Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Page 33 of 67

Division 3 Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package/Category 10 First place Making ¢ents Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Excellent research and reporting on complex school funding issue with no simple solution. Second place Decatur County woman recounts years in an abusive marriage Rob Cox Greensburg Daily News Comments: Newspaper does exemplary job with series on battered women. Gives voice to people whose needs are so often ignored. Third place A life cut short by cancer Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Report engages readers with wonderful but sad story of young cancer victim and her family. Best Sports Event Coverage/Category 11 First place Shocked and awed Nicole Ott Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Great coverage. All of Ott's entries were very strong, and this was our favorite. Second place Katie did it Ray Cooney The Commercial Review (Portland) Comments: Very strong entry in a highly competitive category. Third place Cheap shots overshadow Frankfort victory Phil Friend The Times (Frankfort) Comments: Excellent coverage of a difficult subject. Many writers would have avoided the controversial matter, but this article addressed bad sportsmanship in a fair and direct manner. Best Sports News or Feature Coverage Category 12 First place Living a life of love Zach Spicer The Tribune (Seymour) Comments: Nice job of telling a story of a young ladies' motivation through father's death. This was a very emotional piece. For some, these are not the easiest things to write. This one was done well. Second place Standing tall Zach Spicer The Tribune (Seymour) Comments: Enjoyed this story about someone beating the odds. Some good reaction, quotes. There were several good stories like this one throughout this category, so it was really a tough pick. Third place It's in the blood Nicole Ott Columbia City Post & Mail Comments: Liked the way she set up this story with her opening graphs. Much good information here. This girl seems to be quite the athlete. Page 34 Making ¢ents By Christie Barkley Columbia City Post & Mail Editor's note: This is the final installment of a fourpart series on public school funding and how money is dispersed within a school system. Ask the average Whitley County resident about any of the county's three school systems and they might mention the score of Friday night's football game, which teachers are the most popular with their children or what school was like in years past when they attended. Not many residents could speak with authority about the costs to maintain the county's public schools. The Capital Projects Fund is fueled by county property taxes. In 2009, a re-assessment occurred that caused a significant loss to the fund. The Indiana Department of Education determined that a levy would be imposed on this particular fund. That means the fund is capped at a certain amount. This is based on a percentage of the property tax rate. The property tax rate is determined by property value assessment. When that assessment went down, so did school dollars. Although schools might need more money for renovations, the state does not allow schools to move money around from earmarked account such as the Transportation Fund in order to pay for a construction project. The funds are separated by the state with little decision made by local school officials. When it comes to maintaining and repairing school buildings, the costs are enormous. In one invoice alone, Columbia City High School received a bill for $18,000 to have a water line repaired. At Whitko High School, the costs to maintain the parking lot and roof are almost enough to drain the fund all together. SmithGreen Community Schools is fighting against rising costs by renovating parts of its building to be more energy efficient in hopes that future operating costs will be lowered. The costs are high, and the dollars are few. said. The thriller began early in the fourth quarter, when Columbia City found itself buried in a 51-42 hole with six minutes left to play. Drew Benedict stepped up to knock down three unanswered 3-pointers – all more than five feet beyond the arc – to tie the score at 51 with 4:21 on the clock. Homestead's Nick Gamble took over the Spartans offense from then, knocking down a 3-pointer of his own with three minutes left to play. Derek Hinen worked his way to the free-throw line, knocking down one freebie to make the score 54-52. But Gamble wasn't going to give the game away, scoring again for the Spartans with 1:32 to play, putting Columbia City in a four-point deficit. Austin Paul returned with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one with 52.3 seconds left, and Hinen hit another free throw to tie the score at 56 with 30.8 seconds on the clock While it appeared Homestead was going to have the last shot at scoring, the Spartans threw the ball away with 13.2 seconds left, giving Columbia City what most fans thought was the final possession. Paul got the ball at the top of the key, drove to the hoop Shocked and awed By Nicole Ott Columbia City Post & Mail Friday night's Northeast Hoosier Conference match-up between Columbia City and Homestead was everything it was predicted to be. Nearly every fan in the stands was shocked as the buzzer rang, and Homestead won the game with a desperation 3-pointer, 59-58. "The fans definitely got their money's worth," Columbia City head coach Chris Benedict said. And there was quite a turnout. Announcers asked fans to sit shoulder-toshoulder at the game that had more people than seats. "The environment of this game was great," Benedict Living a life of love By Zach Spicer The Tribune (Seymour) Being an only child, it was difficult for 14-year-old Courtney Carpenter to lose her father, Scott. After battling with pancreatic cancer for about a year, Scott Carpenter died Sept. 2 at the age of 45. "I was really close with my dad," said Courtney, an eighth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour. "He was my best friend." Carpenter said one of her friends lost a grandfather to cancer, but she had never had it hit that close to home. "I was really shocked when I heard it," she said. "He was calm when he told me, and he didn't want me to worry about him. I tried to make it look like I didn't worry about it, and I just kept my school grades up and helped around the house." Through it all, Carpenter said she was fortunate to have volleyball and her teammates to keep her going. "It helped me get closer to my friends. They were there for me," Carpenter said. "We are all really close; we're all like sisters, and we can tell each other everything." The Immanuel volleyball teams, from fifth grade to eighth grade, recently came together for the Serving Up a Cure serve-a-thon fundraiser, and the proceeds will go to the Don and Dana Myers For complete story, see Click on "Contests." For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Cancer Center in Seymour. With Carpenter and a few others being directly affected by cancer, the event hit close to home. "It helped me a lot because I was just thinking about all the other kids out there who had to go through the same thing I did," Carpenter said. "It means the world to me (that the teams came together). I'm just proud of my team and my school." Carpenter's coach, Janet VanLiew, said one of her players from this past fall talked about doing a fundraiser, so she kept that in mind and shared the idea For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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