By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
The world didn't end on December 21, but it sure felt like it had at other times in 2012, especially as Colorado was subjected to shootings, murder, madmen, wildfires and presidential advertisements. This past year also held plenty of signs of the apocalypse for some people as legalized pot, Democrats and civil unions all gained firm footings in this state while the chosen one, Tim Tebow, made a fast exit.
Others saw signs of the end times in more innocuous trends, including cyclists in the streets, homeless on the sidewalks and pathetic seasons put together by the Rockies and Buffs. And there were plenty of other indications that this state was on the edge, if not going over entirely. Here's our look back at 2012: Doom with a view. — Jonathan Shikes
Strange but True
Two mothers in Manitou Springs brought new meaning to the term "keeping it clean" when they sprayed Febreze (first thought to be Lysol) on teens who were dirty-dancing at a high school prom in April. The women, Jennifer Farmer — a former school-board member — and Hannah Rockey, were also accused of calling some of the girls "sluts" and "whores." Both were cited for harassment after a student filed a police report, but they avoided prosecution after they agreed to apologize and donate money to the school's prom fund.
The photo said it all: a gas can buckled into a child's car seat, and a child, clad only in a diaper, sitting unbuckled next to it. Priorities, right? The Colorado Department of Transportation caused quite a stir when it posted this photo — taken by law enforcement during a Click It or Ticket campaign in Aurora — on its Facebook page. The mom, who told news outlets that things weren't quite what they appeared to be, was ticketed.
In September, a Greeley woman told police that her neighbor had broken into her house and stolen "a large selection of sex toys" and bottles of personal lubricant. How did she finger the culprit? The man's wife had tried to return the items, which she'd found on his bed. He was arrested and charged with theft.
It turns out the guy spanking his monkey next to you on a Southwest flight from Baltimore to Denver International Airport last September was a former Roman Catholic priest. Surprised? We're not. Sixty-three-year-old Daniel Michael Drinan logged into the airline's wi-fi account, pulled up some Internet porn and started fingering his rosary, according to police reports. And it wasn't his original sin: Drinan was suspended a decade ago from the diocese and later defrocked because of an incident involving a child.
As a player on the Basalt High School girls' basketball team, Lauren Redfern was a baller. But the balling didn't stop when she got a job as a gym teacher at her alma mater a few years later. Twenty-five-year-old Redfern was arrested in February after she was caught having sex with a seventeen-year-old male student in the teacher's bathroom, and charged with sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. Since the student was nearly eighteen, those charges were later reduced — but Redfern was arrested again later in the year. This time, she was one of a group of campers in Utah who were shooting guns, boozing and harassing people.
When it reported on disgraced CIA director David Petraeus and his mistress, Paula Broadwell, a 7News editor aired a picture of the cover of Broadwell's biography of Petraeus, All In. However, the version he grabbed off the Internet had been doctored to read All Up In My Snatch. 7News called it "a regrettable and embarrassing error."
A northern Colorado woman took such a disliking to a family member that in February she submitted a fake obituary to the Greeley Tribune, which ran it. The victim of the hoax, 28-year-old Edgar Balderrama, told news outlets that friends and family were shocked at the news of his death, then relieved to find out that the report was very premature.
Halloween gets creepier by the year, as people heap on the gruesome decorations to frighten trick-or-treaters. So maybe it's not that strange that a U.S. Postal Service worker didn't realize that the body draped on the front steps of a Denver home in November was a dead body. The family of the deceased was reportedly very upset that the mailman didn't stop to help, but the carrier explained that he'd thought the body was part of a leftover Halloween display.
Carmen Tisch is not a fan of Clyfford Still — or at least it appeared that way when the 37-year-old woman was caught on tape scratching, kicking and peeing on a huge, $30 million painting at the new Denver museum dedicated to Still's work. Tisch eventually pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and was forced to undergo mental-health and alcohol treatment in addition to serving some jail time. She later told Fox31 that she was under the influence of bath salts at the time and doesn't remember the incident.