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The grief and mourning continue for the 17 students and staff killed on the afternoon of Feb. 14 during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. But something else is happening among the anguish of the interrupted lives of the victims and survivors. Out of the agony, activism has emerged and students from across South Florida are speaking out together asking for stricter gun controls. Here's a list of grief counseling resources available for the community.

The Year In Review: Looking Back On 2018 In South Florida

Graphic by Katie Lepri
Pictured clockwise: the bridge collapse at FIU; damage after Hurricane Michael; the faces of the March for Our Lives movement; David Beckham celebrating being awarded an MLS franchise; Former Broward County SOE Brenda Snipes; a memorial for MSD victims

It’s been a whirlwind year in South Florida.

Tragedy struck on Feb. 14 when 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In the months after the shooting, lawmakers, parents and students – many of whom became the faces and voices of the March for Our Lives movement – fought to enact gun control policies and elect leaders who would prioritize school safety.

Then a little over a month later, a bridge collapsed at Florida International University, killing six people. The bridge was supposed to span traffic-heavy Eighth Street, connecting the university and the City of Sweetwater. Federal and state investigators are determining the cause of the collapse.

And in this year’s midterm election, Florida experienced déjà vu from the 2000 presidential election. The state conducted recounts for three statewide offices. The Agriculture Commissioner flipped Democrat while the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races remained Republican.

The recount rocked South Florida. Broward and Palm Beach counties struggled to make the state’s deadline to submit their recount results. Broward missed an initial deadline by two minutes. Palm Beach’s old machines broke down, delaying its count.

During the election, the Panhandle was suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which hit the area as a strong Category 4 storm. A long recovery is expected. Meanwhile, the Florida Keys are continuing to rebuild themselves after Hurricane Irma, which hit in September 2017.

The list of news goes on: Brightline high-speed trains launched; South Florida lost Amazon HQ2; the crisis in Venezuela worsened, and South Florida became a haven; Cuba got a new leader; and voters approved some new infrastructure projects that could economically and environmentally impact the region. A gigantic shopping mall is expected to be built on endangered wetlands and a soccer stadium will be constructed for David Beckham’s Miami MLS team.

WLRN wants to hear what you took away from 2018. What local news story affected you the most this year? Send us a text with your name, the city you live in and a description or headline of the news event and how it affected you to 786-786-7826. Standard messaging rates apply.

Alexander Gonzalez produces the afternoon newscasts airing during All Things Considered. He enjoys helping tell the South Florida story through audio and digital platforms. Alex is interested in a little of everything from business to culture to politics.
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