Ross Haddow, second from right, receives some help pulling a giant pumpkin downhill from his garden to his truck on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. It took the help of nearly a dozen friends, neighbors and family members to get the gargantuan gourd into the bed of Haddow’s truck. The pumpkin was to be weighed the following day at a competition in Kent, Wash., before being put on display at Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub on 128th Street SE in Everett through the end of October. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ross Haddow, second from right, receives some help pulling a giant pumpkin downhill from his garden to his truck on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. It took the help of nearly a dozen friends, neighbors and family members to get the gargantuan gourd into the bed of Haddow’s truck. The pumpkin was to be weighed the following day at a competition in Kent, Wash., before being put on display at Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub on 128th Street SE in Everett through the end of October. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Herald photographers, writers take home 7 awards at SPJ contest

The winning entries were headlined by a giant pumpkin photographed by Ryan Berry. Record flooding coverage also netted two honors.

EVERETT — Staff at The Daily Herald took home seven honors this week at the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional contest.

All three Herald photojournalists were recognized.

Ryan Berry took first place for General News Photography for pictures accompanied by a colorful story he wrote: “To grow a great pumpkin in Edmonds: seeds, water, brute force.”

Berry had followed up on a newstip originally called in to The Herald’s resident news-of-the-weird columnist, Andrea Brown. As the pumpkin grower, retired dentist Ross Haddow, 72, remarked: “It’s fun to grow a fruit that’s bigger than you are.”

Ross Haddow cuts the stem of his giant pumpkin before receiving help sliding it downhill to the bed of his truck Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ross Haddow cuts the stem of his giant pumpkin before receiving help sliding it downhill to the bed of his truck Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

But if you want to move it, say, to compete in a giant pumpkin competition? That takes muscle. And as many volunteers as Haddow could round up. The team tied a rope to the gargantuan gourd and pulled with all their might. That ended up being Berry’s prize-winning moment.

A judge for the contest commented: “This photo answers the question, ‘Just how big was it?’”

Since the pumpkin was bound for a guess-the-weight contest, Berry was unable reveal its poundage, until now. Just shy of a half-ton.

Ross Haddow sits triumphantly atop his pickup truck after successfully getting this year’s giant pumpkin into the truck bed on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ross Haddow sits triumphantly atop his pickup truck after successfully getting this year’s giant pumpkin into the truck bed on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at his home in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Annie Barker took second place in the “Photo Essay” category for images featured in a story by Janice Podsada: “Saving racehorses from slaughter, Snohomish rescue offers second chance.”

“Memorable photos convey the strong, intimate emotion, love of Snohomish rescue saving racehorses,” one judge wrote.

Kaisa Gifford walks slowly with Manny at the Gifford Horses barn in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Manny is able to walk longer periods of time and is regaining some of his lost body weight. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Kaisa Gifford walks slowly with Manny at the Gifford Horses barn in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Manny is able to walk longer periods of time and is regaining some of his lost body weight. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Olivia Vanni took second for “Spot News Photography,” for photos of record flooding on the Stillaguamish River, leaving pickup trucks stranded in hip-deep water on roads near Silvana.

Herald coverage of the December flooding also took second place in the “Breaking News” category, with credit to reporters Jordan Hansen, Aina de Lapparent Alvarez, Jonathan Tall, Maya Tizon and Ta’Leah Van Sistine.

A red truck navigates through floodwaters covering 28th Avenue NW along Pioneer Highway on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A red truck navigates through floodwaters covering 28th Avenue NW along Pioneer Highway on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The news crew ended up dedicating the better part of a week to coverage of the fast-changing forecast, the flooding and its aftermath. As the the disaster unfolded on Dec. 5, 2023, The Herald published 10 updated versions of its main story.

“The weather service has their forecast, then we see what the river actually does,” county Department of Emergency Management spokesperson Scott North told The Herald.

A cow watches from higher ground while Brooklyn Holton, left, and Breyline Sawyer, right, stop to take photos of the flooding along Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A cow watches from higher ground while Brooklyn Holton, left, and Breyline Sawyer, right, stop to take photos of the flooding along Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Another article, by Van Sistine, examined why flooding on the Stillaguamish River is so challenging to forecast. A judge remarked the team’s coverage offered an “in-depth look at effects of climate change on one community.”

Caleb Hutton took second place in “Crime & Law Enforcement” reporting on a man whose remains were known as the Spencer Island John Doe for 44 years. Snohomish County authorities identified him as Gary Lee Haynie, of Kansas, through forensic genealogy, using the combined powers of ancestry databases and advances in DNA technology.

Gary Lee Haynie (center) as child with his parents Sheldon Haynie and Berniece Haynie. (Courtesy of Hal Thayne)

Gary Lee Haynie (center) as child with his parents Sheldon Haynie and Berniece Haynie. (Courtesy of Hal Thayne)

One judge said: “This story was handled with thought and sensitivity in remembering this forgotten man in a manner he deserved — as a human being, not just a cold case.”

Sophia Gates won second place for “Poverty & Homelessness” coverage for an in-depth look at Everett’s expanded “no-sit, no-lie” ban in a series of stories last year. Her reporting offered a microphone to homeless people actually affected by the ban.

Kayla Dunn won second place in the “LGBTQ+ Equity Reporting” category for coverage of a church vigil, countering anti-LGBTQ+ pamphlets scattered across cars in Edmonds: “‘We can’t let hate scare us’: Edmonds vigil pushes back at hateful flyers.”

Attendees raise up candles during a vigil held at Edmonds United Methodist Church to show support of the LGBTQIA+ community in response to the recent hate-filled incidents at two regional churches on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Attendees raise up candles during a vigil held at Edmonds United Methodist Church to show support of the LGBTQIA+ community in response to the recent hate-filled incidents at two regional churches on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A judge wrote: “Very solid story with clear writing and interesting details that tell it in a way that matters to a community.”

The Herald competed in the “Large” newsroom category of SPJ’s Region 10, alongside news outlets like The Columbian, KUOW, The Idaho Statesman, Oregon Public Broadcasting and The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon.

The region covers the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Alyvia Nguyen, 8, climbs on leaf shaped steps at the new Corcoran Memorial Park playground on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Bothell-area park ‘could not be a more fitting dedication’

In 2019, Jim Corcoran donated $1.5 million worth of land to become a public park. He died before he could see it completed.

Cars line up for the Edmonds ferry in Edmonds, Washington on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ferry line jumpers face a $145 fine — and scorn from other drivers

Law enforcement is on the lookout for line cutters. It’s a “hot-button issue that can lead to something worse.”

Mother charged in Stanwood toddler’s fentanyl overdose death

Morgan Bassett woke up in January 2022 and found her daughter wasn’t breathing. Last week, she was charged with manslaughter.

FILE — Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 23, 2024. Former President Donald Trump has chosen Vance to be his running mate, wagering that the young senator will bring fresh energy to the Republican ticket and ensure that the movement Trump began nearly a decade ago can live on after him. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times)
J.D. Vance is Trump’s pick for vice president

Vance, once a Trump critic, is an ambitious ideologue who relishes the spotlight. His selection comes just days after Trump survived an assassination attempt.

Former president Donald Trump is seen with a bloody ear as he is assisted off the stage during a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting

Isaac Arnsdorf, Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post BUTLER, Pa. - The… Continue reading

Biden, Democrats, Republicans denounce shooting at Trump rally

Reaction pours in from government leaders

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.