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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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