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WMFE's top 23 most viewed stories of 2023

2023 is coming to an end. Here at 90.7 WMFE, we are closing out the year by taking a look back at the 23 most popular stories from the year. From rising sea levels to African American history to stories of the unhoused, WMFE continues to bring you the unbiased news and information important to our region.

"Looking back at previous housing recessions, we think the 1980s are a better analogy for today's market than the 2008 housing crash," Economists Jeseo Park and Michael Gapen say in a Bank of America Securities report.
National economists predictions for 2024 mirror the assessment of local real estate agents. Here's a look at what is causing the potential recession and what it will mean for the housing market.

Coastal areas are Florida’s most at-risk, and by the year 2100, many of them could be underwater.
Mikhail Nilov
One million Florida properties are projected to be underwater. Today, those properties fund nearly 30% of local revenues for more than half the state's municipalities.

hands clasped on top of an open book
A statewide coalition of faith leaders has pledged to teach African American history, after the uproar over Florida’s new African American history standards.

More than two dozen people spoke out against the new standards for almost an hour at the board’s meeting in Orlando, before the board approved them.
Florida Channel screenshot
The Florida Board of Education approved a new set of standards for teaching African American history in the state.

Angelique Miller stands for a photo in the kitchen of her new affordable rental unit in West Orlando. Before living here, she was homeless for 10 years.
Lillian Hernández Caraballo
Angelique Miller had it all once, but life took some unexpected turns. The 55-year-old military widow found herself battling homelessness, mostly living in her car, for 10 years.

Attorney Benjamin Crump showed Pamela Dias to a seat in New St. John Baptist Church before a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Joe Byrnes
A 58-year-old white woman suspected of shooting through a closed door and killing her Black neighbor in Marion County was arrested overnight, four days after the incident. It's a case that prompted outrage and protest in Ocala.

The only way districts in Florida will be allowed to teach the course is if they omit any chapters on gender identity and sexuality.
The College Board says the Florida Department of Education has, “effectively” bannedan AP Psychology class in the state. AP African American History is already banned in Florida. The only way districts in Florida will be allowed to teach the Advanced Placement Psychology course is if they omit chapters on gender identity and sexuality.

In Central Florida, Hailey Winder, a weekly thrift store visitor, sifts through the colorful clothing items in Plato’s Closet Waterford Lakes holding up fast fashion items.
Kayla Kissel and Nolan Bottomley
Fast fashion is a business model based on mass-producing clothing items at a low cost. These items are pouring into Central Florida thrift stores.

Alpha Phi Alpha says it's moving its 119th anniversary convention from Orlando.
Alpha Phi Alpha X/Screenshot
A prominent national Black fraternity has pulled its yearly convention out of Florida, following uproar over the state’s new African American history standards for K-12 students.

A cyberattack on a South Florida radiology and oncology diagnostic imager, Akumin, has shut down facilities in Central Florida. It is unclear when Akumin will reopen its doors to its patients.
Creative Commons License
A cyberattack in South Florida has shut down several Central Florida radiology and oncology diagnostic firms.

Creative Commons License
As Idalia continues to make its way toward Florida, Orange County is reminding residents to be careful as most injuries and deaths occur before and after the storm.

Brightline is partnering with Valencia College to fill high-tech jobs created by the high-speed rail’s expansion to Orlando.
Marguerite Courtney
Randall Croom, associate professor at Stetson University, said when service on Brightline begins in Orlando, the impacts on the economy will be significant but nuanced.

Faith in Florida's LaVon Bracy taught an African American history masterclass at Pastor Sharon Riley's Agape Perfecting Praise & Worship Center in Orlando.
Danielle Prieur
Agape Perfecting Praise & Worship Center in Orlando is one of the Black churches using the toolkit.

Projected hikes in property appraisals accurately predicted taxing consequences. Here's how property taxes this year could impact your mortgage and what you can do about it.

Image of a woman looking at her water softener system, which helps treat the water she gets from her private well.
Molly Duerig
12% of Floridians use drinking water from a private well, but UF/IFAS research shows about a third of them don’t know how to properly maintain those wells.

Polk County Public Schools
The district had received questions about whether schools were in danger in connection with the war in Israel.

The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship is pictured on Oct. 8, 2022, in the foreground docked to the Rassvet module as the International Space Station orbited 264 miles above Europe.
The Soyuz capsule, which carried a crew of three to the station, was leaking coolant. A new capsule will take that crew home instead.

Reports about quote, “forever chemicals” in drinking water across the country and here in Florida have been the cause for alarm for some.
These forever chemicals aren’t broken down easily by the body, or in nature, and in small amounts over a prolonged time can cause cancer as well as miscarriages.

University of Central Florida's main campus. Photo: UCF
The Board voted to close the University’s Leesburg, South Orlando, and Palm Bay campuses and to reclassify the UCF Ocala campus to a special service site.

A rendering of Shigella bacteria, which is a drug-resistant bacteria that cause the infection shigellosis. Symptoms include severe, bloody diarrhea.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
AdventHealth CentraCare is reporting increased amounts of stomach bug cases in Central Florida. Here's what you should know.

Cast of VH1's Basketball Wives Orlando
Basketball Wives Orlando made its premiere Monday night on VH1. Stetson University's Randall Croom says the show could have significant impacts on our economy.

Under the new rule, private school students and faculty will join their public school peers in only being allowed to use facilities that align with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Florida Channel Screenshot
These rules have been in place at public schools in the state since July 1st under the Safety in Private Spaces Act.

The vote was unanimous in setting up the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District as the local planning agency for any future land developments within the district.
The new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has approved a resolution giving it supreme authority over any future land use in the former Reedy Creek district.

LaToya Dennis is 90.7 WMFE's News Director & Managing Editor. She has been at the forefront of rethinking what news is and how to best deliver it to communities not traditionally well served by public radio. She holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University.