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S-R wins Cowles Cup, other photo awards

Spokesman-Review photographer Kathy Plonka won the Cowles Cup, the annual award for best overall entry in the Washington-Oregon Associated Press Photo Contest, for her photographs of a Coeur d’Alene couple raising their four great-grandchildren.

The photo essay, titled “Difficult Blessings,” was praised by contest judges as “wonderful storytelling through touching moments.” The winner was announced Thursday at the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association annual meeting.

The Cowles trophy, awarded each year since 1952, is named for William Hutchison Cowles, former publisher of The Spokesman-Review. It goes to the best entry in the two-state photo contest, regardless of category.

The Spokesman-Review won six other awards in the photo contest:

News photo: first place, Colin Mulvany.

Sports photo: first, Dan Pelle; second and third, Christopher Anderson.

Feature photo: second, Christopher Anderson.

Multiple photos: first, Kathy Plonka.