Better Newspaper Contest

2014 Award Winners

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

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Page 13 of 67

Page 14 Donald Steen The Spencer County Jour- nal-Democrat (Rockport) Since the American Civil War brought the full horror of warfare to American shores, the United States has observed a day late in May as a time of remembrance and reflection for our nation's war dead. Since then, too many more have joined the hundreds of thousands from that 19th century calamity. For many of the Millennial Generation, Memorial Day was likely an abstract concept more noted for its significance as the beginning of summer than for the somber roots of the holiday. The tumultuous years of the early millennium that earned that generation its moniker put an end to all that. Hundreds of thousands of those young men and women were sent overseas to Afghanistan and later Iraq, with more than 6,000 never to return. While not as traumatic on the home front as the wars of yesteryear, it's difficult for a nation to fight two of its longest wars simultaneously without netting some emotional marks. Most every graduating class leaving high school had friends and relatives enlisting, and the awareness of how very dangerous and terrifying a modern battlefield can be left no illusions for those soldiers and their loved ones. These last few years have seen the ferocity of America's wars fade somewhat both on the battlefield and in the public consciousness. American forces withdrew from Iraq in December of 2011 and March saw the first month in more than a decade in which no American soldier had been killed in combat. Thankfully, 2011's military intervention in Libya did not add to the toll of America's combat deaths. After the bloody first decade of the new millennium it's natural that many of us would want to move on and forget, at least as much as possible, the worst of those years. However, we must take this time to remember those who faced the perils of that time and keep the memory of their sacrifices alive. Best General Commentary/Category 4 First place Clayton Doty The Benton Review (Fowler) Comments: Doty has a fantastic hook for this series in the "Life Rules." A "wish I thought of that" sort of thing. Beyond that he executes it with strong writing and reader connection. Well-done. Second place Kathy Tretter Ferdinand News Comments: It's easy to see this being a reader favorite. Even when I didn't want to be, I was roped in. Third place Cleoramae Stunkel South Gibson Star-Times (Fort Branch) Comments: Matters of faith are never as easily addressed as we would hope they could be, but the inclusion of artwork (Joyce) outside the Bible here is a winning blend. Best Editorial Writer/Category 5 First place Donald Steen The Spencer County Journal-Democrat (Rockport) Comments: No comments given. Second place Brian Culp The Mooresville/Decatur Times Comments: No comments given. Third place No award given. Best Business/Economic News Coverage/ Category 6 First place Zip the line Amanda Matlock The Times-Post (Pendleton) Comments: No comments given. Second place Angel cookies are simply divine Lisa Hoppenjans Ferdinand News Comments: No comments given. Third place Pre-planning funeral led to monument restoration Amy Hillenburg The Mooresville/Decatur Times Comments: No comments given. Division 1 Clayton Doty The Benton Review (Fowler) There are some things I don't judge well. Subtle differences in vari- ous aspects of life that I just don't see. It doesn't matter how hard I try. I really don't know what to say when my wife asks me which ribbon looks best on a certain flower arrange- ment. Should she use a pink ribbon or a yellow one? I typically answer some- thing I think sounds right, like "As long as it's not white and after Labor Day." But she knows I am full of it, and so do I. I also have trouble telling whether someone is being serious or funny in a text message unless they add a smiley face. : ) Sarcasm isn't obvious in a text, when you can't hear the tone of someone's voice. Sarcasm is just best avoided in texting and column writing. Trust me about this. One thing I don't struggle seeing is the difference between a sincere smile and a fake one. That one just clicks in my mind, and there is no debate. A fake smile looks like it is plastered on a beauty pageant contestant, and the real ones can't be forced or hidden. Real smiles are like a small child's giggle, it is honest and contagious. I witnessed a ton of real smiles this weekend when I attended the first day and opening ceremony of the State Special Olympic games in Terre Haute. If you haven't attended the Indiana Special Olympic games I urge you to mark it down on your list of things to experience. The opening ceremony was a festive evening of good will and cheer. Everybody deserves to hear the roar of the crowd at least once in their life, and the athletes sure did, as they entered the arena at Indiana State University. If you saw the smile on Special Olympic Athlete of the Year Melony Salla, then you understand what I am talking about in this column. That smile couldn't be faked. It was the real deal. Melony is a great young lady and well deserv- ing of the honor. Life rules to live by Honoring our most recent fallen Zip the line Amanda Matlock The Times-Post (Pendleton) One of the largest zip line courses in the Midwest opened this month in South Madison County. Located near Ovid, White River Zip Lines — a $1 million course — is the latest attraction brought to the area by the same team behind White River Paintball and Indy Scream Park. White River Zip Lines CEO Benjamin Nagengast said the idea for the facility came after watching Indianapolis catch "zip line fever" during Super Bowl XLVI festivities. "It's going to be a jaw- dropping experience, and not just for people in the Indianapolis area, but for thrill-seekers across the Midwest," Nagengast said. "We brought some of the best minds in the industry together to design and build a massive, state-of-the-art course, and there's nothing else like it in the region." The course is comprised of eight zip line runs and was opened to the public earlier this month. "We've been open since May 10," Operations Manager Brad Alcoe said. "And it's already been so busy." Alcoe, along with head zip line guide Logan Treaster, said local residents have already been facing their fears by climbing 75-foot launch towers. "People have been loving it," Alcoe said. "I think it's great and it's something that we've needed in the area for a long time." "I would say we had around 140 people do the course on the first day," Treaster said. "It's been crazy." The course is made up of eight zip lines for a total distance of 5,280 feet (1 mile). There are also four dual zip lines for racing and four solo zip lines. The largest dual zip line is 1,000 For complete story, see Click on "Contests." For complete story, see Click on "Contests." For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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