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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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