Better Newspaper Contest

2013 Award Winners

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

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Division 6 Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package/Category 10 First place Story of survival Vanessa Renderman The Times (Munster) Comments: Absolutely riveting story, thoroughly researched and well-told. Second place Paper protection series Monte Martin The Times (Munster) Comments: Enlightening look into a very troubling issue. Third place Woodstock on the Wabash Sean McDevitt Evansville Courier & Press Comments: Kudos for a well-researched piece. Best Sports Event Coverage/Category 11 First place Lions overrun hurting Hornets Justin A. Cohn The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) Comments: I've covered a situation or two similar to this one, and I feel this writer did a great job of illustrating the emotions involved while also effectively noting that the games aren't always what matters the most. Second place Good luck bounces IU way Tony Krausz The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) Comments: Excellent description of the agonizing final seconds and potential game-winning shot bouncing around the rim. Effectively draws the reader into the story and builds interest. Third place Alabama remains blueprint Eric Hansen South Bend Tribune Comments: Anyone who watched this game would know how one-sided it was just from watching, but here the writer includes good reactions from ND players along with all the hard evidence of just how lopsided it was. Best Sports News or Feature Coverage Category 12 First place Big man: Brian Shaw Zak Keefer The Indianapolis Star Comments: Extremely well-written. Every word was anticipated. You did very well with a story that was probably heartbreaking to write, even after 20 years. Second place Running blind Mike Nieto The Times (Munster) Comments: Bingo! You have every reader cheering her on. You did a very good job telling her story. Third place Historic rematch Courtney Linehan The Times (Munster) Comments: Very, very good job. I was caught in the net by the title. Then to read this history was fascinating. You kept me on the edge. Story of survival: '4 Children for Sale' By Vanessa Renderman The Times (Munster) LaeAnn Mills bobbed a brush in a bottle of nail polish the color of a Barbie doll box. She took her sister's hand and smoothed a thin layer of "pink forever" over each nail. Mills is 70. Her sister Sue Ellen Chalifoux is 67. It was the first time they bonded over painting nails, a moment sisters usually share as teens. But the women never had the chance. They were 7 and 4 when life pulled them apart, and they say their reunion at Chalifoux's Hessville home last month was only their second interaction since they were children. A picture that made its way into newspapers in 1948 tells a piece of their story. In the image, four small children sit huddled on steps outside a home in Chicago, behind a sign that reads "4 Children For Sale Inquire Within." Their mother – pregnant at the time and wearing a floral dress – turns her head and shields her face from the camera. Mills and Chalifoux are two of the girls in the picture. One weekend in early May, Mills and her son Lance Gray traveled from their home in Washington, Ind., near Vincennes, to visit Chalifoux at the Hessville home she shares with her son, Timothy Charnote. They arrived with dozens of old photos and trinkets, fodder for storytelling. "It's one of the happiest days of my life," Mills said. The reunion was bittersweet, as Mills figured it would be her last time with Chalifoux. Chalifoux is dying from lung disease. She cannot swallow food or talk. She has spent all of June hospitalized and is on a ventilator. Before she dies, she wants people to know the story behind the photo, Charnote said. The photo When Charnote was a child and acted up, his mother would warn him to be good or she would sell For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Lions overrun hurting Hornets By Justin A Cohn The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) Leo loved the score. Angola hated it. But really, on a night like Friday, the score was inconsequential. As the Lions crushed the Hornets 49-0 under the lights at Trine University's Shive Field, Angola's allconference cornerback Sam Gardner was in a coma and critical condition at a Fort Wayne hospital. He injured his head and spine in an ATV accident about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, sending shockwaves throughout Angola and making the Hornets' on-field task even tougher. As if facing the Lions, ranked fifth in Class 4A, wasn't tough enough. "It's tough for our guys to focus with that going on," said first-year Angola coach Josh Schoeff. "But we don't like to make excuses. We figure we have a job to do and come out and do it to the best of our abilities every day. This was another obstacle. "If you want to put an idiom to it, it's an extra few degrees in that fire that is forging the steel that is our team. The score is insignificant, but it is tough for me to look back, as a coach, and feel that I did everything I should have done to prepare our team." Even on their best day, the Hornets (1-1) would have had a tough time with the Lions (2-0), who led 21-0 before seven minutes had elapsed. Leo scored on a 5-yard run by senior Reid Rohrbacher, a 7-yard pass from senior Sam Waters to senior A.J. Busche, and a 3-yard run by Rohrbacher. "I'm proud of our guys. It was a great game plan by the coaches," said Leo coach Jared Sauder, whose team intercepted senior quarterback Brady Boots four times and sacked him another four. "We asked our guys to play physical again tonight, and they did that. For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Big man: At 27, Pacers' Brian Shaw suddenly lost his mother, father and sister to tragedy By Zak Keefer The Indianapolis Star It's been 20 years, but the eyes still water and the words still stop. "It was like a nightmare," he remembers. "I just wanted to close my eyes, go back to sleep, wake up and ..." Brian Shaw's voice trails off, the pain trickling back from that Saturday morning in 1993 when he picked up the phone expecting to hear his father's voice and instead heard the coroner's. He'd seen them the night before, his dad leaning his arm out the window of the Jeep Grand Cherokee that Brian had bought him for Father's Day. "We'll call you in the morning when we get there," his dad said. By morning they were gone, his father, mother and sister, killed in a one-car crash on their way from Oakland to Las Vegas. The lone survivor was his sister's 11-month-old daughter, Brianna, who was hurled from the Jeep bruised but breathing, alive only because of her car seat. Soon she was his. He signed temporary custody papers at the hospital, then won permanent guardianship against Brianna's estranged father in court. Shaw, associate head coach of the Pacers, was 27 at the time and three years into an NBA career. He was unmarried but dating his current wife. Brianna spent a week in the hospital and the next 20 years as a part of his family, raised as a daughter to Brian and his wife, Nikki, and later as a sister to their two children. She healed. She grew. For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Page 61

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