Herald wins three regional reporting awards

SEATTLE — The Herald won two-first place awards and one second-place honor in the 2013 C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for distinguished newspaper reporting.

The Oregonian won three first-place awards, while the Seattle Times and the Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., each won two first place honors.

Herald reporters Noah Haglund and Scott North won first place for investigative reporting for “The collapse of Aaron Reardon,” regarding the eventual departure of the county executive over harassment of other county officials and political opponents by members of his staff.

In feature writing, reporter Eric Stevick, won first place for “A fragile balance,” about an Everett father’s fight against addiction.

Also in feature writing, reporter Gale Fiege, won second place for “After cancer, a ‘canvas’ for art,” about a Marysville woman who concealed her mastectomy scars with tattoos.

The Herald competed in the under-50,000 circulation category.

The awards were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association in Seattle. They are given in memory of the man who published The Seattle Times from 1915 until his death in 1941.

PNNA daily newspaper members in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Alberta and British Columbia are eligible to enter the contest, which is administered independently of The Seattle Times by PNNA. Judges are news executives from daily newspapers outside the PNNA area and are not affiliated with PNNA member groups.

All entrants, regardless of circulation, compete for the special Debby Lowman Award for distinguished reporting of consumer affairs, which honors The Times consumer affairs reporter who died of cancer in 1978.

The winners of the 2013 awards:

Distinguished Coverage of Diversity

Under 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, Alaska. “The things that happen: Two boys and cancer.” By Julia O’Malley.

2nd Place, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, Mont. “The Immigrants Among us.” By Whitney Bermes, Laura Lundquist, Gail Schontzler and Jodi Hausen.

Over 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. “Locked Out.” By Brad Schmidt.

2nd Place, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. “Invisible Nations, Enduring Ills.” By Bill Graves.

Deadline Reporting

Under 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. “County shocker: Benton tapped for top environmental job.” By Erik Hidle.

2nd Place, Post Register, Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Faces from the fire.” By Zach Kyle.

Over 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Seattle Times. “Skagit River Bridge Collapse.” By The Seattle Times staff.

2nd Place, The Seattle Times. “Cafe Racer.” By The Seattle Times staff.

Enterprise Reporting

Under 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. “CRC Fallout, Competing Political Wills Block the Way.” By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip.

2nd Place, The Daily News, Longview, Wash. “Death of an Informant.” By Tony Lystra.

Over 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash. “The New American Dream.” By Becky Kramer and Kathy Plonka.

2nd Place, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. “Suicide Bridge.” By David Stabler and Beth Nakamura.

Feature Writing

Under 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Daily Herald, Everett, Wash. “A fragile balance.” By Eric Stevick.

2nd Place, The Daily Herald, Everett, Wash. “After cancer, a ‘canvas’ for art.” By Gale Fiege.

Over 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. “Two Oregon teenagers, a basketball and the moment the game becomes secondary.” By Anna Griffin and Rob Finch.

2nd Place, The Seattle Times. “Missing.” By Maureen O’Hagan.

Investigative Reporting:

Under 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Herald, Everett, Wash. “The collapse of Aaron Reardon.” By Noah Haglund and Scott North.

2nd Place, Post Register, Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Blackfoot School District payout scandal.” By Nate Sutherland.

Over 50,000 circulation:

1st Place, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. “Oregon PERS.” By Ted Sickinger.

2nd Place, The Seattle Times. “Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity.” By Michael J. Berens.

Debby Lowman Award (Combined Divisions):

1st Place, The Seattle Times. “Why you might pay twice for one visit to doctor.” By Carol Ostrom.

2nd Place, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. “Operation protect your skin.” By Marissa Harshman.

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