Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Division 5 Headline Writing/Category 7 First place He...she...huh?; The spill of the hunt; A ranking that bites Staff Journal & Courier (Lafayette) Comments: A series of creative, witty headlines. This kind of headline cuts through the clutter and draws The Leader (Knox) in. Second place Good libations; Yielding optimism; Giant opportunity Scott Bacon The Republic (Columbus) Comments: Good job of teasing stories in just a few words. Clever (and groan-free) puns. Third place Atwitter @ ISU; Just call it A(H32v) flu: Pork producers cringe at that other name (rhymes with pine); Local reps, cops just say no to legal pot Merv Hendricks Tribune-Star (Terre Haute) Comments: All entertaining and witty headlines. Best Short Feature Story/Category 8 First place Canine pair prove puppy love is real Sue Loughlin Tribune-Star (Terre Haute) Comments: A great love story, with a happy ending. Touching piece. Keep up the good work. Second place Freedom in healing Brian Blair The Republic (Columbus) Comments: Great work in getting these ladies to share their stories. Really liked the fact that the writer shared the stories, but did so in a nonjudgmental way. Third place A warrior Andrew Walker The Star Press (Muncie) Comments: A fitting tribute about a dog who served the community. Best Profile Feature/Category 9 First place 'I deserve to die' Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin (Anderson) Comments: Fantastic story! Very descriptive. I read it from beginning to end. Second place Giant spirit John Carlson The Star Press (Muncie) Comments: Captivating lead! Great story. Third place Terre Haute barber 'sharpens up' customers for 50 years Mark Bennett Tribune-Star (Terre Haute) Comments: A great "feel good" story! • He ... she ... huh? • The spill of the hunt • A ranking that bites Staff Journal & Courier (Lafayette) Canine pair prove puppy love is real By Sue Loughlin Tribune-Star (Terre Haute) Ben would do anything for love. In fact, the 4-year-old, 70-pound dog ran away from his new adoptive home in Youngstown Meadows; traversed 10 miles across busy streets, railroad tracks and lonely fields; braved the cold and his own hunger; and somehow, some way, in about 24 hours, found his way back to the Terre Haute Humane Shelter. And there, he rejoined the love of his life, his soulmate and the mother of his children, Jade, a 1- year-old German Shepherd mix. But this love story doesn't end there. When Courtney and Jason Lawler, the couple that had adopted Ben, realized the two former strays would not be happy without each other, they adopted both. The story of Ben's trek to find his girl "is amazing," Courtney Lawler said Friday. The Lawlers knew Ben and Jade were close, and even stayed in the same pen at the shelter. But initially, the Lawlers decided one pet was enough, for many reasons. They have a 3-year-old rambunctious son, and Jade seemed "a little more skittish than Ben," Courtney Lawler said. THHS staff believe Jade was a stray her whole life, until she was taken to the shelter. Jade is not used to being around people. For a long time, Ben and Jade were strays who lived near Fruitridge Avenue and Fort Harrison Road; different people on the north end, including staff at Benjamin's Family Dining, made sure they were fed, said Debbie Floyd, president of the 'I deserve to die' By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin (Anderson) Fredrick Michael Baer has an envelope in his cell at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Inside the envelope is a letter to his attorneys, asking them to terminate the appeals process in his death penalty case. The letter lies waiting, waiting for its author to muster the courage to take that last step toward the death chamber. Baer has been on death row for more than eight years, and if the appeals process continues through every step, it could be another eight years. He lives in a hell he created, and he says he deserves to die. In 2004, Baer talked his way into a Lapel area home, where he attempted to rape 26-year-old Cory Clark. She resisted, and he slit her throat. Then he turned the knife on her 4-year-old daughter, Jenna. After he was arrested for the crimes, Baer denied his guilt with the fierce defiance of a belligerent young man. Eight years later, he appears two decades older. Short and thin, Baer wears eyeglasses with antique frames. His head is shaved. Tattoos mark his neck and arms. During an interview at the state prison Tuesday with The Herald Bulletin, he spoke softly, emotionally. Shackles and chains restrained him from ankles to wrists, but he could not contain his emotional agony. Long pauses and deep breaths interrupted the interview. Baer choked back tears, turned away from the camera in shame and regret. "[I think about it] Every day ... every day," Baer sobbed. "I'm so sorry ... so sorry." During the trial in 2005, Baer was exposed as a thief, Humane Society board. "Anyone who travels the north end would have seen them," said Floyd, who works in that area and also fed them. When Jade got pregnant last summer, "We trapped them and took them to the shelter," she said. Ben and Jade remained together at the shelter for several months. "They were a bonded pair," said Charles Brown, shelter manager. When Jade had six puppies, THHS adoption counselor Kali Skinner took the mother and puppies home to take care of them for eight weeks, and eventually found homes for all six puppies. Jade was timid, but a "very caring mother," Skinner said. Jade and Ben were then For complete story, see Click on "Contests." a serial rapist and, finally, a double murderer. The gruesome gravity of his last offense brought the death penalty, an increasing rarity in the Hoosier state. The final crime Baer was working at a construction site in Anderson on the afternoon of Feb. 25, 2004. He was suffering withdrawal from methamphetamine. Anxiety hammered in his head. Sweat seeped from his skin despite the February chill. With evil intent, Baer left work early to drive someplace. Any place to rob. Any woman to rape. He drove to Lapel and parked near two homes. He approached one house and knocked on the door. A woman answered but cautiously kept Baer from looking inside. He asked to use her phone. "She brought me the phone, but I was trying to get in. So I dialed something and For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 51

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