2018 was a busy year in the news, even by South Florida standards. The deadliest high school shooting in modern U.S. history and its aftermath; another election recount; explosive devices sent by mail to critics of president Donald Trump; toxic algae on our waters, and the collapse of the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University are among the stories that the WLRN news team covered this year.
Our digital audiences gravitated towards explainers that helped them make sense of the headlines they were seeing every day and, in particular, of one of the longest ballots in recent Florida history. In fact, six of the most read stories on our digital platforms (website, social media, apps) provided context and information to better understand the 2018 ballot and make sure that your vote would be counted.
Here are the top 10 stories on our digital platforms for 2018:
Broward school district officials admitted that the confessed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gunman was assigned to the controversial PROMISE disciplinary program, after the superintendent repeatedly claimed Nikolas Cruz had "no connection" to the alternative punishment designed to limit on-campus arrests.
WLRN's interactive guide to state constitutional amendments, as well as county and municipal questions in South Florida ballots.
Voters in Broward County complained about difficulties accessing their poll stations, located inside gated communities guarded by private security companies.
WLRN outlines the steps to confirm if the Supervisor of Elections has received your mail-in ballot, after voters who already mailed out their ballots to Miami-Dade and Broward counties and several others throughout the state received flyers saying they had “not yet returned” them.
Live results and links to elections supervisors' websites around South Florida.
More than half (7 out of 13) of the proposed constitutional amendments were challenged through the state court system.
A sprawling wetland habitat has been designated for a $4 billion, 6-million-square-foot mall and entertainment center dubbed American Dream Miami.
2018 was not all bad news for the environment. From the Florida Keys to Palm Beach County, projects are underway to prepare for climate change and sea-level rise, to the point that experts say optimism plus planning and innovation can lead to long-term solutions — and maybe even economic growth.
Black students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School say youth activism around gun violence didn’t start in Parkland. "We surely do not feel that the lives or voices of minorities are as valued as our white counterparts," says an MSD student.
The decision by the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission to "bundle" several questions into one ballot item caused confusion and controversy in 2018.