Daily Reporter picks up 18 awards at annual statewide contest

Daily Reporter staff reports

INDIANAPOLIS — Greenfield Daily Reporter photographer Tom Russo collected the state’s top award for photography, and staffers took home dozens of other honors at Indiana’s The Associated Press Media Editors contest Friday evening.

Russo received the John A. Bushemi award, voted on by the attending news organizations. Of the 12 photographs eligible for the award, Russo shot two — both of which were selected for the top prize.

A Daily Reporter project investigating whether local government officials violated state law by not conducting regular office hours, titled “Absent from jobs” and written by editor Noelle Steele and staff reporter Samm Quinn, placed third for the statewide Kent Cooper Award for news reporting. The same article also took home first place for best investigative reporting in the newspaper’s division.

The Daily Reporter received 18 honors total — including nine first-place prizes. The Daily Reporter competes in division IV against other newspapers with 9,000 or fewer subscribers.

Steele and Quinn also were awarded first place for best spot news coverage for “Boy killed in crash,” a story about a fatal bus crash on Interstate 70 that killed a 6-year-old Gary boy last summer. Steele also received a first-place award for best feature writing for “Fighting for Katie,” a story about Katie Curry of Greenfield, who fought kidney failure before her dad, Danny Curry, donated his kidney to save his daughter’s life.

Quinn was recognized for best enterprise reporting with a first-place award for “I’m just surviving,” a story that analyzed Hancock County’s increasing poverty rate from 2005 to 2010.

In the same category, Steele took home second place for “Letting Priscia go,” and Caitlin VanOverberghe placed third for “Every child deserves a chance.”

Sports editor Rich Torres and reporter Kris Mills earned second place for best deadline sports story for “Bitter ending.”Russo took home first-place honors for best spot news photo for his photo of a barn fire; best feature photo for a picture of a harvest sunset and best photo story for a photo package of a Pentecostal church camp. He also received a third place award for best sports photo.

The Daily Reporter won first place for best illustration or graphic, and graphic designer Kyle Lewis nabbed second place.

The paper took second place for headline writing and third place for full-page design.