Sad But True

And God said Ha! (Can you blame Him?)

Barnabe Chairezuena was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, driving without a valid license, driving under suspension and driving without a seatbelt after running into the Dodge Durango belonging to police chief Tom Sanchez.

Foot Patrol
An unidentified Denver policeman was following a stolen Corvette in April when the suspect jumped out of the car and fled; the cop stopped his patrol car and ran after him, but the suspect circled around to the officer's car, got inside and sped away.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies in July shot a knife-wielding man at Clement Park. Before he was killed by deputies, the man had been stabbing himself.

Patrick Merewether

Workers' Compensation
In October, Lakewood Half Price Store employee Debbie Archer won a settlement against the store. Archer, who was in charge of making the store displays "visually appealing" to customers, had discovered semen on a female mannequin stashed in her office; she later found that some employee or employees had been "mutilating the bodies and carving out orifices, including a vagina, to have better sex with the mannequin...and sticking pins in the nipples." Three mannequins in all were violated; when Archer complained, store managers told her to clean the mannequins by driving them through a car wash in her convertible.

Forward Thinking
After years of arguing over whether men should be allowed to join Boulder's Take Back the Night anti-violence-against-women rally, organizers finally allowed them to participate in April's event. "I think the setup we have now acknowledges both the desires of men and women," said Alexis Ross of the Feminist Student Network.

Wild Kingdom
This spring, the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation employed a herd of a hundred weed-eating goats to maintain city greenways. In May, four goats grazing along Cherry Creek were attacked and killed by pet dogs.

In July, Castle Rock rancher Cameron Fitch, who owns land along a road leading into Pike National Forest, found two of his horses so seriously injured that they had to be euthanized (one had a broken neck, the other a broken leg); three days later he found a third horse dead from a bullet wound in its back. The animal killings appeared to be connected to a controversy over four-wheeler and motorcycle access to the forest.

One lightning strike killed a herd of 56 elk near the top of Mount Evans in September.

In August, 6,500 turkey chicks met an untimely death in a fire at a Fort Lupton brooding house.

Despite the deaths of 10 of the 41 Canadian lynx released in Colorado this year, biologists declared the reintroduction program a success and called for 50 more cats to be released next year.

The Great Outdoors
U.S. representative Bob Schaffer was camping in the Roosevelt National Forest this summer when he encountered a seven-foot-tall moose that chased him around a tree, into a clearing and back into the woods. There the moose momentarily lost sight of Schaffer, allowing him to escape.

By November, a bear had broken into more than thirty trailers near Fairplay, tearing off doors, turning over refrigerators and ripping cupboards from walls. State Division of Wildlife district manager Mark Lamb said the animal was "hooked on powdered coffee creamer."

Get a Job
During Congress's Christmas break, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell enrolled in the United States Truck Driving School.

In June, the Post reported that several Denver Broncos had become distributors in a multilevel marketing business venture, selling products made by Nikken, a Japanese company. The items included "pads, crisscrossed with magnets, to be worn on the body or slept on, which allegedly manipulate the body's energy, easing body pains. Clothing items such as sweat socks incorporate a ceramic fiber that Nikken says reflects far-infrared light rays into the body, also producing a general sense of well-being."

Great Moments in Journalism
The Post's April 22 headline, two days after the Columbine massacre: "Healing Begins."

Number of stories in which both the words "healing" and "Columbine" have appeared in the Post or the News during the last year: 549.

In September, after a gunman stormed into a church in Fort Worth and murdered seven people inside, the Post ran a story noting the striking fact that a Cassie (Bernall) had been murdered at Columbine and a Cassie (Griffin) had been murdered in Fort Worth. Amazingly, both Cassies had brothers named Chris.

Also in September, during Try Transportation Week, Post transportation reporter Ricky Young, who apparently hadn't ridden a bus since one ill-fated attempt in high school, actually rode the bus to work -- and survived to write a first-person account of it.

In January, News gossip columnist Norm Clarke squealed that he'd spotted a friend of fifteen-year-old Monica Owens taking a swig from a glass of wine at Bill Owens's gubernatorial inauguration. Clarke subsequently reported that the Adam's Mark Hotel "had its wrist slapped by police for not doing a better job of supervising underage guests." But when KRRF-AM (the now-deceased "Ralph") talk-show host Tom Jensen suggested that someone should be held accountable, police spokesman John Wyckoff blamed Clarke: "I find it odd that Norm Clarke, you know, if he's so concerned to write an article about it, he should have said something to somebody then. Because he obviously knew something was wrong."

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