Child's Play

An Aurora first-grader was suspended for three days in May and accused of sexual harassment after he quoted a lyric from an LMFAO song to a girl who was standing in the lunch line with him. The six-year-old and the lyric — "I'm sexy and I know it" — disrupted the learning environment, according to Aurora Public Schools.

A Colorado Springs second-grader was yanked out of class in May for wearing blackface for a project on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The students had been asked to dress as a historical figure.

It takes a village to raise a child, but it only takes one meddling homeowners' association to tear that child down. In June, a private, Stapleton-area HOA banned sidewalk chalk after someone complained that a three-year-old girl was drawing flowers on the sidewalk in a shared area between houses. The story generated so much national attention that the Stapleton Master Community Association, which governs the majority of the neighborhood, distanced itself from the HOA.

Say What?

"Don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish yet," said Governor John Hickenlooper on the day that Amendment 64 passed, paving the way for recreational use of marijuana in Colorado. The quote made headlines around the world.

"Now I get to introduce that rising sex star...symbol. I mean, symbol — not star," Governor John Hickenlooper said in introducing Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia to a bunch of kids, while the Denver Post caught the action. "This might go down as one of my most difficult press conferences in the history of the office," Hickenlooper added.

"I Have Riff-Raff In My Hoo-Hoo," proclaimed an advertisement placed on the side of an RTD bus in February. The ad, paid for by the Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy, was targeted at 18- to 29-year-olds and designed to educate them about sexually transmitted diseases. "It's slang that is very — it resonates with the target group," an organization spokeswoman told 7News.

"I am not a 25-year-old anymore. I wanted to do something with a more strategic focus," said Wil Alston, who was Mayor Michael Hancock's communications manager before transferring to a lower-paying job in the city's finance department in January.

"No one should miss out on good snow just because they live in Colorado," a spokesman for Big Sky Resort in Montana told 7News for a story on Colorado's terrible snow year. Big Sky and other resorts in surrounding states tried to lure skiers away from Colorado all last season with special deals and promotions.

"In his heart, he's not an American," said Colorado congressman Mike Coffman, a Republican, of President Barack Obama during a May fundraiser in Elbert County, one that was recorded. "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American." Coffman later apologized.

Animal Planet

For a few weeks in April, the U.S. Forest Service publicly debated how to remove six cows that had frozen to death after getting trapped in an abandoned cabin near Aspen. Officials considered airlifting them out of the high-altitude area near Conundrum Hot Springs or hauling them away by truck, but at one point were leaning toward blowing them up. They ultimately nixed that idea because of high fire danger in the area, and eventually dispatched a crew of six to the cabin, where they sawed the cows into pieces.

Is that a dog in your pants, or are you just happy to see me? Actually, it's a dog. In September, Johna Turner was charged with animal cruelty after stuffing a tiny Chihuahua puppy down her pants during a domestic dispute, according to Longmont police.

In March, an officer ticketed Aspen resident Marion Lansburgh for not picking up her goldendoodle's poop — yes, it's Aspen. But in court — and, yes, it went to court — a judge ruled that the city's codes were ambiguous on the issue of poop pickup and said he had no choice but to find Lansburgh not guilty.

One of the most unfortunate — and most covered — animal incidents this year occurred in early February, when an Argentine mastiff who had been rescued the day before from a frozen lake bit popular 9News anchor Kyle Dyer during a live broadcast. Max the dog had fallen into the lake in Lakewood while chasing a coyote; he was saved by firefighter Tyler Sugaski, and the dramatic events were shown live on TV. The next day, also on live TV, Dyer was interviewing Max's owner and Sugaski when she put her face very close to the dog's. Max bit her, causing severe damage to her lip. Dyer had two plastic surgeries that kept her off the air for seven weeks; Max was held in quarantine for ten days and his owner was cited for the bite, for not having his dog on a leash, and other infractions.

A nineteen-year-old PetSmart employee was arrested in May for stealing two hamsters and at least three other small animals from his Westminster store and injuring or killing them. The man, who was charged with several felonies, told police he'd pinched one hamster for biting him and swung another around by its leg. He threw others against the wall or hit them repeatedly with his hands until they died.

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