Observer chosen Michigan's best small weekly 10.8

Written by David Green.

The State Line Observer was rated the best small weekly in the state through the Michigan Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.

More than 3,700 entries from 116 newspapers were judged by members of the Pennsylvania Press Association.

The Observer earned the top award by winning the General Excellence category for weekly newspapers with circulations below 4,000.

The Observer was described as having “great pictures, a nice clean layout, with lots of local content and excellent writing.” The staff was also commended for a “clear editorial voice.”

The Observer also earned first-place awards in Design and in Lifestyle Pages that include various feature stories and school reporting. The judge said the Observer’s lifestyle pages were “well-rounded, with strong writing and an easy-to-read format; photos and stories feature a variety of people and activities from the community.”

David Green earned the second and third place awards in News Stories for reporting on floodwater mosquitoes and for the freshman prep class at Morenci Area High School.

Rich Foley earned second place in Local Columns for his Nowhere Road column and David Green earned second place in Feature Stories for his article about the life of Jeannine Price.

The Observer’s sports coverage earned an honorable mention.

The Observer was named “Newspaper of the Year” in its class for earning the most total points in the contest.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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