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KUNC's Top 10 Colorado Stories From 2020

Jackie Hai

As we count down to the end of 2020, KUNC looks back on some of the most-viewed local news stories on our website during this rollercoaster of a year.

Revisit the stories here:

#10 - In 2020, Coloradans were inundated with miller moths...

KUNC Composite Illustration
Recent Colorado transplants were in for a surprise this summer: the return of the miller moth. Common to the state, the pests have been relatively under the radar for the past four years, said Whitney Cranshaw, a professor of entomology and extension specialist at Colorado State University. But this year they were much more noticeable — and possibly a little scary to those new to the state.

#9 - but, thankfully, not murder hornets.

Yasunori Koide
CC BY-SA 4.0
As if there wasn't enough to worry about with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new twist to 2020 arose in May. News of so-called "murder hornets" being discovered in North America spurred startling headlines, but was all the buzz necessary?

#8 - As the pandemic dragged on, many struggled with housing.

Matt Bloom/KUNC
From the pandemic’s early days, Gov. Jared Polis asked for patience from landlords and took aggressive action to ensure struggling renters had a place to live even if they couldn’t pay. But a patchwork of executive orders and expiration dates meant many evictions went forward regardless.

#7 - KUNC investigated the use of ketamine in encounters with law enforcement...

Courtesy Aurora Police Department
More than 100 agencies across Colorado have approval from the state to allow medics to use ketamine, an anesthetic, on people who show signs of what's often dubbed "excited delirium," a practice that is now drawing national criticism from anesthesiologists and psychiatrists. KUNC's Michael de Yoanna and Rae Solomon investigated.

#6 - answered your 2020 election questions...

An angled shot of an open booklet on a windowsill
Jackie Hai
Of the ballot questions Coloradans will vote on in November, Constitutional Amendment B might be the most confusing. So, to help us navigate the complex world of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and the 1982 Gallagher Amendment, Colorado Edition turned to Phyllis Resnick, executive director and lead economist of the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University.

#5 - and covered a record-breaking wildfire season.

A firefighter mops up along Lefthand Canyon Road.
As multiple wildfires burned across the state, KUNC's newsroom provided regular updates on evacuations, fire behavior and emergency responses. See more wildfire coverage here.

#4 - At some point, everyone has probably dreamed of getting away from it all.

Billy Barr
“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in almost 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains. We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado.

#3 - There were mail woes...

Town of Windsor
More than 200 residents filed complaints with the town of Windsor over the last year, calling for solutions to a local post office system struggling to keep up with the community’s population growth in recent years.

#2 - and gardening troubles.

A non-productive cucumber plant, with mostly male flowers, in a Colorado garden.
Rae Solomon
Many backyard gardeners along the Front Range faced disappointment this year, as they searched in vain for the products of their labor among the leaves and vines. Many fruit-bearing plants, like tomatoes and cucumbers, produced plenty of flowers but not a robust harvest. KUNC's Rae Solomon and Seré Williams delved into the reasons why.

#1 - And in the end, the No. 1 most-viewed story in 2020 was...

Matt Bloom
State-funded stimulus payments hit the bank accounts of roughly 435,000 unemployed Coloradans at the start of December. KUNC's Matt Bloom explained the details.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.