Maria Murriel

Digital editor

Maria edits WLRN.org and oversees all its digital implications, including social-media activity and radio-to-web conceptualization.

She likes hyphenating adjectives and working on weekends.

Maria has worked across the South Florida media bubble, starting with 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 Beached 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 and cocktail industry, Maria's interests are in multiculturalism, community news and inner-city issues. She's a proud FIU grad with a bachelor's in religious studies, and she is co-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.

Pages

Politics
11:57 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Florida Roundup: The Debate That Almost Wasn't

Gubernatorial candidates caused a nationwide stir when Rick Scott delayed their debate start due a fan Charlie Crist had at his podium.
Credit Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Governor Rick cott and former Governor Charlie Crist met for their second debate this week, but only after a delay over one candidate cooling down hot air.

Attorney General Pam Bondi wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide if same-sex couples can get married here.

And in college football, police and amateur athletes on campus are under scrutiny at Florida State.

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The Governor's Race
11:44 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

What Just Happened? #Fangate At The Scott-Crist Gubernatorial Debate

Former Gov. Charlie Crist is known for bringing a small fan to speaking engagements.
Credit Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It seemed like a joke at first. Sounding slightly perplexed, debate moderator Eliott Rodriguez of CBS Miami said, "We have been told that Gov. Scott will not be participating in this debate."

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Music
4:12 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

III Points Festival In Wynwood Offers Ultra Relief, But Similar Artists

Credit Laura (of Miami) / Courtesy

A massive cloud of dark beats, nu disco and experimental, indie electronica is poised over Miami's Wynwood neighborhood this week.

Come Friday night, the bass will start thundering down, first with simultaneous 7 p.m. sets by locals JPort, Gooddroid and DJ Laura (of Miami).

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Music
6:11 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Puerto Rican Rap Comes To Miami, And It Might Not Be What You Expect

Credit Fuete Billete / Courtesy

Play the video above. The song starts with sandy synths and bass worthy of any indie-electronica act coming through Bardot, until about 24 seconds in. The beat skips a bit and the bass gets harder beneath the first bar of Fuete Billete's rap.

And it's in Spanish.

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Hometown Opinions
2:30 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

A Twitter Response To That New York Times Essay About Miami, From Scott Cunningham

This weekend, the New York Times published an essay by Pamela Druckerman, a former Miamian, that was part jab at the "vapid" city where she grew up, and part backhanded appreciation of Miami's cultural developments since the 1970s.

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News
2:39 am
Wed August 6, 2014

A Look Back At All South Florida Counties Ruling Against Gay-Marriage Ban

The case of plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones was the first to get a favorable ruling against Florida's ban on same-sex marriage.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A Palm Beach County court's Tuesday ruling is the latest to declare Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

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News
1:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Attorney General Files Notice Of Appeal In Monroe County Gay Marriage Approval

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones at home with their dogs Riddick and Kira.
Credit Kenne Tucker / Facebook

Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Thursday afternoon. He ruled in favor of Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a same-sex couple seeking to marry -- but they will only be allowed to do so after Tuesday, July 22.

Later on Thursday afternoon, the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal against Judge Garcia's decision.

The judge compared the gay-marriage ban to earlier laws that prevented women from voting, banned interracial marriages and imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II.

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What's The Story?
5:56 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Listen: 5 Things Wrong With South Florida Bus Stops

Credit Vera Arias

For our What's the Story? project, a listener asked us:

Why doesn't every bus stop have a shelter?

And while working to answer that question, we asked our audience what their worst experiences were while waiting for buses in South Florida.

We came up with the five things wrong with bus stops in our area. Listen:

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NBA Finals
11:13 am
Fri June 13, 2014

When The Heat Fall... On Photographers

Heat shooting guard Dywane Wade lands on Miami Herald photographer Al Diaz. Coincidentally, Laughlin was sitting right next to him.

The Miami Heat fell to the San Antonio Spurs in this 2014 NBA Finals, after winning only one game in the seven-game series. Despite the definitive loss, one group may be relieved: the courtside photographers who won't have to feel the weight of falling players for a while.

If you've seen a handful of games, you may have witnessed a basketball player trip, jump or slide off court and onto a nearby photographer (or sometimes fan). Below, read about what it's like to be on the ground when that happens.

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Arts District
8:35 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Inside Wynwood's New, Private(ish) Nightclub, House

Visitors to House must first obtain a key.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Mark Lowe says he has designed more than a dozen nightclubs, but none quite like his newest one. House, in what he calls the "SoWyn" area of Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, is like a large-scale, walkthrough art exhibition with a touch of raunch.

The first room in the club, which is meant to resemble a house, is full of blueish lights and chromeum plated bubbles pasted on the wall. A curtain of bubbles seems to be suspended mid-air. The DJ booth is a sliver of glass with keys projected on it. The bar top is filled with liquid goo.

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Local Breweries
8:28 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Why Are Craft-Beer Lovers So Obsessed With Their Brew?

About 20 beer-tenders worked the bar at the Funky Buddha's first anniversary party in Oakland Park. Saturday, May 31, 2014.
Maria Murriel WLRN

I always struggle to explain how enthusiastic beer geeks are about the beers they love. Yes, it's like being passionate about any other hobby: Craft beer is a community in which beer-obsessed people, myself included, get excited to befriend others who share their favorite breweries.

But the devotion of craft-beer fans still always surprises me.

At the first anniversary of the Funky Buddha Brewery last Saturday, I spotted a handful of familiar faces, Scott Rain among them. He's one of the usual suspects at these craft-beer events. Usually, he's with his friend Jeff Davis.

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Beer
9:59 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Miami Brewers Form Alliance To "Protect The Industry"

Members of the Miami Brewers Alliance held their first meeting at Wynwood Brewing Company on May 19.
Credit Miami Brewers Alliance/Courtesy

Miami's beer makers have officially unionized. Sort of. The owners of two Miami-Dade County breweries rallied their brewer colleagues to form the Miami Brewers Alliance, a sort of advocacy and education group for local craft-beer businesses.

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Sunshine Economy
1:08 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Burgers Before Beer: 5 Questions For Funky Buddha Brewery Co-Owner

Before he went into the beer business, Funky Buddha co-owner KC Sentz (second from the left) was an electrical engineer at Motorola, though his first taste of the working life was at a McDonald's when he was 14.
Credit Courtesy of Funky Buddha

KC Sentz and his brother Ryan opened the Funky Buddha Brewery in June of 2013. It was the first production microbrewery in Broward County, and the best known in South Florida. The brewery added a bottling line recently, a milestone for craft breweries, and this May the Sentz brothers announced plans to expand.

Before seeing success as a brewery owner and manager, KC Sentz worked in engineering. But before that, he got his paycheck from Mickey D's.

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National Poetry Month
3:18 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

#ThisIsWhere Poetry Contest Winners

Here's a shot from our poetry night event at Miami Club Rum. April 30, 2014
Credit Elaine Chen / WLRN

We announced our contest winners at the #ThisIsWhere finale at Miami Club Rum on Wednesday, April 30. This is where we share them with you.

Read the winning poems below and watch three of our winners recite their poems above. Then stick around for an extra poem about one of South Floridians' favorite experiences.

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Sunshine Edition
6:12 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

How Florida's In-State Tuition Bill Would Change The Life Of A Homestead Student

Mayra used to work on her father's farm when she couldn't afford to be a college student. Now that she attends Miami-Dade College, she still offers to lend a hand at the fruit stand her father manages.
Credit Mayra Rubio

Mayra Rubio was 3 months-old when she moved to Homestead with her brother and parents from Guadalajara, Mexico.

After she graduated from South Dade Senior High, she realized she could not afford the out-of-state tuition for public colleges and universities. Undocumented students do not get the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates.

So instead, Mayra worked with her father in the fields and groves of South Miami-Dade County. She picked and packed avocados and mangos.

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