By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
A badly burned cat that was rescued after the Fourmile Canyon fire in September turned out to belong to a woman who lives in south Denver, nearly fifty miles from Boulder County. No one knows how the black cat, nicknamed Sizzle by rescuers, got from one place to the other. Owner Lori Church recognized Sizzle — whose real name is Morgan — from pictures posted in news accounts; the four-year-old cat had disappeared a month earlier.
A peacock at the Denver Zoo attacked a three-year-old boy on a school field trip in June, sending him to the hospital for six stitches on his nose and four in his forehead. The peacock was detained, the motive for the attack unknown. But perhaps it was jealous of the bronze peacock statue, titled "Eternal Good Fortune," that had been installed at the zoo two months earlier.
A massive bee swarm descended on the 16th Street Mall in May, prompting a police response. Eventually, do-good beekeeper Seneca Kristjonsdottir arrived by bicycle, towing a trailer. She gathered up all the bees and created a new hive with them.
Loveland beekeeper John Frost, 68, was hurt in November when he got caught in a booby trap he'd made to protect his hives from a bear. At first Frost told police that his shotgun went off accidentally, but after they investigated his property, he admitted that he had set up a tripwire attached to the shotgun so that if the bear returned, the gun would fire.
A cat named Moses that was stranded on top of a thirty-foot power pole in Centennial for three days in May was rescued by Xcel Energy employees after neighbors gave up their attempts. Xcel had at first refused to turn off the power, telling the Denver Post, "We do not go out and get cats off poles, because we put our workers at risk." The company later relented.
In January, a Denver police dog named Duke jumped from a parked patrol car after it spotted a deer and gave chase. The K-9 officer followed, but lost the dog. The two were eventually reunited when a citizen spotted the German shepherd. No arrests were made.
In August, two people dumped a sick bat in the drop box at a rescue shelter in El Paso County with a note that read: "Bat hurt please help." Turns out the bat had rabies, and health officials conducted a search for the bat's donors in case they were infected; after a two-week hunt, they were finally found and tested.
During the twenty years he's lived in Aspen, Dan Sheridan has seen a lot of changes — changes for the worse. Last New Year's Day, the 44-year-old musician performed his 2003 song about these changes, "Big Money," at Sneaky's, a bar owned by the Aspen Skiing Company — and was promptly fired. After patrons protested, the company said it had made a mistake and offered to bring him back. Here's a sample of the lyrics:
Well it happened in Aspen
And down in Santa Fe
It happens everywhere when the locals move away
They can't afford to live here, they can't afford the rent
Unless they win the lottery or live in a tent
I think big money sucks
Please write that down
Please take a look what it did to this town
Trophy houses, trophy wives, trophy people leading trophy lives
Down in the graves you can hear the miners say
Big money ruins everything.
Khory Nathan Gagner wanted nachos, and nothing was going to stop him. In December, the 21-year-old Gagner reportedly broke into the Fine Line Bar & Grill near Aspen, stole some cash, smashed surveillance cameras and started a fire while trying to make himself nachos. He was caught that afternoon when he couldn't outrun his pursuers because his pants were sagging almost down to his knees. Bar owner Ben Levy told the Aspen Times that the burglar "had bacon in the oven and punched through the plastic that covered our pizza toppings. He had a to-go box with cheese in it. I'm not sure if he was on round two, but he got down four bags of chips, so he must have been hungry." After cleaning and reopening his place, Levy began offering half-price nachos — which he's considering making a house specialty.
Really High Country
Fountain city councilman Harold Thompson got into a scuffle with a citizen named Al Lender at a city council meeting in June, according to police reports. The city was discussing its medical marijuana ordinance and had just decided that some land Lender owned wasn't zoned for pot; during the break, Lender began swearing at the council reps and calling them names. Finally, Thompson had had enough and punched Lender in the head. Prosecutors decided not to press charges against him.
In November, Denver police notified parents at Regis Jesuit and Cherry Creek high schools that someone may have been trying to solicit money from students to start a medical marijuana dispensary. The police called the effort a "Ponzi scheme" but wouldn't say why, according to the Denver Post. Two students, ages sixteen and seventeen, were said to be involved, possibly as victims.