The Biggest Stories Of 2014

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  1. Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson received 18-month bans, were eventually given a reprieve
  2. JPS proposed plan to give cheaper utilities to residents of low-income communities
  3. Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell disbanded the Energy Monitoring Committee ahead of controversial Energy World International deal
  4. Just how controversial was this deal? Minister Paulwell tried to get the Office of the Contractor General to backtrack on calling his acceptance of EWI’s “unfair and irregular and a clear breach of the law.” The deal was eventually yanked
  5. The finance minister was stripped of the responsibility of appointing the governor of the Bank of Jamaica
  6. Gunmen opened fire on west Kingston MP Desmond McKenzie’s security detail in his constituency
  7. The Financial Investigations Division was prevented from going after nearly $1 billion in assets of three Jamaicans jailed abroad
  8. Jamaica’s team to the Carifta Games created history by landing our best ever haul at the event, with 88 medals
  9. The historic Alpha Boys Home was closed in June, amidst concerns from the Sisters of Mercy, the Child Development Agency and Youth Minister Lisa Hanna
  10. Remember that pesky withdrawal tax? It was eventually… withdrawn… but other measures to bolster the budget were promised
  11. Break out the confetti! Jamaica cleared its first-year IMF hurdle
  12. Children, rejoice! GSAT will be history by 2017 (but it will be replaced by a new exit exam)
  13. Norman Manley International Airport personnel were found to have ignored basic landing safeguards on December 23, 2009, when an American Airlines Flight 331 overshot the runway
  14. JPS threatened that the good would have to suffer for the bad with anti-theft blackouts
  15. Jamaica was warned in May about the chikungunya outbreak that virtually crippled a significant number of citizens later in the year
  16. National Security Minister Peter Bunting called for his fellow politicians to “acknowledge our contribution” to Jamaica’s crime problem
  17. Former top cop James Forbes was slapped with a fine just under $1 million for his part in the Bruce Bicknell case and paid within two hours
  18. A voice from the Church signalled that weed could be one of the solutions to Jamaica’s economic woes
  19. Did you notice a reduction in cell phone prices as of July?
  20. Professor Brendan Bain booted as director of UWI’s Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network, sparking protests
  21. Want a gun licence? Be prepared to pay
  22. How stark is poverty in Jamaica? One money transfer away, for some families
  23. Let’s make movies! Film lot opened in St Thomas, reeled in funding
  24. As the gay debate continued, former Prime Minister PJ Patterson called for tolerance
  25. Got a TRN? You’re eligible for jury duty
  26. Prisoners schooled in areas such as personal development, family life education, decision-making skills, anger management, entrepreneurship, and drug awareness
  27. The long-running ALT fraud case finally ground to a halt
  28. Government prepared to write off approximately $230 billion in old, uncollectible tax arrears
  29. Traffic fines raised; in some cases, up to 300 per cent
  30. Another year, another report about Jamaica’s schools failing
  31. The Jamaican dollar has to depreciate more in order to remain competitive
  32. The Jamaica Teachers’ Association and the Ministry of Education were engaged in a tiff regarding the master book list
  33. Ganja gets the green light (in a limited way)
  34. The government took steps to better engage Jamaicans living in the diaspora
  35. Jamaicans for Justice came under intense fire for its sex-ed curriculum for childrens homes, which appeared to be “hijacked” by gay-rights promoters
  36. Amidst the ensuing controversy, JFJ head Dr Carolyn Gomes resigns
  37. After four years and more than 2,000 cases, INDECOM has still not recorded a single conviction
  38. Shanique Myrie finally got her payout
  39. US slapped CARICOM on the wrist for not consulting them before moving to make changes to ganja laws
  40. IMF chief Christine Lagarde visited our shores, was impressed