Well, here we are. 2014 is about to be kaput, and a brand new year filled with crazy Florida news stories awaits us.
Whatever 2015 brings, we're sure it's going to be pretty nuts, pretty wild, and pretty fantastic.
We hope you come along for the ride, just as you did all this year.
But before we take that leap forward, we want to take a quick look back at the ten most popular and most read stories on the Pulp in the past year.
We covered everything on this here blog: from medical marijuana, to a 90-year-old World War II vet who became a hero to the homeless, to same-sex marriage, to Satanists invading our state.
And at least one story where we had a flesh-eating bacteria scare.
So, in a word, Florida.
Here now are the Pulp stories that nearly broke the internet in 2014:
10. Florida Medical Marijuana Is "Done," According to Latest Poll Medical marijuana was a huge topic all year long throughout our state, particularly Amendment 2, the initiative put on the November ballot where voters would decide if medical cannabis would be legal for those suffering from debilitating diseases. While polls indicated Floridians were for it, the No on 2 group, infused by big-money donors, began an aggressive anti-medical weed campaign that swallowed up the narrative, culminating in this article about a poll that spelled doom for Amendment 2. In the end, the poll was right, and Amendment 2 failed to pass
9. Prompted by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, Florida Satanist Wants to Open Meeting With Prayer Back in May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government meetings are allowed to open with prayer. This was met with some enthusiasm by American Christians, as well as elected officials who called themselves Christians. But a funny thing happened on the way to your friendly neighborhood commission meeting invocations: Other non-Christian religious groups got a chance to open government meetings with prayer -- particularly Satanists.
The next thing that happened, Satanists and atheists began requesting time to do invocations at government meetings, opening the door to controversy, fear, and ultimately, a political mess.
8. Fort Lauderdale Cops Tackle Critical Mass Cyclist Critical Mass, the monthly massive public bike ride in Fort Lauderdale, can be something of a nuisance for drivers. But it's mostly a harmless activity with minimal problems reported. But the group has often complained about too heavy of a police presence at their rides and, in this incident, video captured a Fort Lauderdale Police officer being overly aggressive with a rider, tackling them to the ground and cuffing him.
It was all captured on video.
7. A 90-Year-Old and Two Clergymen Cited, Face Possible Jail Time, for Feeding the Homeless in Fort Lauderdale Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old World War II vet, chef, and homeless advocate, has made it his life's mission to feed the city of Fort Lauderdale's homeless on the beach. For decades, Abbot has fed them on the beach. That is until a new city ordinance essentially prohibiting public feedings derailed his efforts, and thrust Abbott into the national spot light. Abbot has been hailed a hero, while the city's leaders have been publicly derided.
This is is where it all began -- when Abbot was first cited for daring to give starving people food in a public area. And it was all caught on video.
6. Florida Mom Fights Court Order to Circumcise Her 3-Year-Old In May, we reported on a legal battle between a couple who are fighting over whether or not to have their three-year-old son circumcised. The father said he did, while the mother said she did not, arguing that there was no useful benefits, and that it could be a detriment to the child's health.
Turns out, people really feel strongly about the practice, and this story touched a nerve for thousands of our readers.
5. Mike Pouncey and Brother Assaulted Man at Cameo Nightclub Last Night, Victim Claims Ah, the Miami Dolphins. Always making the news for the wrong reasons. And, in July, New Times broke the story of center Mike Pouncey being accused of assaulting a gay man at a Miami night club.
The charges were eventually dropped, but the story struck a chord with Dolphins fans tired of reading out players being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and making headlines for dumb things.
4. Eight Reasons Pam Bondi Is the Worst Attorney General in Florida History Attorney General Pam Bondi is no friend to the LGBT community. She's worked tirelessly to keep the gay marriage ban in Florida intact even called homosexuals a public health threat. Turns out, even though she was re-elected to a second term in November, people really hate Pam Bondi. And that became ever apparent after we listed the eight reasons why she's the worst attorney general in the state's long history.
3. Warnings About Flesh-Eating Ocean Bacteria Issued by Florida Health Officials A possible public health risk spreading across the state is a scary thing. Even scarier than that, however, is when that health risk involves FLESH EATING BACTERIA.
In late July, we reported on the vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which, if exposed to an open wound, could ruin a person's weekend tooth-sweet.
State health officials warned that traces of the bacteria had been found in local waters, as well as in tainted raw shellfish and oysters.
It was simple to avoid getting the bacteria: avoid going swimming at the beach if you had a cut or abrasion, and don't eat raw shellfish or oysters. We made that pretty clear in the article.
That didn't stop everyone from hitting the panic button after they clicked on our story.
2. All 30 Cities in Broward County, Ranked From Worst to Best We ranked all 30 cities in Broward County and told you why each city was great, or crappy, and why you should avoid living there, or make it your permanent home.
Needless to say, people needed to chime in. Particularly if we trashed their home town.
1. The Six Worst Places in Broward Every local paper talks up the best places in their respective county or city. But we're New Times, where we not only like to go against the grain, but we love spreading the snark along the way. So, instead of the best places in Broward, we ranked the worst places. And many of you chimed in with your own opinions -- not just about the places we listed, but also about us.
You love us.
Right back atcha!