The most read stories of 2019 on WINK News

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Pastor Jeremiah Saunders poses for a photo among the ruins of his church that was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Wednesday Sept. 11, 2019. Jeremiah says “I spoke to the water: ‘Peace, be still.’ It never listened,” Saunders said with a wide smile and then grew serious as he focused on the task that tens of thousands of Bahamians now face on two islands devastated by the Category 5 storm: the clean-up. (AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa)

There was a lot of news in Southwest Florida in 2019. Hurricane Dorain topped our list by far. WINK provided continuous coverage as the storm bore down on the Bahamas and kept SWFL in the cone of uncertainty for days. Here we break down the local stories you read the most on

Views of the Bahamas from a Coast Guard Elizabeth City C-130 aircraft after Hurricane Dorian shifts north Sept. 3, 2019. Hurricane Dorian made landfall Saturday and intensified into Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Stanton.

Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian caused devastating damage in the Bahamas and killed at least 70 people and caused more than $4.6 billion in damage. The storm formed on August 24 and hovered over the Bahamas for days, wreaking havoc on the residents of the Abaco Islands. Winds peaked at 185 mph.  –>MORE


Missing person Diane Ruiz, 43. (Image Credit: Cape Coral Police Dept.)


Diane Ruiz found

Diane Ruiz went missing in Cape Coral while on her way to work. Her body was found several days later in a wooded area. The suspect in her death, Wade Wilson, was charged with first-degree murder of Ruiz and another woman, Kristine Melton. –>MORE


Photo by WINK News via Google Maps.


Woman struck by boat propeller on FMB dies

Irene Sabo died from injuries after hitting a boat propeller while in the water near the Lani Kai Island Resort on Fort Myers Beach. FWC said Sabo fell onto the propeller as her husband revved the engine. –>MORE


Veteran Mario Salvi, who served during World War II, lives in Naples. His daughter, Deborah Kopko says the VA is not giving her dad the full benefits he deserves. Credit: WINK News.


Veteran’s wife dies. VA declares him dead, takes away his benefits

A Southwest Florida man who served our nation in uniform and is coping with the death of his wife dealt with another emotional trauma. The VA accidentally considered Mario Salvi dead and stopped his benefits. Since the story aired, Sen. Rick Scott has expressed a willingness to help Salvi. After much back and forth with the administration, Salvi has been made whole again with his benefits. –>MORE


Tornado touchdown in NW Cape Coral (Credit: Cape Coral Fire Department)


EF-1 tornado leaves mile-long trail of damage in NW Cape Coral

A tornado ripped through northwest Cape Coral the morning of October 19, with winds peaking at around 95 miles per hour and leaving a mile-long trail of damage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt by the storm. –>MORE

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