What was the biggest local story of 2011?

What was the most newsworthy story of 2011 in southern Colorado?

There were a lot of memorable ones, for better or for worse, in southern Colorado.

Arguably the most tragic story of the year was the death of Allen Rose, a tow truck operator who became entangled in chains while attempting to tow an illegally-parked car in February when someone got in the car and drove away. Rose was dragged behind the SUV for more than a mile and died, but it was the aftermath of the incident that the community may remember most. Tow truck processions, donations and even a new law for tow truck operators followed Rose’s death.

Rose’s death wasn’t the only tragedy to strike. Colorado Springs saw 32 total homicides including seven child abuse deaths in 2011, both of which were records for the city.

You may remember some pretty big arrests in southern Colorado. A trio of siblings wanted in the southeastern part of the country made their way to southern Colorado and were arrested following a shootout with authorities on I-25 in Huerfano County. Ryan, Dylan and Lee Grace Dougherty all face charges in three states and will be on trail in 2012. Colorado Springs Police officer Joshua Carrier was also arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting more than 20 boys while serving as a volunteer wrestling coach at a local school several years ago. He will also be on trial in 2012.

Also in Colorado Springs, a heated race for the city’s first strong mayor began with 11 candidates, dropped to seven before the city’s municipal election in April and ended with Steve Bach’s victory over Richard Skorman in a run-off in May. Bach succeeds previous mayor Lionel Rivera.

In health news, perhaps nothing impacted more people than the listeria outbreak, which was traced back to a southern Colorado farm and killed at least 29 people who ate the tainted cantaloupe.

The most viewed story on ColoradoConnection.com in 2011 was the rare 5.3 magnitude earthquake that shook the southern half of the state near the New Mexico border in August. A state that doesn’t experience many earthquakes felt at least 11 aftershocks following the initial quake that caused damage but did not injure anybody.

It was also a big sports year for Colorado. The Broadmoor hosted the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, and Colorado Springs played host to the first stage of the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge. Both events not only brought famous athletes to southern Colorado but also generated millions of dollars in income for the region. And don’t forget about the Tim Tebow phenomenon, which started in October when John Fox named the second year player his starting quarterback following a 1-4 start. Tebow led the Broncos to a 7-4 finish and an AFC West division championship, including several dramatic wins that helped spread ‘Tebowmania’ to all parts of the state and country.

As always, there are a handful of strange but unfortunate events. In Pueblo, a man was able to survive after pulling his stomach out of his body following a drive-by stabbing, a 12-year-old boy allegedly murdered both of his parents and shot his two siblings in Burlington and three people died when an SUV went the wrong way on I-25.

So what’s the most memorable?  You decide.  Vote in our poll below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s