Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Division 4 Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package/Category 10 First place Teen birth rates Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune (Logansport) Comments: None given Second place Life without limits: Disabilities Awareness Month Noelle Steele & Jim Mayfield Daily Reporter (Greenfield) Comments: None given Third place Reading scores soar with Kindles in class Jerod Clapp The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: None given Best Sports Event Coverage/Category 11 First place Nash's vision culminates in a state title for Borden Kevin Harris The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: Tremendous coverage and clear winner! The stories and pictures put the reader in the front row for the championship run and Nash's journey to win a state title. It was a mini-version of Hoosiers. Second place Motivated Knight Jesus Jimenez Palladium-Item (Richmond) Comments: An uplifting story that was very well-written and showed the true spirit of competition. Third place From 'horrible' to hero: NP frosh Schwartz tops veteran field Brian Harmon Daily Reporter (Greenfield) Comments: Great opening with references to Michael Jordan. The reporter does a good job of telling the story and keeping the reader's attention. Best Sports News or Feature Coverage Category 12 First place Strength from 'Matt-itude' Rick Morwick Daily Journal (Franklin) Comments: This was a very moving story. It was well-written and the pacing was tight. Second place Gobert mettle trickles down Brendan Perkins The Herald Comments: The hook and first few paragraphs were what made this story worthwhile. Third place Chalk wars, birdie faces typify quirky cat spirit Joe Jasinski The Herald Comments: This story has a great sense of humor and really takes the reader into the situation. General category comments: This was a very difficult category to judge because of the depth and quality of the stories. All of the entries were examples of good journalism, but the winners were able to separate themselves with wit, sentiment and tight story structure. Teen birth rates continue to decline By Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune (Logansport) Indiana has one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation, and Cass County's is even higher. But that just might be changing. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that Indiana's teen birth rate fell 19 percent from 2007 to 2011, just below the national 20 percent decline. While births to non-Hispanic white teens in Indiana fell 15 percent, births to Hispanic teens fell a drastic 43 percent. The latest data for Cass County – from years 20042010, and according to County Health Rankings – pegs the county's rate at 48 births per 1,000 girls 15-19 years old, the 23rd highest in the state and well above the state average of 41 per 1,000 for the same years. But the number has dropped every year since County Health Rankings began tabulating data. In 2010, the reported rate was 58 per 1,000. Logansport school officials have noticed the same trend this year, too. "Probably our normal numbers have been 15 to 20, and I know we're below 10," said Kathy Rozzi, nurse at Logansport High School, about a month before the school year ended. And why? Rozzi explained hers and guidance counselor Lisa Andrews' emphasis on preventive education, and added that it seemed to be working. "Kids seem more mature in many ways," Rozzi explained. "Maybe they're listening to the education." Rozzi and Andrews both participate in a countywide task force created early last year to reduce the number of teens giving birth. While the rate has been falling consistently, it's still far higher than the national rate and tops the state average, something local leaders would like to see change. One approach they'll soon be piloting is designed by the For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Nash's vision culminates in a state title for Borden By Kevin Harris The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) When Doc Nash took over as the Borden High School boys' basketball coach seven years ago, he dreamed about one huge goal for the program – a state championship. On Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, that dream became reality. Borden led the Class A state championship game from start to finish and defeated Triton, 55-50. It was the first state title for the western Clark County school in any sport. "I thought it could happen," Nash said. "It's our goal every year to win a state championship and be competitive in the state tournament. I've always dreamed about being here. I believe in these kids and I believe in our community. Our community supports us. "These guys are an amazing group of kids. These guys are very, very high-character kids. They deserve this moment. They've worked their tails off since Day 1 to get to where they are. I can't say enough good things about them. I'm proud of them. It's unbelievable. To win with this group of kids is really special." Borden senior Cody Bachman said all of the Braves had set a goal of winning a state championship since last season when they lost in the Class A Loogootee Regional semifinal to Orleans, 68-48. "We've been talking about this since last year. I mean, we talk about it every year," Bachman said. "We knew it was possible and we're here now." Borden's 3-point shooting and its overall defense were the critical factors in claiming the coveted state title. The Class A No. 10 Braves (24-3) outscored the Trojans 24-12 from behind the For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Strength from 'Matt-itude' By Rick Morwick Daily Journal (Franklin) Apart from the result, Matt Walker remembers the play that permanently altered his life as fairly routine. Blitzing from his outside linebacker position during a game at Butler, the Franklin College junior was closing in on his target when the lights, literally and figuratively, went out. "I got low and made a move inside," Walker said, recalling the moment three weeks ago when a freak collision with a blocker cost him his football career and half his vision. "His hand came up through my face mask, and everything went black for like a split second, and then everything was white on my right side for like five minutes. "And ever since then, it's been black." The it is the vision in his right eye. Barring a medical miracle, Walker won't see out of it again. The hand that inadvertently slipped through his face mask shattered his eye-socket and caused irreparable damage that doctors say is almost sure to result in permanent sight loss. But for Walker, who has played organized football since third grade, blindness wasn't the worst possible news. Informed that his career is likely over was far more jolting. "It was crazy to hear that I may never play again," said Walker, who, despite the physical and emotional trauma, is anything but downbeat. Walker has handled the life-altering circumstance with equal parts courage, determination and a sense of humor that has inspired the Grizzlies since the Sept. 14 incident. Junior safety John Sittler visited his teammate in the hospital immediately after the game. Despite For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 43

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