Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

Hoosier State Press Association - The Indiana Publisher - Better Newspaper Contest

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Page 24 of 67

Division 2 Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package/Category 10 First place Remembering Isaiah Kate Wehlann The Salem Democrat Comments: Touching account of family's tragedy with information every parent needs to know about a dangerous game. Second place Offenders describe progress in drug court Kevin Koelling Perry County News (Tell City) Comments: Well-written. Third place Living with Alzheimer's Kate Wehlann The Salem Leader Comments: None given Best Sports Event Coverage/Category 11 First place Corydon cuts down pesky nets Brian Smith The Corydon Democrat Comments: Great story, not only about the game but about finally overcoming that hurdle. Nicely written with plenty of different quotes and angles to draw you in. Second place Tigers survive rough one, 73-45 Jim Buchberger Dearborn County Register (Lawrenceburg) Comments: Nicely done. This could have easily devolved into a "thug" story, but the writer instead brings out the grit, grime and toughness of a hard-fought game. Third place Pioneers present gift to injured coach Steve Page The Mooresville/Decatur Times Comments: Nicely done. It captures more than just what happens between the chalk lines. Best Sports News or Feature Coverage Category 12 First place Saturday Night FIGHTS! Clay Cunningham The Spencer County Journal-Democrat (Rockport) Comments: Interesting subject and well-written story keep reader engrossed. Second place Doubles trouble Kevin Lilly Brown County Democrat (Nashville) Comments: Great job of capturing the behind the scenes moments of the twins and how they prepare. Third place Bussabarger: Hardwood leader at Austin Peay Brian Smith The Corydon Democrat Comments: Nicely done. Remembering Isaiah By Kate Wehlann The Salem Democrat When Preston and Margie Shell left for Clarksville to buy school clothes for their kids on Aug. 3, they never expected their lives would change forever that day. Preston, an officer with the Washington County Sheriff's Department, didn't have his radio to hear the news come through from the police and no calls went through with his cell phone. In fact, it wasn't until they returned to town, arriving at the home of their pastor's daughterin-law to discuss what the church was planning for the pastor's upcoming birthday that they knew anything was wrong. She had already received the news and told the couple to immediately head for home. Preston and Margie's Westside Baptist Church pastor, Kevin Carty, was already there, having been called to the scene by officers who responded to a call from the house. Their 14-year-old son, Isaiah, had been found dead in his bedroom by his siblings. "Everything for them changed at that point," said Kevin. "It was the last thing they would have thought about." 'An automatic love' Isaiah Carlos Shell came into the Shells' life seven years ago. Margie and Preston had gone through the requisite classes to become foster parents and one day, Margie received a phone call from Karen Brooks at the Jackson County Department of Child Services saying she had a case manager with a family of four children – Brittany, Amanda, Isaiah and Hannah – they didn't want to have to split up. When Margie arrived to pick them up, she fell in love. "I took one look at them and Isaiah had that gorgeous black hair and he was this little brown kid [Isaiah and two older siblings are of Mexican descent and his younger sister is biracial] – at the time he was only about 7 – and I fell madly in love with him," said Margie. "He was just the tiniest, I mean, he was just a little scrawny guy then, and he had nothing to say. He was kind of hiding behind [oldest sister] Brittany and they had been For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Corydon cuts down pesky nets By Brian Smith The Corydon Democrat The necessities were packed – basketball shoes, jerseys, warm-ups – all needed for the Class 3A Scottsburg Sectional final on Saturday. One item they should have packed – Scissors! Tied at 13 after the first quarter against host Scottsburg, Corydon Central went on to control the remainder of the game, rolling to a 58-43 victory and the championship. Postgame, plenty of laughs bounced off teammates and supporters adorned in black and gold while cutting down the nets with a pair of dull blades. Those problems were about the only ones the Lady Panthers faced on the night. "We've always wanted to get to this point together, and we did it," said Corydon Central senior forward Savannah Eschbacher. Some teams go through a roller coaster of seasons, having ups and downs. Since the turn of the calendar year, Corydon Central has been on an uphill climb now descending on a thrilling journey. The winning performance against Scottsburg was the team's 11th win in a row. "We're playing as a team," said senior Kayla Uhl. "The beginning of the year we were fighting a little bit, but now we are playing as team. It's working." Teamwork is not only noticeable on the floor but also behind the doors at each practice. "We've worked a lot harder in practice," said Symphony LeJeune, a senior who had eight points in the final. "Coach (Michael) Uhl has pushed us that we need to be a team on the floor." "We really changed things on how we practice," said the Lady Panthers coach. "We've done a lot of finishing drills around the rim to improve there, spending 15 minutes a day shooting lay-ups with someone on us. Those two, four or six points here or there can make a big difference." Playing at Scottsburg For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Saturday Night FIGHTS! By Clay Cunningham The Spencer County Journal-Democrat (Rockport) As mixed martial arts continues to gain popularity across the country, two Spencer County residents are attempting to bring more attention to the sport locally. For years, Kyria McBrayer, a Cannelton graduate who resides in Dale, had no connection to MMA and was barely aware of its existence. That changed in 2005, when she began a relationship with Dan Christison, a professional fighter she met online. Upon meeting Christison, whom she would marry in 2007, her liking of the sport became so strong, it inspired her to map out a plan that "would bring martial arts to the community." From that came Indiana Fighting Championship, an MMA and kickboxing organization which has held six fights between combatants primarily from Indiana and Kentucky since 2011. They will host a seventh this Saturday at the Cannelton Community Center. Though he was heavily involved in bringing the organization to life, Dan credits his wife with being the driving force, joking "You don't really get the opportunity to say no to your wife on too many occasions and still get to sleep soundly." To help fighters prepare, Christison established "The Sandbox," a dojo on the top floor of the Dale Community Center in 2009. It is here where he trains both IFC fighters and several others who have come to simply learn the basics of MMA. While the dojo's name is partially inspired by his nickname, "The Sandman," Christison says it also comes from his desire that it be seen as a place where prospective fighters can "come and play." Though they are both For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 25

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