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.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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