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Courier wins 10 AP awards

Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:00 am

DAVENPORT – The Courier received 10 awards at the Iowa Associated Press Manager Editors annual meeting Saturday.

The Courier staff garnered two first place awards, four second places and four third places among newspapers of 10,000 to 50,000 circulation.

Both first place awards were cooperative efforts. In the investigative reporting category regional editor Dennis Magee teamed with former Courier reporters Jessica Miller and Brian Spannagel on “Innocence Lost,” the story of Evelyn Miller, the Floyd County girl who was murdered.

“Lots of leg work and face time with sources makes this piece an easy winner in that category,” said contest judges. “Innocence Lost paints a clear picture of what Evelyn Miller’s life was like before she disappeared. It then goes on to reveal disturbing occurrences after police began searching for her. Finally, it raises serious questions about how state agencies respond when suspected abuse or neglect is reported.”

Spannagel also took third place in the Interpretive Story category for his article “Degree of Debt” looking at the larger amounts of money students have to borrow.

In business news, Tim Jamison, Pat Kinney, Jeff Wilford, Emily Christensen and Luke Jennett teamed for “Waterloo ready to gamble,” which included stories when the group supporting a casino site near the Lost Island Water Park won out over two other competitors.

“I was most impressed that the top two stories didn’t use the standard, dry lead,” said a judge. “The first story gave a sense of what it was like to be in the room with the winners and losers while still providing the essential news.”

Kinney is the Courier’s business editor and Wilford is an assistant city editor. Jamison and Christensen are Courier reporters, and Jennett is a former Courier intern.

Courier Editor Saul Shapiro praised the work that went into the first place awards.

“They were major stores and this shows we handled them extremely well,” he said. “The Evelyn Miller story broke new ground and gave the public a new understanding. In regard to the casino story, it was a comprehensive effort involving a spirited effort of three Waterloo groups trying to get the license and I thought we covered all the bases on that.”

Reporter RC Balaban took second place for “Closings Shock Tyson Workers,” also in the business category.

“He focuses on humans rather than numbers and did so without being melodramatic or without painting the company as a bad actor. We need more of this type of business reporting.”

Brandon Pollock, the Courier’s photo editor took a second place in the business photo category, with “BlackBerry Jam” a business cover illustration that accompanied a story about the technology used by BlackBerry devices.

Photographer Matthew Putney took a third place for his photo “Running Blind.” The photo showed a young boy running the bases during a promotion at a Waterloo Bucks game – his hat covering his eyes.

Former Courier sports editor Kevin Evans, now retired, teamed with sports reporters Jim Sullivan, Sean Hylton, and Matt Coss for a second place award for their …. “Blowing the Whistle,” a series on the lives of referees.

Sullivan also took third place in that category with “moment to remember” look back on UNI fieldhouse

Matt Wilde’s “Still Thinking Big,” took second place in the business feature category. The story featured Bruce Rastetter, founder of Heartland Pork who is now in the renewable energy business.

“It read like a news feature not a mundane business feature,” the judges commented.

Jordan Hansen took second place in news graphics for her work creating “The Jim Miller Coaching Tree” an illustration showing the mentoring success of the Wartburg wrestling coach.


June 11, 2006 Posted by | Waterloo Courier | Leave a comment