Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Page 40 of 67

Division 4 Best General Commentary/Category 4 First place Misty Knisely Pharos-Tribune (Logansport) Comments: None given Second place Tew Bits James Tew The News-Sun (Kendallville) Comments: None given Third place Amanda Beam The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: None given Best Editorial Writer/Category 5 First place David Penticuff Chronicle-Tribune (Marion) Comments: Hard-hitting, highly charged but well-reasoned criticisms of local government practices and people. No doubt these were topics of considerable public discussion, and the writer shows the paper's willingness to help lead and shape that discussion. Second place David Hill Daily Reporter (Greenfield) Comments: Good, concise, to-the-point editorials on important local topics. Third place Grace Housholder The News-Sun (Kendallville) Comments: The call for religious tolerance and community unity and the cautionary note about arming teachers were well-crafted editorials on highly sensitive issues. Best Business/Economic News Coverage/ Category 6 First place Puppy mills Bob Braley The News-Sun (Kendallville) Comments: This was a difficult category to judge because there were so many great entries. "Puppy Mills" was wellresearched and well-written. An excellent package. Second place Expansion in care Joseph Pete Daily Journal (Franklin) Comments: Excellent story. Well-researched! Third place Bus stop John Kline The Goshen News Comments: Strong lede caught the reader's attention. A wellwritten story! Shooting for a new hobby? By Misty Knisely Pharos-Tribune (Logansport) I've never been a fan of guns. In fact, to say I downright hate them wouldn't be much of a stretch. They scare me. My dad wasn't a gun guy, and my mom certainly wasn't, so I didn't grow up in a gun house. Until my brother-in-law became a state trooper, I'd never had contact with one. And then, feeling the weight of the thing made me like them even less. Why, I don't know. I guess it made them seem even more menacing. What can I say. There's rarely logic in my fears. I have a friend who is a gun guy. That might be an understatement. He loves him some guns. Big guns, little guns, new guns, old guns – he's got them all. He showed me the collection once. It took a while. I mentioned I'd never shot a gun. It might be cool, I said, but I'm a big ole chicken. It seems he skipped over the last part of that sentence and decided to surprise me with a trip to the shooting range. I was apprehensive, to say the least. Some of the fear subsided, though, when he showed me the zombie targets he bought for the occasion. While he's unpacking his gun bag, someone was letting off what sounded like a bazooka from behind the hill. I was trying to play it cool, but I'm pretty sure my shuddering with each boom gave me away. Being a gun guy, he was Growth Council belongs to community By David Penticuff Chronicle-Tribune (Marion) The decision by this newspaper to pursue a complaint against the Grant County Economic Growth Council with the Indiana Public Access Counselor comes down to an obvious matter of doing our job. In May, we met with the executive committee of the Growth Council and expressed our concern that the organization receives so much tax money, almost $300,000 annually, while no one from the State Board of Accounts down to the Grant County Council keeps tabs on how that money is spent. In 2009, Grant County Council set aside .03 percent of the Economic Development Income Tax to the Growth Council The Growth Council said no to our request to attend its meetings. We also attempted to work out an agreement to increase our coverage, which was met by a proposal to have the Growth Council meet with the newspaper monthly where topics of the Growth Council's choice would be discussed. We would have also had to agree not to print certain things about the Growth Council. It was less access to the Growth Council than we have traditionally had. The Growth Council defends its practice of making all its decisions behind closed doors by saying that it is the way potential employers want things done. And also that they were formed as a private nonprofit – which they maintain they still are. We think, however, once prepared for these loud noises and handed me some huge headphones, which proved to be my instant best friend. After I regained my composure, I told the guys in the shelter with us that this was my first time and apologized in advance for whatever was about to happen. My friend got out a cute little gun. (Every gun person reading this likely cringed at my usage of the words cute and gun in the same sentence.) Our neighbors said the gun was a great and easy place to start. I was relieved, but then my friend said, "Oh, I have others, too." I didn't like the For complete story, see Click on "Contests." an organization manages to have a piece of your income tax rate dedicated to it, it gives up the right to keep taxpayers out of their meetings and record books unless there are specific reasons under law to exclude the public. That's just how tax money is supposed to be treated. The Growth Council needs to be accountable to its members and to the public that now funds it directly. To say it is OK that they are not accountable is to say that we as a community have installed a class of people who may simply do as they please, when they please, with other people's precious resources. We know that this For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Dog kennels spark conflict By Bob Braley The News-Sun (Kendallville) Animal rights advocates have labeled Indiana a puppy mill state, with the number of breeding kennels in Indiana growing. Nearly 20 percent of Indiana's dog breeding kennels licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are in northeast Indiana, and some have been targeted by groups seeking to block the sale of puppies from them and/or shut them down. Amish families own and operate most of the local kennels. They view doing so as part of their way of life, and they say they treat their animals well, for both practical reasons and reasons of faith. Conflicts are arising between people working to protect animals from bad living conditions and others who say the activists are targeting the wrong people. Also in the mix are concerns about selling dogs from breeders and USDA inspections. Some dog breeders have received threats of harm to themselves and their families. Emotions are spilling over on all sides, said David Sacks, a USDA spokesman. "Passions run high when you talk about animals. There's no neutral ground," he said. 23 kennels in area The USDA has licensed 122 dog breeding kennels in Indiana, according to its records. Of those, 23 are in the four northeast corner counties – 18 in LaGrange County, three in Noble County and two in DeKalb County, with none in Steuben County, the USDA said. For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 41

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