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.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.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.

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