Winter 2014: Russia began the 2014 Winter Games with an opening ceremony of music, floats and an elaborate light show. These were the most expensive games in Olympic history, costing $50 billion. Russia led all nations with 33 medals, the U.S. followed with 28 and Norway finished in third with 26.
Spring 2014: Malaysian Flight MH370, en route to Beijing, China, lost contact and disappeared between Malaysia and Vietnam March 8. The flight was carrying 239 passengers. Two of the passengers were found to have used stolen passports and had booked their tickets at the same time. After days of searching and investigating, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that satellite data confirmed that the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean, a location far off course. The plane still has not been found.
Summer 2014: West African countries were hit with an Ebola epidemic and this raised the infected total to 1,323. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 warning, the worst level for traveling. U.S. officials released an advisory to avoid unnecessary travels to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Thomas Eric Duncan was the first American Ebola patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., Sept. 20, returning from Liberia to Dallas Airport. Duncan was placed in isolation Sept. 28 and died 10 days later. There have been nine U.S. cases since Duncan and one other patient has died.
Fall 2014: Same-sex marriage became legal in N.C. Oct. 10 when US District Judge Max Cogburn of Asheville, N.C. overturned the state’s laws restricting marriage to a male and a female. Governor Pat McCrory said that the state would cooperate and will continue to do so, unless otherwise notified by the courts. David Granberry, Mecklenburg Register of Deeds, said that he would have marriage licenses available to gay couples by that Monday, but in Raleigh, the county’s Register of Deeds registered her first marriage license at 5:44 p.m. Asheville and Greensboro’s county Register of deeds offices stayed open late to handle the growing number of same-sex couples.
Winter 2014-2015: Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18 year old, was fatally shot in Ferguson, M.O. by Officer Darren Wilson in August, 2014. In November, the Grand Jury of Missouri decided not to indict Wilson. The court’s decision caused many riots and protests, both peaceful and violent. Details of the shooting were under dispute, as some witnesses said that Brown had his hands placed on his head when Officer Wilson shot him multiple times, while others, including Wilson, disagreed. The FBI began a civil rights investigation on the shooting, and protests still continue.
-By Leah Kallam & Skyler Waugh