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
The Orange County Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs is calling for input from Black, Indigenous and People of Color about their perceptions of Central Florida’s arts and cultural community ahead of the first official meeting of the office’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Orange County Public Schools has launched its own COVID-19 online dashboard to track confirmed cases across its 202 schools and its district offices.
State economists are saying that travel and tourism sectors are in a depression. And they’re predicting that Central Florida’s tourism-dependent economy may not recover for two or three years. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind agrees that’s a fair estimate, but not the whole story.
Recent reports say the US unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August and 1.4 million jobs were generated. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has banned evictions through December, and, locally, tourist development tax collections in Orange County have improved. While this all sounds encouraging, economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind says the recovery is very slow and getting slower.
Central Florida’s artistic community has been hit hard by the pandemic recession as theater doors stay closed to audiences and theme parks pare down on live entertainment. Many performing artists have found themselves out of work and struggling to pay bills, hamstrung by a state unemployment system they feel is ill-equipped to understand a performer’s “gig worker” status. So, leaders in Orlando’s artistic community have stepped in to help fill the need with the newly-formed GOPAR, which stands for Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief.
The economic recovery is slowing down, and it’s benefiting some groups of people more than others. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind explains why the recovery is tapping the brakes, who’s having an easier time with it, and what comes next.
Jobs numbers during the pandemic can be difficult to understand, with data points that seem to conflict. For instance, Florida just reported an uptick of 80,000 jobs in July, but the unemployment rate also increased. Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind helps make sense of things, advising us to be prepared for a long recovery ahead.