Reports about flooding, wildfires and marijuana in Colorado were among the top viewed stories on CBSDenver.com this year, but you might be surprised to learn that the following specific stories were also big talkers and drew big numbers.
1. Popular Standard Shotgun Could Be Banned Under Proposed Bill Gun control was a big issue in Colorado in 2013. A story about a shotgun possibly being banned by one of the state gun control bills that was being considered in March was the most viewed story on CBSDenver.com this year. The bill containing the clause about high capacity magazines was amended and the weapons still remain legal in Colorado.
2. Secession Plan Floated By Some Northern Colorado Leaders & Effort To Create New State Called ‘North Colorado’ Grows In 2013 a campaign emerged inside some rural parts of Colorado to secede from the state and form a new 51st state. Eleven counties wound up holding a largely symbolic vote in November, with six counties voting against the idea. Any plans for a new state would have to be approved first by Colorado lawmakers and then Congress.
3. Super Bowl Or Bust: If NFL-Leading Broncos Don’t Win It All, Will Season Be ‘Utter Failure?’ The Broncos have been the talk of the town in Denver this year, and a report about whether it will be a disappointment if the Broncos make the Super Bowl was viewed by hundreds of thousands of NFL fans. Everyone, it seemed, has an expectation for the Broncos this year, and for most Denver fans, if there’s no Super Bowl appearance there will be major disappointment.
4. Street Party Morphs Into Chaotic Scene In Fort Collins In Fort Collins a street party got out of control, with as many as 1,000 people crowding a street in a neighborhood just a few blocks west of Colorado State University’s campus. Some students say the party was peaceful until local police returned with riot gear. Police fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets into the crowd. Three people wound up with minor injuries.
5. Police Shoot, Kill Dog When Going To A Home By Mistake One of the most talked about story of 2012 was the shooting and killing of a dog named Chloe by a Commerce City police officer. Several months later, in 2013, an Adams County deputy shot and killed a resident’s dog by mistake. The attorney representing the man said he believes that animal shootings by police are out of control, and CBSDenver.com blogger Dominic Dezzutti wrote that he thought it certainly was a sign of a trend.
6. TSA Agents Stop Chewbacca Actor At DIA Over Light Saber In June, actor Peter Mayhew may have found himself wanting to roar after being stopped by TSA agents while trying to board a flight at Denver International Airport. The problem? His giant walking stick shaped like a light saber. Mayhew played Chewbacca in the three original Star Wars movie. The agents wanted to make sure the stick was just a stick. It’s larger than average because Mayhew is seven feet tall, prompting him to tweet “Giant man need giant cane.” Eventually the agents cleared Mayhew and the stick for traveling.
7. Vet Charged With Treating Human, Patient Loses Toes There were different opinions about a vet in Greeley who was charged with treating humans despite the fact that he’s not a doctor. Some thought he should be punished, but others came to his defense and said he has been helping Greeley pet owners for years.
8. Colorado Researchers Say DNA Proves Bigfoot Is Real Another story drawing big numbers on CBSDenver.com in 2013 was a story about researchers in Littleton who said they identified DNA belonging to Bigfoot. Dave Paulides with the North American Bigfoot Search organization said the DNA is like nothing else in the world. The group collected hundreds of samples of evidence, focusing on the redwoods in Northern California. “This isn’t an animal. This is a subspecies of a human, and we believe they travel in groups,” Paulides said. Not a single research institution in the country has confirmed the DNA test results, but Paulides says there are thousands of sightings a year, from California to Tennessee, including dozens in Colorado. Paulides says Bigfoot is approximately 7 to 8 feet tall and weighs 800 to 1,000 pounds.
9. Ordinance Would Allow For Drone Hunting In Deer Trail Drones flew into the Colorado headlines in 2013, and in August a report about a tiny town in Colorado’s Eastern Plains declaring war on drones was a big talker. It was then that the town of Deer Trail in Arapahoe County first considered an ordinance proposed by resident Philip Steel. The measure would issue licenses to residents that would allow them to shoot down with a gun any drone flying over the town. Steel asserted that drones are too powerful and too intrusive. The town’s vote on the measure has been delayed several times and now isn’t expected to take place until 2014.
10. State Legislators Not Receiving Photo Radar Tickets A CBS4 Investigates report rounds out this list. CBS4 reported in July that 100 Colorado state senators and representatives were apparently not getting photo radar tickets in Denver, and never have, due to a loophole in the system. The legislative license plates issued to the lawmakers were preventing them not only from receiving photo radar tickets but also collection notices from past due parking tickets. The plates are not entered into the Colorado DMV database, so when photo radar cameras catch the drivers speeding, they never received tickets. That’s because of a loophole that doesn’t allow the City of Denver to electronically cross-reference those plates with a home address.