Churubusco News receives 5 state journalism awards

Beyonce Marmolejo sits and talks with Santa Claus before taking a photo together during the Ligonier Fire Department’s annual Breakfast with Santa in December 2016. Advance Leader reporter Kelly Lynch won a first-place prize in Saturday’s Hoosier State Press Association Better Newspaper Contest for the photo. Kelly Lynch











INDIANAPOLIS — KPC Media Group Inc. newspapers won 32 awards Saturday in the annual Hoosier State Press Association Better Newspaper Contest — five of which were awarded to the Churubusco News.

Editor Nicole Minier received first place for her article written about Sharon Jones, an Olympic swimmer who lives in Churubusco. She also earned second place in the same category, sports features, for an article written about Stacia Fester, who overcame adversity after back surgery.

KPC staff members at two daily papers and three weekly publications combined to win seven first-place awards, 15 second-place awards and 10 third-place honors at the annual seminar and banquet put on by the HSPA, a statewide trade organization that represents more than 150 newspapers in Indiana.

The Churubusco News received second place for newspaper design; second place for an article written about Randy Jones, a Churubusco native who earned a directing role with the Travel Channel; and third place for headline writing.

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly claimed 12 awards, followed by The News Sun (Kendallville) with nine, The Advance Leader (Ligonier) and The Churubusco News (Churubusco) with five each and The Herald Republican (Angola) with one award.

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, The Advance Leader and The Churubusco News compete in the division for small non-daily papers with circulation less than 3,000. The News Sun is in the midsize category for papers with circulation between 6,000 and 14,000.

Multiple staff members across KPC Media Group publications were recognized with awards, including: from Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, Lucretia Cardenas, Linda Lipp, Doug LeDuc, Bridgett Hernandez, Ray Steup and Beth Welty; from The News Sun, Steve Garbacz, Barry Rochford, Grace Housholder and Erin Doucette; from The Advance Leader, Kelly Lynch and Rochford; and from the Churubusco News, Minier.

The News Sun took one first-place award in the best ongoing news category for stories written by Rochford and Garbacz detailing the May flooding and its aftermath at the West Lakes chain near Rome City.

Other first-place awards went to Lynch for a short feature about a Ligonier Fire Department search-and-rescue and ladder and ventilation training exercise, and for a feature photo of Santa Claus with a child at a Christmas breakfast at the Fire Department.

LeDuc won in the non-deadline news category for a package of stories about the opioid crisis, and The Churubusco News won first for a sports feature about 1968 summer Olympics 100-meter breaststroke winner Sharon Jones sharing her story at the local library.

Cardenas won for a set of editorials that judges said showed “deep and original thinking.”

The full list of awards include:

Best deadline news: second place, Cardenas and Lipp; third place, Lynch.

Best non-deadline news: first place, LeDuc; second place The News Sun staff.

Best ongoing news: first place, Garbacz and Rochford; second place, Rochford and Lynch; third place, Hernandez.

Best general commentary: second place, Housholder.

Best editorial writer: first place, Cardenas.

Best headline writing: second place, The News Sun staff; second place, Cardenas, Hernandez and Lipp; third place, Minier.

Best short feature: first place, Lynch; second place, Minier; third place, Garbacz.

Best profile feature: third place, Lipp.

Best feature package: third place, Lipp.

Best sports news or feature: first place, The Churubusco News staff; second place, Minier.

Best general news photo: first place, Lynch.

Best video: third place, Steup; third place, Lynch; third place, Garbacz.

Best editorial page: first place, The Herald Republican staff.

Best use of graphics: third place, Doucette.

Best website: second place, The News Sun.

Best feature page or section: third place, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly staff.

Best special section: second place, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly staff.

Community service award: second place, The News Sun staff; second place, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly staff.

Best newspaper design: second place, Minier.

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