Strange but True

Rampaging bears! Rampaging Buffs! Criminals in the buff! It happened here... unfortunately.

Her horse Thunder, the former Broncos mascot. Witnesses to the bridal gallop included Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Lee Greenwood, who later serenaded the couple with a rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A."

What an Entrance

A Baptist pastor was charged with carrying a loaded handgun into the downtown Denver federal courthouse when he reported for jury duty in July.

Ethan Wenberg
Ethan Wenberg

$4,000

The top bid on a couch placed on auction by Steve Farland, owner of the Chairman, a furniture store on South Broadway. Farland suggested to customers and the media that the sofa and a chair, which he bought from the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, could have come from room 35, where Kobe Bryant stayed on the night he is accused of raping an Eagle woman in late June 2003. (Cordillera management maintains that all furniture in the room was disposed of.) Farland refused the $4,000 bid; he believes the piece, which he's putting on eBay, is worth $10,000.

$1.05 Million

Amount paid in May by Tim and Carol Milner for the Boulder home where JonBenét Ramsey was killed in 1996. Carol Milner is the daughter of televangelist Robert Schuller, host of the Hour of Power show.

Signs of Trouble

No wonder Ken Salazar defeated Pete Coors in November's Senate race: The beer baron's company was stumping for the other guy. During a September fundraiser at the Fillmore Auditorium, the marquee outside read "Coors Light Welcomes...Ken Salazar." Coors is a title sponsor of the Colfax venue but didn't get to profit off the politicos, since the brewery's products were yanked for the evening.

Don't Get Carried Away

"Not since the Super Wal-Mart opened," said Molly Johnson, when asked if her home town of La Junta had ever been as excited as it was during an August campaign stop by John Kerry and John Edwards.

Say What?

"Give us your rich, your upper middle class, your trust-fund babies yearning to spend their parents' money on knockoff tribal jewelry sold by Indians on the side of the interstate. We've got skiing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, canoeing, cycling, hunting, running, jogging, speed walking and normal walking. Colorado has it all!" -- Dickie Pilager, fictional candidate for president in John Sayles's Silver City, filmed in Colorado.

"My suggestion is to simply hang one at each end of town. In my community, that is the voice of moderation." -- outgoing Republican state senator Ken Chlouber discussing agents of the Environmental Protection Agency in Gillian Klucas's Leadville: The Struggle to Revive an American Town.

Jay Leno, on The Tonight Show: "It's been reported that Denver is the drunkest city in the United States."

Fred Willard as a Denver booster, slurring: "That's true, Jay. The numbers, just like the people of Denver, are staggering."

"Though you may sporadically witness people running on Colfax Avenue, they almost certainly aren't joggers. They're either fleeing from the police or running for their lives. In Denver, they're most likely doing both. If marathon participants are in need of a quick pick-me-up, they can stop at one of the many abnormally busy pay phones along Colfax -- where, when a certain number is called, a gentleman magically appears with a bag of amphetamines, or any narcotic they may desire." -- Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi, writing in November on the proposed Colfax Avenue Marathon.

Yeah, But It's Progressive Urban Disorder

"There is no reason in the world for a city like Denver to have this degree of urban disorder." -- Councilwoman Carol Boigon, discussing Colfax.

"Colfax welcomes and embraces neighborhood diversity that encompasses a wide variety of ages, economic circumstances, ethnic groups and family types. Colfax exemplifies the best of what a city can offer: a vibrant, hip and progressive urban avenue." -- from Denver's East Colfax Vision Statement, a city blueprint for the Colfax redevelopment project.

Get Off My Land

A 62-year-old farmer/landowner petitioned Jefferson County commissioners to change the zoning of eighteen acres from residential to agricultural. The man and his wife hoped to use the land to raise cattle and store his collection of John Deere tractors. The commissioners, calling the case "refreshing" in a county with explosive development, unanimously approved his request.

Something Bruin

Mournful citizens of the small mountain community of Redstone held a memorial service for Kylie, a black bear with an injured paw who was trapped and killed by the Division of Wildlife in September. Kylie, who had a history of breaking into homes, was eulogized in prayer and song by assorted townspeople, including an Anglican priest.

A large black bear spent the day with residents of a trailer park in Clifton.

In September, a 500-pound bear known to citizens of Aspen as "Fat Albert" broke into the home of a 56-year-old paralyzed man, who listened from his bed for two hours as the bear raided his kitchen. The man later remarked that the bear had been fairly tidy, only going after food. Earlier in the month, a bear had broken into the man's house through a sliding glass door and taken a nap in his kitchen.

All Creatures

In March, Omni Research and Training donated three bulletproof vests to dogs in the Denver Police Department's Canine Unit, which the canines could wear on patrol.

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