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.

Ways To Connect

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.

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.

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:

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

    

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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