Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Page 32 of 67

Division 3 Headline Writing/Category 7 First place Doobie-ous delivery; Searching for a bumper slogan I could stick with; Cold-hearted robber hits ice cream truck Staff The Star (Auburn) Comments: Most of the entries had one or two catchy headlines, but this paper stood out for having all three. Had to look up "doobie," though. Shows judge's age, I suppose. Second place Water hazard; Sewers raise a stink in South Whitley; Pool forum overflows with ideas Nicole Ott & Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Nice play on words without being too "punny." Third place No-no for 4-0-0; Drama queens; Career rebirth? Ray Cooney The Commercial Review (Portland) Comments: The no-hitter headline moved this entry into the winner's circle. Best Short Feature Story/Category 8 First place For the birds Dan Davis The Tribune (Seymour) Comments: In a category with many entries deserving of placing in the Top 3, "For the birds" proved to fly above the rest. Entertaining and informative. Top-notch piece. Second place Man's best friend: Dog wakes family just before fire engulfs Marco home Nick Schneider Greene County Daily World (Linton) Comments: A compelling story that showed exactly why a pet is definitely part of a family. Third place 'Why not me?' January Wetzel The Tribune (Seymour) Comments: Story made me feel like I knew the lady. Best Profile Feature/Category 9 First place Mom on a mission Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Stories like this are very inspiring and serve as a reminder that one person can spark positive change in his/ her community. Second place Home and away Mark Miller The News-Banner (Bluffton) Comments: The writer did a good job helping the reader relate to this couple who felt a need to serve others. Third place 'Carterman' had much impact Jennifer Decker Herald-Republican (Angola) Comments: Very touching story. Great job! • Doobie-ous delivery • Searching for a bumper slogan I could stick with • Cold-hearted robber hits ice cream truck Staff The Star (Auburn) For the birds By Dan Davis The Tribune (Seymour) Thousands of European starlings swirl and tumble, filling the twilight sky over Seymour's west side in a hurly-burly, acrobatic airshow. Some neighbors say the starlings and their evening activity remind them of Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds." But no one's yelled "action" on a remake of the 1963 suspense classic. Last week's plummeting temperatures and freezing water sources pushed the small birds to town, searching for sources of heat and protection that more urban areas offer when the weather turns bitterly cold. That means the starlings are likely guests of the west side through March, said Judy Loven, state director of Indiana Wildlife Services, an agency that deals with nuisance wildlife complaints. "You've probably had starling activity since December, but with the recent cold temperatures and ice, they will start to gather closer to town where they can find artificial heat and light and protection that buildings and evergreens can provide," Loven said. "They are a very social bird, particularly in the fall and winter, so they do come together," she said. "It provides protection and warmth." The thousands of birds pose a potential public health threat beyond being a nuisance, Loven said, but residents can protect themselves and easily mitigate the risk. "We're looking primarily at the accumulation of droppings," Loven said. "Other than airports where the large flocks of birds themselves present a threat to aircraft, that's about it." Fresh droppings are an unsanitary nuisance, but droppings that have accumulated over a number of years are prone to create histoplasmosis, Loven said. Histoplasmosis is a condition that can range from a mild infection to a severe disease caused by a fungus. "When those old droppings are disturbed, it can make spores and dust become airborne, and that's when people can become threatened by inhaling the histoplasmosis spores," she said. If a homeowner plans to do any yard work around the For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Mom on a mission By Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Katey Till, of South Whitley, has been on task to see the South Whitley Town Park is a "lasting treasure for children now and in the future." Just a typical mom, Till has changed the face of the town she lives in by tackling a project costing in excess of $100,000. "I guess I was feeling ambitious,"said Till. In 2007, Till and a fellow South Whitley mother, Colleen French, looked at the existing playground area located behind the town hall and decided new playground equipment was needed both for their children as well as others. "We sat there one day and thought the park needed help," Till said. "We didn't even have a park board at the time. That was the first thing we had to do." And thus the South Whitley Park Board was formed. Three years later, in the fall of 2010, the first phase was complete. Doodlebug Village, a park designed for children two- to five-years old, took over for the old park that existed for more than 40 years. "We knew we were replacing a park that was very important to people. Families knew that park when they were kids. There were a lot of memories in the old park, I know," Till said. "The idea of having a new park was a way to keep that park alive." Doodlebug Village was completed just as the town's plan commission started thinking about revitalization. Meetings have been held to brainstorm with town's people on what other changes can take place to better South Whitley. "I don't know if we instigated the idea of revitalization, but I know the town is thinking it now. It may have struck an interest," said Till. "I am just a regular person. I have no special gifts or talents to put a park together. But I had a passion and a calling to see that this got done. I believe we can choose to complain or be the ones to make a change. We chose to make a change. Doodlebug Village is a unique design. The play area combines active, physical movement as well as imaginative play. Combining slides with make-believe stations, children at Doodlebug Village get the opportunity to exercise both their bodies and their minds. "That little village has it all," said Till. "Kids can come there and have a cafe'. They can pretend to operate as a restaurant or they can play on the musical instruments that are in the playground. I see kids pretend there is a fire and they run over and jump on the firetruck and pretend to drive it to one of the houses. Then they race out to save the house. There are endless opportunities for them." Most of the concept and equipment for Doodlebug Village was customized by Till, French and Grounds for For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 33

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