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Winners announced in 2019 MAPME newspaper contest

March 16, 2020 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — Newspapers in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Holland were named the best in the state in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

General Excellence awards for 2019 went to The Detroit News, The Ann Arbor News and The Holland Sentinel.

The Detroit Free Press won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information. The newspaper won with its entry, “Make Your Date Investigation.” That award was open to entries from both newspapers and broadcast stations.

Malachi Barrett, a reporter at The Grand Rapids Press, was named Michigan APME’s Newspaper Rising Star. That award recognizes journalists with five years or less in journalism.

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Thirty-one daily newspapers submitted 850 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2019.

Entries were judged by editors from the following Ohio newspapers: The Columbus Dispatch and The Warren Tribune-Chronicle, Division III; The Canton Repository, The (Newark) Advocate and The Marion Star, Division II; The (Fremont) News-Messenger, Port Clinton News Herald and Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, Division I.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing newspapers and broadcast stations in the United States.

Here is the list of winners:

Division III, Newspapers with a daily circulation over 40,000:

General Excellence: 1, The Detroit News; 2, Detroit Free Press; 3, The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Headline Writing: 1, Steve Wilkinson, The Detroit News; 2, Janet Graham, Detroit Free Press; 3, Andreas Supanich, The Detroit News.

Best Business Writing: 1, Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press; 2, Louis Aguilar, The Detroit News; 3, Paula Gardner, The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Column: 1, Daniel Howes, The Detroit News; 2, Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press; 3, Henry Payne, The Detroit News.

Best Editorial Writing: 1, Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News; 2, Mickey Ciokajlo, The Grand Rapids Press; 3, Nolan Finley, The Detroit News.

Best Feature Writing: 1, Zahra Ahmad, The Flint Journal; 2, Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press; 3, John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press.

Best Sports Story: 1, Chris McCosky, The Detroit News, “Could These Tigers Be Baseball’s Worst Team Ever?”; 2, Andrew Kahn, The Grand Rapids Press, “Tom Izzo’s 85 Minutes of Reflection Following Michigan State’s Final Four Loss”; 3, Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “Kid Rock Was Nice, but Dylan Larkin Stole Show in One Heart-Melting Moment.”

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Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “How Detroit Tigers Pitcher Matt Boyd Is Saving 36 Girls in Uganda”; 2, Matt Wenzel, The Grand Rapids Press, “Khari Willis, the Indianapolis Colts and the Realization of an NFL Dream”; 3, Tony Paul, The Detroit News, “Year After Son’s Death, Tigers Fan Who Caught Pujols’ Baseball Keeps Things in Perspective.”

Best Sports Column: 1, John Niyo, The Detroit News; 2, Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News; 3, Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “Steve Yzerman’s Return to Red Wings Would Have Made Mr. I Proud.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, Chris Morris, The Grand Rapids Press, ”‘Feast or Famine?’ Lions Thanksgiving Games Over the Decades”; 2, Chris Morris, The Grand Rapids Press, “Let’s Go Racing, Michigan”; 3, Chris Morris, The Grand Rapids Press, “Mitten Is Bowled Over.”

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “Remembering Shooting Victim Mervin Bonner”; 2, Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “Teen’s Rapist Convicted of Killing Her Before She Could Testify”; 3, Todd McInturf, The Detroit News, “Morning Kiss at the Shelter.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “Muskegon Goes to Prom 2019 with Dazzling Diamonds Theme”; 2, Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press, “Hoop Dreams”; 3, Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press, “Mother of the Bride.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Daniel Mears, The Detroit News, “Got Him Trapped!”; 2, Mike Mulholland, The Grand Rapids Press, “Cassius Winston and Cheerleaders Celebrate After a Basket and Foul”; 3, Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press, “Tough Catch.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Welcome to the Family”; 2, Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press, “Prom Send-Off”; 3, Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press, “On Strike.”

Best Video: 1, Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press, “The Tragic Tale and Death of a Hoarder”; 2, Mandi Wrigth and Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, “Addicted Teen Looks for Path to Survival in Tiny Michigan Town”; 3, The Grand Rapids Press, “HOW WE GOT HERE: The PFAS Water Crisis Is Here.”

Best Public Service: 1, Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, “Out of Gear: Ford Knew Focus, Fiesta Models Had Flawed Transmission, Sold Them Anyway”; 2, Paula Gardner and Garret Ellison, The Grand Rapids Press, “PFAS Contamination and Its Impact on Michigan Residents”; 3, Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News, “Healing Justice.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The Detroit News, “UAW Presidents Gary Jones, Dennis Williams Implicated in Federal Probe”; 2, The Grand Rapids Press, “Multiple Fatalities Reported in Shooting in Northern Kent County”; 3, Brendan Savage, The Flint Journal, “Melee Breaks out at Weigh-In for Boxing Match.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Louis Aguilar, The Detroit News, “District Detroit: Inside the Ilitches’ Land of Unfulfilled Promises”; 2, Amy Biolchini and Gus Burns, The Grand Rapids Press, “Michigan’s Marijuana Industry”; 3, Garret Ellison and Paula Gardner, The Grand Rapids Press, “PFAS-Tainted Water Is Costing Millions.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Robert Snell, The Detroit News, “UAW Bribery Probe”; 2, Kat Stafford and Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, “Make Your Date Investigation”; 3, Gina Kaufman and Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press, “Wayne County Reserve Cop Did Jail Time, Has Sex Offender History.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, The Grand Rapids Press; 2, James Hollar, The Detroit News, “Yzerman’s Evolution”; 3, Branden Barker, Detroit Free Press, “A Kiss ‘Victory Lap’.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The Grand Rapids Press; 2, Detroit Free Press; 3, The Detroit News.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Georgea Kovanis and Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press, “She Was Prostituting, Pregnant, Doing Drugs by 14. Now, Taylor Girl Fights to Save Her Own Life.”; 2, George Hunter, The Detroit News, ”‘Sins of Detroit’ True Crime Podcast Focuses on Wrongful Convictions”; 3, The Flint Journal, “It’s Been 5 Years. Flint Still Doesn’t Trust the Water.”

Division II, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 10,000 to 39,999:

General Excellence: 1, The Ann Arbor News; 2, Jackson Citizen Patriot; 3, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Headline Writing: 1, Darcie Moran, The Ann Arbor News; 2, Taylor DesOrmeau, Jackson Citizen Patriot; 3, Allison Batdorff, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Business Writing: 1, Dana Afana, The Ann Arbor News; 2, Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor News; 3, Haley Hansen, Lansing State Journal.

Best Column: 1, Nick Buckley, Battle Creek Enquirer; 2, Nicole Mullis, Battle Creek Enquirer; 3, Judy Putnam, Lansing State Journal.

Best Editorial Writing: 1, Sara Scott, Jackson Citizen Patriot; 2, Nathan Payne, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 3, Lansing State Journal.

Best Feature Writing: 1, Darcie Moran, The Ann Arbor News; 2, Gus Burns, The Ann Arbor News; 3, Nick Buckley, Battle Creek Enquirer.

Best Sports Story: 1, Patrick Nothaft, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Inoperable Brain Tumor Can’t Keep High School Softball Player Off the Field”; 2, Lee Thompson, The Bay City Times, “Eight-Player Football Is Thriving in Michigan, but Not Without Some Fallout”; 3, Scott DeCamp, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Michigan Teen Makes Triumphant Return to Same Court Where He Nearly Died.”

Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Graham Couch, Lansing State Journal, “Turning His Life Around After Battling Homelessness”; 2, Lee Thompson, The Bay City Times, “From ‘Life Sucks’ to Lifesaver: Softball Star’s Extraordinary Ride Home”; 3, Scott DeCamp, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Big Red Zone.”

Best Sports Column: 1, James Cook, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “A Story I Couldn’t Do Justice To”; 2, Mark Urban, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “A Tiny Ripple to an Emotional Wave”; 3, Nathan Atkins, Lansing State Journal, “If You Don’t Think the Pinstripe Bowl Matters ...”

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, David Warfield, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “The New Wild Boardman”; 2, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Leoni Township Board”; 3, Brendan Quealy, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “741 to 1.”

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Jamie Cook, The Macomb Daily, “Murder Conviction Reaction”; 2, Mary Lewandowski, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Court Tears”; 3, Jake May, The Bay City Times, “This Was Supposed to Be Our Forever Home.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Jacob Hamilton, The Ann Arbor News, “Prom Lasers”; 2, Joel Bissell, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Ice Shards”; 3, Jenna Kieser, The Ann Arbor News, “Miss Washtenaw.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, J. Scott Park, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “The Climb”; 2, Kayla Renie, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Prep Football Powers Endure Brutal Beach Workout Fit for Marines”; 3, Joel Bissell, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Let’s Ride.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Kayla Renie, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Mother-Daughter Bond Grows Stronger Through Breast Cancer Journey”; 2, Mary Lewandowski, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “His Hair Isn’t Going to Define Him”; 3, Jenna Kieser, The Ann Arbor News, “April & Jacob.”

Best Video: 1, Corey Morse, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Muskegon Big Reds Play in Iconic Century-Old Stadium”; 2, Emil Lippe, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Promise Dollars Go Unused for Kalamazoo Graduate Balancing Life as a Mom”; 3, Ben Allan Smith, The Ann Arbor News, “Washtenaw County Teachers Discuss Their Passions in the Classroom.”

Best Public Service: 1, Taylor DesOrmeau, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “City of Jackson Doles out Big Raises With Little Transparency/City Vows to Start Doing Evaluations of Officials Again”; 2, Lauren Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, “How Housing Choice Vouchers Contribute to Modern-Day Segregation”; 3, Rachel Greco, Lansing State Journal, “13-Year-Old Died From Suicide, Despite His Mother’s Pleas to Lansing Schools, Dean Transportation.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor News, “John Dingell, Nation’s Longest-Serving Congressman, Dies at 92”; 2, Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor News, “Police Say No Active Threat on UM Campus at This Time”; 3, The Saginaw News, “Saginaw Police Officer Shot.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Nathan Clark, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Shootings on the Rise as Feuds Fuel Gun Violence in Jackson”; 2, Darcie Moran, The Ann Arbor News, “Teflon Judges: They Wield Great Power, but Are Tough to Remove”; 3, Kayla Miller, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Why Some Students Don’t Go to College Even When It’s Free.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Matt Mencarini, Lansing State Journal, “11 Rapes, 4 States, 1 Suspect: The ‘Extraordinarily Improbable’ Defense of Calvin Kelly”; 2, Heather Jordan and Cole Waterman, The Saginaw News, “Saginaw Catholic Diocese”; 3, Norb Franz, The Macomb Daily, “Free Healthcare for Life.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Joseph Pas, The Macomb Daily, “A Day Unlike Any Other”; 2, The Oakland Press, “New Beginnings”; 3, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Digital Presence: 1, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 2, The Ann Arbor News; 3, Lansing State Journal.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Heather Jordan and Kaytie Bloomer, The Saginaw News, “Powerful Waves Threaten Their Lake Huron Dream Homes”; 2, Lansing State Journal, “How the 1999 Riot Went Down in East Lansing”; 3, Malachi Barrett and Joel Bissell, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Homeless in Kalamazoo Emergency Shelters Escape Threat of Freezing Weather.”

Division I, Newspapers with a daily circulation under 10,000:

General Excellence: 1, The Holland Sentinel; 2, Midland Daily News; 3, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News.

Best Headline Writing: 1, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News; 2, Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel; 3, Dan Basso, The (Owosso) Argus-Press.

Best Business Writing: 1, Betsy Bloom, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News; 2, Brian Christensen, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News; 3, Kate Carlson, The Holland Sentinel.

Best Column: 1, David Barber, Ludington Daily News, “The High Life”; 2, Douglas Brouwer, The Holland Sentinel; 3, Tim Rath, The (Big Rapids) Pioneer.

Best Feature Writing: 1, Ashley Schafer, Midland Daily News; 2, Theresa Proudfit, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News; 3, Alicia Jaimes, The (Big Rapids) Pioneer.

Best Sports Story: 1, Dan Chalk, Midland Daily News, “Dow High Grad Is Professional Gamer”; 2, Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, “Bumps, Bruises, and Bases: Beaverton’s Longstreth Sets Unlikely MHSAA”; 3, Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Match of a Lifetime: Tears Shed as Wrestler with Cerebral Palsy Takes Mat, and Wins by Pin.”

Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Burt Angeli, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News, ”‘An Interesting Ballclub’: Bobcats Remember, Celebrate 1989 State Championship”; 2, Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, “Macy Kuyers Battles Through Cancer, Leads West Ottawa into Purple Power Game”; 3, Jonny Zawacki, The Alpena News, “Wildcat Hockey Team Has Special Pair of Super Fans.”

Best Sports Column: 1, Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “What Are Pros and Cons of Howell Leaving KLAA for CAAC?”; 2, Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, ” Zolinski Left Wonderful Legacy of Humility, Success, and Class”; 3, Austin Hemmingson, (Escanaba) Daily Press, “Lions’ Ineptitude on Full Display in Opening Loss to Cardinals.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, Cassie Daszko, The Holland Sentinel, “Muscles & Mechanics: Aliyah Boeve Transforms into Powerhouse”; 2, Ryan Weiss, The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “Projected Starters.”

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Freeland Road Fire”; 2, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Post Office Collision”; 3, Clarissa Kell, (Escanaba) Daily Press, “The Water Main Break.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Summer Swan Dive”; 2, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “For the Love of Goats”; 3, Jason Juno, The (Ironwood) Daily Globe, “Lightning on the Lake.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Gillis Benedict, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Brighton High School - Hudsonville Football”; 2, Gillis Benedict, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Sheriff’s Race”; 3, Cassie Daszko, The Holland Sentinel, “Globetrotter Teaches Trick.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, ”‘Fresh Meat’ to Derby Girl”; 2, Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Santa School”; 3, Daytona Niles, The Holland Sentinel, “Hope College’s The Pull.”

Best Video: 1, Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Ridealong with Auto Racer Marc Miller”; 2, Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Tulip Time Celebrates 90 Years”; 3, Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Brighton-Belleville Football Semifinal Highlights, Interviews.”

Best Public Service: 1, The Holland Sentinel, “As the Smoke Settles”; 2, Alexander Sinn, Grand Haven Tribune, “PFAS in Our Local Waters”; 3, Jim Anderson, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News, “County Hospital Seeks Federal Loan.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, David Bossick and Jeff Kiessel, Ludington Daily News, “McCormick Sawmill Fire”; 2, Dan Basso and Sally York, The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “Tornadoes Strike”; 3, Kayla Daugherty, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Judge Overturns Jerome Kowalski’s Murder Convictions, Setting Stage for New Trial.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, The Alpena News, “Caring for Northeast Michigan”; 2, Mitchell Kukulka and Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “How Safe Are Our Schools?”; 3, The Alpena News, “This Is Us.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Julie Goldberg, The Alpena News, “Our Kids Were at Risk”; 2, Kate Carlson and Audra Gamble, The Holland Sentinel, “Controversial Fennville Commissioner Has Criminal Past”; 3, Josh Champlin, The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “Towing Lawsuit.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Cassie Daszko, The Holland Sentinel, “Sports Extra”; 2, Midland Daily News, “Thanksgiving Edition”; 3, Dan Basso, The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “Hidden Star.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Grand Haven Tribune; 2, Sarah Leach and Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel; 3, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Sarah Leach and Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Hope College Launches Probe into Music Department Kerfuffle.”