Maria Murriel

Digital editor

I manage WLRN's multimedia and engagement projects, including work on WLRN.org, all our social media platforms, and community events.

I help reporters produce videos, build infographics, reformat stories for maximum web-friendliness and bug them about tweeting more pretty much every day. I also coordinate our internship program. (Apply!)

The best part of my job is working with the public. I love reaching out to and hearing from people for projects like our Aftermath series, about shootings in Liberty City, and our literary contests like this year's #PostLits in partnership with the Miami Book Fair International.

I'm a cat lover with an eye for Instagoodness. I like stories about ethnicity, migration issues and the arts.

And my quest in journalism is to #engagesuburbia, because I grew up in Kendall and know there is good across 836.

Ways to Connect

Joe Raedle / Getty Images via Miami Herald

Drunk driving might come with bigger repercussions if a bill filed Monday goes through the Florida Legislature.

A Republican senator is seeking to toughen laws for drivers who refuse to take DUI tests.

Senate Rules Chairman David Simmons, from Altamonte Springs, filed a bill that targets drivers who refuse breath, blood or urine tests.

Currently, people could have their drivers license suspended for refusing a DUI test. Under Simmons’ bill, first-time refusals could lead to fines of at least $500 and six-months probation.

"Two Miami girls reminisce about their chonga days, and other sources of inspiration."

iii Points

Live music has been a part of Art Basel week since the early years, but often it's been a side dish of the visual art shows or served with a heap of art-world exclusivity.

Over the years, music promoters have built a music-festival component to Miami Art Week meant to welcome crowds regardless of their standing in the world of art collection.

Maria Murriel / WLRN

Click through the slideshow to see more of Little Haiti's utilitarian street art.

Miami's Wynwood Arts District has been South Florida's street-art mecca for years. And as the neighborhood's rents rise and galleries migrate to its surroundings, news outlets and the art community itself have implied art is moving into Little Haiti.

But Little Haiti has been speckled with art since at least 1994. It may have just been mistaken as signage.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Cuban culture has dominated Miami for decades. Cuban-Americans are the area’s largest Latino group and have loads of political representation.

 

But the number -- and influence -- of immigrants from other Latin American countries is growing. And there’s a tense debate over the immigration privileges Cubans enjoy -- because no other immigrant group gets them.

Maria Murriel / Illustration

Last week, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the renaming of a library and a park in the suburb of West Kendall. They went from West Kendall to West End Regional Library and West End District Park.

This renaming is part of a multi-year plan by District 11 Commissioner Juan Zapata to create an area called "West End."

We received an overwhelming amount of feedback about this issue, most of it negative. Read some responses in the slideshow at the top of this post.

Chabeli Herrera (illustration)

By the time Don Francisco holds his final on-air singing contest this last Sábado Gigante, on Sept. 19, many a Spanish-speaking household in the U.S. -- and most of Latin America -- will have at some point noted the longevity of his show.

Generations of Latinos have laughed and cried with Mario Kreutzberger in character as host of the 53-year-old variety show.

National Hurricane Center

Hours after it strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane, Danny, this season's first storm grew to a Category 3.

Below is an excerpt from the National Hurricane Center's statement:

Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Danny is now a Category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The maximum winds are estimated to be 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts.

Jason Howle / Flickr via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It's not only about shaming. Some restaurant owners and chefs in South Florida use their social media accounts to vent about competitors, try to locate dine-and-dashers and, yes, trash bad reviewers. 

Whether it's a personal profile or the brand's account, commenters seem to stand by the posters putting their guests on blast.

Maria Murriel / WLRN

JUPITER, FLA. -- Onesimo Lopez-Ramos immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala -- one of the most violent countries in the western hemisphere. But even living in the quiet town of Jupiter, Fla., at the northern end of Palm Beach County, he couldn't escape lethal brutality.

The 18-year-old Lopez-Ramos was killed this past April, allegedly by three young white men who said they were targeting immigrants -- or "Guat-hunting" as one of them told police afterward in a disturbing confession.

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