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January: Timeline

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Saved: The man whose life was saved by Bermuda-based broker Wesly Guiteau after six hours under rubble following the Haiti earthquake.

January 2: Fireworks lit up the sky over Hamilton Harbour as New Year's revellers on Front Street said goodbye to 2009 and Bermuda's 400th Anniversary celebrations.Earl Ingemann, 21-year-old heart transplant survivor, was placed in the Intensive Care Unit of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital following a road crash in St George's.Joanna Pauline Hollis became the the first Bermudian female Anglican priest.January 07: Bermuda recorded its first death as a result of the H1N1 virus.January 9: Deputy Premier Paula Cox called Bermuda's rising murder rate a “blemish” on the Island as an international financial centre.Janaury 11: Passengers were stranded in Amsterdam for two nights after their BA flight from Bermuda was diverted due to severe weather in the UKJanuary 12: Coroner Juan Wolffe ruled the death of mentally ill Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute patient Shandal Richardson as suicide but made several recommendations regarding practices at the health facility where the father-of-three died on March 5, 2008.January 14: Haitians in Bermuda spoke of their anguish following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the Caribbean island on January 12.The Ministry of Education announced it was considering extreme measures to improve student performance including the closure of five primary schools and the building of a new senior school.January 15: Premier Dr Ewart Brown's favourability slumped to 24 percent in a Research.bm poll lower than his previous worst score of 27 percent at the height of the Uighurs affair last June. Fifty-two percent of people had an unfavourable opinion of the Premier. And 61 percent of voters said they wanted him to stand down at the end of his four-year term as leader of the Progressive Labour Party.January 19: The former Waterloo House hotel was sold for an undisclosed sum. Investment company Berco Ltd owned by the Green family who has homes on Marshall's Island in the Great Sound announced plans to develop the property into office and residential space.January 20: Changes to Progresslve Labour Party rules enabled PLP members who meet certain criteria such as a background in public service to put themselves forward as a potential candidate in whichever branch they choose. Branch members would then get the final say on who represents them at the polls. The move was intended to encourage new talent into the political arena and ensure underperforming MPs ca nnot easily cling onto their safe seats. It was also designed to prevent party leaders from picking their favourites to run in constituencies they are certain to win, following accusations of interference by Premier Ewart Brown before the last election.January 21: A Washington DC office opened by the Bermuda Government four months ago to “immeasurably strengthen the links” between the Island and the US was still without staff.Dissatisfied public school principals walked out of a meeting with Education Commissioner Wendy McDonell over proposed primary school closures.January 22: The Police laid out a formal Gang and Violence Reduction Strategy. The strategy was part of the service's first ever policing plan, which set out its targets and aims for the year.Bermuda-based broker, Haitian Wesly Guiteau found his missing brother and rescued a man buried under debris after travelling to Haiti.January 23: Government announced it will pay consultants $800,000 to draft a review of the corporations of Hamilton and St George and implement any changes. Minister Walter Roban was tasked with overseeing the reforms. He announced that local firm Attride-Stirling & Woloniecki Barristers & Attorneys and the international firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge were hired as consultants to prepare a detailed review of all aspects of the municipalities.January 25: The mayors of Hamilton and St George claimed that Government's $800,000 reform of Bermuda's two municipalities was actually part of a plan to eliminate them.January 28: Two-thirds of visitors polled during the summer months said they would not go to a casino if one was available on the Island. And 60 percent said a casino would make the Island less appealing.A plan to impose fines of up to $10,000 on the “irresponsible or negligent” parents of children who commit crimes was denounced as “utter nonsense” by family campaigner Sheelagh Cooper. The new parental responsibility law was proposed by Attorney General Kim Wilson as the best way to tackle escalating gang violence and anti-social behaviour.January 29: Crime fell 3.9 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year, but violent crime rose 6.2 percent. Firearm offences increased 82 percent in the same period, with 42 confirmed incidents taking place across the Island the statistics were presented by the Bermuda Police Service in its report on crime in the fourth quarter.January 30: Opposition politicians reacted with surprise to Finance Minister Paula Cox's statement that she was a mere “cog in the wheel” and unable to overrule Ministries' requests for more money.

Photo by Mark Tatem ¬ Happy New Year: Friends Suzanne Neely, Miranda Conway, and Mary McAndrew donned flashing eye glasses as they rung in the new year on Front Street