Here are the results of our online reader poll to choose the top local news stories of 2008:
At number one with 43 percent of the votes is the Mountain Avenue Construction Project. Awarded to Northern Colorado Constructors just a month earlier, Phase I of the Mountain Avenue Construction Project kicked off in early July. The $2 million project frequently diverted traffic crucial to downtown businesses onto Massachusetts and Welch avenues.
Coming in second were the Windsor tornadoes with 29 percent of the votes. On May 22, a mile-wide, category F3 tornado swept through Weld County and the town of Windsor leaving one dead, dozens injured and million of dollars in damages. Berthoud residents, schools, businesses and organizations were among the first to respond to those in need with donations and fund-raising events for food, clothing and funds.
In third place was the approval of funding for the Berthoud Public Library with 14 percent of the votes. Unlike many tax measures on the 2008 ballot, Berthoud Community Library District Initiative 5A passed with roughly 60 percent voter approval. The initiative passed with 2,008 votes for and 1,442 votes against assigning the current 2.4 mill levy from Berthoud residents to the Library District.
Three stories tied for fourth place with five percent of the votes each. In alphabetical order they are:
Ashlyn Bishop named as Mrs. Berthoud: Ashlyn Bishop, who co-owns and manages Cornerstone Chiropractic with husband Luke, was chosen to represent Berthoud in the 2009 Mrs. Colorado competition next May. The Mrs. Colorado program recognizes and celebrates married women and encourages them to share their opinions on marriage, community and other issues. The winner of the Mrs. Colorado competition could go on to represent the state in the Mrs. America and Mrs. World competitions.
New Habitat for Humanity home: After nearly two years of various delays, the second Berthoud Habitat for Humanity home to be built is nearly complete. Obstacles to obtaining necessary building permits were finally cleared this year, opening the door for more new homes to be built next year on the property donated by longtime Berthoud residents and humanitarians “Doc” and Helen Fickel.
Racism incident at Berthoud High School: In May, a Berthoud High junior was suspended for nine weeks for allegedly making racially motivated threats against another BHS student. The student served four weeks of the suspension in May and June with the remainder of the suspension to be served at the start of the 2008-2009 school year.