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Strange but True

A year of dysfunctional family values -- and missing panties.

• Dancing -- dancing? -- to the Dave Matthews Band during the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser at Red Rocks.

• Dancing -- dancing! -- to Wendy Woo at the Walnut Room.

Funky Gov

"It's real clear that this town and this state can handle just about anything," says Governor Bill Owens while he watches George Clinton gyrate on stage wearing nothing but a diaper during the NBA Players Association Ice Gala at the Colorado Convention Center.

Funny Gov

"You know, baldness is a sign of raging testo sterone," says the Independence Institute's Jon Caldara during an October TV debate on Referendum C. "But it cuts down on ever having to use it," replies Bill Owens, Caldara's debate opponent.

How About the Shit-Faced Midget?

In proposing a citywide contest to rename the Drunken Monkey, a controversial watering hole on Main Street in Fort Collins, resident Carey Hewitt suggests, "I think this would be a wonderful Christmas present to Fort Collins."

Booked

Doug Ramsburg of Northglenn wins a spot aboard one of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spaceships, which are slated to leave Earth in 2008. Ramsburg had entered the contest after seeing it advertised during the Super Bowl; he is randomly selected from 135,000 other applicants who want to blast off, too.

Mashed

Over the Fourth of July weekend, NASA's Boulder-built Deep Impact spacecraft blasts a crater in the side of Tempel 1, a black, oblong comet. The craft traveled 268 million miles to excavate primordial ice that could hold clues about the formation of the solar system; light from the blast is visible from Earth, and the rupture of energy is equivalent to the detonation of four and a half tons of dynamite.

Most Likely to Tell This Story With a Weird Sort of Pride for Years, or at Least Until They Turn Into Republicans

In May, Secret Service agents pay a visit to Mesa Ridge High School in Colorado Springs to investigate a student who's been labeled "Most Likely to Assassinate President Bush" in the school yearbook. The school's principal blames the yearbook staff for the prank, which made its way into all but 25 of 600 volumes. Teachers use black markers to cover up the offending caption, which the agents ultimately determine is not a serious threat to W.

Busted

In November, Walt Clark Middle School principal Kelly Boren surrenders to Loveland police after a fistfight with Gary Houglum, a cafeteria employee, in the school's kitchen. The fight reportedly started over a complaint about Houglum's driving.

Brawling

In July, Fountain city councilman Al Lender claims that Darrell Craighead, who is leading a recall campaign against him, doused his eyes with pepper spray. Craighead says he acted in self-defense after Lender swung a pitchfork at him and thrust it into his chest. Lender is treated by paramedics and, a week later, ousted by voters. His replacement is Darrell Craighead.

Always Be Prepared

"I'm taking a bag of legs." That's what Captain David Rozelle, who lost a leg in Iraq as a commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, says he's taking when he returns to the war zone. Rozelle is the author of Back in Action, which tells the story of his missing limb.

No Pain, No Sane

"Only if I moved wrong or felt the bones grinding was it really painful." That's how Charles Horton of Steamboat Springs describes his condition during the eight days he awaited rescue with a broken leg in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

Double Trouble

In August, Rob Wright of Trinidad loses two TVs in his basement apartment when lightning strikes nearby, sending a shock that singes both machines. Moments later, as Wright discusses the lightning strike with a friend over the phone, his house starts shaking and doesn't stop for thirty seconds -- thanks to a 4.9-magnitude earthquake that hit across the border in New Mexico.

O Mercy

In October, a Glenwood Springs woman's decision to break from her normally scheduled programming -- by skipping a day of The Oprah Winfrey Show to go visit her neighbor -- may have saved her life. A boulder half the size of a Volkswagen Beetle rolls down Red Mountain and smashes through the wall of her second-story apartment, crashing into the spot where she spends most afternoons sitting and watching TV, before finally coming to a halt in the front yard.

Gnome Sweet Gnome

In July, Greeley police find eighty yard gnomes stashed in black plastic trash bags. The stash is a mystery to both the cops and the Weld County Sheriff's Office, who set out to reunite the plaster elfin creatures with their owners. Both agencies say they'd received numerous calls from gnome lovers who'd had their statues stolen.

Take This Job and Shove It

In January, three teenagers working the night shift at Papa Murphy's in Parker are put into the deep freeze by masked, armed robbers, one of whom has a shotgun. While the gunmen grab the cash, one of the young pizza-slingers uses his cell phone to call the cops from the freezer. The three teens all quit the next day.

Sweet Meat

In November, Steve's Meat Market in Arvada donates 600 pounds of processed deer and elk burger to the Food Bank of Northern Arizona, which is taking donations to hurricane-ravaged Mississippi.

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