Observer wins MPA award 2012.10.10

Written by David Green.

The State Line Observer earned “Newspaper of the Year” in the Michigan Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The award is based on total points earned in the annual contest. The Observer has won the award for small weekly newspapers five consecutive years and 13 of the past 16 years.

Others earning the top honor were the daily newspapers Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, Traverse City Record-Eagle and Livingston County Daily Press, and weekly papers News Herald (downriver Detroit), Tri-County Times (Fenton) and Leelanau Enterprise.

The Observer was awarded second place in General Excellence and first place in seven categories.

The General Excellence judge stated, “This paper isn’t far from first place at all because of its strong community news and editorial content. Nice clean layout with great use of white space and photos. Another staff of excellent writers that covers the community and packages stories with information readers need to know. An overall excellent job.”

First-place awards were given for newspaper design, lifestyle pages, a photo story about a wrestling event in Waldron, a feature story about Cork’s Winery, a sports photo of football player Cody Powell, a sports feature about coon hunting with Billy Williams, and a sports story about the Morenci-Britton Deerfield football game.

Second-place awards were presented for editorial writing, Rich Foley’s NASCAR Notes column, a sports feature about Rick Davis’s white-water rafting trip, and sports coverage.

Third-place honors were given for a news photo of a house fire on U.S. 20, a feature photo of drummers from Stair Public Library’s summer reading program, a photo package from the Town and Country Festival, a sports photo of a blocked pass, and a sports story about Taylor Baugh’s powerlifting championship.

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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