Best of RED 2019 - RED - Relevant. Essential. Denver.
A look at the top ten RED stories from 2019.

Best of RED 2019

Our reporting last year stretched from the Auraria Campus to the Capitol, rural Colorado to grade-school classrooms. Here are the best and most-read stories of 2019.

December 18, 2019

By Staff

'Northside' story

Bobby LeFebre's passion for Denver and diversity will be front and center in his new role as Colorado's first Latino poet laureate.

“I have the ability to code-switch and to be able to talk to different people of different backgrounds," Bobby LeFebre told RED. "I value diversity, and I’m excited to engage my people, and people that don’t think like me, and about being able to dialogue about who we are and why we are.” Photo by Amanda Schwengel.

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TEDx MSU Denver: Is college worth it?

In her TED Talk at TEDx MSU Denver, President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., made the case for reimagining higher education.

TEDx MSU Denver 2019 Janine Davidson, Is college worth it?

“It’s going to take all of us to toss the ladder down for the next generation and ensure the American Dream is a possibility for everyone. And that’s something worth fighting for,” MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., said in her TED Talk at TEDx MSU Denver 2019. Photo by Sara Hertwig.

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New Colorado law extends state financial aid to Dreamers

Qualified undocumented students pay in-state tuition. Starting in 2019, they're eligible to receive state financial aid.

A panoramic shot of Gov. Jared Polis signing bills at MSU Denver

“For those students with DACA status, who came to this country and grew up as aspiring Americans… until the federal government fixes the oversight, we’ll do our best to honor their status as de facto Americans by making sure they have access to state financial aid to attend a university,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a bill-signing ceremony at MSU Denver's Jordan Student Success Building. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

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'An act of narrative preservation'

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's 'Sabrina & Corina' was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for fiction. Here's what you need to know about the Denver author and the role community plays in her storytelling.

“Storytelling is a way to retain history,” the 2009 MSU Denver graduate said of “Sabrina & Corina." “It serves to keep memory alive by saying, ‘This is what happened, this is what we need to be aware of.’”

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Building a road to recovery

As the search for effective, creative solutions to Colorado's substance abuse crisis continues, new strategies are driving addiction counselors to communities in need.Jamie Ray, a 2018 MSU Denver alumna, works as a care manager at Second Chance Center helping clients reenter society after being incarcerated. Photo by Alyson McClaran

Jamie Ray started using alcohol and marijuana as a middle-schooler and was introduced to cocaine and opiates by friends around age 16. But instead of becoming a statistic, the recovering addict is fighting against the widespread and devastating impact of drug abuse as a care manager at Denver's Second Chance Center, a nonprofit reentry agency serving the formerly incarcerated. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

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The truth is up there

Denver International Airport has long been a hub of outlandish conspiracy theories. Here's the real story behind five of DIA's most famous myths.

Few people know Denver International Airport better than Jeff Price, an aviation professor at MSU Denver, a former DIA assistant security director and co-author of the book, "Images of Aviation: Denver Airports from Stapleton to DIA." RED caught up with the aviation expert to debunk the DIA conspiracy theories and share an eerie tale of his own. Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport.

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Purple Heart, blue ocean

A Marine, new father and college student will attempt to become the first U.S. combat-wounded veteran to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo by Amanda Schwengel.

Marine Evan Stratton and a team of three other military veterans will row 3,000 nautical miles across the ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They are members of nonprofit Fight Oar Die, founded to increase awareness and support for the cognitive, behavioral and physical health of U.S. veterans and military members. Photo by Amanda Schwengel.

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Teachers tackle student trauma

Colorado educators are training to deploy informed approaches for supporting children in need.

“Kids are identified as having emotional and behavioral disorders. If you’re called that term, you might act out too,” said Kathryn Young, Ph.D., associate professor of secondary education at MSU Denver. “We can think about it another way: They’re acting out because they’ve had trauma in their lives. It’s a really different mindset for us about how to approach kids. One is saying you are bad, and the other says you’ve been harmed.” Photo by Shutterstock.

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Run of his life

Rising cross-country and track star Yonatan Kefle excels at MSU Denver after escaping oppressive regime in Eritrea.

Yonatan Kefle, a refugee from Eritrea in East Africa, is a member of the MSU Denver cross country team. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

Yonatan Kefle escaped Eritrea at age 14 and spent two years in an Ethiopean refugee camp before emigrating to Denver. Today, 20-year-old Kefle is an MSU Denver mechanical-engineering major and an emerging cross-country star. No matter where his path takes him in higher education and sports, Kefle told RED, his family’s journey out of the Horn of Africa will always light the way. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

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So you want to host SportsCenter?

ESPN's Gary Striewski shares his strategy for capitalizing on opportunity before it's back-back-back ... gone.Gary Striewski in front of a SportsCenter logo

Above all else, Gary Striewski told RED, "Never say no to an opportunity. If you do, there's always 150 people behind you just waiting to take their shot at it. It's up to you to take that break and turn it into something big." Photo by Sara Hertwig.

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Meet the new meat

Alternative meat was all the rage in 2019 — and promises to be a big bite in 2020. Here's what you need to know before throwing a plant-based patty on the grill.


“There can be benefits from both health and environmental standpoints, and consumers are putting the pressure on food companies to develop more plant-based options through their buying power,” said Rachel Sinley, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at MSU Denver. “These companies have spent years and millions of dollars on researching these products – and consumers can tell.” Photo courtesy of Impossible Foods.

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