365 days and each one is worth remembering, but there were those that brought stories that will be etched in our minds for years to come. Unfortunately, the news was dominated by stories of crime and the pandemic, but other interesting items made the list as well.
Despite crime initiatives such as States of Emergencies (SOE), Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) and curfews, 2020 recorded disturbing crimes; crimes against women, the elderly, and children were especially disturbing.
In January, the charred remains of 22-year-old JDF graduate, Lexton Clayton, her two-year-old son, Tyler and Kimani Taylor, the child’s father were found in bushes in St Thomas.
It is alleged that Taylor killed the mother and child and then killed himself. Residents in the community reportedly saw Taylor acting strange but did not intervene. It is even reported that he offered to pay members of the community to take the child, but they refused.
Grandmother and granddaughters murdered in St Catherine
In November, 81-year-old Iciline McFarlane, her granddaughters 10-year-old Christina McFarlane and 6-year-old Mishane McFarlane were gunned down in Tryall Heights, St Catherine.
Portland businessman charged for the murder of his wife
There have been breakthroughs in some cases. Portland businessman Everton McDonald and his two co-accused were taken into custody and were charged in the murder of his wife Tonia McDonald.
Manchester Parish Council Fraud case
Guilty verdicts were handed down in the Manchester Parish Council Multimillion-Dollar Fraud case.
The Health care system also made the spotlight for positive and negative news. While the frontline workers were being lauded for their response to the presence of COVID 19, it was unfortunate that fear and uncertainty caused reactions that led to sadness and distress.
Jodian Fearon was a name in several headlines this year. Fearon died at the University Hospital of the West Indies after delivering her baby girl at the Spanish Town Hospital. She had to be transferred to the UWHI after developing complications that Spanish Town Hospital was unable to handle. Reports are that she was found on the floor of the facility after she had been unattended for a while. It is said that her demise was brought on because she had been experiencing what were perceived as COVID 19 symptoms.
The number of missing persons of all ages, and gender was a highlight of 2020. Social and mainstream media were replete with calls to assist in finding missing persons. Perhaps the case that stood out most was that of Jasmine Dean.
First-year student of The University of The West Indies Jasmine Dean disappeared on February 27, 2020. Individuals and institutions alike have been trying to assist with the search for the visually impaired student but to no avail.
Two men were arrested and charged in relation to the case but there is still no sign of Dean. Nine months later but her father says he has no intention of giving up hope or the search for his daughter.
Road fatalities was a major concern for authorities and the source of grief for many families. In the first 49 days of the year, 66 people died as a result of road accidents and by the end of the year there were more than 400 fatalities.
Then, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stepped out in his new Clarks to announce the general elections.
A COVID election. With rallies a definite no and motorcades with limited vehicles, it was the clash of the dubs.
September 3, saw a landslide victory for the Jamaica Labour Party with 49 seats to the People’s National Party 14 seats.
A Golding Opportunity
This lead to the resignation of party president Peter Phillips who was replaced by Mark Golding after an internal battle with Lisa Hanna.
Fire, Flood and Fury
Lives and livelihoods were affected by a number of fires and incidents of flooding.
The nation shuddered at images of the raging fire at Heaven’s gas station in Mandeville in which several persons were injured. This was just a few weeks after another gas fire at the Villa Road Primary caused the death of Nimoy Cross.
Several residents across the island lost their homes and other valuables to fires as well.
Flooding as a result of heavy rains caused extensive damage across the island. Losses in the agriculture sector amounted to more than $1billion while road repairs were estimated to cost $2 billion.