Top 10 state stories: Rockies, politics and storms
December 25, 2007
DENVER ” The Colorado Rockies’ surge to their first World Series, a political and economic coup for Denver and the West, and devastating winter storms topped voting by editors at Colorado Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters for the Top 10 news stories of 2007.
Clint Hurdle and crew’s compelling late-season run for the Rockies’ first National League pennant also was voted the top sports story of the year by AP member editors.
Denver’s selection as host of the 2008 National Democratic Convention and the January blizzards that caused millions in losses for Colorado ranchers and feedlot operators tied for second place in this year’s balloting, which was conducted Dec. 6-20.
1 ” The Rockies’ run to their first World Series. The team won 21 of 22 games to get to the Series after a stretch in which they nearly didn’t make the postseason. In the process, they galvanized a state and region before being swept by the Boston Red Sox.
2 (tie) ” Denver wins the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Denver officials went all out to win the four-day convention next August, despite concerns that the Mile High City’s bid had a tangle of problems, including questions about local labor relations and its ability to raise $55 million needed to host the gathering.
2 (tie) ” Winter storms cause devastating losses for Colorado ranchers and feedlot operators. Ranchers said they lost an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 head of cattle.
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4 ” Former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio receives six years in prison for insider trading. Nacchio was convicted in April on 19 counts relating to $52 million worth of stock sales in 2001. Sentenced in July, Nacchio is free pending appeal.
5 (tie) ” Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams is killed after leaving a Denver nightclub, his limousine sprayed with bullets in a drive-by shooting in the early morning hours of Jan. 1. The unsolved slaying apparently stemmed from an altercation at the club between people in his party and gang members.
5 (tie) ” The Roan Plateau becomes a national battleground over energy independence as the state fights the federal government over gas drilling. The western Colorado landmark is rich in natural gas ” several trillion cubic feet in deposits ” and rich in wildlife and ecological diversity.
7 ” University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is fired July 24 on research misconduct allegations amid outrage over his comments about 9/11 victims. Churchill, who denies wrongdoing, provoked a firestorm with an essay that likened some World Trade Center victims to Nazi Adolf Eichmann. The university launched an investigation into some of his other writings after concluding Churchill couldn’t be fired for the Sept. 11 essay.
8 ” On Dec. 9, Matthew Murray opened fire on hundreds of churchgoers streaming out of a Sunday service at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He killed two teenage sisters and wounded several others. A volunteer security guard shot and wounded Murray before he killed himself. Twelve hours earlier, Murray had killed two staff members of the Youth With a Mission missionary training center in Arvada and wounded two others.
9 ” Gov. Bill Ritter issues an executive order allowing union representation of state workers, saying it allows him flexibility “to effectively and efficiently manage state government.” Critics charge state employees could walk off the job despite Ritter’s assurances the order prohibits strikes. Republicans accuse the Democratic governor of bypassing the Legislature.
10 ” Aaron Snyder is shot and killed by a patrolman after showing a weapon in the Capitol and declaring, “I am the emperor and I’m here to take over state government.” Authorities said Snyder, who first appeared in an outer room of Gov. Ritter’s offices in the Capitol, refused the officer’s orders to back down. The incident spurred increased security measures.