As we set into the first week of 2017, we take a look back at 2016; a year that has been filled with many lows, but great achievements as well in Trinidad & Tobago. In no particular order, here are the biggest stories of the year.
1. The murder of Japanese panist Asami Nagakiya at Carnival 2016
Long-time Japanese pianist Asami Nagakiya was found strangled to death in Queen’s Park Savannah on Ash Wednesday, sending shockwaves throughout the country and internationally. No arrest has been made in connection with her death.
2. Keshorn Walcott wins bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics
32 outstanding athletes represented Trinidad & Tobago in the 2016 Summer Olympics; covering 8 sporting categories. Keshorn Walcott went on to win a bronze medal in men’s javelin throw, securing the only medal during the games for the country.
Praises to the almighty!!🙏🏾🙏🏾 Dreamt of being in the Rio Olympic Games since I was 17 years old and here I stand living that dream. Few things could make this moment better and one of those are the presence of my brother/long time training partner from the beginning @elty_17 . Shared same goals and dreams and this was definitely on top the list but unfortunately I standalone. To each man their own!! Patience and faith is rewarded. Quick thank you to @teamtto giving me the honor of being the flag bearer. The count down is on !!🙏🏾💪🏽🏅
3. Thema Williams doesn’t advance to the 2016 Summer Olympics over Canadian-born Marisa Dick
Much controversy surrounded the advancement of Canadian-born gymnast Marisa Dick over Trinidadian-born Thema Williams, who faced numerous setbacks on her road to Rio. Williams was set to be first gymnast to represent the country in Olympic history. The hashtag #WeSupportThema became a show of force with Williams across the country.
4. 2016-2017 National Budget is presented
Finance Minister Colm Imbert presented the 2016-2017 budget that including the introduction of online sales tax, Tobago receiving a new international airport terminal and increases in taxes for both alcohol and tobacco.
5. Voice wins the International Soca Monarch 2016
Becoming the youngest artist to do so.
6. Zika Virus
The Ministry of Health declared a national public health emergency in January 2016 in Trinidad & Tobago, after the spread of the virus and associated threats. Over 200 cases of the virus were reported.
7. President Carmona wine controversy
Former President Anthony Carmona was involved in controversy surrounding misspending of funds in regards to wine and jewelry, as photos appeared on social media of wine with the Presidential seal on it. President Carmona responded by stating the price of champagne was simply to high, the decision to source comparable quality wines from a well respected vineyard in Italy led to the Office of the President reducing the alcohol budget by $600,000 in expenses by removing champagne ordered for official events.
8. PNM wins 2016 local election
The People’s National Movement wins majority with 7 corporations including Arima Borough Corporation, Diego Martin Regional Corporation, San Fernando City Corporation, Point Fortin Borough Corporation, Port of Spain City Corporation, Siparia Regional Corporation, San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation & Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation.
9. The death of Prime Minister Patrick Manning
Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning passed away from acute myeloid leukemia on July 2, 2016. As a geologist, Mr. Manning was recognized for his leadership in attracting economic growth in Trinidad & Tobago during the petrochemical boom. Mr. Manning lead as Prime Minister in 1991-1995 and 2001-2010.
10. Ian Alleyne’s Crime Watch is cancelled
CNC3 TV cancels Ian Alleyne’s ‘Crime Watch’ after remarks raised by Alleyne were considered ‘politically inflammatory‘. Soon after its cancellation, the show was brought back through Synergy TV.
11. Hundreds of nude photos leaked featuring minors
Hundreds of photos were circulated on line through Dropbox, social media and through pornography sites, with content even organized by name featuring dozens of minors. The leak raised questions regarding the protection of minors, child pornography, online privacy and cyberbullying laws that are in place in Trinidad & Tobago.
12. 462 murdered in 2016
From Shannon Banfield to Lisa Matagoolam, these are just some of the tragic and gruesome 462 murders that occurred in Trinidad & Tobago this year.
13. The alleged abduction of Heather Barriteau
Heather Barriteau was reported missing by her husband Devon Paul after leaving their home in La Brea on December 9th. It was reported that she claimed to be abducted by three men, though she was seen at a bar in San Fernando later that day. After numerous reports and shares of her abduction on social media, Barriteau explained, “I was not abducted, I went on my free will and had a time for the weekend and that is it”.
14. The kindness of Lillyann Williams
A touching story that went viral, where an exemplary 19-year old grocer packer Lillyann Williams went out of her way to assist a disabled customer with his grocery shopping and fed him as he waited for his bus home.