Nicole Darden CrestonAll Things Considered Host and Reporter
Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy. When local issues have received international attention, Nicole has reported worldwide for TV news outlets such as CNN, HLN, ABC, Fox News Channel, and BBC News 24.
When she’s off duty, Nicole can often be found performing with one of Central Florida’s many theatre companies, or taking in local arts, culture and music.
Recent Stories from Nicole Darden Creston
Florida added nearly 20,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent. That’s good news, but the state has only regained a little more than half of the jobs lost when the pandemic struck.
The $1.9 trillion-dollar America Rescue Plan – or ARP – has new incentives for states to expand their Medicaid programs. The federal government will pay nearly 100 percent of the expansion cost for two years, then 90 percent ever year, providing health insurance for 800,000 Floridians who now have none. Governor Ron DeSantis and state Republican leaders remain opposed, but economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says Medicaid expansion would boost Florida’s economy.
President’s Biden’s $1.9 trillion-dollar American Rescue Plan – ARP for short – is now law. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says the state of Florida will get 10.2 billion dollars, and there’s also money for every county and most cities statewide. Fishkind says the “transformational” ARP includes direct aid to households, as well as support for local nonprofits, small businesses, and hard-hit industries – like tourism.
A new report from Florida’s Department of Revenue says taxable sales in December 2020 were a whopping $176 million higher than in December 2019. It sounds like Florida residents had plenty of money to spend. But economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says that’s not really the case – the report simply highlights how the pandemic has nearly wrecked certain parts of the economy, while barely touching others.
The US House of Representatives has passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan. And now, economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says the Senate must do the same…because it’s vital for the US economy and particularly important for Florida. Fishkind also takes on what he views as misconceptions about the stimulus – for instance, the argument that the package is too big. He says funds from the previous stimulus are already earmarked or spent.
Stronger economic growth appears to be just around the corner, even if Central Florida is lagging a bit behind.
You may be surprised to learn that Florida is quickly running out of cheap, clean drinking water as its population grows. Economic analyst Hank Fishkind says new regulations and other fixes are in the works…but they come with a sizable price tag.