Better Newspaper Contest

2014 Award Winners

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

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Page 42 of 67

Page 43 Division 4 Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package/Category 10 First place Who's going to take care of Paul? Martha Rasche The Herald (Jasper) Comments: An important story, told with insight and sensitiv- ity. Well-told. Second place Finding their way Brendan Perkins The Herald (Jasper) Comments: Well-done, great photos, great story. Third place Kennedy package Misty Knisely & Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune (Logansport) Comments: Love the mix of stories and comments from people who remember that day. Best Sports Event Coverage/Category 11 First place Cats find salvation, clear Reitz roadblock Joe Jasinski The Herald (Jasper) Comments: Loved reading about the injured player sliding on the metal bench to see his replacement gain that final, important yard. Well-written. Second place End is emotional for 'special group' of Patriots Joe Jasinski The Herald (Jasper) Comments: Another nice anecdotal lede from this writer really sets the mood for the story. Third place No. 1 stunned! David Campbell The Madison Courier Comments: A good, quick lede really helped get this story going. Nicely handled. Best Sports News or Feature Coverage Category 12 First place Amid sorrow, family learns to heal Joe Fanelli The Herald (Jasper) Comments: Powerful work. The focus on unanswered ques- tions is palpable and reflective of how it feels to deal with unexpected loss. Second place Fischer becomes force after 50-50 flip Joe Fanelli The Herald (Jasper Comments: You can't help but smile along with this story. The high-mark is coming to understand how a wrestler can dominate with one special move, even when they're not part of the rope-opera. Third place Safety at any cost Mike Beas Daily Journal (Franklin) Comments: Well-written and thoroughly comprehensive reporting. The graphic elements are a great addition and help the reader dig into the variance in equipment. Martha Rasche The Herald (Jasper) Paul Burrows was 14 years old when a doctor in the mental health unit at an Evansville hospital offered his mother a choice: a box of tissues or commitment papers. She took the box of tissues. Paul already had been in the mental health system for three years. Unless Lynda Burrows signed the papers and never saw her son again, she remembers the doctor telling her, she would face a life of legal trouble and mental illness with him as well as threats on her life. The doctor told her that the police and courts wouldn't care and predicted that eventually Paul would kill her. If she took the box of tissues, the doctor wanted her to know that is all the support she would have in dealing with her son for the rest of her life. In January of this year, three weeks shy of Paul's 36th birthday, mother and son sat in a hallway in the Dubois County Courthouse. Paul had just been found competent to stand trial on felony charges of receiving stolen property, and his mother, who has been his legal guardian since he turned 18, had addressed the court. "I am very, very, very exhausted for all this," the Jasper resident, 66, told the superior court judge, specifically referencing the work she was doing to assure proper legal representation for Paul, who has a documented history of mental illness dating to 1990 and a history of legal troubles equally as long. She just as well could have been talking about how worn down she felt after decades of seeking mental and legal help for her son, changing homes and jobs dozens of times and, on many days, fearing for her own life. In the hallway, her son said to her, "Mom, you're fighting for a lost cause." Jan. 29, 1991. Paul is 12. From a probation officer's report in Knox County Juvenile Court regarding a case of theft: In the matter of Paul Burrows, a child alleged to be a delinquent Who's going to take care of Paul? For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Joe Jasinski The Herald (Jasper Ben Moore sat alone on the bench as the game's culminating play arrived. His busted MCL hurt too much for him to stand. So the junior gingerly slid down the steel pew, scavenging for a peek through a tree line of teammates. Jasper faced a fourth down inches inside Evansville Reitz territory with about two minutes left. Muscle a half- yard forward, and the Wildcats all but seal the sectional. Fail to find the measly measure, and the Panthers stare at just half a field to potentially knot up Friday's Class 4A sectional championship in its final stages. Finally, Moore could see it all unfold. "I worked my way to find a crease," Moore said. He saw Tate Blessinger, his replacement. The sophomore cradled his ninth and final carry and plunged to the left. "I just had to get it," Blessinger said. "I didn't even look for a gap. I just stuck it in as hard as I could, lowered my head and just ran straight at them. ... I knew I had it." One yard. One hope finally realized. With Reitz void of timeouts, the Wildcats enacted a fresh set of downs to bring them that elusive prize. As the final minute evaporated at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium with two Nolan Ahrens kneel downs, the Wildcats cemented a 17-9 victory and their first sectional championship since 2008. Three of the past four seasons, Jasper's tournament journey halted at Reitz's hands, including a one-point heartbreak in last year's sectional championship. This time, the Cats (11-1) summoned salvation. "We just didn't stop pushing. We didn't give up, ever. We just kept pushing because we were going to get there. We were going to Cats find salvation, clear Reitz roadblock Amid sorrow, family learns to heal For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Joe Fanelli The Herald (Jasper) On the first-year anniversary of Benton's death, Katie Kluesner stayed home from school. On the second, her mother, Lisa, insisted she go. Told her how important it was for her to keep going, keep living. This year, come Oct. 3, Katie doesn't know how they will commemorate the death of her big brother. In the past, the soccer team has helped. Katie has been a four-year goalie for the Northeast Dubois soccer team, and her freshman year, the team members wore camouflage headbands and tape in memory of Benton. Green and black with "Benny" written across in safety- orange letters. "It's not easier, you just learn to cope with it," Katie explains. "There's not a day that something doesn't remind me of him or dad. I think about them every day no matter whether it's a song, or something in a book. ... Anything can remind you of him." Next Thursday will mark the three-year anniversary of Benton's death. Katie started high school as a freshman in August 2010. Little more than a month later, Benton died in an ATV accident, the details of which are unclear. Six months later, still reeling from the loss of her brother, her father, Terry, was killed in a motorcycle crash with similar unanswerable questions. Since then, Katie has dealt with the grief and agonizing questions in a process that has brought her closer to her mother, her faith and the sometimes awful truths of life. She's been to the bottom, and today she is still trying to move forward. Benton was a young- looking boy of 16 with a penchant for the outdoors and a little bit of mischief. Traci Wineinger, who's been teaching agriculture For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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