Observer wins top contest award 2011.10.05

Written by David Green.

The State Line Observer captured “Newspaper of the Year” honors again this year in the Michigan Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The newspaper earning the most points from the 17 contest categories is given the top award. The Observer was awarded 19 awards by judges in Colorado, including nine first-place awards.

Top awards were earned for editorial page, news photograph, feature photograph, photo story, sports photo (by Dale Bates), sports writing, sports column (by Rich Foley), sports coverage and lifestyle pages.

Lifestyle pages includes features and school stories that inspired the judge to remark, “The section includes great coverage of what makes a community what it is.”

Second place awards were earned for newspaper design, the feature story “Ministering to the victims of AIDS” about Kyle and Heather (Fankhauser) Farran’s work in South Africa, news photograph, feature photograph and sports photograph.

Third place awards were earned for a story  called “Waiting for the phone call” about the missing Skelton boys, a feature story about a kitten in a sewer, Rich Foley’s “Nowhere Road” column, a sports photo and a sports feature about Russ Sutherland and horse racing.

“Newspaper of the Year” awards were also earned in four daily paper divisions by the Detroit Free Press, the Lansing State Journal and the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Other weekly paper winners were the Dearborn Press & Guide Newspapers, the Grosse Pointe News and the Gaylord Herald Times.

  • 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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