Colorado rang in 2014 with a bit of a mellow buzz -- a certain relaxed attitude -- and it was a feeling that lasted throughout the year. Sure, that mellow was harshed by continuing problems with police and sheriff's deputies, as well as a very contested (and expensive) election season. But we also got a few needed civics lessons in the form of same-sex marriage and student protests. In the end, though, our minds remained tuned to the biggest story of the year: legalized marijuana. What will 2015 bring? Who knows? Anything can happen when you're a mile high. For proof, here are our strangest Colorado stories of 2014, compiled from news sources across Colorado -- including Westword. Or, you can check out all our Year in Review 2014: Strange But True.
Every day is 'Merica Day for some people, but when the student council at Fort Collins High School tried to add 'Merica Day to its lineup of Spirit Week festivities in February, school officials rejected it, saying that the slang word is usually used to make fun of overly patriotic dimbulbs. Well, they didn't say it exactly like that, but close enough. Anyway, some of the dimbulbs themselves, including Fox News, objected to the school's decision not to make fun of them, so the principal relented and decided to allow the students to change it to American Day. God bless.
The Caprock Academy charter school in Grand Junction sent a nine-year-old girl home in March because she had shaved her head in support of an eleven-year-old friend who was facing chemotherapy treatments to fight cancer. The reason for the school's actions? Kamryn Renfro was violating its dress code. "Caprock Academy does have a detailed dress code policy, which was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students. Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted," Caprock board chairwoman Catherine Norton Breman told KUSA-TV. The school reversed its position after a public outcry.
A 24-year-old teacher at STRIVE Preparatory Schools SMART Academy in Denver was charged with assault in October and fired from his job after police said he'd caused an explosion during a classroom demonstration that injured four students, one of them critically. Officials said the teacher should have known better than to pour methanol on a fire. Have a tip? Send it to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.