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2023 in the news: Denver7 recounts 7 biggest stories of the year

Posted: 10:00 PM, Dec 29, 2023
Updated: 2023-12-30 00:44:44-05
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DENVER — As we say goodbye to 2023, we want to look back at the year in news. In order, these are the seven biggest news stories of the year according to

Denver's mayoral race

The biggest story of the year was the Denver mayoral race to replace term-limited Michael Hancock.

Seventeen candidates threw their hats in the ring for the chance to be Denver's next mayor. In the end, former educator and state senator Mike Johnston claimed victory in June against Kelly Brough.

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2023 Denver mayoral race: Meet all 17 candidates on the ballot

The Denver7 Team
3:46 PM, Feb 20, 2023

Death of Alexa Bartell

Three 18-year-olds were arrested in April after they allegedly threw a rock at a car in Jefferson County, killing the 20-year-old driver, Alexa Bartell.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigated the fatal case late on April 19. They determined that Bartell had been on the phone with her friend around 10:45 p.m. when Bartell “abruptly stopped talking,” the affidavit reads.

When the friend was able to leave work, around 11:05 p.m., she used the Find My iPhone app to find Bartell. Through the app, she saw her friend’s phone was stationary in a field on the east side of Indiana Street, just south of State Highway 128, according to the affidavit.

The friend drove to that location and found Bartell with a serious head injury in the driver’s seat of her Chevrolet Spark. She was not moving, according to the affidavit. The friend called Bartell’s mother and then 911.

According to court documents, the 18-year-olds returned to the scene of the crash and took a photo as a memento.


Local News

Affidavit: Rock-throwing suspects returned to JeffCo fatal crash to take photo

Katie Parkins
11:32 AM, Apr 27, 2023

Ryan Partridge reaches settlement with Boulder County

A man who gouged his eyes out during a mental health crisis while incarcerated at the Boulder County Jail in December 2016 reached a $2.55 million settlement with the county in August.

Ryan Partridge named then-Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle and 21 others — including administrators of the jail, deputies and sergeants of the jail and other jail staff — in a federal civil rights lawsuit in 2017, claiming they should have known something like this would happen. Partridge's attorneys argued that the jail let his mental health go untreated and the incident could have been prevented.

According to the lawsuit, Partridge experienced a "deep, severe, schizophrenic psychosis" and had previously harmed himself while incarcerated. He also had a history of refusing to take medication, the lawsuit states. Attorneys claimed the jail "simply left his psychosis untreated."

Ryan Partridge

Local News

Man who gouged his eyes out while in Colorado jail to receive $2.55M settlement

Colette Bordelon
8:38 PM, Aug 09, 2023

Bad check almost ruins Longmont toy store

A man came into Longmont's St. Nix Collectibles, Toys & Antiques in December 2022 and bought out the store for a toy drive he was heading up. He wrote a check for $56,000 and hauled the inventory.

However, the Christmas miracle turned bad when the check bounced. The store owners were left with no money and empty shelves.

Thankfully, there was a happy ending in 2023. The store received an outpouring of community support and opened a new location in May.

St. Nix toy store in Longmont


Small business forced to close store after bad check used to buy out inventory

Danielle Kreutter
4:23 PM, Jan 20, 2023

Denver Nuggets win NBA championship

For the first time in the team's 47-year history, the Denver Nuggets were crowned NBA champions.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led an insanely talented team to beat the Miami Heat 94-89 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven championship series. The city capped off an amazing run with a parade and rally downtown.


Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets Champions Celebration: Watch the parade, rally live

6:00 AM, Jun 15, 2023

Hail pummels Red Rocks concertgoers

Seven people were taken to a hospital and dozens more were hurt as a hailstorm pummeled concertgoers at Red Rocks Amphitheater in June.

According to West Metro Fire, those who were taken to the hospital had non-life-threatening injuries. As many as 80 to 90 more people were treated for injuries at Red Rocks. Injuries included cuts and broken bones, according to the agency.

The hailstorm pounded the famous Colorado venue ahead of a Louis Tomlinson concert.

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Local News

7 taken to hospital, dozens more hurt as hail pummels Red Rocks concertgoers

Sydney Isenberg
10:35 PM, Jun 21, 2023

Two deans shot by student at Denver's East High School

Two deans were shot at Denver's East High School in March, sparking a safety discussion that led to the reintroduction of school resource officers in Denver Public Schools.

The body of the suspect, identified as a 17-year-old student, was later found in Park County.

east high school suspect shooting search_march 22 2023

Local News

Two deans injured in shooting at East High School; one released from hospital

Stephanie Butzer
10:11 AM, Mar 22, 2023

Bonus: Casa Bonita reopens

Let's end this recap on a positive note.

Casa Bonita closed down food service in 2020 after its owner at the time, Summit Family Restaurants, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was eventually purchased by the "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker for $3 million.

The two cleaned up the place, hired a new chef and, of course, brought back the cliff divers.

After three long years, the restaurant finally reopened (on a limited basis) this summer.

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Local News

The long-awaited reopening of Lakewood's Casa Bonita is finally here

Katie Parkins
11:07 AM, Jun 21, 2023

Bonus bonus: Taylor Swift rocks Empower Field

It was the hottest ticket in town. Taylor Swift brought her "Eras Tour" to Denver for two nights.

She played to 70,000 Swifties each night and provided more joy per square foot than ever seen before at Empower Field at Mile High. Those concerts injected an estimated $140 million into the local economy and created enough friendship bracelets to bring world peace.

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Local News

Fainting fans and $8 water: A look inside the Taylor Swift merch line

Landon Haaf
2:33 PM, Jul 13, 2023

What a year it has been. We thank you for watching (and reading) Denver7 through it all.

2023 in the news: Denver7 recounts 7 biggest stories of the year

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The Follow Up
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