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’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.2% in March, and Central Florida’s labor markets were particularly strong. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says it appears that Central Florida’s hospitality industry recovery is finally starting to take root.
A special session of Florida’s legislature begins today, as the state House and Senate try again to hammer out new congressional maps. Governor Ron DeSantis rejected bipartisan maps from lawmakers earlier this year, in a fight that’s largely focused on a north Florida district represented by a Black Democrat. DeSantis calls the district “illegal racial gerrymandering.” But University of Central Florida Political Science professor Aubrey Jewett explains that’s a controversial view.
Apartment rental rates are skyrocketing across the country, but Florida’s rent increase was higher than any other state’s. It’s up by 30 percent since this time last year, with the biggest jumps found in Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. Economic analyst Hank Fishkind explains why the rents are climbing in Central Florida, and what can be done to slow them down.
A new report from the US Census Bureau shows Florida’s biggest counties – including Orange and Seminole – losing population for the first time since Census tracking began. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says COVID-19 had a sizable role in the historic changes…which, he says caught him off guard.
Florida’s overall job market is recovering to pre-pandemic levels…mostly. The new labor report from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity is a strong one, with one glitch that affects Central Florida in particular. Dr. Hank Fishkind explains the details.
The Federal Reserve has announced it will raise interest rates to try to tamp down inflation. Right now, consumer prices are up by nearly eight percent and gas prices have approached all-time highs. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind talks about how the change by the Fed will impact Central Florida.
Florida lawmakers have wrapped up this year’s legislative session by approving a record $112.1 billion state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. That’s more than ten percent higher than the current budget. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind offers his review of the upcoming state budget, starting with two issues he says he wishes lawmakers would have addressed that are affecting the state: condo safety precautions and property taxes.