Greeley resident Pete Peterkin raised eyebrows on America's Got Talent with his Barack Obama impersonation and then wowed the crowd with his impression of Obama doing James Brown. Although he didn't win the contest, the publicity landed Peterkin numerous Obama gigs around the country, including a TV ad for the Tavern Hospitality Group's chain of Denver-area restaurants.

President Obama may wield the stick, but Jerry Helgeson of Windsor got the carrot in April after landing the role of the Easter Bunny for the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll. Helgeson is a Republican who didn't vote for Obama, but he put politics aside while wearing the bunny suit. Helgeson landed the job through his niece, who works in the White House Visitors' Office.

All he wanted to do was read Barack Obama's two books, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. But in July, al-Qaeda member Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was denied permission by officials at the supermax prison in Florence, where Abu Ali is serving thirty years, who said that the tomes contained material "potentially detrimental to national security."

PRINCIPAL PRINCIPLES

Montbello High School has had eight principals in nine years, and although none were as good at fly-fishing, hunting, archery and ATV-riding as Peter Mosby, it looks like the school will soon have a ninth principal. Mosby was one of fifteen people competing in Field & Stream's Total Outdoorsmen Challenge, but his leadership abilities were brought into question by teachers who said he's spent more time in the field than in the scholastic flow. In November, Denver Public Schools placed Mosby, known as "The Principal" on the Outdoor Channel, on paid administrative leave.

In September, Angevine Middle School principal Mike Medina warned Lafayette parents that the colored jelly bracelets their kids were wearing might carry secret sexual meanings. "Reports indicate that the colors of the bracelets signify different inappropriate actions that students will do or have done," Medina wrote in an e-mail obtained by the Daily Camera. "Due to the nature of the inappropriateness associated with these bracelets, we are asking students not to wear them."

Cherry Creek Schools suspended seventeen-year-old Cherokee Trail High School senior Marie Morrow in February because students reported seeing guns inside her car. Turns out the "guns" were wooden drill props used by the Douglas County Young Marines, a youth leadership organization to which Morrow belonged. The school, which planned to expel Morrow, said it made no distinction between fake guns and real ones. Common sense was eventually restored, however, and Morrow was allowed to return.

In November, Hinkley High School informed every single parent that their children were failing one or more classes. Unfortunately, the automated phone messages were only supposed to go out to parents of students who actually were failing — not the entire student body. The Aurora school sent out a second message the next day correcting the problem, but it was too late for those kids who'd already gotten yelled at by their parents.

Fairview High School in Boulder was evacuated in April after a teacher called police and reported seeing two people burying a box near the school's entrance. It turned out that the box was being used by geocachers, who play games with handheld GPS devices.

POLITICS AS UNUSUAL

Before he was smoked out of the governor's race, Republican state senator Josh Penry was burnt by a burglar who stole a barbecue grill from outside his Denver condo. The grill was easily identifiable, since it had a "Penry for Governor" sticker on it. "Atn BBQ thieves/law breakers: as Governor, I will be tough on crime," Penry later Tweeted.

In August, always quote-worthy U.S. Representative Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat (of course), was cajoled into beer-bonging a can of Coors Light on national TV by comedian Stephen Colbert.

In February, when Republican state senator Scott Renfroe of Greeley changed his vote on a transportation bill he had earlier supported, an unnamed colleague complained to Senate president Peter Groff and suggested that Renfroe was getting e-mail instructions on how to vote from state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams. Senate rules forbid wireless devices like laptops and mobile phones from being used during final votes, but lawmakers on the both sides of the aisle violate this policy on a regular basis, according to a story in the Rocky Mountain News. Groff and Wadhams said the allegations against Renfroe were unfounded. Renfroe called the incident "insulting."

...and Renfroe certainly knows the meaning of insulting. While criticizing legislation that would extend health-care benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian state workers, he said: "We are taking sins and making them to be legally okay, and that is wrong. That is an abomination, according to Scripture. I'm not saying this is the only sin that's out there. We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery. And we don't make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal. All sin is equal. That sin there is equal to any other sin that's in the Bible." Paging Dick Wadhams: Please send this guy an e-mail telling him to shut up.

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