ORLANDO, Fla. - From tragedy to triumph to scandal, there was no shortage of compelling stories in Central Florida during 2018. These were the 18 most popular local stories on wftv.com this year:
Deputies said an 83-year-old woman was killed and four others were injured during a shootout in south Orange County.
Deputies said a former New Smyrna Beach Middle School teacher was arrested after having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student and sending him nude photos.
An Orlando woman said her family was playing in a Lake Nona backyard while an alligator was lurking feet away.
Health officials said a hepatitis A infection was identified in a food service worker at the Morimoto Asia restaurant at Walt Disney World's Disney Springs complex.
An Oklahoma woman drowned after getting caught in a rip current at Cocoa Beach.
The new statutes had effects on Floridians of all ages, from bullying in schools to providing further protections for seniors.
Police fatally shot a man who claimed to have a weapon inside Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Deputies said a woman walked into the Animal Kingdom Lodge's lobby, claiming someone had handed her a newborn baby outside, but the child turned out to be her own.
Records said an Orange County pastor engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old.
Police said a man shot another man in the foot at a bar after the victim refused a shot of alcohol that the gunman had offered him.
Deputies said a Walt Disney World guest was flown to the hospital after he was injured on a tube ride at the Typhoon Lagoon water park.
Panic and fear gripped Forest High School near Ocala when a suspect opened fire, wounding one student.
The middle of July will be remembered as a violent time in Central Florida.
Police said two Bartow Middle School students came to school with knives and planned to attack students.
A man who was banned from Walt Disney World for unfurling a giant political banner at the Magic Kingdom has been banned again.
A Lake County teenager was chased up a tree by an aggressive alligator that was later fatally shot by a deputy.
Hurricane Michael battered Florida's Panhandle, bringing with it destructive 155 mph winds and life-threatening storm surge. Its winds ripped apart homes, and feet of storm surge left homes underwater.
After a trio of recounts, the 2018 Florida midterm elections secured Florida Gov. Rick Scott a Senate victory, former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis a gubernatorial victory and Nikki Fried an agriculture commissioner victory.
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