Struggling small dairy farms in Kentucky. Segregation in charter schools. The challenges facing young asylum seekers in Europe. These are some of the feature stories that NBC News readers spent the most time on in 2018. Take a look back:
After Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation built over 100 houses in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. But residents report that the houses are rotting and dangerous, the result of building done too quickly, with low-quality materials, and ill-planned designs.
One resident, Kamaria Allen, called the homes "a fool’s paradise.”
All Curtis Coombs wanted was to raise cows and run his family’s dairy farm in this slice of Kentucky hill country. But Coombs, like many of the small dairy farmers in the region, was unable to compete with big dairy farming businesses.
“It’s just hard to believe it’s over,” Coombs said. “As long as you was milking cows, you always thought there was a hope you'd get back to it.”
Montana's suicide rate is twice the national average — and that was before the state made cuts to mental health funding.
“We have a perfect storm when it comes to suicide,” said Karl Rosston, suicide prevention coordinator for Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services. “We have a lot of factors that are all happening at the same time.”
Iceland loves guns. And yet, unlike the United States, Iceland does not have a gun violence problem. One reason: Iceland's rigorous gun laws, which require background checks and classes before purchasing a firearm.
“It feels like somebody cares that you're getting a gun and what you're going to do with the gun," said Olaf Garðar Garðarsson, who lives on the outskirts of Reykjavik and spent more than a year studying to obtain a firearm. "So you're not going to buy a gun to do stupid things."
Robocalls, or automated calls that usually have a recorded message, increased by 50 percent from February to July of 2018. Some parts of the country were hit harder than others — see how your area code ranked.
“Every prescription I wrote was justified for the person who had gotten it,” said Dr. Katherine Hoover, the West Virginia who wrote more than 335,130 prescriptions for painkillers between December 2002 and January 2010.
Hoover wrote more opioid prescriptions than any other doctor in West Virginia during that time, but even though her colleagues faced charges, she was not prosecuted.
From heat waves and droughts to wildfires and superstorms, the globe has seen an increase in extreme weather — and now scientists are able to explain how climate change is playing a role. Here's how the science works.
“If I do not go to Germany, I’ll kill myself,” said Khasim, a young asylum seeker who was trapped in Athens, Greece. A former dental student, Khasim left Afghanistan for Europe to find employment, but got stuck in Athens, where he sold sex to get by.
Two years ago, Greece closed its northern border into Europe, stranding more than 50,000 asylum seekers and refugees in Greece, including many young men like Khasim.
Lake Oconee Academy is equipped with golf courses, a piano room and more than a dozen Advanced Placement courses. And like many other charter schools across the country, Lake Oconee has implemented policies that critics say make it difficult for lower-income families to enroll.
“It’s like a black and white thing, who has money and who doesn’t have money,” said Kim Smith, a black mother who was unable to send her children to the school because it does not offer bus transportation.
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York is home to the nation’s longest-run prison nursery, which allows mothers who started their sentence pregnant to bond with their babies while behind bars.
“To be in prison with my baby every day for the past 10 months has been a beautiful gift,” said Lindsay Landon, one of the mothers in the program.
Olivia Roos is a member of the NBC News Digital staff.