June 22, 2008 in City

Idaho Press Club honors S-R

From staff reports The Spokesman-Review

The Spokesman-Review’s coverage of the Moscow shooting spree in May 2007 won first place for spot news coverage in the Idaho Press Club’s annual journalism competition. It was one of nine awards, including five for first place, that the newsroom received for work published in 2007.

Reporter Becky Kramer won three first-place awards for stories about changes that are confronting communities and industries in the region:

“”Logged Out?” reported on a shortage of loggers as fewer young adults pursue timber industry careers;

“”Captain’s seen Coeur d’Alene transform” told the story of change facing the tugboat business on Lake Coeur d’Alene;

“”Silver turns to gold: Condominium surge gives Silver Valley an economic lift” explained how Kellogg has moved from a hub for silver and lead ore mining to a skiing destination with condominium developments.

Former staff member James Hagengruber also won first place for “Tragedy in Libby: Trouble in the air,” his report on the growing circle of death stemming from asbestos-related ailments in Libby, Mont.

Boise-based political reporter Betsy Z. Russell took home a second-place award for her reporting on Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s decision to end state funding for Parents as Teachers and other early childhood programs in an effort to improve the structure and accountability of state agencies.

The news staff, including reporters Erica F. Curless and Taryn Hecker, won second place in the competition’s First Amendment category for ongoing coverage of inappropriate e-mails sent by employees of the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office and the newspaper’s successful fight for release of the e-mails under Idaho’s public records law.

Curless also won third place for “End of an ugly era,” her report on the long-awaited arrival of septic tanks and drainfields in Burke, a small community in Shoshone County, ending the practice of dumping household waste and sewage directly into Canyon Creek.

The news staff also received honorable mention in the Special Coverage category for its “Our Kids: Our Business” series on child abuse and neglect in April 2007.

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