez's entryway displays framed copies of essential American documents.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Polls have shown most Cuban exiles who fled the island in the '60s and '70s oppose lifting the embargo and don't believe rekindling diplomatic relationships is a smart, or permissible, political move.

But professor Jorge Duany, head of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, says it's different for younger Cuban-Americans.

"In many cases," he says, "they're willing to try a different way to relate to Cuba."

Chris Alvarez, 31, and Arianna Mendez, 22, are dating. They each relate differently to the island of their ancestors.

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The Florida Roundup
5:26 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

LISTEN: Understanding Same-Sex Marriage In Florida

As of Friday, Jan. 2, courts in three of four South Florida counties were prepared to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

2015 began with a clarification over same-sex marriages in Florida. All county clerks can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Before that happens, take a moment to hear this interview with the Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus. You'll learn all the background info you need to understand what's going on in the courts locally and in Tallahassee.

Key points:

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News
2:30 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Broward, Palm Beach Courts Plan Group Weddings For Gay Couples

William Lee Jones, left, and Aaron Huntsman, right, leave the Monroe County Clerk of the Court's office after completing a marriage license application Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, in Key West, Fla.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Bureau

UPDATE Jan. 2, 4:23 p.m.: A spokesperson from the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court's office said clerk Sharon Bock will perform a group wedding for gay couples at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

The office will begin processing same-sex marriage licenses at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

A statement from Monroe County's Clerk of Courts says that office will process up to 100 marriage-license applications during regular office hours Monday, issuing the first licenses at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

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Politics
11:52 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Competing Greyhound-Racing Bills Filed In Tallahassee

Florida is among a handful of states that still allow greyhound racing.
Credit B Breland Photograhy/flickr

The first bill expected to pass quickly when the Legislature opens in March would force dog tracks to report greyhound injuries within seven days.

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News
9:26 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Alan Gross And U.S.-Cuba Relations Now

Alan Gross was released from a five-year imprisonment in Cuba on Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Credit Jeff Flake

U.S. government contract worker Alan Gross was released Wednesday morning after a five-year imprisonment in Cuba.

The 65-year-old, now in poor health, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Cuban court in 2011 for bringing telecommunications devices onto the island.

WLRN has reported on Gross' trajectory with the Cuban government and you can read those stories here.

At noon Wednesday, President Barack Obama also announced his new approach in U.S.-Cuba relations.

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Film
5:40 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

A Guide To The Most Miami Film Festival: Borscht's Ninth Edition

This is a screen grab from Scarface Redux, a crowd sourced remake of the iconic Brian dePalma classic. The film is being shown as part of the festival.
Credit Filmmakers Bleeding Palm and Borscht Corp.

Organizers of the Borscht Film Festival say it's about telling the stories of the region by people who are from the area.

"We tell unique Florida stories, unique Miami stories," says Borscht veteran Jillian Mayer. "Miami and Florida is often portrayed a certain way in the media, and that's most likely a result of previous cinematic work that's come out of here."

Mayer says it's those Miami stereotypes that they want to avoid.

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News
10:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

#ShutItDown, #BlackLivesMatter Protest Of Police Killings Blocks Art Basel Traffic

At the closing of the protest, a line of people stood holding a sign saying "black lives matter."
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Protests in Miami and Fort Lauderdale shared the spotlight with Art Basel this weekend.

During Friday rush hour, around 400 people gathered in Midtown Miami, eventually moving to completely block Interstate-195.

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Art Basel
1:40 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Let Them Taste Cake: Rubells Celebrate 50 Years Of Marriage

Don Rubell feeds a strawberry cake to a visitor of the Rubell Family Collection during Jennifer Rubell's annual performance-art Art Basel breakfast.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Don and Mera Rubell, founding couple of the Rubell Family Collection, spoon-fed people little bites of cake Thursday in Wynwood, assisted by 48 servers dressed all in black.

Yes. Like Marie Antoinette.

It was a celebration of the couple's 50th wedding anniversary and also a performance-art piece by daughter Jennifer at her annual Art Basel breakfast. Every year Rubell puts on a food-related installation. Her breakfast itself is the piece of art.

    

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Latin America Report
10:30 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Free From A Dark Past, Peruvian Entrepreneurs Embrace Their Roots

Chef Gaston Acurio, second from left, and his Leche de Tigre Gang prepare seafood dishes at La Mar at the Mandarin Oriental.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Superstar chef Gastón Acurio is a trend-setter.

For the past four years, Astrid y Gastón, his flagship restaurant in Lima, Peru, has made the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

His fusion of traditional Peruvian foods and French cooking techniques has earned him fame on gastronomy’s global stage. And it’s helped put Peruvian cuisine on the map, especially in South Florida.

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