Better Newspaper Contest

2014 Award Winners

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

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Page 57 of 67

Page 58 Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure/Category 1 First place Gay marriage Staff The Indianapolis Star Comments: Comprehensive coverage of this historic day in Indiana. Readers were well-served by reporting of the full scope of the ruling, the deep humanity of the day and the broad context. The staff was everywhere to document the historic moment. Second place Officer Rod Bradway Staff The Indianapolis Star Comments: Broad and deep coverage on deadline of the tragic shooting of a well-respected police officer. Profiles of the officer and the shooter, the timeline of the unfolding events and the historical context of other police shootings made for a strong entry. Third place Motive sought in rampage Staff South Bend Tribune Comments: Staff captured the horror of the day with a detailed timeline of the shooter's path, profiles of the victims and the shooter, context on how workplaces can prepare and more. Everything readers could want to know. Best News Coverage With No Deadline Pressure/Category 2 First place Day care series Staff The Indianapolis Star Comments: The greatest faith parents give is to the caregiv- ers entrusted to watch their children while they work. This series showcases the tragedy that occurs with providers that work outside the licensed system. It captivates readers through strong watchdog reporting and compelling narrative, along with breakouts that help explain various facets of the issues. A complete package. Second place Abortion Amanda Gray South Bend Tribune Comments: Strong watchdog reporting through public records to show how a law designed to protect potentially vulnerable victims is flouted through lack of reporting by phy- sicians and a lack of accountability by the state. Third place Who owns that? Jay M. Young & Thomas B. Langhorne Evansville Courier & Press Comments: Old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting brings together a vast data set of vacant homes – information gov- ernment officials don't even readily have. Incredible detail on the properties in question and good explanation of the issues and frustrations. Best Ongoing News Coverage/Category 3 First place Eric Turner: Ethics investigation Tony Cook & Barb Berggoetz The Indianapolis Star Comments: Great investigative work. First-rate digging. Second place Cycle of violence Staff The Indianapolis Star Comments: Gripping, alarming. Excellent color and detail. Third place No award given. Division 6 Tim Evans and Jill Disis The Indianapolis Star A federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriages Wednesday, leaving state officials, lawmakers, social conservatives, gay rights supporters and legal experts scrambling to sort out exactly what the decision means – and what will happen next. But for the hundreds of gay and lesbian couples who rushed to courthouses across the state for impromptu weddings, the judge's words meant something simple, yet significant: They could finally be married in Indiana. The monumental ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Young said Indiana's law that limits marriage to one man and one woman, and that denies recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, is unconstitutional. It mirrored more than a dozen recent federal court opinions that have struck down same-sex marriage bans in other states. "In less than a year," Young wrote in his opinion, "every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional." Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's staff quickly filed a notice of appeal and an emergency request for a stay of Young's order, which could halt same-sex marriages pending outcome of an appeal. The motion for a stay, according to spokesman Bryan Corbin, which has been granted in other jurisdictions, "is intended to prevent confusion and inconsistency between county clerk's offices regarding license issuance, while the appeal is pending." "Until the United States Supreme Court determines that traditional marriage laws such as Indiana's are unconstitutional, it is premature to require Indiana to change its definition of marriage and abide by this court's conception of marriage," the attorney general wrote in the request for stay. "Nonetheless, marriages in violation of Indiana's existing law have taken place, are taking place, and will continue to take place pursuant to this Robert King, Alex Campbell and Marisa Kwiatkowski The Indianapolis Star At first, when he heard they were looking for his son, Juan Cardenas laughed. Not because it was funny, but because it was absurd – just that morning he had left his little boy, not yet two years old, at day care. But Juan's girlfriend was on the phone telling him the day care wanted to know if someone had picked up their little Carlos – because they couldn't find him. Juan was sure this was a mix-up, but he called the day care. Bluntly, he asked: "Where is Carlos?" "We're looking for him," the person said. "What do you mean you're looking for him?" Juan replied. His anger rose instantly. "You're not supposed to be looking for him." The worker replied: "We'll call you back." Juan wasn't going to wait for a call. He took off his white coat, left his job as a lab technician and ran to his car. He drove toward the Northwestside church where his son had been in day care the last four months, Praise Fellowship Assembly of God. His thoughts raced ahead of him. Juan feared that Carlos, who was just 22 months old, had somehow wandered out of the day care onto busy Michigan Road. He feared that maybe someone had come in and kidnapped the boy. And he feared the worst – that his boy might be dead. "God, if he is in your hands already," Juan prayed, as he drove, "I hope you didn't let him suffer." Juan had worried about Gay marriage: Possible stay of ruling clouds the horizon Eric Turner: Ethics investigation Day care series: Death reveals gaps in Indiana child care laws For complete story, see Click on "Contests." For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Tony Cook & Barb Berggoetz The Indianapolis Star On the surface, Rep. Eric Turner had nothing to do with a last-minute decision to kill a proposed nursing home moratorium that would have harmed his son's business. He even abstained from voting on the issue. But behind the scenes, Turner – the second-highest- ranking member of the Indiana House – played a much different role, passionately urging fellow Republicans during a private caucus meeting to defeat the moratorium, according to two GOP lawmakers who spoke to The Star on the condition of anonymity. By the next day, the moratorium, which had passed both chambers and several committees in one form or another, was dead. Turner's successful backroom effort to kill the moratorium raises new concerns about his influence over legislation his family has a financial interest in. "For him to insert himself yet again on an issue of interest to the nursing home industry – where several members of his family have a direct interest – is extremely disappointing," said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, a good government advocacy group. Turner, a Cicero Republican, did not return several calls from The Star. He co-founded Carmel- based health care facility developer Mainstreet Property Group, which led the opposition to the moratorium. His son, Zeke Turner, is chairman of the company; his daughter, Jessica Turner Stults, lobbies for it. Supporters of the moratorium argued that it was needed to address an overabundance of nursing home facilities that For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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