Hurricane Irma

Mass shootings, volatile protests and major policy changes. Hurricane, after hurricane, after hurricane. And a solar eclipse that brought us together like never before in any living person’s lifetime. Yep, 2017 was a doozy. We take stock of the biggest news stories of the year, and the deeper conversations they sparked.

The U.S. economy shed 33,000 jobs in September, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while unemployment fell to 4.2 percent.

The September payrolls drop broke a nearly seven-year streak of continuous job gains, but economists caution that the drop is likely representing the short-term consequences of bad weather, not a long-term shift in the job market.

Before this report, the economy had added an average of about 175,000 jobs per month; the unemployment rate has been at 4.3 or 4.4 percent since April.

Barbuda was the first place Hurricane Irma made landfall as the Category 5 storm devastated a string of islands in the Caribbean earlier this month. As of noon ET on Friday — 24 days after the storm destroyed much of the island — Barbuda's evacuation order was officially lifted.

In the wake of back-to-back natural disasters, there’s doubt about the willingness and ability of insurance companies to handle a flood of claims for destroyed property. We sit down with an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Carrie Teegardin, to discuss her in-depth reporting, part of our occasional series, “AJC Investigates.”  We add two more tunes to our ever-growing Georgia Playlist. Evan Leima is the frontman and singer for Athens-based Dream Culture. They perform at Seeds of Sound Festival in Sparta this Saturday, Sept.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented flooding to the Houston area. More than two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma hit Florida as a remarkably massive and long-lasting storm.

Those storms have long since dissipated. Now much of the focus has shifted to Hurricane Maria, which remains an active storm — a storm that caused devastation in Puerto Rico, which is still reeling from the immediate impact.

Updated Oct. 23, 11:53 a.m. with additional events and donation campaigns.

It looks like a fairy tale palace.

With its pink stucco walls and massive coral stone terraces, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a beloved South Florida landmark that has drawn Miamians for 60 years. But since getting blasted by Hurricane Irma, the estate more resembles the part in the fairy tale after an evil spell is cast, and the forest overgrows the castle.

DonTaé Hodge

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Southeast. It was even more destructive on the Virgin Islands, where it hit as a Category 5 storm. Nearly every building was damaged, and many were completely destroyed. As Irma approached, DonTaé Hodge of Atlanta was anxiously following updates. Hodge grew up in the British Virgin Islands, and told us what it was like to be so far from home at a critical time.

Is Atlanta at risk of overcrowding? Last month, The Atlanta Regional Commission reported nearly 80,000 new people in the metro region since just last year -- the highest growth rate since the Great Recession. How this will affect more than your commute, like your rent, and your space to walk down the street, has yet to be seen. We talk with Mike Carnathan, a researcher with the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Chris Leinberger, a business professor at George Washington University.

Another hurricane, another health care horror story.

At least that's how it looked when eight patients died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida. The facility lost its air conditioning several days after Hurricane Irma struck.

That event conjured memories of the scores of elderly who died in Louisiana hospitals and nursing homes following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.